Archive for April 7th, 2009

Life on Mars finale: Umm… sure, why not?

life-mars-abc07Last week Life On Mars died a quiet death.  Like a mouse. Who was born without a larynx. In space.

The low-rated show was never necessarily a must-see — the supporting characters tended to be a bit one-note and all of the drama always felt a bit silly.  But it was pleasant and tolerable for the strong cast, the seventies style and the clever teasing of its time-traveling mystery.

I suppose the whole mystery of the series (why Detective Sam Tyler teleported to the seventies after being hit by a car in the present day) is what kept me — intermittently — watching. If this had been just another procedural, I can’t imagine I would have given it more than a obligatory pilot screening (hi there, Lie To Me!).

So the whole series ended during the show’s series finale last week, with the uncommon luxury of being able to wrap up the story — unlike, say, Pushing Daisies. And the end was safely ‘outside the box.’ All of the characters ended up being astronauts on their way to (guess where?) Mars during the year 2035, with Harvey Keitel’s character ending up being Sam Tyler’s dad and a brunette Gretchen Mol having a perhaps budding romance with him. The entire series was a bizarre dream that he experienced while in a deep sleep on the voyage to the Red Planet.

While I appreciate the high concept and the risk-taking, I suppose I am a little bit disappointed that the 2008 frame never got any sort of resolution (a romance with Lisa Bonet, a psycho killer on the loose). Although perhaps part of that was resolved on an episode I never watched.  Anyway, tra la!

The one part of the ending I could have done without was when the Ed Harris-y mission control guy said something about President Obama not being able to make it because SHE had to go visit her ill father in Chicago. I suppose I’m just leery of any bit of dialogue that just screams “ZING!”

For what it’s worth, this was a cleaner resolution than I had expected. Which is nice. It seems more upbeat than the original British series’ conclusion.

5 comments April 7th, 2009


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