“Being Human” (US) Season 1
“Being Human” (SyFy)
Created by Jeremy Carver, Anna Fricke
Starring Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Mark Pellegrino, Kristen Hager
A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost rent a house together…
No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu. If you regularly read The Writer’s Journey, you know that just two weeks ago I wrote a review of the BBC series “Being Human.” As soon as I was finished watching the first three seasons, I turned my attention to the American adaptation of the program, airing on the SyFy Channel. Last night, I watched the final episode of the first season.
There are several parallels between the two versions, but there are also a number of differences. The first difference is the character names. Instead of Mitchell (the vampire), George (the werewolf), and Annie (the ghost), there is Aidan (played by Sam Witwer), Josh (Sam Huntington), and Sally (Meaghan Rath). There are also some personality differences, as each actor brings a different perspective to the character. However, the underlying basis for the program is the same, and the American version is quite good (despite my low expectations).
You may recognize at least two of the actors due to a Superman connection: Sam Witwer protrayed Davis Bloome (the human alterego of Doomsday) during the eighth season of the CW series “Smallville,” while Sam Huntington played Jimmy Olsen in 2006’s Superman Returns. I was not a fan of the Bloome character on “Smallville,” and I personally prefer the Mitchell character from the British version of “Being Human” over Aidan, but Witwer does a very good job in the role. He is, for the most part, quite a different character than his British counterpart. As for Huntington, I can relate more to the Josh character than I can Russell Tovey’s George in the BBC series (not to mention that Tovey’s screams during his transformation are like fingernails on a chalkboard, even if the BBC’s special effects are better).
Many of the storylines for the SyFy series were lifted from the BBC program. There is an episode in which Aidan befriends a neighbor boy, and the boy goes home with a DVD of a vampire killing a man instead of the intended Three Stooges disc. Josh befriends another werewolf, only to find out that the werewolf was his maker. Sally is killed by her fiancé, though the circumstances leading up to that event are changed for US audiences.
I must admit that I was quite disappointed with the werewolf transformation on SyFy; the CGI simply looks fake. Other than that, I enjoyed “Being Human” very much. American television is different from British television. The way stories are told is different. I’m used to American TV, and that may be why I generally like SyFy’s “Being Human” better than BBC’s, even if only by a little. Some aspects of the British program are better (most notably the werewolf special effects), but overall I prefer the American version.
(Note: I just found out that season 2 full episodes are being broadcast on Hulu…so I guess I can continue watching it! Yay!)