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December 18, 2014

Life on Mars

What are you looking forward to catching up with this summer?

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 30th 2009 3:01PM
SkinsIn the DVR era, I have this new problem/blessing that happens to me every year. I jump on board these shows and then just get too busy to keep up with them and they pile up and sit there on my DVR unwatched. As an example, I just finished "Chapter 5" of John Adams last night; damn that's a good mini-series. But now that 99% of the network shows are wrapping up their seasons, I'm looking at three months of solid catch-up time.

I can also use the time to try out series I've always wanted to get into but just haven't for some reason or another; I'll use that "no time" excuse again. With more videos streaming online at Hulu (thanks ABC), seasons coming out ever faster on DVD and more vintage shows coming out the field is wide open. Of course, I'm probably taking on more than I can handle, but dammit I'm excited!

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Life on Mars: Life is a Rock (series finale)

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 2nd 2009 1:12AM
Life on Mars(S01E17) It's the last episode ever of the American version of this show. I'm not sure if it's appropriate or not, but it happened on April Fool's Day, as well. They certainly took the show to its most literal conclusion possible. As I write this, I'm still processing a lot of the story.

Comparisons are inevitable, and the ending of the British series was hands-down better. However, this one was good for a couple of laughs and wasn't completely outrageous (close, but not completely).

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Life on Mars: Everyone Knows It's Windy

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 26th 2009 1:38AM
Life on Mars(S01E16) In our second-to-last episode, we get a few revelations about Sam and the reason behind his trip to 1973. Nothing conclusive, of course, but that's probably been saved for next week. Will Sam get back to 2009? Will he die? Will he get hit by another car and wake up in 1938? The mind boggles.

Sam is really adapting to his environment and becoming more brutal in his police work. Being stuck in a 1973 cop show is really rubbing off on him. On the plus side, even a bullet can't keep Michael Imperioli from delivering a great performance while in surgery. I think I'll miss you the most, Ray.

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Life on Mars: All the Young Dudes

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

(S01E15)
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.

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Life on Mars: Coffee, Tea or Annie

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 12th 2009 1:06AM
Life on mars: Coffee Tea or Annie

(S01E14)
The more I watch this show, the more I think Sam is not stuck in the past. I'm not sure where he is. It's definitely somewhere fictional. My guess is some virtual reality thing. However, they further proved how unrealistic the show is by pulling out the old "identical twin from the middle of nowhere" trick. It saves casting time and money by using the same actor or actress for two different roles.

I don't care how similar two people look. There are minor differences in things such as voice and mannerisms that anybody who even remotely knew Valerie would have picked up that Annie was not her. Also, if Valerie was such a loner, how is it that she worked with her two roommates yet supposedly they didn't know her that well? If they saw her both at home and work and didn't figure out the switch, then I'm sorry, but they are a few bricks short of a load.

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Life on Mars: Revenge of the Broken Jaw

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 5th 2009 2:27AM
Life on Mars(S01E13) Now that it has been made public of the imminent demise of Life on Mars, it certainly makes any sort of analysis kind of moot. Hopefully, when the series ends (a mere one episode longer than the series that spawned it), it will offer some sort of satisfying closure to its fans (all three of them).

Tonight's episode was a good one with a twist I didn't see until just before it actually happened. Once again, it focused more on the cop mystery of the week rather than Sam's predicament (which was only touched upon with the strange freeze frames in the beginning). The creators will likely have a hell of a lot of exposition about Sam in the final episode.

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Life on Mars promising closure in series finale (yeah, it's canceled)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 3rd 2009 10:02AM
Harvey Keitel and Jason O'Mara in Life on MarsYou know how those wacky British like their shows in short bursts with beginnings, middles and ends? Well maybe that's what ABC is thinking of when they announce that Life on Mars will finish its run with its 17th episode. They're promising a satisfying sense of closure, including answers as to why Detective Sam Tyler finds himself in 1973.

One theory that we're told can be ruled out is the coma that the UK original used to explain Sam Tyler's time travel. It would make the mystery kind of anticlimactic if they used the same explanation. We're also not told if Annie will finally punch Ray once and for all for being a misogynist bastard

The UK version of the series was an actual hit, but designed for the limited format completing two eight-episode runs. Meaning the US iteration, which is being canceled due to low ratings, will still run one episode longer than its successful predecessor. It was a creative decision to end the UK series after two seasons.

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Life on Mars: The Simple Secret of the Note in Us All

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 26th 2009 3:02AM
Life on Mars(S01E12) To begin, I know exactly where they shot the opening scene for tonight's episode. It was in the New York Transit Museum. It's an old subway station that was converted into a museum and includes subway cars from different decades. I visited there recently, which allowed me to recognize some of the background advertisements from the scene.

In the original British series, it was determined that Sam was in a coma. In this series, I think he's in some sort of shared virtual reality. This is simply a hunch based on what we've learned so far.

On to the actual episode...

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Life on Mars: Home Is Where You Hang Your Holster

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 18th 2009 11:55PM
Life on Mars: Home is Where You Hang Your Holster
(S01E11)
It's been a while since Sam had his visions. I missed them. However, I think tonight's episode overdid it a little with the Wizard of Oz references. Sam is over the rainbow. We got it. We just don't know why.

I'm glad the creators wrapped up the Maria storyline as quickly as they did. They could only milk her daddy issues for so long, and Sam and Gene have way too much for a bromance going on of their own to let a little thing like sleeping with the boss' daughter interfere.

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Life on Mars: Let All the Children Boogie

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 12th 2009 1:02AM
Life on Mars(S01E10) Every dramatic series has the occasional "comedy" episode, and Life on Mars is no exception. This one was definitely intended for humor which could be confirmed by the cameo appearance of Wallace "Inconceivable" Shawn, who apparently ran The X-Files a few decades before Mulder and Scully investigated the paranormal.

This was a good episode and served several purposes. The first of which was to determine that whatever happened to Sam is not any sort of alien-related experience, thereby getting the most silly and cliché theories out of the way. My only question at this stage is whether the explanation for Sam's predicament is going to be scientific, magical or a combination of both (technomancy, perhaps?). The episode added to the confusion about this by nicknaming Wallace Shawn's forensic investigator "The Sorcerer."

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NY Comic Con 2009 - my TV experience

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 9th 2009 1:35PM
Robert Culp and William KattBraving the crowds and the weather, I managed to attend the 2009 New York Comic Con for the weekend. While I wasn't able to see everything or sit in on every panel, I thought I'd give an overall synopsis of the stuff I did manage to do as it relates to television.

I should note that Robert Culp and William Katt were both at the Con giving us a Greatest American Hero reunion. They were kind enough to pose for a picture.

I arrived at 1 p.m. on Friday, and after a short wait as I and my fellow geeks was slowly herded in like cattle, I browsed around the dealer room.

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Life on Mars: The Dark Side of the Mook

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 5th 2009 4:39AM
Life on Mars(S01E09) Finally, we get a continuation of the cliffhanger phone call ending from November! Mind you, it was kind of weird (notice that the song about the white room with black curtains played while Sam walked into a white room with black curtains). I wish they showed this episode first, as it was the better episode of the two and really showcased Michael Imperioli's talent as Detective Ray Karling.

Gene Hunt seems to be a big fan of 70's pop culture, as he keeps referring to it in his interview. Ray, on the other hand, keeps using the pseudo-profanity that Disney only permits. Ray also thinks of very colorful and amusing metaphors. It becomes cartoonish after a while. The episode also prodigiously used the slo-mo effect to the point where I thought they must have had to fill time.

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Life on Mars: Take a Look at the Lawmen

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 28th 2009 11:55PM
Life on Mars cast
(S01E08) This show has found a new directive. That directive is: deviate from the original British series as quickly as possible. It was bound to happen. I just didn't think it would happen so soon or to such a large extent.

To begin: WTF??? When we last left Sam Tyler, he was answering a mysterious phone call. Now we have a jump in time out of Lost and he's at the scene of a suicide in mid-attempt. That's page one of sloppy serial storytelling.

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Life on Mars team creates new series for ABC

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 24th 2009 12:13PM
Life on MarsIt helps when the series you create (or at least adapt for American audiences) becomes successful right from the start. Now the creators of the American version of Life on Mars, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg, are creating a new series for ABC called Happy Town in the vein of ABC's cult drama Twin Peaks.

While I'm sure Mrssrs. Appelbaum, Nemec and Rosenberg are very good at what they do, I don't think they have the mind-set to emulate the strange workings of that of David Lynch. It's likely that there will be superficial similarities but I don't think the comparison to Twin Peaks will work. However, I could be wrong.

I've enjoyed Life on Mars since its inception and will give the trio the benefit of the doubt, particularly since their previous original series October Road lasted two seasons when it's tough to last past one. Hopefully they will show as interesting a story with their original creation as they did with their adaptation.

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All Kona wants for Festivus

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 19th 2008 7:29PM
Since I'm still new enough at TV Squad not to exist on the "Meet the TV Squad" page, this is my first Festivus. It's nice to be able to dig deep into my heart for all of my TV wishes in hopes that some internet fairy will grant them and make the television landscape just a little bit more awesome... for me, at least.

Without further ado, here is what I want for Festivus:
  • Christina Hendricks and the rest of the Mad Men cast should guest-star on more shows. Ever since I started watching Mad Men, I've noticed Hendricks popping up places. She's on an episode of Without a Trace here, an old episode of Cold Case there... I love me some Joan Holloway and Mad Men isn't returning soon enough. I loved seeing Jon Hamm host SNL, and I'm super excited about his upcoming guest stint on 30 Rock. More please!

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