Being Human Gone Dutch, and Renewed

We are almost at the end of the first season and the Syfy show has been granted a second chance. Being Human has managed to gather the numbers, and the feminine audience. I have spent some time reading the reactions to the announcement, and I have noticed a big schism between the Brits loyalist and the Yankees. Since I am neither British or American, I can draw my conclusions without being accused of patriotism.

As I said before, I like the two series for different reasons. British Being Human (BBH) is always funny, sometimes whimsical, rarely predictable. American Being Human (ABH) is always coherent, sometimes funny, rarely dull.

Obviously there are aspects I don’t like in both shows. I wasn’t fond of the characterization of the psycho fiancée in BBH, and I don’t like the Dutch vampires in ABH. Ironically I don’t like the fiancée because his character is too exaggerated, and I don’t like the Dutch because they come out flat.

Speaking of the Dutch, SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen the last three episodes. They represent another step into uncharted territory for the American show. The Dutch vampires, whose sudden appearance at the end of the show seems slightly deus ex machina , are ancient beings. They mostly sleep, hanging like giant bats, and once every fifty years are called to supervise and judge the health of the modern vampire’s society. Bishop is under scrutiny because his plan to create an army of vampires to go mainstream doesn’t conform to the rules. The Dutch, tipped by treacherous Marcus, have come to straight things up. The idea was good, the rendition is not. The Amish vampires are not cool. On the other hand, Bishop does everything right. He uses the ancients’ way of life against them. His character shines where the Dutch’s shrivel.

One final note, actually three. First, Rebecca dies, as in BBH, which somehow I didn’t expect. ABH  has gone so far and beyond its homonym that Rebecca could have easily lived and found a place in the new season. Second, Nora is pregnant. And again, I didn’t see that coming either. While I am mildly disappointed by Rebecca’s sudden departure, I am pleased by Nora’s furry bundle of joy. Third, Aidan’s long lost flame, Celine, comes back from the past, as in BBH, although so much more is added to the story.

Looking forward to ABH season finale, and then I will catch up with BBH, which meanwhile has been renewed as well.

Being Human Gone Dutch, and Renewed

Being Human or Being Human? That Is the Question

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.

Being Human or Being Human? That Is the Question