[Excerpted from Lucire] The American remake of Life on Mars airs on Thursday, the only new dramatic series ABC has this fall in the US.
I’ve been charting this remake for a long time on my personal blog.
Jason O’Mara, the American Sam Tyler, has refused to go 1970s with his hairstyle, while co-stars Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Jonathan Murphy (playing the American versions of Gene Hunt, Ray Carling and Chris Skelton) have donned more 1970s’ styles.
But does it matter that O’Mara didn’t go ’70s with his hair? Because it doesn’t look out of place.
Head out into the trendy parts of a lot of western cities, and you see hair that could have come forward in time from 1973.
Rhoda Morgenstern-style skullcaps appear a lot of places off the catwalk and in everyday wear.
Life on Mars won’t spark a ’70s revival in hairstyles or fashion, because much of it is already in vogue, and has been for a while.
What it might spark is social commentary, one thing that the BBC series was good at doing. New producers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec have been careful at preserving this element in the American remake.
While the 2006 original pointed out the differences in Manchester over the last 33 years, the American version might unwittingly point out the similarities.
There is an economic crisis, people are more paranoid, and the post-9-11 era has parallels with the post-Vietnam one.
The grittiness of 1970s’ cop movies aren’t out of place with the modern climate.
While Son of Sam isn’t probing the streets of New York looking for victims in 2008, the downbeat feel of 1973 might connect with the modern American audience more than the original did with British audiences.
Never mind those critics saying that a lot of the audience wasn’t alive in 1973: the social messages and mood may come across as very contemporary.
And just like in Britain, Americans might just see Gene Hunt as a more appropriate, no-nonsense type of cop than what the law would permit today. (Full post at Lucire.) Posted by Jack Yan, 12:04
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