Saturday, September 1, 2012

UK Verses US Version of "Being Human"

"Being Human" is a TV series written by Toby Whithouse and remade from the original British version into a remake, United States series. Both versions are worth watching and are currently available for free viewing on Netflix. Meanwhile? I definitely enjoyed the U.S. version more.

BASIC STORY:A vampire, ghost, and werewolf all live together in a rented home where they help each other adapt to a plethora of dramatic challenges each individual faces while attempting to live as much like typical humans as possible. In the US series, the primary residence is very Gothic/spooky and vintage/rustic feeling home. In the the UK version, it is much less attractive and merely shabby-looking. I also felt the American actors were better looking, and played more believable parts, over all, than the UK actors.

MAIN CHARACTER VAMPIRE:

US Vampire/nurse 
Sam Witwer as Vampire "Aidan Waite"
Dark natured and a bit self loathing

verses
UK Vampire/nurse
Aidan Turner  as Vampire "John Mitchell"
bright-eyed and progressive personality










DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE US and UK VERSIONS:#1 - In both movies, the vampire-nurse Aidan/Mitchell receives a video of a female vampire feeding on a male-human/stranger where she ends up killing him. In the U.S. version, the vampire's image shows on film, with blood dripping down her face and body, and the video is designated as "vampire porn" but in the UK version the predatory vampire seems invisible on film and neither her body nor the victim's blood is visible in the recording.

#2 - Some phrases in The UK version seemed politically offensive to this American reviewer. For instance, the UK version refers to a women's menstrual cycle as the "dirty lady time" (as though girls and their health deserve to be socially disregarded with such derogatory references).

#3 - To its credit, the UK version gives a much more detailed anatomy & physiology lesson while the werewolf transforms from man to beast. Some viewers might prefer that sort of narration, while the U.S. version prefers to "show" than tell.

#4 - The UK version begins its first episode with the werewolf George meeting his socially-clueless and very rude "maker" while the US version builds a lot more complex relationship background between the three main characters long before that introduction ever happens. When viewers meet the werewolf's maker in either version, he displays neanderthal behaviors, but he's a bit more obnoxious as a redneck in the US version.

#5 - The UK version involves the maker-werewolf utilizing self-defacing remarks, such as lame jokes about werewolves being "house trained," while the U.S. version is limited to vampires making such derogatory comments about werewolves.


#6 - In the UK version it's the vampire who invites the werewolf's maker to spend the night. In the US version the vampire suspects the elder werewolf and younger wolf Josh invites him in.

#7 - US version, during transformation, werewolves eat red and raw beef. In the UK version, they're limited to chasing after a plucked and beheaded chicken.

#8 - In the US version, ghost Sally cannot move objects until much time has advanced. UK version, ghost Annie can brew coffee and performs all sorts of physical tasks, from the get-go.


MAIN CHARACTER WEREWOLF:
UK Werewolf
Russell Tovey as "George Sands"
US Jewish Werewolf
Sam Huntington as "Josh Levison"









verses


MAIN CHARACTER GHOST:
US ghost: Meaghan Rath as "Sally Malik"
(feels legitimate anguish and must learn how to pick up
objects and how to leave the house. Travels by thoughts.
Actively seeks resolution to feeling stuck.) He fiance
murdered her following a quarrel they had over her
engagement ring.
UK ghost: Lenora Crichlow as "Annie Sawyer" (can move objects from the start and leaves the house like any human. Travels by bus or jogs. Cries over engagement gifts and kitchen gadgets). Her fiance
killed her after arguing over a pair
of her thong panties.

Aidan's maker, Mark Pellegrino as James Bishop



5 comments:

  1. The US version sucks in comparison to the UK version. It has no charm, the acting is horrible, and the characters are vile. For anyone who has seen the real version (i.e. the British version) first, the US version is unwatchable.

    BTW, "dirty lady time" would be funny because of its coyness. In reality, most of us Brits would just call a period, a period. More colloquially, we'd also say "on the rag", "the painters are in", or such like.

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  2. Dr. Blood ~

    Appreciate your Brtish perspective. I wonder if you're used to UK movies and I'm used to American? Like I said, I felt both versions were WORTH watching. I don't know a single American female who would feel comfortable with slang terms you mentioned to describe their monthly cycle, though. In my opinion, it would be better described as a woman's celebratory "Oh thank the gods I'm not pregnant!" time. I personally regret any reference that describes a woman's bodily fluid as "dirty" and think it's quite neanderthol to treat such demeaning phrases as socially acceptable and they're definitely not funny.

    I thought the American actors were excellent at their craft. I certainly did NOT notice any bad acting in the U.S version. Perhaps you just misunderstand American culture and behavior?

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  3. I watched both and have some things I like and dislike about each. In the UK version I Love that George got to kill the vampire whereas in the US version Sally lied to Josh and Aiden killed him instead. The US has longer seasons and thus has more time to develop storylines and characters. I felt I was rushed into stuff that later had to be explained by the characters. Mitchel does NOT play a good Vampire...the very idea that some skinny college looking kid who looks like he plays soccer could be a vamp is ridiculous. Aiden has more of a wisdom to him, you actually believe he is quite old. George vs. Josh, Love em both. I believe Josh is the heart of the show where George seems less vulnerable and less approachable so it kind of seems as if all 3 share being the heart of the show in the UK version. Nora vs. Nina...Nora is just super hot...sorry, no contest. I hope to see less of this US vs. UK now that the US has more episodes and has its own storylines.

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    Replies
    1. Also, Sally vs. Annie. Sally takes some getting use to and is prone to mood swings. I kind of like it over Annie's bubbliness which can be out of place and a bit annoying at times. U.K. folks, don't hate. Sure most often The U.S. version is worse, but this time it isn't.

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  4. Ha ha. Jason? I love your observations. Thank you for sharing them. I agree ... Mitchel does NOT look like a Vampire. I also found Annie to be extremely annoying. Sally was a lot more moody for sure.

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