Being American

It’s one thing to be a vampire, werewolf or ghost living in the UK. They’re used to that kind of thing. It’s an entirely different story to be one of those entities here in the ol’ U.S. of A. Or at least that’s what Syfy would have you believe. They’ve ordered 13 episodes of the BBC smash-hit Being Human, American style.

Being Human is a drama (mostly) that centers around three individuals who just happen to be a vampire, werewolf and a ghost. They are trying to live as close to normal lives as they can in the town of Bristol. The show aired it’s first season of six episodes on BBC Three (and since aired here in the U.S. on BBC America) and was so successful it’s making the jump to the mighty BBC One for it’s second season in 2010.

“The deal for a U.S. take on the show at Syfy marks the first scripted series order for the cable network following its rebranding this summer designed to attract broader audience. It also marks the first scripted series order for RDF Media USA,” says The Hollywood Reporter. The BBC originally tried to bring in Syfy as a co-creator for the series while it was still in the scripting stage but the timing just wasn’t right.

“It turned out great as we can now do an American version,” Syfy president Dave Howe told THR. “We’ve always been keen on vampires and werewolves, and we loved the originality of ‘Being Human,’ the fact that the fantastical creatures in it are very young, accessible and charming.” Yes, yes, yes. Vampires and werewolves, young and charming. I love vampires but I for one won’t shed any tears when this bubble bursts.

I adore the original Being Human so I’m concerned for this redo. Actually, I’m getting horrible flashbacks of the American Life on Mars. Didn’t we learn our lesson? Nine times out of ten if you try to improve upon an awesome British show, you will crash and burn. The show is already on BBC America, why shouldn’t viewers just watch it there? There’s no writer or producer attached to this new series yet but, “Howe stressed that Syfy is not going to ‘slavishly replicate the British version.’ ” Maybe it would be better if they did.

8 Responses to “Being American”

  1. Bill D. says:

    You'd think they would've learned from the attempts at making an American Red Dwarf.

  2. Eighth Doctor Movie *facepalm*

    Because of failures of American adaptations of Life on Mars and Coupling, I'm cautious about Being Human, especially since I'm a fan.

    But, let's not forget Ground Force America and episodes of Top Gear that jumped the pond.

  3. Amber says:

    At comic-con the cast said that they were working on a second series. I think it would be sort of interesting if both the American and UK versions were airing simultaneously. Would the American version still borrow from UK scripts? Or would we have these two Being Human alternate realities?

  4. Dodger says:

    I'm definitely not thinking it'll be anything good, as I love the original series, largely because I don't think American actors can pull off any of the things that make the show good. They'll do it though, and it'll probably suck and get cancelled, and we can look forward to the original stuff again and pretend the Americanized version never happened.

  5. Rich says:

    Actually thinking about it, I guess that the Eigth Doctor is what you get when the US gets involved in remakes.

    Next thing you know, you'll have handsome young men playing Doctor Who who fall in love with their assistants and that would just be stupid.


  6. geeksville says:

    I understand why we remake these shows, the UK model of production often doesn't produce the number of episodes of a show that American broadcasters deem necessary to be profitable (damn profits), my only question – why not just assume the existing production, and add episodes?

    The overhead (production offices, staff, sets, etc) are already paid for!

    No! US networks fear the British sensibilities will scare off the NASCAR watchin' Corndog eatin' (I love corndogs btw) red, white, and blue American core audience.

  7. Before I can comment on the post, I have to say I HOPE TO GOD that the comment above me never happens. I'd seriously have to consider becoming an ex-pat if that happened. ;)

    I really enjoy Being Human—I watched it on BBC America. I also really enjoyed the Beeb versions of Life on Mars and Eleventh Hour—much more so than their Americanized counterparts. And I love me some SciFi, but since they've turned to SyFy, I'm gradually losing my faith in them.

  8. Rich says:

    I'm actually waiting for the American remakes of Doctor Who and Torchwood.