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Thread: Life on Mars

  1. #11
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Re: Life on Mars


    I really encourage anyone who is watching this for the first time NOT to read the spoiler above my post as it spoils the entire series.
    This is definitely one show where the mystery is more important than the solution. Plus, I've heard rumors that they're going to handle it differently and have already been signed on for more episodes than the British version.

    I watched the British version as well and I was very, very pleasantly surprised with the American version. I think what was missing for me as an American was the powerful punch of nostalgia, and an Americanized version does that well for me. Watching the British version I could tell there were tons of cultural throwaway lines but it doesn't have the same impact as feeling them.

    One thing they did well was keep the sort of fun spirit that the British version had.

    I loved John Simm as Sam Tyler and his are big shoes to fill, but I was also pleasantly surprised to not find it hard to switch over to Jason O'Mara. The one character who hasn't quite settled in for me is Harvey Keitel. The UK actor who played that part was just brilliant (even though I don't know his name) and just lived and breathed that setting. HK doesn't seem as natural in that part to me.
    Last edited by hepcat; 10-18-2008 at 06:57 PM.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Life on Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat;3219610;

    I really encourage anyone who is watching this for the first time NOT to read the spoiler above my post as it spoils the entire series.
    This is definitely one show where the mystery is more important than the solution. Plus, I've heard rumors that they're going to handle it differently and have already been signed on for more episodes than the British version.

    I watched the British version as well and I was very, very pleasantly surprised with the American version. I think what was missing for me as an American was the powerful punch of nostalgia, and an Americanized version does that well for me. Watching the British version I could tell there were tons of cultural throwaway lines but it doesn't have the same impact as feeling them.

    One thing they did well was keep the sort of fun spirit that the British version had.

    I loved John Simm as Sam Tyler and his are big shoes to fill, but I was also pleasantly surprised to not find it hard to switch over to Jason O'Mara. The one character who hasn't quite settled in for me is Harvey Keitel. The UK actor who played that part was just brilliant (even though I don't know his name) and just lived and breathed that setting. HK doesn't seem as natural in that part to me.
    I will take your advice. But most American shows don't have an "end" but rather get canceled and quietly disappear before the "end."

    Would someone please keep us posted if any American satellite network (BBC America, maybe?) decides to run the British version? I would be interested in seeing it thanks to all your descriptions. I could tell it was a remake of a foreign series but did not know if it was British, French, or what. Thanks for the reviews.

    I usually don't watch hour-long shows and/or cop shows, but this one has humor, style, good actors, and, now that Swingtown is regrettably gone, the only place I can hear random 70s tunes on TV.

  3. #13
    LG.
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    Re: Life on Mars

    I had BBCA on last weekend and they were promoting an airing of it, but I don't remember when exactly.
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    Re: Life on Mars

    OMG don't read that spoiler!

    I saw the entire British series - they wrapped this up in 2 series which only ran about 20 episodes if I remember correctly, then they had a spin off with some of the same characters (whom I will not name) called Ashes to Ashes (another Bowie song title)

    Limp along with Sam, figure things out with him and please don't read the spoiler, you'll be happy you didn't.
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    Re: Life on Mars

    I did not expect to like this show as I normally do not like American versions of British shows. Since I hadn't seen the British version, I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did. For me, Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli are absolutely great and I'm enjoying Jason O'Mara. As someone mentioned earlier, I could do without Lisa Bonet since I've never found her to be more than an adequate actress. So far, fortunately, her role is small.
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  6. #16
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Re: Life on Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Florimel;3221802;
    As someone mentioned earlier, I could do without Lisa Bonet since I've never found her to be more than an adequate actress. So far, fortunately, her role is small.
    I had to laugh when in last week's episode, he says he can't remember Maya's face anymore. I can easily call Lisa Bonet's face to mind because she's almost iconic after her years on the Cosby show. To me it was jarring to see her in this series at all.
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    Re: Life on Mars

    I watched the original series on BBCAmerica, and loved it. As an american who lived both in the UK/Europe and the US in the '70s (I was 12 in 1973), I got pretty much all the pop-cultural references, and was also very surprised by how many were american in origin. I mean jeeze, they talk about Dirty Harry and Starsky and Hutch a lot, and most Americans should know who Margaret Thatcher is. If you get the chance to watch the original please do so, I think most people can and will enjoy it.

    It's taken me a while to warm up to the U.S. version as it's got some problems for people who've seen the original. Up until last nights episode it's been too literal of a translation from the UK series, which left me thinking "why watch this if it's almost exactly shot for shot, word for word the same". I don't have a problem with remakes of movies or TV series, as long as there is a new spin or original thought applied to it. It's kind of lame if the US producers only contribution to it is prettier actors and a US location. But I hung in there and last night there was some originality to the storytelling. They kind of combined 2 of the original episodes and gave us a sign that they can carry the UK's story arch and still contribute something new to it. Also Harvey Keitel is so miscast as Gene Hunt, especially if you've seen Phil Glenister's version. He's spit out some fairly iconic dialog, only to have it land flat on the floor.

    One of the things I've noticed from having looked at other forums (IMdb in particular) discussions about this series is how a TV show that shows us a reflection (albeit a funhouse mirror reflection) of our past and how much we've changed since then, and how much we are still the same.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Life on Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by MamaC;3219217;
    I agree, LG. I am liking this show too.

    I graduated from HS in 1973 and to see the hair, clothes, cars, etc. is really a walk down memory lane!

    On the premiere show, it was so surreal to see the Twin Towers and the look on Sam's face knowing what would eventually become of them.

    It will be interesting to see how, or if!, he ever gets back to the present.
    I, too, am a '73 grad. Love the muscle cars. I've noticed that any scenes with cars tend to be in a tight frame, because how many of those cars are still around today?

    I actually teared up when the Twin Towers were shown in the premiere.

    I like the music, but wonder why they play covers of the originals?

  9. #19
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    Re: Life on Mars

    are they all covers? I guess watching "Dancing With the Stars" has fried my brain and if it isn't an over-the-top remake, I can't even spot it anymore. Was it David Bowie in the premier? My guess as to why they're playing covers: money. They can probably get the rights to play it cheaper this way. Atmosphere, but at a lower price, I guess. I read that on Desparate Housewives and other shows they've announced a spending cap on costume budgets to try to keep costs lower for making shows. Makes sense. Act with your skills, folks, not just loud wardrobe, I guess.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Life on Mars

    Playing covers might be a royalties issue?

    Like how the music in some TV shows that go to DVD has to be taken out and replaced with covers.
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