h1

Being Human [A crappy remake of a stellar show]

January 16, 2012

As I sit here watching the U.S. Version of a show I’ve come to love (since there’s not much else on right now) I can’t help but mull over the many reasons why this travesty of a production pisses me off so.

First and foremost… the actors who play the counterpart characters are all wrong in my opinion. The actors who play their parts across the sea all have a look that corresponds to their characters and their personalities show through as part of that look. The actors in the U.S. Version lack that or have been failed miserably by the people who give them that very look and in part themselves because they never quite hit the spot on their own.

Before I get going on this I’d like to offer up their respective websites so you can check out their photos and maybe some video and stuff for reference.

BBC Being Human

 

SyFy Being Human

 

A couple points if I may…

 

  • How SyFy can call their show “An Original Series” is beyond me. It’s anything but original as it’s a directly connected alternate version of an already existing hit show.

  • While they are telling essentially the same exact story, the have simply screwed with the timeline of events to make the show look different enough to stand out while also injecting a bit of what the producers must think of as excitement into the U.S. Version, so watching both shows will kind of melt your mind. It’s kind of like being in bizarro world for that show.

  • The inconsistencies in the timeline, the characters, and the point of the story itself is so ruined that this blog may not even matter at all, but I’m still so annoyed at this thing because of the utter brilliance of the original U.K. Version of the show and the love I have for the characters from that series that I have little choice but to sit here and ride this out.

 

Mitchell [Aidan in the U.S.] is made out to be this suave, slick, charming, drug addicted (to human blood), mess who when you see him, danger just drips off of him like he’s one of the deadliest creatures to ever exist. But he also has a vulnerability to him that deepens his character and makes you feel bad for him, yet so excited when he does his vampire thing for good (or even for bad since he is a bad boy).

Aiden Turner (who plays Mitchell) is currently off playing a dwarf in The Hobbit. I’m sure it is a good move for the actor as his talents are probably made for bigger things, but I’ll miss him most of all and I have to tell you that his portrayal of Mitchell on the show is probably one of the best characters I’ve seen in all my life. This guy is bloody brilliant!

As-aidan_511x339

Aidan on the other hand just looks goofy and unassuming and while he’s trying hard to look dangerous it’s just not happening. His vampire moments look incredibly silly, sometimes like he’s constipated or something. He also brings the range of a fresh off the bus actor and I know because Sam Witwer is the same fella that played Doomsday on Smallville and he had the same problems there.

The differences in the actors is a big enough problem without them adding all the changes to the characters. I absolutely love Mitchell, I sympathize with him, I want to see him kick ass, I want to see him conquer his issues. With Aidan I just want to see him get a stake through the heart so I won’t have to hear him anymore.

George [Josh in the U.S.] is that guy who has no confidence in himself at all, is scared of just about everything, worries about nonsense, and yet has a determination to him that is unshakeable in the worst moments. He’s a strong character who doesn’t give himself enough credit but learns to grow throughout his ordeal as a werewolf. You get the most laughs from George because of his high pitched bitching and whining and his upset rants about things. He’s lovable and honest but forced into being something else because he’s a beast. But still you see him always trying to be proper and do the right thing and be polite.

The character’s refusal of his own situation is heartwrenching. You feel like what it might be like for yourself if this tragic curse was visited upon you. It’s hard to watch sometimes which is the point. You have to be in there and follow him along his journey from denyal to dealing with it to acceptance to the realization of the responsibility he has to take now because of what it means for him to actually live in a human world around neighbors and friends and of course other monsters, most of whom don’t like him.

I have to add that I like the dynamic between the wolves and the vamps here because it follows that whole racial injustice thing where the vamps are subjigating the wolves but the wolves in reality can totally destroy a vamp when it’s that time of the month which leads to a truly remarkable scene when George confronts Herrick the first time in that locked room in the basement of the hospital.

Russell Tovey [George] is a terrific actor. He was brilliant in his short one off role in Dr. Who and as one of the leads in this series just shines as the adorable softhearted werewolf. He brings the right amount of humor into the role and you have to respect the guy for pinning himself as a big whimpering guy who turns into a ferocious beast each full moon. The range is similar to that of someone who’s a super nice guy but has a dark tainted temper that you don’t ever want to meet.

Josh already has the strength George learns later on in the series but he is unsure which is a hell of a lot different than being scared of who you are or how you’re going to live life. He also has no sense of being proper, he’s just frantic about a lot of things and it has nothing to do with being proper. I suppose that’s because he’s American vs. George who is from the U.K. Where it’s the thing to be proper as one must. The lack of the “British” in Josh takes a lot away from the character.

I realy don’t even want to go into the difference in the wolf. I mean the BBC version is all about what I’ve come to see as a werewolf, big, strong, beastly, humanoid. Where as the SyFy version is another “let’s make him more of a dog to set our show apart” kind of thing. It might work some in True Blood, but here it really has no place. A guy turning into a dog seems a lot more unrealistic than a guy turning into a bigger wolfier kind of guy. That’s just me though.

Sam Huntington in contrast to Russell is just a big goofball. He played Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns and as Jimmy he was a big goofball. He played the goofball sidekick in Dylan Dog as well, so you can see that his range of acting is about as flat as a plank of wood. One note acting is not the way to go with this type of character at all.

Beinghuman-annie-wp1920x1200

Annie… wonderful, adorable, lovable, brilliant, sexy, heart-throb, Annie. Not my favorite of the show because of how she’s so spazy (even though that is part of her humor and charm), but she has a lot of her personality in common with George. She’s soft and nice and sweet and kind and lonely. You just want to wrap her up in your arms and give her a big hug. Yet in her own she’s also a bit snarky and she bites back a bit at times. As she grows into being the ghost that she is, she finds a new courage along with new abilities and literally faces down death like a lion unhinged. She is a fighter and the turning point between sweet little Annie to big bad ghost is a pivotal moment where she realizes that she’s been a doormat all her life and now she’s one in the afterlife. And when she is realizing the things she can do, it’s exciting – like “Wow I did that? I did that!” with all the jumping up and down like a hyper little girl who just got her first strike in bowling.

Lenora Crichlow is pretty and sweet looking and plays to the character very well. Again, as the character grows from it’s origins you can see this actress’ range move slowly along the ups and downs with grace. When she’s playing excited, you’re excited for her, you’re happy for her. When she’s playing lonely and depressed, you want to give her that hug I was talking about. It’s about being what a girlfriend is kind of meant to be. Vulnerable but strong enough to go on and take revenge as in hell hath no fury like…

Meaghan-rath-as-sally-being-human-us-18440900-600-337

Sally on the other hand just looks completely depressed even when she’s somewhat happy. She looks as though she’s always on the verge of tears and is always so over dramatic. There’s almost no subtlety at all and again, very little range from the actress portraying the friendly ghost. She’s not as sweet as she should be, she’s got a hardness to her than doesn’t seem to be able to go away when it’s not supposed to be there. There’s no fear about her situation. There’s no need to reach out and comfort her or to be happy for her or anything.

Meaghan Rath, I have no idea who she is, but it looks like the producers of the show tried to find their own version of Annie instead of trying to find someone to play their version of this character. They failed. She lacks that look of “awwwww” and has more of a hardness to her. She doesn’t look like she could be cuddled but rather than she is just pissed off. Even on the site, the photo they use of her as Sally with no emotion looks more like she’s about to shoot you in cold blood.

I don’t think I need to go into the other characters. The basic differences are all the same. They all lack the panache that the U.K. Counterparts have. There’s not a lot of depth and they’ve been miscast for the most part (citing one more example: Tully vs. Ray) and the personalities that make them who they are and why they are important to the series is just lost. All the nuance is gone.

I absolutely love Herrick, and Nina, and I loved seeing Annie’s boyfriend’s story arch… Owen is so normal the whole time until the reveal of the nasty deeds he’d done and suddenly we’re faced with this evil human which is a completely other kind of monster. The way they dealt with him ultimately was so intense and hilarious and satisfying. The boyfriend on the SyFy version doesn’t even merrit a mention.

The U.S. Version is like someone came along and said “Oooh that’s a great idea! I can do that too!” and then put the show on the table and took a caveman’s club to it and said “Dair ya go…”.

It might not be an issue if I’d never seen the real thing, but as I did all I can do now is not watch or sit there and just be insulted at how horrible this show is and how so many people are flocking to it unknowing of the glory that is the original version of the show which is still running by the way! I have to urge each person out there to seek out the U.K. Version of Being Human and watch it from the beginning and you’ll truly fall in love with a great story, great characters, and you’ll see what it really means to try to be human amongst such evil.

I mean shit! Herrick is so much more of an “oh shit you’re gonna get eaten” character than Bishop; which I must say is a shame because Mark Pellegrino played a terrific Lucifer on Supernatural. But even the story between Herrick and Mitchell just comes out so much more deeper and when you see the details revealed so slowly over the series at the right moments, you really get why Herrick is so obscessed with Mitchell and how they used to be friends and you also realize why Mitchell is such a legend of a vampire. Bishop… not so much.

The characters in the U.K. Version of the show have heart. The ones in the U.S. Version were put there to make money and that’s pretty much it. The sad fact that people are eating it up here is depressing.

As always this is just my personal take on this show. I’ve been a fan of Being Human on BBC America since it first aired. When I found out they were making a U.S. Version I was almost excited but I already knew that the heart of the show would be ripped out in favor of more action, intensity, and other such American concepts which producers think sell shows here. The truth is though, they don’t really understand action and intensity and they don’t get one very powerful thing… showing isn’t always as powerful as doing things off screen with some very heavy suggestion. You can show stuff later when you go back to it, but the first time around, give people their imagination as it’s much more powerful than anything you could throw on screen.

One last thing.. The U.S. Version of the show will never have an ending that will leave you heart broken and happy and crushed and feeling the love between the characters and all the other levels of emotion that you could have the way the BBC show did at the end of the third season (series) of the show. I don’t know if I can watch the new season because of how the last one ended. It will be too real a feeling to deal with the loss of my favorite character.

On top of that, a few more changes coming to this new season of the BBC show is just pushing my limits as a fan. I will try to hang in there, but when you delete more than half your cast that is the driving force behind the show… I’m not so sure it can survive. The same thing happened with Primeval and I haven’t watched the show since it was canceled then renewed and came back with almost all new cast members. Great show to start, but died because of how they lost so much of the heart of the show because everyone you liked was gone.

I hope that all you Being Human fans will either agree with me, having seen the BBC show or seek out the BBC version to see what I’m talking about if you happen to only be familiar with the SyFy show.

 

Do you agree with me? Let me know! If you’ve got another insight or different opinion, share it!

 

– Mr. Frights

http://about.me/mrfrights

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: