Life on Mars
With all of the starry-eyed, out-of-work Midwesterners who litter Sunset Blvd., one would assume that our television landscape would be similarly populated with corn-fed blonds. You would, however, be wrong. In fact, there are a ton of non-Americans who have come to Hollywood to take all of our primetime show-starring jobs.
What's fun for me is watching the shows to see who does a good version of an American accent, and who needs to spend a little more time with their dialect coaches. Below are nine stars who've jumped the pond to come to the good ol' U. S. of A.
1. Netflix Watch Instantly
I've had Netflix basically since its inception, but with all of the TV that I watch, my Netflix movies have had a bad habit of collecting dust for months (I finally sent No Country for Old Men back after about six months on top of my DVD player). Even though I've known about the Watch Instantly feature for a while, I've never actually tried it out. I just watched Friday Night Lights Season 2, and let me tell you. it's so nice to just hit "Next" and have all of the episodes right there without having to change disks. Does that make me ridiculously lazy? Probably. I don't care.
It's that time of year again, isn't it? That brief period between the humongous holidays of Halloween and Christmas that television and retail outlets have forgotten about. I talk about Thanksgiving, of course. The holiday of football games, unbuttoned pants, family arguments, and giant Snoopy balloons. It is also the time to give thanks.
Thanks for what? Well, we aren't trading chickens for a gallon of gas yet, so that's something. And, we still have television, which we can eventually trade in for chickens in order to get a gallon of gas. But, since our television shows are more important than driving in many cases, we may just start riding our bikes and eat peanut butter sandwiches instead.
With those happy thoughts, here is what I am thankful for when it comes to the flat screen idiot box.
On a tangential note, I do wish this show had theme music of some sort. Preferably something akin to the style of '70s police television dramas. The opening montage seems to go too quickly. At least, this is what I thought while listening to the '70s-style music during the opening chase scene.
Life on Mars does has a slower pace than most of the other shows on television. Fortunately, it is kept interesting by being filled with eye candy such as wide shots and different colors. The shirts and the wallpapers alone fascinate me. I even got a laugh from Gene Hunt's loafers.
(S01E06) Gotta love that old school funk that the episode started with. I've been constantly commenting about how similar the individual plots and characters are to the original British version of the show (which has been noticed in the feedback), but in this episode I saw a lot of the show coming into its own. Some of the plot differences even make more logical sense that the original version.
The attention to detail from the entire series is superb. Little bits like Sam's frustration with using an old style typewriter add to the flavor of the show. As usual, Michael Imperioli gets the best lines. It wouldn't surprise me if he got a best supporting actor Emmy nomination for this role, despite its cartoonish nature.
Answers have arrived and they'll affect not only the Private Practice fans but also Life on Mars's viewers.
(S01E05) "Have you died and gone to moron heaven?" - Gene Hunt
What we had here, my friends, was a real theological episode. There were lots of references to angels, miracles, prayer and the question of whether or not Sam is dead. If so, is he in purgatory or hell or heaven? Does that explain his predicament? And is the old gray beard a vagrant or a heavenly messenger?
Overall, what I really thought made the show percolate was the teaming up of Sam and Clams. "Clams" we learn is Fletcher Bellow, Sam's mentor, and he pops up in the middle of a potentially explosive riot, with African-Americans going after Puerto Ricans when a little girl plummets from a rooftop at the hands -- or so it seems -- of Angel Ramirez.
(S01E04) "Just resign already, will ya?" - Sam, after seeing Nixon on TV
Well, it's probably not the main reason, but it looks like Sam finally figured out one the reasons he's in 1973 - keeping an eye on his mother. Last week, after Windy mentioned to Sam that maybe 2008 is the dream and 1973 is reality, it got me wondering if any of Sam's family would be around. Of course, that was quickly confirmed when Sam saw his father (Cobra!) and his young self heading off to a Knicks game at the end of the episode. Now, I'm no expert on the whole space-time continuum thingy... but isn't the world supposed to blow up or something when you see your past self?
At this rate, "let's get this guy" is going to become a Harvey Keitel/Gene Hunt catchphrase. It's better than his "you're surrounded by armed bastards".
(S01E02) I said it before and I'll say it again: Life On Mars has a fantastic soundtrack. They also continue their use of yellow filter to simulate the dirtiness of New York City in the 1970's. When they go to scenes from 2008, the filter becomes blue. I wonder if the creators intended a deeper significance with that?
Let me start with the differences...
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