'Being Human': How did it compare to the British version? Will you continue watching?

being-human-101Image Credit: Philipe Bosse/SyfyI have never wanted an answer to a question in a PopWatch headline more than I do now — the former inquiry being the most pressing. The reason for my eagerness is because I’m not one of those cool people who has seen the British version of Being Human and can offer you up this bit-by-nitpicky-bit comparison of the two — and I say that admirably of those who can. (People who have time for British TV and American TV are my heroes, in fact.) So, I’m sorry. All I have for you is a take on the boring ol’ American version. Except, the thing is, I didn’t think it was boring at all.

Sam Witwer, who you’ll recognize from stints on Smallville or Battlestar Galactica, plays Aidan, a vampire who is trying (but failing) to go on a human-free diet. Sam Huntington (whom Darren Franich and I got all giddy about after we read he was the kid from Jungle 2 Jungle all grown up) is an OCD werewolf named Josh who fled his former life and now finds himself the sexless roommate of his living-dead co-worker. As part of their new living arrangement, Josh and Aidan agree to help one another establish a sense of normal. Enter Canadian new-to-us actress Meaghan Rath, who steps into the role of the house’s resident ghostly inhabitant Sally, a clingy specter with a peeping Tammy streak. Doesn’t take a clairvoyant to predict “normal” ain’t in the cards for these Beings.

Keeping in mind that I’ve already fully disclosed my newbie status to the franchise, I can also tell you the show is not as sexified as True Blood, has well-placed, pop culture-based humor (“You’re trying to scare us with Bon Jovi?”), and thus far is not as mythology heavy as The Vampire Diaries. But what it does have that the other two don’t is Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural), who played Bishop, the vampire who turned Aidan. As with many of his other roles, Pellegrino was a bad guy. A we’ll-be-back-to-see-your-evilness sort of bad guy.

So that’s my verdict, PopWatchers; I’ll be back. But this brings me to my second most important question: Will you?

On Twitter: @EWSandraG

Read more:
Syfy’s ‘Being Human’ more ‘gritty’ than ‘Twilight’?


Comments (198 total) Add your comment
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  • Luke

    The british version is good, this version they looked like they were going to break into tears at any moment. It was just oozing angst. I’ll give it a few more episodes, but they need to step it up.

    • Strepsi

      The post-show live interview with the 3 leads on SPACE (Canada’s SyFy) made the repeated assertion that it gets a lot funnier after the opening episode.

      WHAT THIS VERSION HAS THAT THE UK VERSION DOESN’T: Sam Witwer’s lips.

      • Au

        I think I’d chalk it up to thinness of characterization. It’s painfully clear how weak this ‘version’ is compared to the original.

        I just see a lot of overacting here. Compare George’s almost unbearable-to-witness state of agony and grief with: “I have to PROTECT the world FROM MY-SELF.”
        I’m sorry, Jimmy Olsen, but you are no Russell Tovey.
        I don’t think an increase in levity will help this show and its problem(s).

      • Laurie

        What the UK version has that this version doesn’t: Aidan Turner. Much, much better.

  • Alaina

    Ugh. The British version is sooo much better. I wish the U.S. networks would stop remaking shows from the UK that are already amazing (i.e. Being Human, Skins, ect.)

    • neetsie

      @Alaina: What the US networks do such great UK series is a sin. You’d think they learned from their disastrous adaptions of Coupling and Cracker. What’s next? An American version of Doctor Who?

      • Brett

        Oh! Wouldn’t an American Doctor Who be cool? Oh, wait – they already did that in 1996.

      • Drew

        Top Gear is the biggest tragedy to come from this. I’m not a car person at all, but Jeremy, Hammond, and Capt. Slow kept me hooked with their wit and hilarity. All the American one does is leave me scrambling for the remote…

      • sucka

        i agree. too much angst. where’s the humor of day to day life? the two male characters also lack chemistry.

      • oakmonster

        Well, Torchwood is getting “Americanized”…

      • talli

        Aren’t they doing an American Torchwood? I might be wrong on that, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard.

      • megumi

        Very true, but “Coupling” was just a UK version of “Friends”. Then NBC turned around and basically tried to re-create “Friends” by doing an American version of “Coupling”. Dumb.

      • Tiff in the OK

        They aren’t really “Americanizing” Torchwood so much as adding America into it. By that I mean that they aren’t creating a new version of the show, just expanding it.

      • nk

        I think the problem with Coupling was that they copied the UK episode to the letter. It was nothing fresh or new for the people that have already seen the UK version. For Being Human, the story does follow the same track and seeing the preview, it doesn’t deviate much from the plot points in the UK version. I’m gonna stick with the American version for awhile and see where it goes.

      • Julia

        If they make an American adaptation of Doctor Who I might have to move. Torchwood isn’t so much an adaptation as a continuation. It’ll still have Gwen and Captain Jack, and honestly, as long as it has Captain Jack, I’ll watch.

    • plantkiller

      Case in point – Life on Mars

    • Scarlet

      @Alaina: I totally agree. I quit watching at about half way thru. The really funny thing is that it’s not exactly a US version, as it is filmed in Montreal. Why not just show the original on SyFy (ugh, I still hate that name change).

      • rose

        Per SyFy, it has to do with rights and licensing.

        I think Americans are rather ignorant as a whole with how that sort of thing works (I was until SyFy explained some of it via Twitter). Basically, folks who own concepts in one country will sell the rights to another country. We don’t see this too often, since America generates so much TV – but people in other countries are a lot more accustomed to it, because American TV concept/production-rights are sold and then retooled.

        In this case, the concept/production-rights to Being Human were sold to… I want to say Morse, who’s producing the show in conjunction with Space (Canadian) and SyFy (American).

        It’s clear that the NAmerican Being Human is going to deviate pretty quickly from the UK Being Human, so it’s going to basically be like what would happen if you gave two authors the same writing prompt and let them go off on their own from there.

    • Di

      plus the new season of Torchwood is going to have Mekhi Phifer and Lauren Ambrose. I’m really excited for it. I want Martha and Mickey to come guest star for an episode.

      Being Human I’ll continue watching for a few episodes to see where it’s going. I love Mark Pelligrino as well, but it’s certainly not as cool as The Vampire Diaries. Not yet, anyway… man I’m excited for that show to come back.

    • Teresa

      I love the British version also. The characters are so weak when compared to the originals. George’s personality sure didn’t carry over. I love Mitchell, Annie and George. I didn’t know how many people caught Being Human over here on BBC. Love it.

  • Lyn

    I will be back! Call me Team Aiden!

  • fastball

    I’ll give it a few more weeks, for sure. I am a huge fan of the original Brit series, so I’m interested in how it’ll go here. I’d like to see them stay true to the original, but would hate to see a word-for-word remake, with merely a less posh accent to differential the two.

  • S

    I hadn’t watched UK version, but I actually enjoyed the US version. I think I’m going to marathon the UK version later this week.

    • Linda W

      Come back and post your thoughts on the BBC version. I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.

  • Emily

    I will admit that I haven’t seen the British version so I can’t compare the two versions. But to me, this show felt like it had a strong root in American shows – almost as if Joss Whedon and Rob Thomas got together and said, “What if the world of Veronica Mars was actually set on the Hellmouth.” I really liked the noir feel to it. This show is definitely moving toward the top of my Tivo season pass list.

    • Rosey

      It’s alot darker in the British version, if you like the ‘noir’ feel to it

  • steph

    Does anyone know if Syfy is going to show it again? I managed to miss it!

    • Charles

      Steph, you can catch it probably On Demand. Comcast is my cable company and they show some Scfy programs On Demand.

    • Mal

      Steph, even if you don’t have on demand, it’s going to be repeated about a thousand times this week- just check SyFy’s schedule.

      • Shiny

        Hulu for sure, and the SyFy website as well. I didn’t realize that was the boy from Jungle 2 Jungle! Plus I just saw Sam Witwer in an episode of Angel; he was the poor dude who saw the Jasmine Goddess as a putrid decaying monster. I am looking forward to this show and I will confess it is mostly for Sam Witwer’s pouty lips!

    • kaydevo

      I think it’s on today at 6pm eastern.

    • Holly

      I missed it too. There is an encore showing on Wednesday at 10PM.

    • rose

      It’s up for free download on iTunes as well.

  • Cerce

    Huge fan of the Brit original series. There is a warmth between the characters in that version that appears to be missing in this version. But I’ll give it a few more episodes to find its feet before passing final judgment.

    • Kathy

      Agreed….

    • jane

      Cerce, you hit the nail on the head: There’s a warmth and comraderie in the British version that’s missing in the American series. I think it’s partly the writing, and partly poor acting.

    • Al

      I’m with you here. I guess Brits find the humor in awful better than Yanks…..

    • WhtSnw

      Spot on, Cerce. Could not have phrased it better myself.

    • Valley Girl

      ITA, Cerce. Like with the U.S. version of “Skins,” last night, I was disappointed in the American version of BH. George is my fave character on the UK show, and I couldn’t connect with Sam Huntington’s Josh nor Meaghan Rath’s Sally, for that matter. And, Sam Witwer’s Aidan kinda creeped me out – didn’t seem to have the sex appeal of Mitchell.

      Am deleting US series from my DVR and instead will wait patiently for George, Annie and Mitchell on season three of BH on BBC America. I hope it’s soon!

    • Edie

      The SyFy version is missing the Human. I wish they would stop trying to translate UK shows for US tv. The last really quality show created on SyFy was the Dresden Files and look what happened to that. I’ll give this version one more try but I don’t have much hope that it will improve.

  • Charles

    I’ve never seen the British version. Therefore I cannot campare the two programs. Being Human on televised on Scfy was enjoyable for me. I wished the premire eposide was 2 hours. The one hour episode left fans hanging.

  • jmcg

    I haven’t seen the UK version either, but I liked it even though it is a little heavy on the angst. So glad they got “Lucifer’s meatsuit” too. I will definitely watch the next episode.

    Anyone know when Haven will return?

    • rose

      No ETA yet. SyFy hasn’t announced any of their summer lineup dates yet. Eureka’s back-half is in the can, but Warehouse 13 and Haven haven’t started filming yet. (Eureka’s writers are back working on Season Five – nothing yet from the Warehouse 13 or Haven writers.)

      Practically speaking, they have to wait for the East Coast to thaw out before they can begin filming the next season of Haven, given the cliffhanger we were left with. :-) I wouldn’t expect anything before mid-June at the earliest.

  • Carrie

    I always like to give a show at least 3 episodes before making a decision. I was pretty underwhelmed with this version so far. I much prefer the original British actors to the new ones.

    • ash

      I agree. Russell Tovey made me cry s. o many times. And the US female character annoys me, don’t know why. Vampire dude’s cute but not a patch on Mitchell, who managed ro be smoulering and intense without going OTT.
      However Mark Pellegrino is ace. So much more menacing than his British counterpart who was campy and a weak link.

  • Amanda B.

    I don’t have BBC America, and I’m all about judging something for what it is, not in comparison. The show was dark, moody, and entertaining. I will watch again. I am worried this will turn a little too “CW” for my tastes though. I hope it stays dark.

  • Kate

    I am waiting to watch it on a replay, but I have watched every episode of the BBC version and I am more worried about knowing the kind of big secret about Ann…err..Sally. She is the character with the most reveals but the first one is the darkest.

    • liz

      I wondered about that too. Maybe they’ll change it up a little? I’m not sure that it makes me more or less sympathetic for Sally, though. This version didn’t seem like it was a remake, more like it was just different. I’m not sold on these actors yet. I just have too big of a crush on Russel Tovey.

      • Tina

        Sorry SyFy, this one doesn’t fly. BBC does this one SO much better. I’m a proud American and love most of our shows, but this isn’t one. Bring back BBC version of “Being Human”!

    • Charissa

      That’s one of the things I’m worried about as well. Judging from the preview of the season, they seem to be following the original series fairly closely, which means I already know everything that’s going to happen. It doesn’t really leave room for any shocking twists. I’m hoping they can branch off at some point and do their own thing.

  • Mike

    Actually, surprised – in a good way. Yes, I feel the BBC version is better (overall, like the BBC casting better) BUT I wasn’t offended by this and I didn’t feel as though it was an epic fail. It just felt a little flat but I see potential as the cast and writers (hopefully) gel. I’ll be back. Can’t say the same for Skins – which WAS an epic fail.

  • Jessica

    I loved the British version. This one is not bad, but I see the tween vampire crazy seeping in this one. I will tune back in since the story is obviously not the exact same as the BBC version.

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