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October 9, 2015

Life on Mars: All the Young Dudes

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 19th 2009 12:31AM
Life on Mars

Well, that was quite an ending, wasn't it? I admit I wasn't expecting that one. One cannot help but wonder if at that stage of filming, the creators were aware of the cancellation of the series and decided to throw in a few curve balls to create an "anything can happen" atmosphere and keep the loyal viewers on their toes.

For those who missed it, Ray and Chris were gunned down by Irish gangster Jimmy McManus at the end of the episode. While I don't want yet another trite television "they survived a shooting at point blank range" plot, I really hope Imperioli's character is not killed off (which is unlikely, since his voice is heard in next week's coming attractions).

This must have been the St. Patrick's Day episode, given the Irish theme. I wonder if some Irish organization is going to sue the show's for its stereotypical portrayal of the nationality as drunken and bellicose. Sam's atrocious Irish accent probably didn't help matters. If the McManus family truly grew up Irish, they would have spotted the fake accent in a heartbeat.

I'm glad they went back to focusing on the mystery of Sam. It is kind of small-world how he ended up bedding his old babysitter. I think Colleen geared young Sam's taste towards bad girls, thus ensuring his eventual fling with Gene Hunt's daughter.

Does everybody from Sam's past end up betraying him? First his father and now the babysitter.

I liked the callback to the previous episodes in which Sam encountered his own mother as "Officer Skywalker." They even appealed to the nerd crowd by further the Star Wars analogy of an evil father with Sam's current situation (I was practically expecting Sam to tell his younger self not to join the Dark Side). Rose herself comes across as pretty clueless. Isn't there anything about Sam that's indicative of her own offspring? Perhaps she just has a closed mind.

Gene's role this episode was minor to the point of a cameo. It was bound to happen eventually.

Furthering their storyline, Sam and Annie had another moment. I wonder if the series ends with Sam taking a 65 year old Annie on a date in 2009? We'll find out in two episodes.

I enjoyed the Ray/Chris dialogue in the van (particularly Ray's idea of Heaven) which made the ending that much more surprising. Since both actors are listed on the credits for next week's episode, the only question is how the characters survived their bullet wounds.

Favorite Michael Imperioli lines of the episode: "That's for making me remember I had asthma as a kid." "He's magically malicious." "I bet he's up there right now getting in her cognito."

In case I didn't mention it, I enjoyed this episode.

Two shows remain with a promise by the network for a clean wrap-up of the series. I have no idea what sort of reasoning the creators will use for Sam's predicament and how it will differ from the BBC version (you know, the one with the coma), but I look forward to finding out.

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I'm very disapointed in ABC. This is one of three shows I watch on their network. It takes season after season to wind down the never ending "make it up as we go" or "smoke some more weed and write another episode" series LOST. (I like LOST but it's begining to get on my nerves.) and you can close this great show in one fricken season. Let LOST get FOUND and keep this series on the air! It's ABC's own fault...switching it around, gone for two months... Send some TARP money their way because they are just as big of idiots as AIG and Wall Street. Oh, here's an idea...How about a reality show about execs at ABC being fired one by one when people at home get to vote them off for being complete and total morons!

March 26 2009 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judith Turner

LOL -- I checked Jason O'Mara's imdb entry and there's a trivia item about a character he portrayed earlier with a less-than-convincing accent -- that time he was undercover as an IRA terrorist on The Agency.

According to imdb Jason O'Mara grew up playing rugby, a sport more popular in Britain than Ireland, and he graduated from Trinity College Dublin, historically the school of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy, not the Irish working classes and displaced farmers who emigrated to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries. He couldn't just fall back on the accent he'd grown up -- that would never have been believable in an Irish seaman who'd jumped ship.

A couple of weeks I wandered into the middle of a 2001 episode of Monarch of the Glen. Oddly, I recognized O'Mara's voice, with a Scottish accent, faster than I placed his face. His hair was much lighter, his face full, his demeanor that of an eager puppy for his portrayal of Katrina's boyfriend, Fergal MacClure. He also had one of the sunniest smiles imaginable in a performance that was miles away from Sam Tyler.

The more I see Jason O'Mara the more I appreciate his acting skills and I thought this episode gave him a chance to shine as an actor more than any single LoM episode has done so far. He did a great job switching among characters of Det. Tyler, Sam Bono and Det. Skywalker. Real Sam facing the morphed adult Sam was nicely done, too.

I was impressed at how well this one hour television program recreated the Hell's Kitchen/Irish gang milieu that 1990's State of Grace (Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, Ed Harris) caught. ABC is throwing away another winner of a television show without giving it time to build an audience in either of its time slots.

March 21 2009 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who played Colleen the baby sitter in this episode ( All the Young Dudes) on last night March 18th. And what else was she in.. ????

I enjoy this TV show, Sad that it is comming to an end. The 70"s was an awsome time. Brings back a lot of memories ...Being in my early early 20's and enjoying life to the fullest...

March 19 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to debra's comment

The babysitter was played by Paige Turco, O'Mara's real-life wife. Some natural chemistry there.

March 19 2009 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Any Doctor Who fans out there who watched this last night? What did you think of Sam Tyler's mom's name?

March 19 2009 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a great episode. I guess it should've been a 2-parter to explain the development of the relationships more in depth, but we all know they were in a rush to wrap it up.

As for Sam's accent, according to linguists, Standard American English has been heavily influenced by Irish English. Plus I've heard Irish from Ireland (who didn't grow up in the US, I mean) who sound very American when they speak.

March 19 2009 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad it lasted longer than DayBreak.

March 19 2009 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm also pretty upset that ABC is cxlng this show.. HD u forgot another good show they cxld..October Road. i grew up in the 70's and the show brings back memories. its a shame maybe ABC needs new markting directors?

March 19 2009 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike K

I also loved Sam's alias, "Sam Bono"...

March 19 2009 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last night's episode was fun. The best scenes were the stakeout ones in the van and Sam's fear of changing his past and making things worse by talking to his younger self.
I didn't grow up in the 70s but my father did. This is one of those shows we could watch together and have a good time, which always led to conversations about his childhood. He's more disappointed that I that the show's being canceled. (He agrees that the 70s are accurately depicted in the show.) Right now, we're angry at ABC's decision to off such a fine program.

March 19 2009 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Based on their conversation new the beginning of the episode I wonder if they'll figure out a way to "bring" Annie to 2009. I also hope that the writers did have enough notice for a proper ending. I understand that maybe they won't answer every question but at the very least I hope they answer if Sam accepts and stays in the past or if he finds a way back to 2009.
As for the accent, I took it as a good-natured dig against American actors who butcher foreign accents. Hugh Laurie on House and Dominic ? on The Wire did the same, their American characters used horribly fake accents that the actor himself could have easily pulled off.
BTW I think Raked is right. I found this clip of him on The View and his accent was pretty light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Rv5fie3424

March 19 2009 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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