Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Life On Mars" review in SF Chronicle

Tim Goodman reviewed "Life On Mars" in today's Chronicle.

"ABC's remake of 'Life on Mars' is surprisingly great, its pilot living up to the lofty expectations of the original. Not many observers following the ill-fated path of this remake would have put odds on 'Life on Mars' being anything less than a full-fledged disaster....


"The American version is impressively loyal to the original as it switches out Manchester for New York City, but most important, it works on its own as an intriguing, exceptionally well-cast pilot.
...

"The British original was rife with delicious cultural references that went beyond the gold mine that is the '70s. For example, the series reflected on whether Sam was having an existential crisis, frequently referenced 'The Wizard of Oz' and made judicious jokes about technology. (Here's hoping the American version uses the same restraint - one or two per episode at maximum.) No doubt ABC believed that 'Life on Mars' was a perfect import because New York (and America) in 1973 held storytelling arcs that went above and beyond the premise.


"They certainly nail the pilot - O'Mara is wonderful, Keitel comes on like a lion and Imperioli, who was added late, could end up separating himself wonderfully from his 'Sopranos' legacy, which is no easy feat....


"And yet - you knew this was coming - there are certain worries. With only 16 episodes in England successfully wrapping up Sam's journey, will stretching it out for American television doom it? ABC will want the network standard of 22 episodes for five seasons, at minimum. That may be asking for too much delayed audience gratification, but the pilot does create a lot of room for optimism."

1 comment:

Sean said...

I have to say that I am more than a little curious about this show. ABC tends to do cop shows pretty well. I saw the preview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEWpWM7Iyhc and it looks pretty interesting.