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No spoilers. Just a bit of my opinion.

I liked it, and I say this as someone who saw and hated the initial American pilot (set in Los Angeles). The revised pilot is set in New York and there have been major cast changes, for the better. Unfortunately, the role they most needed to recast, Sam Tyler, is still played by Jason O'Mara and good Lord, I could see him acting throughout most of his scenes. He needs to get better, fast. But if you can get past his acting, LOM was a solid effort.

Already I've seen plenty of criticism about how the show is "too much" like the British original and also how it won't be enough like it because of certain plans TPTB have mentioned for further down the line. Really, all TPTB can do is try to put together the best show they can, because there's no way they're going to make everyone happy.

I won't even get started with my answer to the "Why did they even bother to do a remake/why don't they just air the original series instead?" question right now. Yes, I can address that issue in some depth, because I understand why the British series is not simply rerun on a major American network--I've made a bit of a study out of the American TV industry, just as a hobby, and along the line it's become clear that I know more about it than most people care to. Therefore, I'm fairly likely to agree with network decisions to, say, cancel programs (including shows I like--Veronica Mars, I'm looking at you), because I see the numbers and have a reasonably good idea of what they mean and whether a series is financially viable. In fact, one of my pet peeves is the misspelling of Nielsen, as in those handy Nielsen ratings that measure series performances.

But back to LOM: I judged the show on its own merits, not against the original. I enjoyed it. Will I like next week's episode? Hell, I don't know. I might hate it. Then again, I could say that about any show on the air, including my favorites like Gossip Girl and The Amazing Race. The best I can do is go week to week, and this week, I liked Life on Mars.

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ghost2

May 2010

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