Thursday, March 5, 2009

'Life on Mars' Gave 1973 A Second Chance

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 3:48 PM

OK, well, I don't really remember a lot about 1973. I know I was 6 years old and had just left my little Kindergarten class at Pio Decimo in South Tucson for the big city of Dallas, where my mom finished her degree.

I remember the furnished apartment we rented was covered in plaid and wood paneling. Folk Mass was really big in the Catholic Church at the time, along with priests wearing sandals, which was liberating in different ways. I even remember running to tell my mom that some hippies walked by our apartment window and gave me the peace sign while I was playing with my Barbie doll.

So when I found out a TV show was starting this season (Life on Mars, based on the British time-travel cop show) set in New York City in, yes, 1973, I watched it and was hooked. It was nice to watch Harvey Keitel, but I was particularly pleased to see Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos back on TV--this time with long shaggy hair and a thick handlebar mustache.

But the TV folks at ABC have canceled it and there are only 17 episodes left.

I've been knee-deep in nostalgia lately. No life? Middle age? But this 1973 visit was a great reminder of life before human resources in the workplace and cell phones, and life before CSI shows and forensics. Each episode was like talking to old newspaper folks about Compugraphics, waxers, and pica poles, but with a cool soundtrack.

Supposedly the creators are thinking about a new series called Ashes to Ashes, about a detective that goes back to the 1980s. Look, they didn't celebrate the country's Bicentennial in the 1980s, and they didn't have banana seats or TV variety shows. I'm not sure if I'd be ready to go back there since it doesn't seem that long ago.

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