I’m resentful of the tendency of US networks to remake perfectly good foreign TV shows, British shows in particular. I mean, the US version of Whose Line is it Anyway was wonderful, as I’m sure others were. But I don’t want to go near Viva Laughlin; Blackpool was perfect as it was. (David Tennant. David Morrissey. Sarah Parish. Musical murder mystery. Made. Of. Win.) Lately, I have focussed my wrath on Life on Mars as we lead up to the Australian premiere of the American remake.
As I was hanging out in front of the TV this afternoon watching The View – I know, I know – I saw something that may have changed my mind. They were interviewing star (and Irishman! Nice accent) Jason O’Mara, who plays Sam Tyler, a cop who ends up in 1973 after a car accident in the 21st century. The relevant part starts at 3.09.
Elisabeth: This show, it takes place in 1973. You were born in 1972. Most interesting thing you learned about the time?
Jason: Um, you know, I think, I think sort of the casual sexism was was kind of something we forget about, you know? The Gretchen Mol character, Annie, has to deal with that all the time and I think that women had it much tougher, you know.
Joy: The 70s, well that was the beginning of the feminist movement. 19- the second wave, anyway, of the feminist movement, 1970.
Jason: Right, yeah.
Joy: We’ve come a long way, baby.
Jason: I think we have, yeah, yeah. In some ways, and in other ways, not so much. And that’s kind of what’s shocking, and you start to realise that time and place can be sort of a cyclical thing.
Nice one. I like that no one attempts to dismiss or diminish feminism or to pass it off as having achieved everything, so you feminists can kindly go away, please. It’s sad that I’ve come to expect that feminism be treated as antiquated rubbish. I like that sexism was a priority in Jason O’Mara’s mind as well as in the show. I seem to remember that being a feature of the British show, too. You should read this article, which is pointedly titled 1973 New York: Life on Mars, Not Venus, for Women. I like that women are centred, not a footnote of history or contemporary discussion.
… so I might watch the premiere, just to show my support.
ETA: whoops, I guess I forgot the video!