I have just finished watching the British Being Human, and I can now compare it with the American version. I have to start saying that, for different reasons, I like both of them, which is by itself a first. Lately I have found remakes rather disappointing, especially if they come right after the original. At the moment I have in mind the American Skins, which it falls short of being as funny as the British Skins. I blame it on the simple fact that the Brit slang makes everything, and I really mean everything, sound almost whimsical. I watched the first episode of the American Being Human (ABH), and then, overtaken by curiosity, I went to netflix the British Being Human’s (BBH) first season. I was more than pleasantly surprised to notice that, although the basic storyline is the same, three unlikely roommates striving to fit in the human world, there are several differences. Due to the fact that British television series are shorter than the American equivalents, it stands to reason when adapting a script to explore subplots and additional characters. Since I haven’t seen BBH’s second season, I don’t know if the secondary characters showing in ABH’s first three episodes are a brand new invention, or if they are just being introduced earlier on in the American series.
Reasons why I like BBH (pretty obvious, although mild, SPOILER ALERT):
- British Humor. Enough said already on the topic. Nonetheless I would like to spend a moment to remember when George complains that the word “peedo” (as in pedophiles) written on the door of their townhome is misspelled. Tragically hilarious.
- British Accent. And here there is nothing to add, since it is simply awesome.
- George, Mitchell, Annie. The three actors have such distinctive traits that make the characters believable in their struggle.
Reasons why I like ABH (and again, mild SPOILER ALERT):
- To accommodate longer airing season and cultural preferences ABH has taken a different route in the story telling. Secondary characters like Josh’s sister, and the son of one of Aidan’s victims, appears early on to explain where the protagonists come from.
- Like any respectable urban fantasy world, ABH has its canonized rules. When Sally asks Aidan how can he walk in plain daylight, he answers that like any other species , vampires have evolved too. Although it is shown later on that they still have to ask for permission to enter in someone else’s home. Josh’ s olfactory sense is always working. Sally needs a ghost guide to learn how to transport herself in and out of rooms, and outside. Every character has specific abilities, and disabilities.
- Josh, Aidan, and Sally are equally great.
In conclusion, I am looking forward to see how an American series aired on public television is going to tackle several topics that are considered not suitable for a mainstream audience. One of them, just to make an example, is the pedophile accusations’ plot, which is an important part of BBH. Mitchell accidentally lends a kid a vampire porno dvd. As a result the outraged mother makes a public scene accusing Mitchell to prey on her son, and the neighbors react strongly to the accusations. While the controversial theme was well played in BBH, I am not sure that ABH will be able to use it as it is. Looking forward to the next ABH’s episode to see what the writers have wisely concocted for us. I have plenty of faith in them.