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The inspiring and provocative series is back for a second season tapping into the universal fantasy: to be given a second chance to fix an error of the past. Every episode features a guest star playing a flawed person who dies suddenly. Waiting for him on the other side are two celestial figures: a guide, Mr. Smith, and Judge Othniel. The person is given the chance to return to earth and to a time when he went astray. Guided by Mr.Smith, the character has three days to cajole his younger self to not make the same mistake. By changing history, he can alter the future and the course of other lives affected by him. It is not easy as it first appears because the character must overcome deep biases and character flaws. Mr. Smith, who doesn't remember his own life on earth and death, struggles to make sense of human nature and to unravel the mysteries of the Universe. But by guiding others, he hopes to earn his own second chance. Written by
Living as close as I do to the Canadian border, I would get a lot of Canadian television, but traveling to Toronto or Hamilton was always a treat because for sure I would see an episode of Twice in a Lifetime.
Our neighbors north of the border do some quality television and this was a favorite of mine. People die and they're brought before Judge Othniel of the Heavenly Tribunal and are given a second chance at living their lives again. If they take the deal, and they always do, they're brought back to a point in their lives where they can influence their younger selves on where they went wrong. And Judge Othniel sends an assistant, at first Gordie Brown and second Paul Popowich, to help out.
In season two, Popowich replaced Brown, and I did like him and those episodes better. Popowich was a club kid in real life and in death he's making his afterlife count for more than his actual life did.
But the series abruptly stopped with the death of Al Waxman from open heart surgery. Americans will remember him better from Cagney and Lacey as Lieutenant Samuels. Maybe they could have brought in an another angel, but I guess changing helpers and angels was too much.
Yet the show apparently has great popularity in syndication, six years after the last episode was done. How do you explain the death of an angel though?
My favorite episode is when Popowich is put into the body of a woman to aid a prospective heavenly admittee. That was very funny indeed.
A sad loss this series ended abruptly as it did.
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