21 August 2007

Life on McBeal

Good news-ish on the casting front for David E. Kelley's American cover version of Life on Mars: Colm Meaney has been cast to inhabit Phil Glenister's shoes. If there's anyone in America who can pull off Gene Hunt, it's a crusty old Irishman like Colm. He'll be doing it with an American accent, of course.

Of course now I'm sure Kelley's going to settle on Boston for his Manchester replacement. I'd really hoped he would look for a city with some old, interesting character instead of sticking with his standby, but he's going to write what he knows. I suppose it could be worse. He could take the AS-P route and write about a place he passed through once as though he'd never even passed through1. Colm is a fine actor and will certainly do a great job with this role. The fundamental problem isn't going to be him.

A show that ran for two seasons of eight eps each is going to be tough to translate to an indefinite run of 22-per. Compound that with an American setting that isn't going to have a tenth the character of Manchester and the normal inclinations we have toward irony and kitsch as opposed to sincerity2 and I think this is in for a Coupling-level translation from the English.

The biggest problem? By the time the show airs no one will not know about the big twist at the end of the series. I haven't even seen series two yet, and I know what it is. Then again, I miraculously nailed it when I saw the pilot.3

1 That's right Amy, I'm calling you out for your dreadful mischaracterization of my home state. Not since Green Acres has someone made CT look so little like CT. In fact, I'm pretty sure Green Acres was more accurate than Stars Hollow.
2 Please see Hutch, Starsky and Phillips, Todd et al 2004 if you need any support for that statement.
3 First off, if you don't like spoilers, don't read this footnote. Second, if you think it's a spoiler to a show that aired a year ago just because BBCAmerica hasn't aired it yet, you're cracked. Third, I'm not actually going to give the spoiler, just the link above to my review of the pilot. Fourth, I don't technically know that I know, but I've accidentally seen enough information to be pretty sure I'm spoiled. Fifth and finally, I'm not patting myself on the back. At the time I thought I was making an interesting and unique observation about the cinematography, but in retrospect I merely picked up something that was intended to be seen by anyone paying attention. If anything, the fact that my observation (may have) turned out to be prescient only dilutes its cleverness.