Life in Pieces, starring James Brolin, Dianne Weist, and Colin Hanks, is heading into its second season and its unique 4-part format just might keep it airing for a little while longer. The show’s creator, Justin Adler, wanted a way to distinguish this single-cam family sitcom from all the rest (namely, Modern Family). So, to make it stand out, each weekly episode is smartly edited into four separate short-story sequences that give a different perspective from each of the micro-units within the larger family.
The season 1 finale was all about big announcements; a proposal or an annulment or an eloping. There was even a pregnancy announcement tossed in there, complete with the father’s newly found unemployment. With so many changes, the table was well set for the second season to be great.
This new second season will bring another surprise announcement from the couple that just announced they were pregnant and unemployed, the newly engaged are newly living together and dealing with a roommate, and there’s an embarrassing trip to the hospital for the patriarch. The biggest buzz for this new season is the addition of another huge Hollywood name, as Cary Elwes jumps into a guest starring role as a professor who flirts with the matriarch.
Metacritic has an overall score of 64 based on 24 reviews with most of them saying that the show has a stellar cast but their characters were not easy to get into at first. Each of the actors can stand-alone and carry a joke, but as an ensemble they weren’t very believable.
Critics couldn’t help but compare this series to Modern Family, and most of them side with the latter. Viewer comments have been much more favorable, with most saying that the humor is to die for, the actors are lovable, and the format of the show is refreshing.
IMDb voters have ranked this series at 7.6 out of 10 with over 4,200 votes cast. That’s pretty good for a family comedy series. The notable consensus with viewers’ comments is that the show keeps getting better and better as it progresses. The characters are melding together and the cast is becoming a single unit rather than individual actors strutting their stuff.
The only negative comments were, once again, when they compared it to Modern Family. While these two shows are similar because they are both about huge families, teetering on the edge of soap operas if it weren’t for the 30-minute formats, the situations and drama are very distinct; a fact that is sure to flesh itself out fully the further this series goes in its seasons.
The initial series debut last season kicked off with a huge viewership of 11.28 million, then did an immediate nose dive and lost nearly 2.5 million viewers in one week. The finale had 7.23 million viewers, the lowest out of all 22 episodes.
Season 2 premiered on October 27, 2016, with a demo rating of 1.4 and 5.96 million viewers tuned in. Those numbers are drastically lower than the first season, not a good sign for this sophomore series.
There is some speculation as to whether or not this huge fall had to do with the premiere date being a whole month later this season, or whether the NFL game was the distraction for viewers. The rating and viewership both need to increase for CBS to grant future seasons, despite the famous faces in this show. The network has not announced any official decisions about a third season or a cancellation yet.
#LifePieces airs Thursday nights at 9:30pm ET on CBS.
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