David E. Kelley, David E. Shmelley. Some assumed when the TV-guru left Life on Mars‘ production team the show was dead. Others thought it bit the dust when ABC reshot the pilot with a whole new supporting cast. I, for one — being an anglophile who adores John Simm and Philip Glenister, the one two punch of the British original — thought it was all over the day some fool got the crap idea to remake my favorite show.

Then there was that moment during last night’s premiere when it hit me: Lord, was I wrong. I LOVE Life on Mars. Sure, you can’t tell that much from just a pilot, but just think about it. The show has brought The Sopranos‘ Michael Imperioli, The Wire‘s Clarke Peters, and The Cosby Show‘s Lisa Bonet all back on TV. And during the same hour! More than that, it got Harvey Keitel on series TV in the first place. And he’s great (sorry, Philip, still love you though). Lead Jason O’Mara, on the other hand, is a freakin’ revelation. Sure, he rocked The Closer, but I didn’t expect this. This is good.

Oh, and the show itself has some pretty good lines (“I have an ass that can fart every Peter, Paul & Mary song ever recorded,” “Let’s not wait until another girl ends up with her dead on”), great tunes (“Life on Mars” and “Baba O’Riley” in the same episode), and a pretty good mystery. Why is Sam stuck in 1973? Will he get back to 2008? And, if you’ve seen the Brit show, will this one end the same as it did in England?

So who else watched Life on Mars last night? And who else was as taken as I was? Or am I totally alone?

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