Tag Archives: life on mars

Down Economy Cancels Good TV

This is a really tough year for good TV. Many shows are canceled or are in imminent danger (but mostly canceled):

Life On Mars: Canceled (but wrapped up nicely)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Canceled (with a bitch of a cliffhanger!)
Dollhouse: Canceled
Life: Canceled (almost certainly, with big plot questions left hanging in the air)
Chuck: Circling the drain (we find out in a week or two)

All those shows have one thing in common dragging them down: bigger budgets. TV executives are being upfront about next season: they expect ad revenues to be down – way down. If the big budget shows can’t bring huge audiences, they’re gone. They’re taking chances on several new shows, which I’m sure are all cheaper to produce.

Fortunately, I can end with some good news. Smallville was supposed to be wrapping up the series this season – perhaps because it’s been running for 8 years, perhaps because CW is trying to be Oxygen for young women. If you’ve been wondering why they haven’t been tying up loose ends (indeed, they seem to be creating more of them), it’s because the CW woke up to the fact that they were about to let one of their most popular shows end for no good reason. So I’m happy to say it will be back in the fall.

Also, there’s no reason to kill shows with budgets equal to what I spend on coffee each year, so It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will also be back for a 5th season. Huzzah!

Life On Mars Canceled

Son of a bitch. Life On Mars, the most intriguing cop show in years,1 has been canceled. There will only be 17 episodes, with the series finale to be aired next Wednesday. Technically, this is one more episode than the UK version, but they cut everything short over there with 6-8 episode seasons. In America, bigger and longer is better (but only for TV shows).

Jason O’Mara (Sam Tyler) and Gretchen Mol (Annie Norris)

If you hadn’t seen it – and you probably haven’t considering the ratings – it’s about a police detective who’s hit by a car in 2008 and wakes up in 1973. I missed the pilot, but basically he’s “transferred” to NYPD. There, he works with other cops (played by Gretchen Mol, Michael Imperioli (Chris Moltisanti on Sopranos), and the great Harvey Keitel) to catch crooks, while figuring out what happened to him and how to get back home. The writing is great and of course, with that cast, the acting is pitch perfect.

Michael Imperioli as Ray Carling

And Michael Imperioli as “Cochese”. Listen all o’ y’all, it’s a sabotage!

I admit, I am a little biased. I was born in 1973, so I have affection for TV shows and movies set there, like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. If you’re thinking that I shouldn’t be nostalgic for a year I technically can’t remember, you didn’t grow up in America. The older I get, the more I realize I absorbed huge quantities of ’70s pop culture by watching reruns as a kid. Same with the music of that era through the pop radio my mother always played. So when I see the clothes, hairstyles, cars, and electronics, set to the sounds of NY accents and music by Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel, and others, it just resonates.2 And that’s another thing – LOM has the best soundtrack on TV right now.3 It just ain’t fair.

I guess I should be thankful that the show is supposed to get a proper ending, with loose ends tied and mysteries solved. But I’m not thankful, as I’m too busy being pissed off that America doesn’t appreciate good TV.

  1. Although Life is very good, too. []
  2. Which is why I have no desire to watch the UK version; I’m sure I won’t get any of their period references like I do with the American version. []
  3. Maybe that’s another sign a show will get canceled, as Journeyman also had a great (indie) soundtrack. []