Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Life on Mars

Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy.
Oh man!
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?

Life on Mars is one the shows where the Brits can pwn our asses when it comes to tv. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Beeb is government-run and is essentially non-profit, so instead of dragging out series past the point of freshness, you get shorter, tightly plotted, well thought-out series.

Like this one.

Sam Tyler is a homicide detective in 2006 London. One day he is in a car accident and BAM! wakes up a homicide detective in 1973 London. He eventually determines that he is still technically in 2006, trapped in a coma, and is living out some bizzaro dream inside his own mind. Or is he?

Sam receives smatterings of people talking to him from 2006 through the radio, the phone, and the television, and these sequences are genuinely creepy and add to the “what is reality?” vibe of the show. The weird little girl who speaks cryptically to Sam about “going home” doesn’t help matters. But little girls are always creepy. See: Supernatural, The CW.

Sam is awesomely played by John Simms, who made a big splash on Doctor Who in the third season. And he looks totally hot in his signature leather jacket.

Speaking of which, the clothes on the show are amazing, as is the 70s soundtrack. Again, the Brits really take the time to do stuff right. But I think the best wardrobe prize goes to Liz White, who plays Sam’s love interest, Annie Cartwright. Girl can really rock a vest.

As with Mad Men, what struck me about the show is the casual racism and misogyny of the 70s. Sam is always appalled by the culture around him and the show does an amazing job of making you believe that he is really a modern man stuck 33 years in the past.

I came into the show in the second (and last) season without seeing any of the first. It took me no time to get caught up and even less time to get addicted. The finale of the show, which I won’t ruin here because I loved it, is certainly controversial, but to me, felt extremely satisfying. Did I mention the second season is only eight episodes? What better way to resolve some strike-wariness?

1 comment:

Monkey Sri said...

Damn girl, you over-posted me again. What's up with that?

Also, my mother and I watched Life on Mars on the flight back from India. It was cool, but kind of confusing to jump in at the end. Mom fell asleep after about ten minutes :-P