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BH on both sides of the pond

My cautious optimism about Being Human US (I hesitate to call it that, since production is in Montreal, but it's set in Boston and that's the established format in these situations) is still cautious, but slowly getting more optimistic. I like a lot of what I've heard in interviews, which has been mostly about Aidan (the Mitchell analog, and I can't believe they named him that, because it's gonna be hella inconvenient and confusing for fannish discussion purposes) and Sally (the Annie analog). There's very little about Josh (the George analog), except that he has a sister involved in the story somehow. I wonder if they'll have her serve some of the story functions Julia did in the original pilot?

Aidan is considerably older than Mitchell -- 200+ -- but it sounds like he's started turning his life around at least as recently, if not more so. Sam Witwer is the best-known of the new trio, with an established fan base from Smallville and a couple of SW video games, so there are a lot more quotes floating around from him, all of them indicating a very detailed, thoughtful working style. If he's as good as he is smart, we're in good shape. I had to smile at the quote about how Aidan "was sort of stunted at 25," which is an observation I've frequently made about Mitchell but not really seen others talk about much. So I'm kindly disposed toward his approach just from that. I'm on the fence about statements that the Lauren analog (for whom we don't have a name thus far) is "more of a love interest," but I don't object to her having a larger role to play, especially in a 13-ep season.

Meaghan Rath is also an eye-catching photographer, and I wonder if the evocative gallery titled "Haunted Things" worked in her favor in landing Sally. Who, from the sound of things, can't be touched even by the guys, at least at the start. There are also a couple of amusing stories about furniture on set that people don't realize has been "Sallyized" with rock-hard cushions so that she doesn't make a dent in them.

The hints I'm less thrilled about -- notably the one about "a whole new sect of vampires" -- are also vaguer, so I'm working harder to reserve judgment. The look of the show, from the early stills and trailer spot, is a bit more washed-out and less quirky, but not unappealing.

We shall see what we shall see.

In the meantime, the original gang wrapped up S3 a few weeks ago, and the crew is now back in Cardiff shooting a webseries spinoff with a murder mystery and some sort of interactive component. Sounds like they're building on the experiment last year with Lloyd's CenSSA vlogs tying into the series plot developments. Apparently the lead on the webseries is a guest character in S3. Should be interesting, and more importantly it represents a vote of confidence in the show from Auntie Beeb at a point when we don't have word yet on whether there will be another season.

The best news from my perspective, though, is this interview snippet with Lenora, which indicates my faith in TPTB giving us back our tight-knit little family is not misplaced. I happily (if that's the right word) went along for the darker ride in S2 because I remained convinced that the characters would learn at least somewhat from those disastrous choices, and that the writers wouldn't feel the need to keep hammering that particular drum. I'm glad and relieved that it looks like I was right.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
lyssie
Nov. 3rd, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Sam Witwer also has a small following from his Battlestar days. =D (that was how I knew he was in the US BH)
wiliqueen
Nov. 3rd, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
I keep forgetting that! Too many pilots to keep track of...
(Deleted comment)
wiliqueen
Nov. 3rd, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
I've heard of Downton Abbey, and heard that everyone loves it, but that's basically all I know. (And, truthfully, all I want to for the moment! Don't need another show...)
havocthecat
Nov. 3rd, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking I'm going to wait to make judgment on the whole US version until I see a full season, though I reserve the right to change my opinion if they do things which I hate, of course. But I'm actually looking forward to seeing what they do.
wiliqueen
Nov. 3rd, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty much my plan too, unless it's unwatchably awful right out of the gate. Which seems unlikely.

If it rocks, so much the better. Never have understood only having room in one's head for one version of a story.
studiesinlight
Nov. 3rd, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Well... I do find it weird that a second version of a drama is launching when the original is not yet complete!

It's not exactly that I don't have room for more than one version of a story in my imagination, but I shy from versions overlapping, and I prefer to see respect for distinct canons (as I did not, for example, with the new Battlestar Galactica fans, so I continue to shun their show and cling to the original). I don't embrace fanfic written about a prose novel series at least as long as the original canon is still in production, because I want that canon and that creator's voice completely fixed in my imagination, unmixed, as a right of the creator and a privilege of my imagination.

As an example, Rurouni Kenshin is a terrific historical fiction manga series that got turned into a TV show before its run concluded, and the TV show got ahead of the comic and had to start making up its own stories, not just adapting and expanding the original canon stories. They got significantly off-track. ~shrug~
wiliqueen
Nov. 3rd, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
It is odd. I was about to say "but not unprecedented," but you did specify a drama, and the successful precedent that springs to mind -- The Office -- is of course a sitcom.

I prefer to see respect for distinct canons (as I did not, for example, with the new Battlestar Galactica fans

Meaning that you saw those fans pooh-poohing the original, I'm inferring, and not that you saw them failing to make a clear distinction? (Context and the nature of each show tells me it's the former, but I read it as the latter until you brought up the example, so I seek to clarify.) I didn't see much of that, thankfully (mostly I just saw people who weren't familiar with the original), but I certainly wouldn't have had much patience for it. On that we definitely agree.

In my case, of course, due to an aversion to summarily dismissing either iteration of a given tale, and/or judging one based on the other's merits without recognizing that it has its own.

because I want that canon and that creator's voice completely fixed in my imagination, unmixed,

That's fair. I only get it on an intellectual level, of course, and then only just, but fair nonetheless.

In this instance, I would actually prefer to see markedly divergent canon because they'll be running concurrently. It will make it that much easier to place the US version comfortably on the other side of an AU mirror.
studiesinlight
Nov. 4th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
You probably don't want to dig into this. I truly don't mean to make you revisit any of what you've had to deal with on BH forums!

Yes, drama frequently has a specific arc of development, and also, though not as often in television as elsewhere, an ending that comments on that development, for good or ill. Even as serials, drama is not at all the same as comedy. The ending matters. So it seems striking to remake a drama that is not yet concluded, of which you do not yet know the defining ending that you would either imitate or defy. Of course they will do their best and I wish them well, but it is not an approach I want to see replicated widely. A re-make is different from a knock-off. Taking the same title is a kind of bond, an obligation and promise.

:-) Speaking of which, there's that Highlander remake coming down the pike any time now. Fingers crossed for good handling! :-)

>"Meaning that you saw those fans pooh-poohing the original, I'm inferring, and not that you saw them failing to make a clear distinction?"

The new BSG is a thorny example that I should perhaps not have invoked. In the specific case of the new BSG fans, I saw some repeatedly maliciously attack the original actors, including Dirk Benedict's health problems -- a nasty userpic icon that one repeatedly used made an impression on me -- and others then going on to ignore the very existence of the original series. I object to their lack of respect for the mere existence of a distinct canon, as well as the general poor behavior I encountered in them that made me disinclined to watch the show that attracted that behavior.

In general, I would object equally to a lack of respect and a lack of distinction. One does not have to go as far as the new BSG fans, or in the same direction, to be troubling.

I dislike the term "Reboot" for the 2009 Trek AU, because by definition a reboot turns off, wipes out and restarts -- which is a) not what happened in the movie, cf. Ambassador Spock, and b) not very respectful to the integrity of the original canon and the investment of all who love it. I'm with Neonhummingbird on the preferability of "AOS," for Alternate Original Series, paralleling "TOS."

As an example on another facet, I remember remarks you have sometimes made in the past on the conflation -- not in crossovers, but in sheer carelessness -- of assorted vampire universes, willy-nilly mixing and matching vocabulary and mechanics and metaphysics and all. In a similar way, I object to conflating the canon of quite separate incarnations of the same story; one can (and should!) compare the intertextuality of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and CBS's, and Philip Glass's, and Jean Cocteau's, and Robin McKinley's, but one should not assert or expect that what is true in one is (or should be!) necessarily true in all the others.

>"I only get it on an intellectual level, of course, and then only just, but fair nonetheless."

:-) Perhaps think of it this way: I like to hear a new song sung straight through for the first time, and applaud, before turning it into a round that the composer never intended. :-)

This is very important to me with prose fiction. I have an entirely different relationship with prose fanfic of prose profic (avoid it) than of movies or television (seek it). Possibly, however, this feeling shades my initial reaction to the new BH(US) concept, as the new series is in the same medium as its progenitor in the same way that a prose fanfic of Bujold's novels is in the same medium as her originals.

>"In this instance, I would actually prefer to see markedly divergent canon..."

Me, too. I wish they had given themselves an even slightly different title, though -- been consciously a knock-off rather than a re-make.
wiliqueen
Nov. 4th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
You probably don't want to dig into this. I truly don't mean to make you revisit any of what you've had to deal with on BH forums!

No, it's fine. Digging in is the opposite of the unexamined emotional response I'm used to seeing! It also makes all the difference in the world that you're speaking in terms of what does and doesn't work for you.

It finally occurred to me the other day that it's the misapplication of the vocabulary of moral outrage that really gets on my nerves.

Speaking of which, there's that Highlander remake coming down the pike any time now. Fingers crossed for good handling! :-)

Indeed! Has there been any word on that lately? I'm pretty thoroughly out of the loop.

one can (and should!) compare the intertextuality of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and CBS's, and Philip Glass's, and Jean Cocteau's, and Robin McKinley's, but one should not assert or expect that what is true in one is (or should be!) necessarily true in all the others.

Wholehearted agreement there!

Possibly, however, this feeling shades my initial reaction to the new BH(US) concept, as the new series is in the same medium as its progenitor in the same way that a prose fanfic of Bujold's novels is in the same medium as her originals.

This makes sense. And brings me back to my oddity as so strongly a creature of the theatre. My gut-level response is still more in the ballpark of "different productions" than anything else.

. I wish they had given themselves an even slightly different title, though -- been consciously a knock-off rather than a re-make.

In this case, I'm not bothered. It does, however, remind me of spending the whole summer scratching my head over their transplanting the Karate Kid remake to China and teaching its young hero an entirely different discipline, but keeping the title unaltered after rendering it inaccurate!
studiesinlight
Nov. 3rd, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing the news.
wiliqueen
Nov. 3rd, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.
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