Life On Mars: Lost In Time

life-on-mars-cop-shopLife On Mars returns to the ABC prime time lineup tonight at 10:00, and the move to Wednesday, following Lost, presents challenges and opportunities.  The good news is that the potent lead-in will drive a lot more viewers to sample this excellent drama.  The flip side is that both shows deal with time travel in a big way, and asking viewers to concentrate on complex plots back-to-back is asking a lot.

Let me say this straight out, it’s worth the time investment.  You could make a strong argument that these are the two best series on network television right now.

Setting a weekly, one hour drama, in 1973 is an ambitious and expensive thing to do.  Yes, this is an Americanized version of a successful British show, but you know how these across the pond cultural exchanges go … chances for success aren’t much better than 50/50.

omaraSo what does Life On Mars have going for it?  First and foremost, a terrific cast.  Jason O’Mara is believable and likable as Sam Tyler … the New York City Cop from 2009 who suddenly finds himself back in 1973 after being hit by a car.  Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol add depth, and serious acting chops to the supporting cast.  In fact you may have noticed that in re-introducing the series ABC has focused almost all the attention on the actors.  The promo spots don’t talk about the plot or the retro setting.

You can understand why.  Lost is one of the network’s top priorities, and they don’t want viewers getting too many time travel messages at one time.  No, the idea is that new viewers will just sort of bump into Life On Mars, and once they’re in, they’ll stay.  It’s a theory.  I hope it’s right too, because another schedule shift will shoot Mars into the deep void of space.

The other thing you gotta love about LOM is the attention to detail on all things 70’s.  The clothes are right (awful) … the hair is right (awful) … the cars are right (awesome) and the setting is priceless (NYC).  You almost expect Sam to run into Kojack outside the precinct house.  The soundtrack is also spot on, David Bowie, The Who. The Hollies, Led Zeppelin … nice.

Lost and Mars … these two just might be made for each other.

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2 Responses

  1. THANK YOU,THANK YOU. GLAD TO KNOW SOMEBODY HERE KNOWS A GOOD SHOW WHEN THEY SEE ONE. SADLY, I CAN’T SAY I HOLD OUT MUCH HOPE FOR LIFE ON MARS,AS EVERYBODY IS SO MESMERIZED BY A CERTAIN SO-CALLED “TALENT” SHOW ON FOX.

  2. I love this show and I hope it stays around for a long time!

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