Sunday, February 11, 2007

Goodnight Sweeney

Column inches galore are being given over to season two of the BBC's award-winning drama, Life on Mars, which starts on Tuesday. Long-time readers of this blog will know that I have a love-hate relationship with comatose copper Sam Tyler.

The show is rich on period detail, with plenty of fag ash and bottom pinching. There's something compelling about seeing my childhood era recreated in such loving and painstaking detail. I can't help thinking, however, that the characters are complete caricatures and the plot is as far-fetched as the Wombles making their way to the top of the charts. As with a lot of British TV over the years, Life on Mars is never quite sure whether its genre is "action adventure" or "classic comedy drama". As a result, we jump between Jack Regan and Gary Sparrow in the time it takes to kick a suspect down the stairs of the nick.

My biggest gripe came with the final ep of season one. The plot was crying out for resolution, but the scriptwriters copped out. The pay packets for the next series were no doubt in everyone's minds at that point.

Provided I get back from my lecturing in time - I teach a creative writing class on Tuesday night - I'll be tuning in. There's nothing on the other side.

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