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Taking Chances

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 18/03/2016 Lisa Steinberg
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What would you do with a second chance at life? Would you try to make amends for mistakes that you have made or would you go rogue and live life a lot louder? In reality, you only get one life to live, but on FOX's new show Second Chance, both the characters Jimmy Pritchard and Mary Goodwin challenge that and put it to the test.
Jimmy Pritchard (Philip Baker Hall) was a man of the law. He was the morally corrupt and disgraced sheriff of King County, Washington and was forced to retire. Jimmy ends up murdered during a robbery and the case goes unsolved. Suddenly, Jimmy's afterlife becomes not so peaceful when he awakens and finds himself in an altered state. He's young again! Brother and sister billionaire tech twin duo Otto (Adhir Kalyan) and Mary Goodwin (Dilshad Vadsaria) welcome him back to life and debrief him. Mary and Otto have a plan and it centers around young Jimmy (played by Robert Kazinsky). Mary has cancer and it is incurable; until possibly now. With the help of Jimmy's DNA, which they have altered to be compatible and boost Mary's DNA, Mary can potentially cure her cancer and live a long, healthy life. That is if Jimmy is going to be a willing participant in transfusions.
Originally Jimmy sees this second chance at life as a way to use his young body for a few wild nights and sinfully good adventures. But that takes a massive toll on him. Every night Jimmy has to recharge himself by spending the evening in a tank that helps heal him and boost his energy, and he realizes he needs Mary and Otto as much as they need him. Jimmy also recognizes that this life after death is a way to reconnect with his son Duval (Tim DeKay) and his granddaughter Gracie (Ciara Bravo). Of course, he can't exactly tell Duval, "Hey I am your dead dad!" So he decides to tell him that he's a brother that Duval never knew about, because DNA doesn't lie and since Duval is an FBI agent Jimmy knows Duval is not going to let this go without an investigation. Eventually the two team up solving crimes around the city and become closer and closer. As they work together more and more it becomes harder and harder for Jimmy to keep his secret. Jimmy's demons are never far behind him and neither are his old ways and past relationships. Can Duval help his father chase them away for good and can they fix their troubled, rocky relationship now that Jimmy has another shot at mending fences?
Jimmy may have been brought back to life by the Goodwins and given a second chance, but he isn't the only one. As Mary's only hope for survival, his blood gives her another chance to live a fuller life. Before Jimmy the only life Mary had was her brother Otto and her work. Now she has broadened that with Jimmy taking up residence in her home and she has let go of her closed off heart. Her life becomes less about working late hours and more about social interaction. Lines begin to blur and areas become shaded in gray when it comes to the creator/creation relationship of Mary and Jimmy. As these lines begin to be crossed it doesn't sit well with Otto, who is used to his life having a certain order to the world's chaos. A great divide and rift begins to form between the twins. Should they stick with what has kept them within their comfort zone for so long, or will their creation bring them new lives leading down different paths? Not to mention posing question after question such as will trusted friend and employee Alexa (Vanessa Lengies) cross boundaries of her own to do the wrong thing for the right reasons? By whose standards can they be considered right? Alexa may seem like just another Girl Friday on the surface, but beneath her layers she has a secret she has been harboring. Strange and sinister bed fellows are made when there is something or someone on the line we hold dearly.
What's so enthralling about Second Chance beyond the main twisted and often tumultuous tale are the riveting powerful performances by its lead actors. Vadsaria provides compelling and compassionate emotional layers to Mary. You can't help but be drawn to and be captivated by her balance of heartfelt poignancy blended with a quiet strength. Kazinsky and Vadsaria are perfectly paired with an easy automatic chemistry and connection. Kazinsky gives off an ice cold hardened exterior as Jimmy, but when Jimmy lets down his guard the softer sweetness shines through and Kazinsky really shows his true power. Kalyan has depth and vulnerability in his performance as a shut off and guarded Otto. DeKay, as usual, turns in a gritty, polarizing portrayal while Lengies keeps you guessing and on your toes whether her character Alexa is truly a friend or will the end for her justify her means?
As certain questions become answered even more begin to form and new twists begin to turn. Second Chance keeps you on the edge of your couch cushion and provides a look at life after death. Take a chance on this Friday night must see TV show.

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