Definitely Appointment Viewing For Me
I was worried about ABC when they said that they were doing a remake of BBC’s brilliant series Life on Mars. For every “The Office,” there is a “Kath and Kim” (review coming soon) and “Coupling,” so the foreign to American remake isn’t a guarantee. I worried about them even more when they lost David E Kelley as the showrunner. My fears were slightly quelled when I spent some time with Jason O’Mara, Andre Nemec, and Josh Applebaum over the summer, but I was still worried going into the season as they went through reshoots and recastings and everything dangerous to a brand new pilot.
Having now seen the final-for-air pilot, I’m thrilled to say that I think they’re on their way to a solid hour of television (complete with same intro credits as the BBC series). Jason O’Mara plays Sam Tyler, a man hit by a car in 2008, and transported through some wormhole into 1973. A cop in both worlds, he’s not sure how he ended up where he is. If Jason O’Mara doesn’t finally hit it big after this series, I will be seriously upset. He’s fantastic.
In 2008, Lisa Bonet is his girlfriend (and a fellow cop); he disappears to the past after she was kidnapped. In 1973, he meets the pretty “No Nuts Norris”, Gretchen Mol’s character Annie, and I sense something a-brewing! It’s almost like the Gene Hunt role was written with Harvey Keitel in mind. He’s perfect as the brooding head of the squad. Michael Imperioli is a walking 1973 cliché, complete with long shaggy hair, equally shaggy mustache, and the cheesiest euphemisms and catchphrases ever. Awesome. Jonathan Murphy, the show runners’ only October Road holdover, actually brings a good “sidekick” vibe to the team, and I look forward to seeing what they get him in to.
All in all, definitely appointment viewing for me – can’t wait to see where they go with this show.
Life On Mars Series Premiere : Thusday, October 9th at 10PM EST On ABC