Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Review: BEING HUMAN (USA), 2.1 – "Turn This Mother Out"

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I was planning to properly review the season 2 premiere of Syfy's Being Human, but then I watched it and remembered why I stopped bothering last year. It's not a bad show, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is an inessential show... and a world away from the seriousness and ingenuity of the BBC original. It just feels too emotional lightweight to me, and the writers aren't so willing to take risks. This premiere introduced the tedious idea of a Mother of vampires, which is a seriously bland notion for supernatural fiction—and a very disappointing development considering one of last season's few unique successes were the show's trio of Dutch vampire bosses.

Elsewhere, things just kind of happened and my mind wandered on several occasions. I think it's the repetitive music score that does it, because it generally does the heavy-lifting trying to elicit emotion because the characters don't really connect with me. The best part of this US adaptation is the visual effects, which do things the BBC version could never afford to—like actually show a Tunnel of Light beyond Sally's (Meaghan Rath) doorway to the afterlife.

But I'm not going to be so relentlessly down on Being Human USA, because it's a decent version of a British show that's catering for a different audience. BBC Three may be a youth-skewing channel, but what was always impressive about Being Human is how grown-up it feels. Syfy's version is very much aimed at impressing college kids, with far less bite to anything. It's just a semi-engaging show that can build some entertaining runs, but it never quite manages to seal the deal. I'll keep watching because it's good TV wallpaper for when a pile of clothes need to be ironed, but I can't see me coming back to review Being Human USA with any regularity... unless something remarkably ballsy and unexpected starts happening to its tone and the quality of storytelling.

written by Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke / directed by Adam Kane / 16 January 2012 / Syfy