Nothing Against You, Being Human US, But Go Away.



By | Posted on 09 January 2013

I love the UK version of Being Human. It’s smart, funny and daring. It’s everything I want from the type of show that it is, and frankly I thought it would be horrible when I first gave it a try. The premise sounded too silly: A vampire a werewolf and a ghost share a flat. I mean that’s the set-up for a joke, right?

And, of course, there is a US version.

That’s my problem. That “of course.” I have nothing against Being Human US personally. I am not a fan of it, really, at all, but my issue with it is simply that it exists.

BHUK

Why can we not make our own new shows instead of doing weaker remakes? Yeah, given the difference between US/UK TV seasons, the US versions branch out and become their own thing eventually and all – but wouldn’t we, as an audience, be better served by creators just doing new shows?

Hey, the Office is fine and all but it is trumped by Parks and Rec, guess which started off as an original idea and not a UK Remake. Yeah. And, uhm, forgive the non-SF moment there.

I am just deeply sick of this feeling that US show runners have to remake shows instead of finding brand new visions. How often does the role get reversed? How many UK remakes of great US shows are there? I’ll wait here while you check, because the number is so low you won’t have trouble getting it in the car to drag back here.

Seriously though, if SyFy needed a new vampire show, wouldn’t it have been better served making one rather than hindering itself by importing Being Human and then having to launch from where it was, hoping to grow into its own thing? Wouldn’t the show, the actors, the audience all be better served by something wholly original from the jump?

Was anyone served by Life on Mars being remade? Max Headroom was at least just based off a small British skit, so it isn’t a remake so much as an outgrowth – a fine line but one I’ll walk.

LoM

I want to call a moratorium on remakes. Let’s create the new and really reach out and make the best TV we can. We need to demand that no one take the easy way and just water down an existing show for consumption.

They treat us like we aren’t in a global market, as if we’re somehow not going to notice a remake or be able to compare them. As if the remake doesn’t always suffer when compared.

They treat us like we aren’t worth the work.

But we are. And we need to make that clear.


Eisner & Harvey award winning editor, writer & tired person. Co-Writer of AMELIA COLE, ARTFUL DAGGERS and ACTION CATS. Editor of Jamal Igle's MOLLY DANGER. Writer of lots of other comics, novels & essays.

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  • http://twitter.com/Thogar Tom Gardiner

    While I love both versions, I still think the U.K. original is far better than the Syfy copy. American TV doesn’t seem to be nearly as willing to take chances with original concepts as their British counterparts, which is probably one reason I like so much UKTV. Unfortunately, the unwashed masses filling American living rooms are all too happy to live off a steady diet of lowest-common-denominator reality dreck and the most derivative sitcoms.

    I remember when “Police Squad,” the progenitor of “The Naked Gun” movies came on and promptly failed. I read that a common complaint was you had to “pay too much attention” to the show! Heaven help us we should be pummeled with shows that engage us, perish the thought.

    So we get bean counters remaking everything from overseas shows to past U.S. successes because they’d rather make a mediocre product that’s a mediocre success than take the chance on something original and creative. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cattle grazing with their remotes happily re-ingesting the cud regurgitated from these underachieving money grubbers.

    Le sigh…

  • http://twitter.com/ThreeIfBySpace Scifi News Site

    I have to disagree about the US version of Being Human. I actually like it a lot more than the UK verison. But at the same time, I normally like Canada or UK shows better than US shows. There does seem to be a lack of good, creative ideas for US shows these days. Look at Syfys powerful mondays: Being Human, Lost Girl and Continuum, basically all ideas from some place other than the US. The last SciFi show made here in the US that was original and unique is Falling Skies on TNT. The key there is that its on TNT and not Syfy. Syfy has been lacking in any really creative ideas, just importing overseas shows.

    Now thats not all bad. Continuum is a really really good show and I think everyone will like it. Defiance is going to be a real make or break for Syfy in April. That show will either go huge or bust them big time. Its a wait and see.

    • http://twitter.com/adampknave Adam P. Knave

      I also admit that Warehouse 13 utterly charms me.

      • http://twitter.com/Thogar Tom Gardiner

        Warehouse 13 is one of my favorite shows. The characters, or perhaps the people behind the characters, are what sells it for me.

    • http://twitter.com/adampknave Adam P. Knave

      Also Defiance being an O’Bannon show gets my early vote for greatness.

  • Darrell

    I think the UK version took some wrong turns in the latter seasons–mistakes that are being corrected in the US version. They got too caught in in making a parallel being being a vampire and a hard-core drug addict. And their “werewolves” were all one-trick ponies that only excelled at feeling sorry for themselves and expressing that.. Their reboot with new characters was charming, though, and I hope that can continue for a second helping–if they get another “series.”

    The US version gets to use what worked and try some other things–like they are doing this year. Great start with Episode 1! And I prefer the US cast as well. Well, I could go for the UK Sally joining the cast here–perhaps as a sister or cousin to ours.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShMikeX Mike Robbins

    I’m conflicted. See you can have a series which is almost a copy and paste with the same characters (Life on Mars) but then you could have a series which is a true adaptation. I wouldn’t call Being Human or the Office a remake, but an adaptation based on a different culture.

    The fact that we are seeing more remakes of TV shows is not because its a new thing. It’s because we do live in a global environment where we could spot ripoffs. So instead of changing the name and hiding that it is a remake, we just pay tribute to the original. In fact, I kind of like that because in some sense we are expanding this established universe.

    I still hope for the day a BH crossover between the US cast and the UK cast. We have already had Ricky Gervais revive his UK Office character in the US version in two cameos.

    As long as the US version doesn’t wear out is welcome, unlike other adaptations like the US Office, I welcome this expansion of what happens in a world where vamps, werewolves, and ghosts exist outside of the UK. I almost wish other series would do the same. I could totally see a version of The Walking Dead which focuses on survivors in Europe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daisysilv Daisy Silverio

    Love being human us and clik like to the page bot I don’t no why this being human uk keep postin in my facebook page nothing personal bot only like being human us so stop post in my page don’t like that.

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