5 Reasons to Watch 'Life on Mars"

Harvey Keitel as Lt Gene Hunt welcomes Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) to 1973Life on Mars has quickly become my favorite new show on television. Imagine my surprise when I hear the ratings dropped last week.  I hope everyone had a good excuse, like you needed an extra hour of sleep or you had to go to a dinner party.

So here's 5 reasons (in no particular order) why you should skip out on those dinner plans or make the extra room on your Tivo tonight:

1. The Soundtrack.  Both episodes have left me humming what I heard.  I'm not old enough to remember when these songs were new, but I did grow up in a music loving household.  Every single song is perfectly chosen and for the first time ever I wonder when I can purchase the soundtrack to a television show.

2. The Mystery
.  We have absolutely no idea why Sam Tyler (played by Jason O'Mara) is stuck in 1970's New York City.  One minute he's hit by a car in 2008, the next he's waking up on the ground with a perfect view of the Twin Towers still standing (which by the way moved me emotionally in a way I never thought possible for a television show) .  Throughout each episode we see Sam struggling with the "real" and "unreal", catching glimpses of what we believe to be his real life in 2008 while he's on the job in 1973.

Michael Imperioli would kick Christopher's ass as Detective Ray Carling3. 1973.
  The set designers for this show deserve multiple awards for the work they've done.  As Tyler says on the show, "all the detail."  It's mind blowing how much attention they've put into every block.  It's not just about the golden tone of 70s T.V. that they use, separating it from the future which is toned in a crisp blue by the way.  It's about the costumes, the record shops, the cars...the attitude.  Nevermind the naked neighbors and that incredible pair of mutton chops on Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos).

4. The Sexism.
What? How could that be a good reason?  Well for one, it's a good reminder of what we came from and not all that long ago.  Second of all, Gretchen Mol, aka "No Nuts", is absolutely brilliant as the only lady-cop in the 125.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of her breaking the mold for women officers in the 70s.  Until then, it's fun to watch her stand idly by, saving kittens and dealing with "frantic women".  

5. Harvey Keitel. Harvey Keitel. Harvey Keitel.  He, alone, might be reason to watch the new series.   Did you catch his entrance on episode one?  If you happened to miss it, see it here. To say Lieutenant Gene Hunt (Keitel) is a little old school is putting it lightly.  The battle between him and Sam, who plays it straight, is more than a treat to watch.  It's a lesson in social history and how much we've actually grown.  Though sometimes I secretly find myself siding with the Lt. and cheering him on to plant that evidence. 

These reasons not enough for you?  Watch tonight at 10 on ABC and make some reasons of your own.  I promise you'll find some.

3 Comments

I love this show. I'm not sure I can pinpoint why, but it's just right. When HK made his entrance, I was sold. When they were in the record store, with a listening room and Sam wishes he could take all the vinyl back, nostalgia got me. Out of Time by the Stones was perfection. The shot of the Towers, brand spankin' new, was breath taking. I'll be watching every week and am really hoping for news of a full season, at the least.

Michael Imperioli, Michael Imperioli, MICHAEL IMPERIOLI!

Actually: the Whole Cast, the Whole Crew, the ENTIRE SHOW TEAM!

Easily one of the Top Five entertainment shows on TV right now. Drama and Overall.

Carefully constructed and lovingly crafted. Terrific to look at (thank goodness for HD!).

It's great fun to ponder the incredible cultural changes since the 70's. The writing frequently brings them into focus; with (sometimes heavy) subtly, like the "Nonuts" nickname, and light obviousness, like the confusion between protagonists over such things as a suspect's human rights. But the wonderfully crafted acting and even the richly expressed visual elements provoke thinking too. (I say "even" not to back-hand a compliment, but to note the consistency of clear intent.) (Give me a second, I'll cram another word in there.)

I love this show and recommend it to everyone that I care to share good stuff with.

I absolutely love this show. My 16 year old son and I never miss it. I am not usually a TV watcher but this one got me hooked. I don't know what it is the whole story line just fascinates me. It doesn't seem like the show is 1 hour long .I am always surprised when it's over there are no boring parts in it.One big reason is Jason'Mara . He is a bit hot lol. The show reminds me a little bit of the movie "Frequency" .I loved that one too. Now we have to wait till january to see it again . But at least it didn't get cancelled!.

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