SyFy- Being Human - Carbon Copy or Not?
Ok, so I said I would watch the American Being Human. I can’t hate on it until I know exactly why, right?
Hate is probably a strong word here. Disappointed is still the best way to describe how I feel about the blatant Americanized remake.
SyFy’s version starts us off where the BBC pilot did. Not sure how many of you out there actually saw the pilot but it tells you how the trio got together.
In the original BBC version, Annie does an awesome voiceover telling you about death and what should happen and what happens when it doesn’t.
In this version, Aiden (formerly Mitchell) has some cute things to say, but they don’t have the same effect as the original. He’s immediately played as bit of a pretentious twit. Who quotes Byron and talks about death on a first date? Really!! Playing it up a bit too hard there!
Ok so we move on and see Aiden snacking on his date which is exactly in line with the original.
Some changes from the BBC version include: No eating food at all (Mitchell could eat and drink), he drinks blood from the hospital blood bank (Mitchell was “on the wagon” meaning no blood at all), and it appears vampires can compel people (Mitchell had no compulsion powers at all).
The other important vampire in this is the vampire Bishop. He’s a doppelganger for the Herrick character in the BBC version. I don’t really see a change there. They did make him very “mommy dearest” with the “Don’t call, don’t write” quote. I have a feeling this character will be carbon-copy as the series progresses.
Moving on to the George character, now called Josh. Unlike the BBC version, he doesn’t have that nerdy, quirky, charm. He comes right out and states he has OCD rather than letting us see it. Points for the BBC for letting us figure it out instead of spoon-feeding it to us like SyFy felt was necessary. In actuality the Josh character does not seem fully formed yet. The acting felt very forced as if the actor had not quite figured out how to play the character yet and was just following direction. In one speech he gave, chatting with Aiden, he paused so many times I was wondering if he had trouble reading cue cards. I think they need to define what’s going on with him.
A few changes from the BBC pilot. Instead of Josh (George)seeing his ex-girlfriend in the hospital, he sees his sister. I guess that was part of them trying to be “original.” The action still plays out the same as it did in the pilot. She follows him into the locked cellar right before his “change” was going to happen.
And Finally, Sally, formerly Annie. This is the one I felt was trying too hard. Which could have been avoided if they gave her any screen time. The few moments she got were info dumps. She goes from stating she can’t remember her death, to saying “Let’s call my fiancée.,” In the space of a few minutes. The rest of the time was spent on the boys. If they had taken a little longer to give us a chance to ‘know” her it would have given us a chance to see if she is anything like the original or somehow unique from the original Annie character.
Character inconsistency… One second the landlord (Sally’s former fiancée) is standing outside, not wanted to go in. He explains his fiancée died in there and that’s why he wants to remain outside. He won’t go in now but a few moments after saying that, he says he’ll be around on weekends to fix the plumbing. Uh ok.
Overall, I see no real “originality” in this series. The characters and situations are almost carbon-copy to the BBC version with a few Americanisms added in. The actors don't have a "feel" for their characters yet, and I am not sure if they ever will. It's hard to be original with a character someone else is already playing perfectly.
Is it a series I’ll follow? Probably not. It's not an improvement on the original. I have Being Human on DVD, I can watch the BBC version to my heart’s content until BBC America starts playing series three.
I’d love to hear what you thought of it. Leave me a comment.