Enter 2008, New York City. The streets are dirty, the people are jaded, and I'm annoyed by the ridiculous blue camera filter! (Come on guys, the whole Matrix filter effect thing is a little overdone!) That being said, ABC's new gritty, time-warped, existential crime drama, Life on Mars, hit the ground running.
The main character, Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) is thrown into 1973 after a beautifully filmed 'hit and run' leaves him face down on the pavement literally 6 minutes and 15 seconds into the first episode. Cue David Bowie's Life on Mars on the iPod... wait no... the 8-track. Oh yeah! To make a long, one-hour story short, Sam discovers that he must "be the change" and alter the past (his present) in order to save his fiance/girlfriend Maya Daniels (Cosby Show's Lisa Bonet) in the present (his future).
At first, I thought the whole 'back in time to save the present' thing was... well... done before. NBC's Journeyman, released in 2007, did it! But in my humble opinion, Life on Mars does it better, at least as far as acting and character interaction goes. Fairly newcomer Jason O'Mara plays 'befuddled' much better than Kevin McKidd ever did on Journeyman. I guess that's why Journeyman was canceled... oh well.
The supporting cast is fantastic, at least so far. Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli light up the LCD flat-screen monitor with their smart-ass comments and memorable quotes as Lieutenant Gene Hunt and Detective Ray Carling respectively. All-in-all, only time will tell if Life on Mars fares any better than Journeyman in today's fickle TV market. I for one will be watching... online... streaming... waiting for 24 and Lost to return. But that's a whole different post.