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Posted on Monday, January 17th, 2011

Dave!I started today the same way I start every Martin Luther King Jr. Day... by listening to his brilliant and beautiful "I have a Dream" speech in its entirety. It never fails to inspire. I actually had the day off from work on this holiday, but chose to get some things done at the office anyway. Somehow, no-pressure work days are always more productive than they have a right to be.

After work I needed bread and milk, so I was off to the grocery store. As I was walking down the aisles, a box of crackers started screaming at me. After investigating, I found out it wasn't actually crackers, it was something stupider than a box of crackers. It was a motion-sensor voice-recording of this asshole...

More annoying than a box of crackers.

I always wondered if there could possibly be anything more annoying than Fran Drescher. It turns out there is, and it's "Chef" Guy Fieri. I have no clue what the appeal is here, but he's showing up everywhere. Just look for the ridiculous "I CRAVE ATTENTION" bleached hair and listen for the manic "YOU CAN'T IGNORE ME" screaming.

Tonight was the premiere of SyFy Channel's rip-off remake of one of my favorite shows... the UK's awesome Being Human from the BBC...

Being Human BBC Version Cast

The original is a funny, yet sublimely dark, drama/comedy about a Vampire, a Werewolf, and a Ghost trying to live a normal life under anything but ordinary circumstances. It is surprisingly entertaining despite the schlocky premise. But, for reasons that continue to escape me, SyFy (in collaboration with Canada's Muse Entertainment) feels that they need to cash in on the vampire craze and remake the show for North American audiences instead of just airing the Real Thing or trying to come up with something original.

The resulting Being Human do-over is... interesting...

Being Human SyFy Version Cast

It is in no way a "bad" show. I think the actors do a pretty good job with the material considering they're basically re-treading territory that has already been deftly explored on another continent. And there's the problem. If you've seen the original, this is going to feel like an inferior copy by comparison. Because it is. It's less subtle, less charming, and (surprisingly) less... human(?)... at least from what I've seen so far.

And yet I will be watching next week.

Something tells me that the show holds promise of becoming something more than a copy. If the people involved want it badly enough! Just like The Walking Dead is making some interesting diversions from the comic book source material, Being Human has a chance to grow into a show of its own. And I want to see that show. There's definitely room for me to enjoy both of them if our revision should prove worthy.

Which is exactly opposite of the reason I will not be watching MTV's remake of the shocking BBC program Skins which takes a scary look at what teenagers are doing with their lives. In that case, one show is more than enough.

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Categories: Television 2011Click To It: Permalink


  1. Invader_Stu says:

    I saw the ads for Being Human yesterday but I did not realize it was originally a BBC thing. I might check out the BBC version first. No offence. I still just have bad memories of the American versions of Coupling, Life on Mars and and the Red Dwarf USA pilot :p

    • Dave2 says:

      The Americanized version of Life on Mars at least attempted to diverge in an interesting way. But Coupling was just dreadful. As it’s one of my favorite series of all time, to see the soulless remake was quite hard to take. I hear that they’ve been working on remakes of other favorites as well (like Ned and Stacey?!?) so I’m preparing myself for the horror. So senseless. The originals are in ENGLISH for heaven’s sake… just release them as they are! But everybody keeps hoping for another remake hit like The Office, so I guess it’s not ending anytime soon.

  2. Neil T. says:

    Just to clarify – Skins isn’t produced by the BBC. It’s produced by Channel 4, which is the other main public service broadcaster here.

    • Dave2 says:

      Ah, I’m aware of Channel 4 in the UK… but here Skins airs on BBC America, so I thought it must be a BBC show. I guess they set competition aside when it comes to marketing their shows for the Americans!

  3. Nenette says:

    For me, the thought of watching this show made me feel slimy and unclean. Oh, I was still going to watch it though but didn’t because I forgot. 🙂
    I don’t understand this western idea of remaking still-in-production, very-well-made shows from the UK. They tried to do it with Red Dwarf, which had me livid. Luckily, that fell through.

    • Dave2 says:

      The remakes never seem to go well. The exception being The Office, but given the number of failed attempts, that appears to be the exception, not the rule. But any time there’s a chance for money to be made…

  4. A. Lewis says:

    You know, I’ve never actually listened to/watched the Dream speech. Not once. It’s never even crossed my mind that I should. Until just this second with your suggestion.

  5. We watched it last night. Not having seen the UK version I have nothing to compare it to, but on it’s own it seems to have a promising start. As long as it doesn’t get too schlocky (the previews for next week’s episode don’t look promising) we’ll stick with it and see where it goes.

  6. martymankins says:

    I really liked The Walking Dead, so I may actually give Being Human a chance.

    • Dave2 says:

      They don’t really compare directly… but I think they’re both pretty good shows. Alas, I prefer the original versions of both. Maybe I’m closed-minded that way? 🙂

  7. Sybil Law says:

    Where do you even find these shows? Sometimes I am completely out of the loop with tv and movies. Actually, I always am.

  8. Badger says:

    Thank you for watching the US version of Being Human so I don’t have to. I just … I can’t. I love the original too much. And I still feel dirty for watching ONE episode of the US version of Life On Mars, the original of which I loved even more than I love Being Human.

    • Dave2 says:

      I felt that Life on Mars at least tried to diverge a bit from the original… the ending of the US version was quite a surprise! So far, Being Human is almost a shot-for-shot remake with very few changes to the story… just mild changes of the character’s personalities. I am hoping this changes.

  9. Avitable says:

    I’m watching Being Human on Syfy On Demand right now. Never saw the original, but I’ll probably watch the US show first, then watch the superior UK version later.

    I wish I had done that with that time travel cop show (blanking on the title), because the US version was so flat compared to the original.

    • Dave2 says:

      You probably mean Life on Mars? I am relieved I saw the original first, because I worry that I would have grown too attached to the US characters and had a hard time adjusting to the UK versions. I’m perfectly fine with the reverse, however.

      • Avitable says:

        Yeah, Life on Mars. I loved the ending to the US one – very original compared with the UK version, but the UK Gene was so amazing I couldn’t help but be disappointed with Harvey Keitel, which is usually hard to do!

  10. See, and there I was thinking I was the only one who thought Fieri was a total douche.

    • Dave2 says:

      Well, he must be doing something right, because he’s being tapped for all kinds of shows on Food Network and is the host for “Minute to Win It.” Unfortunately, I remain unimpressed. Every time I see him on a show, he eclipses the subject matter… but definitely NOT in a good way! SO ANNOYING! Bleh.

  11. whall says:

    I don’t know if I’ll support or watch SyFy after they cancelled Caprica and Stargate Universe and decided to invest so much in wrestling. Cap and SGU are by far some of the best shows on TV and they dropped them. I just don’t understand.

    • Dave2 says:

      I hear that. I felt the same way when SciFi cancelled Farscape. I wasn’t able to get into Stargate Universe that much, but thought Caprica was amazing. A little slow at the start… but got really very good once the writers and actors found their footing. Now I guess both the Battlestar Galactica and Stargate franchises are dead? There will probably be occasional specials, but I’m not seeing ANY new SciFi on SyFy. How can I “imagine greater” now?

  12. claire says:

    When Annie started singing, “Rhythm is a dancer…” it made me laugh so hard. I enjoyed the BBC version but sometimes I felt meh about it, so I’m skipping SyFy’s take.

    (UK) Skins is really something else. Emily in series 3 got me hooked though. Disappointed that BBCA hasn’t shown series 4 (least not that I could find).

    • Dave2 says:

      I’ve only seen part of Series 1, All of Series 2, and a few episodes of Series 3. The show is just all kinds of wrong but, like a train wreck, I just can’t help myself!

  13. Sarah says:

    I have Being Human in my hulu queue. I can’t watch The Walking Dead until it comes to Netflix. You should tell Vahid to get me cable. He’ll listen to you.

    • Dave2 says:

      Vahid will only listen to me when I say there’s free beer. Any other occasion, I dare say you have the inside track in getting his attention!

  14. Jodi says:

    I recorded it. I got about halfway thru before I turned it off. Oh, I’ll finish it, but I don’t think I’ll be watching any more episodes. It’s ok, but I’ve seen it all before and I liked the original. Why add more mediocre tv to my repertoire. ?

    • Dave2 says:

      I feel the exact same way… but am really hoping that they diverge a bit like The Office and go for something new. It’s almost like they’re going to HAVE to, and that’s a show I want to see.

      Will never take the place of the original, of course, but I needs me some new television this winter! 🙂

  15. Kim says:

    Guy Fieri is from my hometown where he owns/owned (not sure if he still does) some restaurants. He also dated my cousin and is a supreme asshole. And he’s had the same hairstyle for the last I don’t know, 10 years.

    I have yet to see the motion sensor voice recorder thing here in Chicago, but I will be sure to smack it down if it ever shows up here.

    (as a side note, long time reader, first time commenter. I’d ask for a cracker, but just doesn’t seem right)

    • Dave2 says:

      I don’t get his appeal at all. Yes, Billy Mays was annoying… but annoying-entertaining. Guy is annoying-annoying.

      I really should come up with some kind of 1st Time Commenter Cracker badge or something!

  16. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out the appeal of that bleach blond chef dude. I change the channel every single time. Is he the new Billy Mays, or what?

    • Dave2 says:

      I’m sure he’d like to THINK he’s the new Billy Mays, but he has zero entertainment factor for me. Billy may have annoyed me, but at least he was entertaining to watch!

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