As though being a teen weren’t difficult enough, Chloe King has the added burden of a mysterious destiny, which comes complete with claws, new friends and threats on her
life lives. Based on a series of books, ABC Family’s The Nine Lives of Chloe King follows a sixteen year old girl who discovers she has cat-like super powers.
Chloe King (Skyler Samuels) is a sixteen-year-old girl wishing her life could be a bit less mundane. Her destiny answers her prayers by emerging following her sixteenth birthday. She quickly begins noticing changes in herself, including better balance, quick reflexes and coordination, and sharper senses. She shares these discoveries with her best friends Amy (Grace Phipps) and Paul (Ki Hong Lee), who try to help her sort them out.
Chloe’s newfound cat-like abilities turn out to be connected to the Mai, an ancient race of people who were believed to be both gods and humans. Benjamin Stone and Alyssa Diaz play Alek and Jasmine, two of Chloe’s classmates who, like Chloe, are also descendents of the Mai. Chloe is special though and, in addition to having nine lives (or the ability to come back from the dead eight times), she’s being targeted by a group of people who want to snuff out each and every one of those lives.
Nine Lives doesn’t waste any time getting us into the story. The first episode seems more like a series of demonstrations of Chloe’s new abilities, though it does a good job to set up the story and introduce us to all of the characters. This includes Chloe’s relationship with her single mother, the mystery involving her father, and the potential for romance between Chloe and a number of different guys.
While a story about a girl with a special destiny isn’t exactly new territory for fiction, Nine Lives should appeal to people (probably teens and young adults) with an interest in this sort of tale. From the first two episodes, we learn that Chloe’s not the kind of person willing to sit back and let things happen around her. She’s a take-action kind of girl, which certainly keeps things interesting for the show, though it presents a problem for Alek and Jasmine, who are trying to keep her safe. Upon learning of her connection to the Mai, Chloe has two different sets of friends. Alek and Jasmine are more or less her protectors, while Amy and Paul are her confidants and the people who understand her best. There's potential for a great group dynamic in the show, should Chloe's old friends and new friends team up.
For a show about a girl with supernatural abilities, trying to navigate through the challenges of being a teenager, while also juggling a newly discovered destiny, The Nine Lives of Chloe King is off to a good start. Skyler Samuels makes Chloe likable and relatable, and Grey Damon delivers charm and a bit of intrigue to his role as Brian, one of Chloe’s potential love interests. Speaking of romance, for parents concerned with sexual content, this series appears to be fairly PG. On a scale of Disney Channel to The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I’d say Nine Lives falls somewhere in between. Kissing plays a vital role in the story from the start, but things don’t go further than that (in the first two episodes, anyway).
There are some interesting mysteries introduced, including the truth behind Chloe’s adoption and who (and where) her father is, and of course, the mysterious people targeting Chloe. Between Chloe’s destiny and balancing friendships, family and her budding love life, there’s plenty of story to explore as the series moves forward through its first season. There are chase scenes and fight sequences that keep things exciting as attempts are made on Chloe’s life and/or she uses her abilities to help others. The general tone of the series dabbles in darkness as Chloe attempts to avoid death, but there's a fair balance between her new life and her regular life as a teenager, which keeps the series in lighter territory. The claws are coming out as Chloe King continues to discover who she is and what she can do, which should make The Nine Lives of Chloe King fine summer fun as the series progresses.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King premieres Tuesday, June 14 at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
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Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.