ABC's new cop-drama Life on Mars is a BBC rip-off about a cop who gets hit by a car and wakes up in the thick of the 1970s. No cell phone. No DNA. No clue as to whether this is all a figment of his subconscious or whether he's some sort of time traveler.
I missed last Thursday's premiere but I caught up last night on ABC.com. After one viewing, I encourage all of you edubbers to do the same.
Like LOST, Life on Mars takes what might otherwise be a pretty ridiculous concept (man goes back in time) and does some really innovative things with it. They not only explore the challenges of learning how to adjust to life in the past, but the much more difficult aspect of living in a world where no one believes you and seemingly, no one can help you escape.
Unlike LOST, this show doesn't warrant a lot of clue tracking. No pause button required, no ridiculous mysteries, no wayward polar bears. It's a pretty groundbreaking show that doesn't require a PhD or a ridiculous amount of time to kill.
The cast is also a treat. Jason O'Mara plays our protagonist, Det. Sam Tyler, a brooding, silent type with a kind heart. Michael Imperioli (formerly of The Sopranos) returns to TV as one of Sam's 70's cop colleagues. He's joined by the legendary Harvey Keitel who plays Lietenant Gene Hunt, a take-no-prisoners, kick- him-in-the-face-ask-questions-later kind of guy. Judging by how many fistfights there were in the first episode, I'm guessing he's not alone.
The ladies of Life on Mars are also superb. Gretchen Mol and Lisa Bonet add some great balance to this testosterone heavy cast. We only see Bonet for the first few minutes of the pilot, so hopefully she makes a return in the second episode.
Life on Mars is already getting some very positive reviews and was just selected Number 1 on Metacritic's Top 10 new shows this fall.
Not too shabby for a BBC knock off.
Reminder: It's edubtv.com now. Adjust folks. Adjust.
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