Thursday, April 02, 2009

Life on Mars: Ground Control to Major Tom

So in the end, Life on Mars was all just one big gene hunt? Or, better yet, it was an April Fools day joke with an elaborate six-month long setup. (You know the drill, spoilers to follow.)

Figures that the uncreative minds that brought you the horrible October Road would think a literal interpretation of the show's title would be clever. You see, this is all a mental simulation for an astronaut who's part of a search for life on mars, get it? Going on a gene hunt, get it? Groan. All season long, there was back and forth between hokey and inspired work, and I'd almost forgotten about the terrible OR, but with the last Oz reference ("I'm going to miss you most of all, Scarecrow,") the show jumped us to hokey town. Even the last minute literary reference of Gulliver's Travels turned out to be a red herring. I'm still steaming mad that I followed this the whole season, even after cancellation, to come to an ending so moronic. It's slap in the face. Fittingly enough, today comes news that the original series will finally get a region appropriate DVD release here in the US (July 28, available today for pre-order). Silver lining, small favors, blah blah blah.

One saving grace of the finale was the inspired scenes that used Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." It was pretty much the whole song running along the scenes, like a classic Cameron Crowe montage or something, where our protagonist contemplates and makes a decition, leading to our Sam and Annie moment ("And I thank the Lord for the people I have found"). But that was just the drive up to the scenic cliff, and what followed drove us off it, passing the finales for St. Elsewhere and Dallas on our descent. At least it was unforgettable, I'll give them that much

Life on Mars - 1.17
1. "Life is a Rock" - Reunion - intro
2. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" - Elton John

Previously: There's No Place Like Home (Episode 1.16)


Bhavesh Patel said...


Hi, thanks for the great work on following Life on Mars this year. Especially with listing out the great music and finding links to it.

I gotta admit, like you, I was pretty disappointed that the season started losing its edge in the last several episodes. It started out so great and then just fizzled.

I think I was expecting the finale to be so bad, that I wasn't actually as disappointed by you. It was pretty lame, but at least took me in a direction I wasn't expecting. Would have been much lamer if he just woke up from a coma or something.

Anyway, thanks again for doing a great job following this program.


Bhavesh Patel said...

I think I was expecting the finale to be so bad, that I wasn't actually as disappointed by *it* you.