11 October, 2008

Buzz: "Life on Mars"

This New York version sticks more closely to the original premise and characters (and pilot) than David E Kelley's LA version and is all the better for it.

I called the first remake 'OK' and didn't feel it deserved all the opprobrium heaped on it but the remake of the remake is clearly better in terms of the additional writing, casting and production values. Patriotic fanboys will still whinge but normal people will acknowledge it has got off to a good start this time.

However, as Phill pointed out (in the comments section of the Scott Rosenberg interview), Harvey Keitel seems too old. I'm not being ageist, I just don't buy a cop staying on 10-15 years past retirement age. It's not a dealbreaker and I'm not so sure I would turn down the chance to have a cultural icon in my series if I could.

The real test is when Rosenberg and his room start breaking their own stories and making the series their own as their previous show, October Road, was quite bad. However their re-version of the pilot suggests they might just pull it off. Let's not forget they have bettered David E Kelley's version and he is a writing legend with several hit series behind him.

According to Metacritic, reviews were "generally favourable". In terms of getting viewers, it is battling another limey import, Stephen Gallagher's Eleventh Hour, in the same time slot and managed to beat it but that might be more to do with their respective lead-ins and promotions. It's next week's ratings that count. If both shows manage to keep all those viewers, they're unlikely to be cancelled. Both of them beat ER, which helps.

1 comment:

martin said...

Looks good on the clip - uncanny how many shots they've exactly duplicated. did the "Micheal Imperioli IS Ray Carling" bit make anyone else think of those old comic strip spoofs? Al Pacino IS Arthur Scargill...