Thursday, June 18, 2009

‘Ashes to Ashes’ best new TV series this year

I just finished watching season one of the BBC television series “Ashes to Ashes” and I can’t wait for season two.
I fell behind on my TV viewing this spring and the show sat on my DVR for weeks unwatched. It took me a couple of episodes to warm to it because I was a big fan of its predecessor, “Life on Mars,” and “Ashes to Ashes” is quite different.
“Ashes,” in some ways, is a better show. It’s funnier and has more heart than the original. It's also the best new show I've watched this year.
Both feature time-traveling cops who must deal with out-dated police procedures and social mores, while trying to figure out how to get back home.
In “Life on Mars,” detective Sam Tyler is injured in a car accident and wakes up in 1973. In “Ashes to Ashes” detective Alex Drake is shot and wakes up in 1981. In both shows, they find themselves assigned to the police squad of DCI Gene Hunt, a boorish but effective old-school cop.
Both shows are limited run series on British television. “Life on Mars” ran two seasons (2006-07). “Ashes to Ashes” (2008-present) just finished running second two in the U.K., with a third and final season planned. The complete U.K. “Life on Mars” and season one of its sequel have run on BBC America in the U.S.
(Let’s all forget about the horrible ABC remake of “Life on Mars,” which was canceled after a shortened first season this year. It had cringe-inducing bad writing and acting and perhaps the dumbest series finale of all time.)
Below is a promo video for “Ashes to Ashes” season two.

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