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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Being Human (UK)

   
Author Topic: Being Human (UK)
Shanna
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Does anyone watch this show? I'm very much in love with it. It works well both as a twenty-something coming-of-age comedy and a supernatural drama. You've got these three characters dealing with flatmates and work and romance, but everything is intensified because they're monsters (a werewolf, vampire, and ghost.)

I actually saw the American remake first and thought it was interesting enough to check out the original BBC version. Of course, after that, there was no going back to the remake. I've caught a couple of the episodes but didn't like some of the changes to the storyline, particularly where the vampire is concerned.

The BBC cast is also more interesting to watch. Their ghost is the group's overeager optimist and she's a nice balance for the neurotic werewolf and the tortured vampire. The British werewolf is also a stronger comedian who can scream like a girl better than I can. And as for the vampire, the US version plays him as way too broody. He's too much like Twilight's Edward. In the BBC version, we get to see him being playful and heartfelt and awkward so that when he does have these moments of humanity, we believe them!

I just watched the season three finale and cried through most of the ending despite it being my least favorite season, largely because it abandoned the lightness of a bunch of monsters trying to fit into society and instead went with a very dark, supernatural drama. But I love these characters so I was still very moved by the ending.

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Aros
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Series, not season.
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Shanna
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I know the British call them "series" but being American myself, "seasons" is the equivalent.
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rollainm
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I watch the American version. I like it a lot. I did see the first episode of the British and just couldn't get into it - perhaps just because I really didn't want to invest in yet another show. I may give it another chance later.

What I did find interesting is that the first/current season of the American version seems to be the first episode of the British stretched into an entire season. Last week's episode, for instance, had a scene that was practically entirely lifted from that first British episode.

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AvidReader
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I much prefer the tone of the British version. I felt a lot of the commentary was on how society treats anyone slightly different as monsters while being monsters themselves. The American version is more an "Oh noes! Monsters!" sort of vibe. Plus the American cast just came off like losers to me. I didn't care for the changes to the characters in the least.

Ok, and the guy supposedly born in the 1700s named Aidan when the name fell out of use in the 10th century and wasn't revived until the late 20th century irked me considerably. Especially since he's not nearly as charismatic as Aidan Turner.

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Valentine014
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I am in love with the UK version of Being Human. I watched about 30 minutes of the US version and turned it off in disgust. US television just loves to ruin a good thing. They did the exact same thing with the show, Skins.
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LargeTuna
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I've seen the first two Series of this show and love it!

I couldn't even watch more than 10 minutes of the American version. The characters/acting is just vastly different, and I didn't enjoy the personalities in the re-make.

On a random note, most of my favorite shows are british. Misfits, Hustle, Doctor Who, Being Human, etc.

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Amilia
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Got up early this morning to watch the final episode of series 3. Have been wanting to talk it out with someone all day, but no one at work watches. So, warning, this post is going to be very spoilerific for all three seasons. Trouble is, I don't know where to start. So, warning, this post is also going to be very rambly.

I love that George's last name is Sand.
I love that they had a Daylight Savings is Evil episode.
I love that George's star of David wards off vampires just like a cross would.
I love that it doesn't affect Mitchell, because they are friends.
Or amnesiac Herrick, who has forgotten that he is a monster.
I love Annie's determined efforts to put on a happy face.
Her enthusiasm. Her zest for life.
Her kindness. Her empathy.
And I love that her sense of justice and fairness is not overwhelmed by her kindness.
I love that the vampires are dusted when they are staked. (Is this part of vampire lore? I've been assuming it is just a nod to Buffy, but what do I know?)
I love that they don't shy away from just how horrific vampirism really would be.
Or how painful a werewolf transformation would be.
Or how lonely it is if no one can see or hear you.

Most of all, I love Mitchell.
I love how together he seems to be about most things. I could actually believe he might be 117 years old.
I love how they were able to show how constant his struggle with his inner monster is.
I love how every time he fell off the wagon, instead of wallowing, he would just pick himself up and get back on the wagon.
I loved his little speech to the teen vampire: "You surround yourself with good people, so you know if you slip up, you will be disappointing them."

And I love love love how in the end, he owns his mistakes. I love his final realization that he is never actually going to stop falling off the wagon, and that every time he slips up, someone will die. That sometimes love isn't enough, that sometimes "Sorry I'll do better next time" isn't good enough.

It was the absolutely perfect, absolutely right ending, and I loved it. And now I am in mourning.

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Valentine014
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Did anyone notice that Aiden's hair was cut in the preview for the next episode? The fangirl in me screams "Noooooooo!"
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Dobbie
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You're a fangboy fangirl, huh?
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Valentine014
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[Blushing]
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Olivet
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They made an American version of Being Human?

I didn't know, and I feel a tad ill. Occasionally American versions of British shows work out well. (The Office, Friends, etc.) Usually they suck.

I wanted to grab the lead of the American Life on Mars by the back of the head and bash his face into a brick wall five minutes into the first episode. Which I never wanted to do to John Simm. (John Simm I wanted to tie to a chair. But in a nice way. )

I'm completely addicted to British TV. It's kind of sad, how much I'm looking forward to the next Sherlock series. And Doctor Who next month!

Speaking of shows written by Steven Moffat, did anybody catch Jekyll? I just saw it (several years late). The American accents were so bad, I think they gave me cancer. Other than that (and the hokey coda) it was pretty awesome. Plus, it had Gina Bellman and James Nesbitt. I love them.

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Amilia
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What was the British counterpart for Friends? I'm not coming up with anything, and imdb is not helping me.
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Shanna
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Curious here as well. I know a few British shows were inspired by Friends, but I hadn't heard that that a UK version came first.
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Olivet
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You know, I'm not at all sure that Friends was inspired by a British show. It was just something someone had told me. I bet Friends actually came first.

So I guess nobody has seen Jekyll?

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Amilia
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Oh! Sorry, I got distracted.

Yes, I love Jekyll. I had already seen it, so my brother decided to watch it one night when it was late enough that I was about to head to bed. I ended up getting sucked in again anyway and making a late night of it. :-) You know, I haven't seen anything of Moffat's that I haven't loved. Looking at imdb, it seems that I still have more goodness in store for me as I haven't seen any of his works pre-Coupling.

As for the American version of Being Human--it's not half bad. And the soundtrack is amazing.

That said, the British version beats it five ways to Sunday. Just about any scene that is in both versions is better done and more powerful in the original. Take the scene where George/Josh can't get to the woods in time and has to change in the house. The UK version focuses on Annie's reactions and gives us glimpses of monster make-up. And is gut wrenching. The US version focuses on a very fake CGI wolf.

The American version whitewashes a lot of things too. Sally's fiancée was manipulative and violent and pushed her down the stairs, but didn't cheat on her. Aiden let things go too far and killed Rebecca, but didn't turn her--the vampire clean-up crew did that. He didn't turn the little boy either. Although they actually did explore how horrifying a child vampire would be. Speaking of the kid, they also toned down the pedophile plot line.

American vampires apparently have super speed. And can be caught on camera and in mirrors. I'm not sure how that is going to play out as it takes away a good portion of Mitchell/Aiden's rationalizations should things continue on as they did in the original. This also means that the porno Rebecca sent Aiden was considerably different than the creepy grainy snuff film Lauren sent Mitchell.

After catching up with the American version this weekend, I rewatched the first episode of the British version. There is this beautiful little moment at the end where Annie asks George if he thinks Mitchell should have saved the girl they had just watched bleed out in an alley. And George says, "I think he did." Which was absolutely perfect, especially in reference to the final scene of series 3. "I'm doing this because I love you." "I know."

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Olivet
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Oh, that's a shame. American TV, on balance, doesn't do moral complexity well. I think this is because most television shows are written by people who are a) very young and b) brought up on a steady diet of watered-down Disney-esque "drama" in which the good guys never behave questionably and the bad guys conveniently fall on pointy things so the good guys don't sully their moral superiority.

I'll watch it, because I'm a sucker, but I suspect it will feel like bad FAN fiction. [Razz] (Important word missing, there. Had to edit. [Big Grin] )

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