Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Life On Mars Flatlines

I really shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, I really shouldn't have.

Once again, the bitch goddess that is television has given me some joy and then just as summarily, taken it away.

Life on Mars is being cancelled.

However unlike some other recent ABC cancellations like Pushing Daisies, the producers of the series are going to get some closure as they were informed that the show wasn't being picked up for a second season, but the rest of the current season will be filmed.

Now, I was disappointed that they replaced Colm Meaney with Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt, but aside from that minor quibble, I've enjoyed the show this season, especially given my familiarity with the original series.

But to me, it looks like having a new series based on a time travel premise alone is turning into a losing proposition for all involved. Journeyman is an earlier testament to that. I don't know... perhaps the American viewing public can only stand time travel on television if it is just a flavor or occasional aspect of the show (like Star Trek or Heroes), or if they are gradually introduced to that element (Lost comes to mind).

And now I think we are ending up with a self-fulfilling prophecy, as this history of failure may make viewers less likely to tune into a show like this in the future because, like myself, they will be afraid of committing to the show, and thus, it will fail.

Tell me I am wrong.


Jeremy Barker said...

I have less inclination to tune into any new series, period. I have already invested too much time in the past couple of years into cancelled shows. I think every show should have full season runs - no mid-season cancellations of anything, so that at the worst they can at least wrap the show up.

Next season, I will just DVR shows and not bother watching them until they have a minimum dozen episodes aired. I know that won't help the shows, but I just don't have the time.

Peter Lynn said...

I really never thought the US version wouldn't outlast the short, two-season run of the original series. Yet, it's actually a bit of a relief to me that Life on Mars is being cancelled. The US version started strong enough, but it's felt flat as of late. But because I loved the UK original so much and because the US version still had potential, I felt committed to watching, despite my flagging interest. I blame Harvey Keitel; he was a lousy Gene Hunt compared to Philip Glenister.

MC said...

Jeremy: If I had a DVR, I would likely adopt a similar stance. If you look at some of the greatest shows in the history of the medium, most started off really slow ratingswise.

Peter: There was a moment from an episode a few weeks ago which made me care a little more about the show, though the circumstances probably tell the whole story of why the show is being cancelled. It was the final confrontation between Annie Norris and Ray in the locker room at the end of the episode when he tries to "put her in her place" and she wouldn't let him. The fact that it ended up being one of the strongest moments on the show and it didn't involve the lead says a lot really.

Megan said...

I wish I could tell you you're wrong. But you might not be. :(

Semaj said...

man, I was just getting into this show. I started watching it last month.

But at least they'll wrap it up.

Colm Meaney thing, yeah it would have been interesting seeing him play the character, but I think Keitel was a bigger sell.

Arjan said...

I still haven't seen the first episode, but I will check season 1 I guess. It's on the same list as 'Life' and 'Chuck' ..I still need to start them.

MC said...

Megan: I wish I was, I really do.

Semaj: Well, he just has so many of the same qualities as an actor that the original had.

Arjan: You'll probably get the BBC version a lot sooner than the ABC take.