Well, it’s time to wrap up this miniseries now I think. Now to touch on one of the biggest things wrong with this series: the main character. Alex Drake doesn’t work on a variety of levels. She is unlikeable, emotionally fragile, arrogant and apparently utterly unable to keep anything to herself.
Now, Sam Tyler had a number of these problems too. You can’t have a flawless character and make him/her particularly interesting (or at the very least it is exceptionally difficult). Sam was distant, cold and had a bit of superiority complex, but he wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Drake herself. We are introduced to Drake as she is doing the school run with her daughter and (for some reason) they are discussing the case of one Sam Tyler, a fairly recent suicide and joking about it. I have already addressed why confirming that he genuinely had committed suicide and that the modern day world was definitely real was a terrible thing so I won’t dwell on it further. However our introduction to Drake clearly seems (to me at least) to be setting her up to be a thoroughly dislikeable bitch. Anyway, blah, blah, blah stuff happens and Drake is at a hostage scene being shot in the head, waking up in 1980-something, etc. If that seems rushed and threadbare; it is. I haven’t watched the episode since the first time it was aired several years ago. Anyway enough of my shoddy blogging ethics, on to the top three reasons why Drake is really annoying.
1. Upon reaching the 80s, she’s fairly convinced that she’s already got everything figured out, because she was
’s psychiatrist, you see, and she counselled him up his revival from the coma and so knows about the world he lived in for the duration. She must’ve been bang up on the counselling job, I must say, seeing as Sam killed himself only weeks after the coma. Some rational characters might end up taking that as a bit of a failure on their part, but not Alex, oh no. One of the things that made me like Tyler was his confusion and bemusement at the world he’s forced to inhabit. Not to say that Drake isn’t also confused, but she manages to temper this relatable and sympathetic trait by being an insufferable smart-arse about everything. Because, you know, she has the ramblings of a (probably) insane suicidal ex-coma patient committed to her memory for just such an eventuality. Ugh. Tyler
2. She meets her parents. This isn’t bad in and of itself. Sam did the same thing. However, when he did it, he was a little overwhelmed by the whole situation but acted with a great deal of self-restraint and caution with the whole interaction. He still appeared a little mad, but I challenge you to act better when a car-crash has teleported you to an era of pure brown. However, Drake breaks down in the space of about10 minutes and tries to directly interfere in her parents’ lives informing them of future events and flat out trying to tell her mum about the situation without any pretence or forethought. This wouldn’t necessarily reflect awfully on Drake herself (although it definitely ends up doing so), as I can imagine it would definitely be a temptation in that situation. However, she comes across (quite rightly) as an absolute fucking lunatic for the entire scene. Now, instead of trying to repair the damage or learning from her mistake and leaving them the hell alone, she meets up with her mum seemingly every other bloody episode to have the whole breakdown over and over again. And her mum actually allows it to happen! I see no reason why the supposedly smart lawyer character wouldn’t have the crazy, drunken, ranting police officer committed or at least have a restraining order slapped on them after, say, the third time that officer turns up at their house completely uninvited and unannounced.
3. She starts falling in love with Gene. Enough said, really. That premise is fucking ridiculous in itself. Fuck this show.
Anyway, that’s about it from me for now. I don’t think I’m well cut out for ranting, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t try it again in the future.
In conclusion: Life on Mars was great. Just pretend Ashes to Ashes never existed. It’s better for all of us that way.