Life Sentence Review: Pilot (Season 1 Episode 1)

Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 1
After discovering she’s not dying of cancer, as she’s spent the last eight years of her life believing, Stella is tasked with finding a path for her future.

OnĀ Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 1, “Pilot,” the journey of Stella and the Abbotts begins as Stella learns she’s cured of cancer… and that her entire family has been lying to her for the last eight years of her life about everything. While this may not have been the strongest first outing, it set up what is sure to be an incredible story as we see Stella cope with uncertain life.

Live Like Your (Not) Dying

It’s clear Stella needs some serious character growth as she’s been kept in a bubble for the last eight years of her life, and she comes across as awfully naive. But, while Stella has a lot to learn about life and dealing with things not being “perfect,” I hope she doesn’t lose her spirit and her belief in happy endings. And, thankfully, Stella gets the chance to fix her relationships with her family members. She’s believed them to be close, but they’ve all been keeping secrets, lying, and pretending to be different from how they actually are in front of her, but it’s time for the truth to come out and fences to be mended.

I’m looking forward to seeing Stella’s family further developed through her. I don’t want to see focus slip away from Stella at all to explore supporting characters; I’d like to see the supporting characters developed without taking time away from Stella or her journey because that’s what we’re watching. Regardless of whether Stella lived or not, her family planned for their futures and what they were going to do after Stella’s journey was over. Even though Stella lived, their plans still, kind of, remain the same, they just got another happy ending with Stella surviving her death sentence. So, instead of seeing her family continue with their lives just the same, I want to see them face their futures with Stella in mind since they’ve had so much time to plan what they’d do without her in their lives.


I can honestly say that I have not, in quite a long time, been a fan of a TV relationship until seeing Stella and Wes. I’m honestly rooting for the two to figure things out and live their long, happy lives together, but it’s exciting that they’re actually dealing with the problems in their relationships that they’ve avoided for so long. Wes put Stella’s happiness above his own, which her whole family did, but Wes is the one living with her and married to her.

Going forward, more depth to Wes’ feelings about Stella surviving would be nice. The pilot kind of glazed over several big, important factors in a marriage, like Stella not wanting children and suddenly coming to the conclusion she does, which should have been saved for more of an impact in their lives. Did Wes really want to spend the rest of his life with Stella, and are they even compatible enough to do so? They rushed into a relationship because both knew it wouldn’t last very long, but now they’re married with an uncertain life before them, especially because they haven’t been honest with one another about everything. I’m really excited to see the progression of Stella and Wes’ relationship as they both figure out what they’re going to be doing with the rest of their lives.

Lucy Hale

While I started this show mostly for Lucy Hale as an avid Pretty Little Liars fan, she’s only one of the reasons I’m going to keep watching. The story is incredible, hopeful, and leaves the viewer with a happy feeling, which doesn’t really happen with television anymore. Everything is so dark and mysterious that happy shows, like this one, fail to leave a mark because it seems like people would rather watch characters on television be miserable to feel better about their own lives. However, the happy tone of the show is something to be treasured, and the series has potential to spark change throughout television if it manages to gather an audience large enough.

Also, it’s refreshing to see Lucy Hale’s acting abilities used to their full advantage. Her time on Pretty Little Liars was basically just to be the main love interest, but Aria was never the character being challenged, so Lucy’s talent was actually quite wasted. Lucy seems to be finding a bit of herself in Stella and using that to her advantage, and she seems to be enjoying acting again, which hadn’t happened in her last few seasons as Aria. Maybe she’s just enjoying not having to pretend to be stalked and tortured anymore.


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What did you think of Life Sentence Season 1 Episode 1? Are you excited to see Stella’s journey continue? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Life Sentence airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW! Follow The TV Type on Twitter!

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