‘Being Human’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by

being human sally aidan josh Being Human Series Premiere Review & Discussion

With much care and great consideration for the source material, Syfy has successfully re-imagined Toby Whithouse’s hit BBC series Being Human for the American television viewing audiences.

Set in the heart of Boston, Being Human follows three supernaturally disposed outcasts who, after failing to obtain any sense of normalcy on their own, come together in an attempt to support each other throughout their superordinary tribulations that result from attempting to survive daily life.

Aidan (Sam Witwer), the vampire; Josh (Sam Huntington), the werewolf and Sally (Meaghan Rath), the ghost all serve as the reluctant protagonists for this series. In addition, providing wonderful depth to not only the multiple preternatural worlds that this series attempts to realize, but also the main characters are Bishop (Mark Pellegrino), Aidan’s one-time master; Emily (Alison Louder), Josh’s sister – whom he ran away from – and Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta), Sally’s now ex-fiancé.

being human series premiere josh Being Human Series Premiere Review & Discussion

With a series of beautiful introductory tracking shots, the initial tone of the premiere is perfectly set by the accompanied voice-over and supplemental visuals of Aidan and Josh attempting to survive the hardest moments of their paranormally inflicted lives. In this case, turning into a werewolf (Josh) and drinking an unsuspecting victim’s blood (Aidan).

Unfortunately, as the series jarringly transitions past its wonderfully elegant opening, viewers may find themselves initially put off with the intentional direction with the core series. Instead of the familiar single-camera look that many television series have, SyFy’s Being Human consciously decided to set itself apart by using handheld cameras for its visual stylings.

To its credit, the handheld camerawork does succeed in providing a richer, more intimate depiction of Being Human’s colorful characters. Although, considering the original British series also makes use of handheld cameras, this could become a point of contention for those already weary of this American re-imagining simply replicating the source material.

being human series premiere aidan Being Human Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Fortunately, this perfectly cast series instantly proves to supersede any inclinations that Syfy’s re-imagining may simply be another poor British adaptation. The combination of Witwer, Huntington and Louder – who in their own right, are all able to portray exceptionally personable depictions of ambit characters – allows Being Human to consistently deliver deep emotional storylines, no matter how fantastical the subject matter.

Aside from Being Human’s pilot serving as an introduction to the series main and recurring characters, much of the episode is centered around Aidan and the repercussions that result from unintentionally murdering his fellow co-worker. With film and television already filled with numerous depictions of vampires and like-kind, it’s refreshing to see that Being Human is attempting to distant itself from Hollywood’s typical sensationalistic portrayals of these other-worldly creatures. Instead, Being Human focuses on using vampires, werewolves and ghosts as integral elements for providing rich character progression.

In the age of worldwide televisual availability, comparisons between Syfy’s version of Being Human and its original BBC counterpart are inevitable. Despite being completely unwarranted and categorically incorrect, there will be some who wrongfully choose to relegate this series down to simply being an uninspired copy. For those that are willing to put aside all natural Anglophilian instincts and arrogance, a truly wonderful television experience awaits you.

being human series premiere sally Being Human Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Final Thoughts

While American remakes of popular British series are typically a poor re-imagining of the series’ core elements, Syfy’s Being Human has proven itself to most certainly be the exception to that rule. With terrific casting, fully realized characters and an emotional depth not typically seen in a series with such fantastical surroundings, Being Human has become the benchmark that all future British adaptations should strive to meet.

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Being Human airs Monday @9pm, on SyFy

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  1. Big fan of Witwer and Huntington, in person and on the screen. Will definitely watch tomorrow!

    • They both showed that they can carry a series, in my opinion.

  2. The actress in the American version isn’t as good as the girl from the British one … I liked the show okay (still think the original is better) and will definitely continue watching.

  3. The BBC show was a little too slow for my American tastes.. I loved the concept though and I feel that this show deserves its own Americanized version..but i do agree that the girl from the BBC show is better.

    • A little slow? Have you seen the second series? Or do you require your television to simply pass by at break neck speed?

  4. I decided to check this out and I wasn’t disappointed. Sam Witwer was most recognizable to me, given his work on Battlestar Galactica and Smallville. He reminded me of David Boreanaz’s Angel in terms of appearance, but I also picked up on the idea that he is repulsed by being a vampire. The other two leads were equally interesting and I liked the scenes between the werewolf and his sister. Sally didn’t seem to get as much screen time but her character added some heart, given her affiliation with their home. I can’t say I’ll watch every episode, but it’s a show I’ll watch again.

    Mark Pellegrino flexed his acting skills by commanding such screen presence with simple posturing and facial expressions. The vampires seemed a bit more ’30 Days of Night’ to me, in terms of eyes and teeth, which isn’t a bad thing. :)

  5. I will never understand why the US cant just air the original series? I mean look at Shameless, it is exactly the same word for word. Why not just show the original british shameless, skins, being human, *insert countless other shows here* on an american network and create your own brand new shows.

    • They do show the original series on BBC America… while I watched the original Being Human, i could definitely see how this show could benefit by an American retelling.. Our vampire and werewolf mythos differs from the Victorian era stylings of the British mythos.. while I dont usually agree to shows being reimagined for the Americans, I do see how there is room for two different versions…. While the show keeps elements from the first series, it is adding some new elements (josh’s sister in the first episode).

      • Well to be honest, being from Australia, I havent seen the US being human. I was just so appalled by how The US Shameless was EXACTLY the same.

        Im all for re-imagining and reboots. But just replacing actors and having the exact same script, I dont get it and it seems highly redundant

  6. Praise for unoriginality. What is the world coming to?

  7. Watched it. Meh. Doesn’t hold a candle to BBC’s Being Human.

  8. Yes, I agree that the US should show the original instead of duplicating the British series. And, YES, it IS a duplication! Just from the previews for the rest of the season, you can see most of the storylines covered by the original covered here, albeit with nuanced deviances. I was sure that I had heard that this version would be a spin-off of sorts, where the British characters would be able to crossover at some point. But why bother if these are the exact same characters, but with glasses… I mean, different names.

    I found it ironic that it is implied in this article that comparisons shouldn’t really be made between this one and the original, despite the fact that, since Twilight came out, every movie with a cast of teens has been likened to IT.

    All in all, I did like this episode… so far so good. If only it HAD been a spin-off, it would have been perfect! At the very least, this series will be able to afford special effects for all the characters! :)

  9. hmmm might watch it

    • just watch the original

  10. As a fan of the original series, I chose to ignore the predictions of other fans, that this show just had to be bad. I was pleasantly surprised and will be tuning in next week. Actually prefer the Josh character to George, who I always felt was way too over the top. Love Josh’s quiet geekiness. Got to say, though, I prefer the Mitchell and Annie characters to their US counterparts. Overall, good show, though.

  11. Alright,so I guess we can expect Sherlock and Merlin to get ‘Americanized’ too then? Sheesh. Just watch the BBC versions. We should focus on bringing our own original ideas that have never been done before. Like the new Charlie’s Angels and the new Incredible Hulk tv shows. Can’t wait to see what those are like!!!!

    P.S. Yes,I’m being sarcastic about the last part.

    • Shudders at the thought.

  12. Not as good as the original but still enjoyable. Glad to see SYFY is getting better programming other than filling airtime with Wrestling, horror flicks and ghost chasing where the ghosts are never seen.

  13. wasnt my cup of tea for the brits it started out fine just wasnt into the characters

  14. I really liked last night’s premiere. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the original but so what? I don’t understand the arrogance of some people. What’s so wrong with remaking a popular British show?

    Anyways, I’ll be tuning in next week!

  15. This is the first I’ve heard of this. I am a fan of the original and hope they do justice to the show. Too often American remakes become so much of the same old formula from everything else that’s out here. You put these in made up comunities where everyone looks like they might be able to walk a runway at a fashion show someplace and you make the story one big good guy bad guy cop take off. The shows I’ve seen on BBC often seem more realistic both in the make up of the people and in their interactions with each other. I’ll give it a shot, but I have serious doubts that it will pan out for very long…

  16. I imagine I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had never seen the BBC version. That being said, I thought they did an excellent job of following the story laid out by the original while still adding in a few unique twists.

  17. I’m an American, but think I’ll be sticking to the British version for two reasons. 1) I like the casual swearing. It’s not over the top cheek blushing swears. It’s a normal thing people do, which makes the show seem more real. And 2) I just started watching British shows and I’ve noticed these inclusive Brits seem to cast more minorities in leading roles. Something I never see as much in my country. I’m a black girl and I would like to be represented in these lead roles too. Maybe they think they’ll lose advertising dollars? Well, they’ve just lost me.

  18. This wouldn’t be too bad of a show if I didn’t have anything to compare it to. The BBC show is better in almost every aspect. I’m going to watch next week before I decide that this show is a total disaster. I wish the BBC would keep more of their shows, or sell the whole show writers, actors, directors and all to the network. Maybe then they will not Americanize a good show to death.

  19. having watch the BBC version and loving it, I was actually surprised by how thoughtful well written and different the American version is. Good job SyFy.

  20. I’m a big fan of the original and have watched all of it, but I’m not opposed to the remake, especially as it doesn’t end the original.

    The casting of Josh the werewolf is superb. As with his counterpart George in the British version, he’s the heart of the show and carries it. The vampire? Passable casting and passable acting. The American actor isn’t quite as cute as the British one, but looks more likely a classic vampire, so that works. The ghost? The British actress is cuter. This one seems more like a stunt double of her. She was playing two moods–annoying and whiny–and I had about zero sympathy for her. But she was a bit of the afterthought in the pilot, so hopefully her character will grow as the show progresses, and moreover the actress will come into the role, because she wasn’t here. The head vampire, on the other hand, was recast with someone who looked similar to the British actor but younger, handsomer, and more to the point played the part with quiet menace rather than scenery-chewing crazy.

    On the whole, quite watchable and I look forward to next week–and I hope they do a double panel at Comicon with both sets of actors.

  21. I watched about 20 minutes of the show and read this review and I don’t think we watched the same thing at all. The vampire channeled the Twilight guy, the ghost…what ghost? was she even in the show? The actress seemed invisible to me. A very poor Annie substitute. The werewolf was the least offensive, but not charming at all.

    The setting also bothers me. I’ve been to Boston once in my life, although I am from the New England area. Boston is a sunny city people and none of these people act or look like my friends from that city.

    I do like that Syfy attempted to bring an “original” idea to TV instead of the crappy stuff on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, but I would have to say that this is a failure to me.

  22. I love the BBC version of Being Human. I was very surprised when I saw that the Sci-Fi channel here in the US would do its version. Now I like the Sci-Fi channel even though I am not a fan of some of its shows. And I have to say I was very disappointed in the first installment. (Big shoes to fill) I don’t like the whole lead cast or the whole look and feel of this version. However – I will watch the next installment to see if anything improves but for now this effort gets a D- from me.

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