|NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH:|
Life on Mars is an awesome police drama out of the UK, in which the main character is essentially sent back in time from the present day to the 1970s. The conceit is, is the trip real? Or is he in a coma dreaming he’s in the 70s? Or is he simply insane? It is, for the most part, compelling viewing; even if the story goes a little wonky here and there, the acting is uniformly superb.
In the most recent Rolling Stone magazine, there’s a copy of episode 1 of Life on Mars. Life on Mars, US-style. Yup, the cousins across the Atlantic couldn’t quite cope with England in the 70s, so they had to go make the show all over again, set in New York. Which is, based on the first ep, where the only interest lies. But even then, the atmosphere is pretty similar: hippies, a growing drug culture, racial tension, women’s rights, thuggery in the cop shop, the boy’s club at the boozer. The US show is an echo that seems pale by comparison, even with Harvey Keitel in the cast. (The effects are pretty cheesy, too.) It feels as if the actors are just repeating others’ lines, which in some respects they are.
My question is: why? Is imitation really the most sincere form of flattery or just a travesty?
At least the US soundtrack is rockin’, though I’m mildly surprised they didn’t use a cover of David Bowie’s theme song, rather than the real thing 😉