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Chasing Life


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Ok...I haven't been around in a while, but *AHEM* recent events have brought me back. But I thought I'd take a break from all that, come over here, and see if I'm the only one who's gotten hooked on Chasing Life (*LOL* Please tell me I'm not!). The full first season is up on Netflix now for anyone who's interested, and season two starts on July 6th on ABC Family, so there's still time to check it out and catch up.

Anyway, for anybody who hasn't seen it, Chasing Life centers around a 24-year-old newspaper reporter named April Carver. She's very low on the totem pole at work, trying to really establish herself there, and just as things are starting to look up for her, she's diagnosed with leukemia through a set of really random, fateful circumstances (It'd be a bit of a spoiler if I said much more about how it happens.). The show, of course, deals with how she handles this. She goes through what seems to be a bit of denial, and she tries to keep her diagnosis secret from just about everyone out of fear of stressing and worrying family and friends, being treated differently at work, and having the guy she's just begun dating leave her. But the truth, of course, comes out, almost one person at a time. Then, we see her deal with treatment, its after effects, and a big setback as the season ends. But the show, for the most part, is more light-hearted than you might expect (April's best friend, Beth, as well as her grandma Emma, definitely bring the comedy!), and it really is about a lot more than just cancer, though it deals with the subject in what I understand is a very realistic, healthy way. Once she gets past her initial denial and the truth begins to come out, April is determined to live her life as normally as possible for as long as she can, not let cancer define her, and to always focus on what her future beyond cancer will be. And, of course, in what is sort of the norm for ABC Family, there's some drama coming from all sides. The show brings in a love triangle and quite a bit of family drama, too, but I didn't think it was cheesy or overdone at all. I will admit that the show started off a bit slow (*LOL* You'll probably find yourself screaming, "JUST TELL THEM YOU'RE SICK, GET THE REST OF THE TESTS YOU NEED, AND START TREATMENT, YOU MORON!!!"), but by about the third episode, I was sucked in, and it only gets better each episode. It plays with your head and your heart, but, IMO, always brings things back to the positive and can really give you some perspective on life.

Also, besides the storylines, I think the biggest thing that makes the show as great as it is is the lead actress, Italia Ricci. As amazing as she is, it's hard to believe that she's really only had very small acting roles and roles in a couple of series that didn't last until this. From everything I hear, her dedication to this role, to ensuring that she does justice to people actually living with cancer, and to all the show's fans, is incredible! She definitely understands that this role gives her a huge responsibility to all those people, and she's taken it very seriously, doing work with so many organizations to bring awareness to what they're going through (e.g., Stand Up to Cancer, Stupid Cancer, Fuck Cancer, The American and Canadian Cancer Societies...). And she's even gone as far as to allow people to message her privately on Facebook if they'd like to tell her their stories of how and why the show has touched them, and to respond personally to as many as possible. She's admitted that it's become a bit overwhelming and she hasn't been able to keep up quite as well, but she's still probably the most interactive celeb I've seen on social media. Besides being tons of fun (*LOL* I know I find myself fangirling every time I get a Tweet/Facebook reply/"like"/"favorite" from her...), I think that's a pretty cool thing for someone in her position to do. And even the things she's done to ensure that her performance on the show is authentic as possible are awesome. She's discussed how, at first, she threw herself into researching cancer and its effects, talking to doctors/patients/families, etc. But then she realized that her character wouldn't know all these things, and she decided to only learn as April did. She apparently even offered to shave her head on camera, although it turned out that that wouldn't work since they shoot scenes and episodes out of order. And she's also often talked about what an effect playing this role has on her when she goes home at the end of the day. *LOL* So much that her friends wouldn't allow her to read The Fault in Our Stars because they felt like she needed to get away from that world after work! All that to say that she seems to be someone in the business I don't mind supporting at all.

Anyway, now that I've rambled on and on, hopefully you'll check Chasing Life out. From what I can tell, people are really discovering it now on Netflix and loving it, so I don't think you'll be disappointed!

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