4. Life on Mars
Now vs. Then
Life on Mars -- both the compelling original 2006 British series and the recently canceled American remake -- follows a detective named Sam Tyler (pictured) who was hit by a car and sent back to 1973. Freaked out, he nonetheless gets involved in police crime-solving, but his methods are more civilized than those of his colleagues. This premise enabled the show to hold two eras side by side for our comparison, as well as dramatizing the psychological strain of a man who is being forced into the present while he is drawn to a romanticized past.