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Tag: Life on Mars (1-7 of 7)

Astronauts wanted for Mars settlement reality show -- No, really!

We all know that climate change and increasingly severe weather here on earth have us all in a bit of a pickle. So the logical solution is to pick up and bounce on out of here, right? Maybe even set up shop on Mars.

We’re being a little flippant, but that’s the mission of Mars One, a legit organization with real funding and NASA astronauts as consultant, and you could be a part of it – if you are “at least 18 years of age, have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust,” that is. READ FULL STORY

'Life on Mars': No more until January!

Lifeonmars_lYesterday’s hour was for all intents and purposes a remake of the best episode (and season-one finale) of the original British Life on Mars. So it’s only fitting that it was also the U.S. series’ most enjoyable, most interesting, and most exciting show so far—as well as its mid-season closer. But no more new episodes until January 28th? ABC, you’ve shot me in the gut and stranded me in the woods! Though I do commend the timeslot switch from Thursday to Wednesday. Lost is going to be a much better companion to this type of drama than Grey’s Anatomy.

So Sammy’s got a bad dad. A tongue-slicing, limb-chopping gangster, to be more accurate. Who didn’t see that coming? Few TV lawmen have kind-‘n-cuddly fathers. But Dean Winters as papa Vic was a perfect (if not original) casting choice as a father for Sam, and he cut a pretty good likeness to Jason O’Mara to boot. With Lee Tergesen also in the episode, it was also a regular Oz reunion. (First The Wire, now Oz. That’s a lot of HBO. When is Michael Imperioli going to get some Sopranos pals on the show? Or maybe the Sex and the City gals can help Gene bring sexy back.) My only misgiving: That Gene—as Sam’s surrogate pops—didn’t have a stronger presence in the goings on. It felt like he should have been there with Sam at the party, in the forest, and definitely in the hospital. And his mistrust of Vic (“this cretin’s every shade of shady”) should have played a bigger role in Sam’s own fears (or at least second thoughts) about his dad.

addCredit(“John Clifford/ABC”)

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'Life on Mars': Pondering Sam's mindscape

Lifeonmars_lTwo things about last night’s episode before we start gnawing on its meat. First, I love TV hostage situations. Mandi Bierly and I recently discussed the plotlines that will get us to watch any show, whether we tune in regularly or not, and a hostage situation is mine. I’m convinced I’m just trying to relive the heart-pounding greatness of when the 21 Jump Street crew was held captive in a high school. (Remember how Ioki fell through the ceiling while trying to rescue his buds commando-style, and Penholl was disguised as a pizza guy?) That’s one thing. The second is that when you get bad news (as I did yesterday)–and you’re so down-n-out that you just want to bury yourself in bed and never leave until the hearse drags your starved body away–there is nothing like pithy television-script truisms to lift you at least a quarter of the way up again. Of course I’m talking about Maya’s mantra, "It’s time to start living."

There isn’t much to say about last night, except that it was pretty exciting. And I always like to see Bill Irwin (the psych ward doctor, who deserves an Oscar nod for his turn in Rachel Getting Married) on screen. But there was something that disturbed me. The show is hinting at the fact that Sam is in a coma (the soap opera he sees has his "lookalike" in a coma, with Maya and Mom hovering around, the voices he hears seem to be talking to someone who is sleeping, the story of the hostage taker and his vegetable brother parallels that). That’s all fine and dandy. But think about it. If this is all in Sam’s head. If this is his dreamland. Does that mean he prefers having a racist, sexist, smart mouth boss (Gene) rather than being the boss himself (as in 2008), or that he’d rather have an obsequious blonde underling girlfriend (no-nuts Annie, played by Gretchen Mol, pictured) than a hottie dark-haired woman-of-the-world equal like Maya? I don’t like the thought of that. Sure, Annie’s cute and sweet. But I don’t want to think of her as anyone’s dream woman. Or else this is a pretty misogynist text. Chew on that.

Last night’s best line was a tie between Maya’s "It’s time for living" and Sam’s "You be the hooker, I’ll be the tool." (Which reminds me, why do they always like to show him dancing? And yes, his moonwalk is impressive.) And last night’s best song was "Tuesday’s Dead" by Cat Stevens, which played at the end of the hostage crisis and which I embedded after the jump. What are your thoughts on last night’s ep? Share ‘em below!

addCredit(“Patrick Harbron/ABC”)

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Life on Mars recap: A subpar episode brings about some theories

Lifeonmars_lLet’s pray the stunt casting of Whoopi Goldberg as a ’70s-era gender-bending radio DJ named Brother Loverbutter (pictured) brought in some more viewers — even if yesterday’s episode’s really wasn’t up to Mars’ usual quality (“Ice Ice Baby,” Sam, really?). Well, at least not until the end when Gene punched Sammy in the gut and growled, “Draw your gun at me again and I’ll knock you so far back you’ll think it was 1933 and there was a Kosher butchers’ strike.”

But a female lawyer speaking in singsong? That was just way, too…I don’t know…out of a movie. Which made me think that maybe the fakeness of the show’s ’70s — and the anachronisms we’ve already pointed out — are hints that this world must be inside Sam’s brain. Just mull it over: If he was a kid in the ’70s, all these little details would be bubbling around in his mind. And who has a perfect memory? I certainly don’t. I grew up in the ’80s, but I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head if Poison hit it big before Bon Jovi, or vice versa. Yet, I’m sure that I used to jam to both of them in the bedroom I shared with my sister during elementary school.

addCredit(“David Giesbrecht/ABC “)

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'Life on Mars' recap: Hello, Mother...

Lifeonmars_lNote to self: Be kind to your mom, because you know not what sacrifices she’s made for you. Also, don’t love an episode just because it has a Doctor Who reference.

Last week, we glimpsed Sam’s deadbeat salesman dad (aka Dean Winters). Last night, we met Mom. Her name: Rose Tyler. A reference perhaps to Doctor Who’s loveliest companion of late, played by Billie Piper? Considering DW is all about space and time travel, aliens and alternative universes, it’s not too far-fetched. Could Mama Rose be Sam’s companion/helper on this long, strange trip he’s on? Can she help him get back to the future? You tell me.

Speaking of, Sam and Rose’s scenes were a little, well, Back to the Future-esque. She didn’t inspect his underwear or try to kiss him, but there was something in their chemistry that made me think he was going to pull out a disappearing snapshot of himself. Among yesterday’s other allusions: Goodfellas and The Godfather. Annie also asked Sam to go see the Woody Allen film Sleeper, which, if my memory serves me right, isn’t so much about time travel, like she says, as it is about a man who’s basically been in a coma for 200 years starting in 1973. Hmmm….

addCredit(“Patrick Harbron/ABC”)

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'Life on Mars': Check out those cable stars!

Lifeonmarskeitel_lLast night’s Life on Mars was chock-a-block with blasts from the past, but I’m not talking about the hippies, the hash or the butterfly collars. I mean the boatload of cable stars that appeared in it. First, there’s series regular Michael Imperioli off The Sopranos. Then add The Wire’s Pablo Schreiber (as doomed thief/murderer/heroin smuggler Kent), The L Word’s Heather Matarazzo (double-crossing precinct secretary June), and Oz’s Lee Tergesen (Assistant D.A. Crocker). Lots of serious TV talent for a second episode methinks.

Yet yesterday’s breakouts were once again leads Jason O’Mara and Harvey Keitel, coming in second in total greatness only to the scores of quotable lines. Here’s a sampling: “Looks like she was cute before she put on the dead chick mask,” “If ignorance was a drug, you’d be high all the time,” and “As they say in New Orleans, bayou.” Someone also mentioned something about a ride to pummel city,” which I didn’t quite catch as my companion took that exact moment to complain about the show’s “silly” script. Dude doesn’t get it.

What he also didn’t appreciate was how close O’Mara and Keitel came to replicating the chemistry between the original Sam and Gene that made the British LoM so gosh darn good—specifically during the scene in which they roughhoused at the foot of June’s hospital bed while at the same time having a serious conversation (pictured). That said, I’m still not totally convinced that Keitel will ever nail Gene “you are surrounded by armed bastards” Hunt. I won’t bore those who don’t pray at the old LoM’s altar, but Philip Glenister’s Gene was the type of grumpy, abusive (he invented the “bruise-free groin slap”) and alcoholic dinosaur that still managed to be sexy. I doubt Harvey will ever be sexy. Any attraction to him would, in Gene’s immortal words, be “as fake as a tranny’s fanny.”

But the show’s still got me interested—and scouring the net for my favorite lines for the Brit version (“If I was as worried as you, I’d never fart for fear of sh**ing myself,” and “I’m ‘avin hoops."). After the jump, I posted one of my finds (a set of outtakes) to delight fellow groupies. Now you still down with Life on Mars? Scared it will, like Swingtown and Journeyman before it, choke on its own gimmick? Have any other insights into the episode I didn’t cover? And if anyone can tell me what song played at the end when Sam chased the fake cop, I’d greatly appreciate it…

addCredit(“Eric Liebowitz/ABC”)

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'Life on Mars' premiere: Is it bloody great or what?

Lifeonmars_lDavid E. Kelley, David E. Shmelley. Some assumed when the TV-guru left Life on Mars‘ production team the show was dead. Others thought it bit the dust when ABC reshot the pilot with a whole new supporting cast. I, for one — being an anglophile who adores John Simm and Philip Glenister, the one two punch of the British original — thought it was all over the day some fool got the crap idea to remake my favorite show.

Then there was that moment during last night’s premiere when it hit me: Lord, was I wrong. I LOVE Life on Mars. Sure, you can’t tell that much from just a pilot, but just think about it. The show has brought The Sopranos‘ Michael Imperioli, The Wire‘s Clarke Peters, and The Cosby Show‘s Lisa Bonet all back on TV. And during the same hour! More than that, it got Harvey Keitel on series TV in the first place. And he’s great (sorry, Philip, still love you though). Lead Jason O’Mara, on the other hand, is a freakin’ revelation. Sure, he rocked The Closer, but I didn’t expect this. This is good.

Oh, and the show itself has some pretty good lines ("I have an ass that can fart every Peter, Paul & Mary song ever recorded," "Let’s not wait until another girl ends up with her dead on"), great tunes ("Life on Mars" and "Baba O’Riley" in the same episode), and a pretty good mystery. Why is Sam stuck in 1973? Will he get back to 2008? And, if you’ve seen the Brit show, will this one end the same as it did in England?

So who else watched Life on Mars last night? And who else was as taken as I was? Or am I totally alone?

More on Life on Mars:
EW’s official review of ABC’s Life on Mars, by Gillian Flynn
EW’s review of the original BBC Life on Mars
The trailer for ABC’s Life on Mars

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