"Trust the Gene Genie": Nostalgia and ideology in "Life on Mars"

Larke-Walsh, George S. (2020) "Trust the Gene Genie": Nostalgia and ideology in "Life on Mars". In: The Best Murders are British: Essays on the International Appeal of English Crime Dramas. McFarland, Jefferson, NC, USA. ISBN 9781476679396

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This chapter explores why the original series has been so appealing to audiences. Drawing on two detailed studies of the show, Garland and Bilby’s (2011) study of police culture and humor and Irwin’s (2013) discussion of memory in a re-imagined 1970s cultural landscape, my own work explores what reassurances the narrative offers to counteract the regressive masculinity and discriminatory culture at play. Some of the questions I answer are as follows: is the series simply nostalgia for a past that appears safer, simpler and more accepting of male aggressive behaviour such as displayed in The Sweeney? What type of ethical compromises must audiences make in order to embrace this vision of the past? It is evident that a white male, such as Tyler, would find it much easier than others to go back to this era and still retain their social status. Therefore, is the show’s humour fuelled by white male privilege? In other words, is Life on Mars a celebration of lad culture and its associative politically incorrect humour or is it more intelligent?

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Depositing User: George Larke-Walsh
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 14:38
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12994

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