Friday, October 10, 2008

Life On Mars American Style: Travesty Or Treasure?

Just a quick one here......

Anyone see the premiere of Life On Mars last night? I've been dreading this one for months now, since I am a HUGE fan of the original British version. I was fairly certain Hollywood would manage to ruin this show, but now I'm not so sure. There have been several travesties in the recent past when attempting to adapt British shows to American television. Coupling and IT Crowd to name a few. Somehow they got lucky with The Office, which is now a huge hit - but the humor just isn't the same.

The first episode followed the British version almost exactly - even down to some of the lines, camera shots and music. I found myself wondering, "Why don't they just run the original then?".

Obviously, they revised some of the story to fit America, like the NYC setting, standard use of handguns by the police, and the term "cell" versus "mobile" - just to name a few. The most impressive being the opening scene in 1973, where Sam Tyler finds himself in an empty lot, and the camera pans up to show the Twin Towers still standing. (The original takes place in Manchester, and Sam finds himself in a lot with a huge sign advertising the new highway to be built.) Call me a sap, but it did give me chills, and wasn't cheesy.

The ending was slightly different, but not hugely so. Based on the previews for next week, it appears the second episode will also be quite similar to the British version, if not nearly identical.

I'm actually looking forward to the next episode. In the meantime, I'm breaking out the British Life On Mars DVDs and watching the originals again.

Even if this show is a hit, NO ONE could compare to Phillip Glenister as Gene Hunt. He is the coolness :)

Let me know what you think!

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