'Chasing Life' review: A bit contrived, but still interesting

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One twenty-something's life is about to change forever One twenty-something's life is about to change forever in the new ABC Family original series "Chasing Life," premiering Tuesday, June 10. Photo Credit: ABC Family / Claire Folger

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REVIEW

THE SHOW "Chasing Life"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday night at 9 on ABC Family

WHAT IT'S ABOUT April (Italia Ricci) is an ambitious young Boston reporter who gets a meet-cute with a scandal-embroiled baseball player and turns it into the big break she needs from her hardcase editor (Vondie Curtis Hall). Then she gets noticed by the hot reporter (Richard Brancatisano) she's got a thing for. Then . . .

Well, then, she finds out she has cancer. From her estranged oncologist uncle (Steven Weber).

But the pieces of "Chasing Life" (based on Mexican drama "Terminales") don't always fit so neatly into place. April lives at home with her widowed mom (Mary Page Keller), who's just back in the dating pool. And her gamer grandma (Rebecca Schull). And a younger sister (Haley Ramm) with a weakness for bad influences. Dad's death has April serving as family glue, rock and rescue.

So the cancer thing? That which must be surmounted. In secret.

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MY SAY And there's more -- a mystery whopper at premiere's end that further juices the stakes. Plus there's Italia Ricci, whose smart likeability carries interest through the plot contrivances. Like the hard-driving editor who holds the "big get" for Sunday, rather than posting it now. The sister who makes live-for-today remarks. Hip-hop on the soundtrack = danger!

But as episodes unfold, the relationships resonate, and the characters run deeper.

BOTTOM LINE Cross fingers for the future.

@Newsday

GRADE B

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