So apparently I’ve been living under a bush the past year because HOW DID I JUST FIND OUT ABOUT THIS SHOW?!?!?
If you, like me, are just being introduced to the amazingness that is Chasing Life, don’t worry. The first season of this ABC Family’s sleeper of a hit has just been made Netflix official which means you can binge watch all 21 episodes right.now. And trust me, you won’t be able to stop at just one so just go ahead and get comfortable, stock up on popcorn and peanut M&Ms (and tissues—lots and lots of tissues) and settle in for the greatest rollercoaster of emotions of your life.
Chasing Life follows April Carver, an eager young professional trying to make her way up in the rankings as a reporter with a Boston newspaper. While juggling her career, she’s also attempting to balance her family life (she lives with her super sweet but over-protective widowed mother Sarah, rebellious little sister Brenna and her grandma) and her love life. Just when the puzzle pieces of her life are finally beginning to fall into place, she is thrown a devastating curve ball: she has cancer.
This show will grab you from the very start, pulling you in to the rawness, the honesty, the humor and relationship dynamics of life that I believe we all have felt at some point.
Here are just some of the reasons why Chasing Life is the best show you’re not watching (but need too!!!):
1. Tackles the subject of cancer in an honest and raw (yet humorous) way. I think we all have been affected by this terrible disease, whether we have personally had cancer, or have known or lost someone who has. One of the things I really like about this show is that it realistically chronicles not just the physical journey that a person with cancer takes, but the emotional journey as well. You begin to empathize with the story line, with the characters. It’s most definitely a lesson on the realities and struggles of those with cancer and the impact it has on those closest to them. Cancer isn’t a light subject matter, but Chasing Life tackles the topic in a way that makes it easier to talk about, bringing light to the realities of this disease in a way that makes you think, cry, and at times laugh. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this show illustrates how important it is retain your positivity, your sense of humor and most importantly, hope in the most difficult of times.
2. Illustrates the power of friendship. The relationship that April has with her best friend Beth is the epitome of BFF status. They’re the kind of friends that will tell each other anything, be there for each other and share a million laughs, smiles and tears together. Beth is exactly the type of person you want on your side during a difficult journey, because she’ll listen, offer helpful advice, and then make you laugh when you need it most. Besides Beth, April forms a very special bond with the people in her cancer support group. While at first hesitant, April begins to let her guard down and see how powerful these strong friendships are, how the love and support given and received can really help to get you through even the hardest of life’s experiences.
3. And the importance of family. There is a certain comfort that comes with knowing you have someone who will always have your back, who will be your biggest cheerleader, who will love you unconditionally and be with you through the good times and the bad. That’s what family is all about. And while April’s is certainly not perfect (what family is?) and has it’s ups and downs (what family doesn’t?), she discovers how lucky and incredibly blessed she is to have them, through thick and thin. This show also does a great job of showing the affects of April’s cancer through the eyes of those closest to her: her mom, her sister and her grandma.
4. Features positive and strong female role models. April (played by the amazing Italia Ricci) is one of my favorite leading ladies, and for good reason. While some TV characters simply react to what’s happening around them or rely on others to save them/fight their battles, April proves that it’s possible to be proactive about getting what you want while still remaining sympathetic. For example, after learning that her chemotherapy might prevent her from having children in the future (a common side effect of the chemo therapy is infertility), she arranges to see a fertility doctor to discuss her options even though it requires delaying her treatment against her family’s wishes. She remains strong in her convictions, willing to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true. She’s strong, intelligent, kind and has a huge heart. Can we just be BFF’s already?!
5. Michael Scott Foster. ‘Nuff said. I’ve always been a fan of Michael’s since his days on another one of my favorite ABC Family shows, Greek, but his work on Chasing Life takes my crush on him to an all-time high. Michael plays Leo Hendrie, the only son of Boston gubernatorial candidate Bruce Hendie and a member of April’s cancer support group. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, he has only three to four months to live, which allows him to appreciate every moment he has left while teaching April to do the same. Michael’s charisma, charm and excellent comedic timing bring a certain warmth to the show. You can’t help but fall in love with him. Plus, he’s cute. Like, just really, really cute.