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Human in Boston and Barry

Am home with The Blergh, which is no fun but at least gives me time to yammer about the fact that Being Human US premieres tonight. Cautious optimism has been quietly building on Planet Val as I've seen more promo material. Things that are intriguing me (some of which I've mentioned before:

  • Sally, at least at the beginning, can't affect the physical world at all, can't make tea (or whatever the Yank equivalent would have been) or even touch the boys. I'm also getting the impression of a snarky, even slightly "tough" exterior that holds promise as an alternative approach to covering her vulnerability (in lieu of Annie's verging-on-manic enthusiasm and optimism past the point of denial). I'm finding Meaghan Rath an appealing presence, and am kind of in love with one of the website clips: "I don't peep! Much. [beat] You should really get that mole looked at."

  • Aidan is considerably older than Mitchell (200+), yet I'm getting the impression he's decided to turn his life around at least as recently, if not more so. The things Sam Witwer has said about the compartmentalization in his head are extremely interesting, and what I'm hoping to see is the process of learning to integrate what he's done into his identity and grow from there, instead of dissociating from it and constructing a persona to inhabit that laughs at the right times and makes the right noises but isn't really who he is. It almost places him behind the others in terms of building a life worth living (where Mitchell started out ahead in a lot of ways), because he has to take something else apart first.

  • Josh remains more of a cipher in terms of what I've seen -- other than the OCD and sarcasm, we don't have much to work with in terms of who he actually is, only his circumstances. Which include specifically having been in med school before the wolf, and also having a sister who finds him and who will be a recurring character.

I'm trying really hard to reserve judgment on a few things, notably the reversion to some more conventional vampire rules (Aidan can subsist on bagged blood but doesn't eat, I've seen a bit of speed effect, and apparently Bishop can mess with people's memories). I remind myself that Toby Whithouse cherry-picked the stuff he thought was cool and made up the rest, so they should be free to do likewise, but I hope that means they've come up with some distinctive lore of their own, and for reasons organic to their story.

I'm on the fence about the statements in interviews that Rebecca (the Lauren character) is "more of a love interest," and I won't be able to form any real opinion of the choice until I see how it plays out. The arc of Mitchell and Lauren repeatedly missing connections that could have strengthened both, purely because of disastrous timing of their respective psychological rollercoasters, remains one of the most impressive examples of BH's writing, and part of its strength is that we'll never know if the initial attraction would have gone anywhere under less hellacious circumstances. I do hope that part of the US writers' stated goal of using the longer run to fill in more of the characters' background includes a chance to get some impression of who Rebecca is as a human.

So, all that remains is to see what they've made. Eight and a half hours to go.

Meanwhile, we have the first BBC trailer with actual glimpses of S3 (which premieres next Sunday, the 23rd):

On YouTube.

Line up your sources, people. We're in for a ride.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
It was indeed. He's a major recurring character in S3.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
And now Sinead's joke about the Robson & Jerome tape has context! I thought it was just random piss-taking.
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, is THAT what that was about! *headsmack* I registered the names she said, but they weren't familiar to me and I didn't make the connection.
Jan. 17th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ooh, season 3, yay!

I haven't been following the US version at all... not that I'm against it, I just don't really care and am happy to just enjoy the UK version.
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Nothing wrong with being uninterested. Especially if you're not here, where the only effort involved is switching on the TV on Monday night.

The people getting up on their soapboxes to tell us all LOUDLY AND AT GREATH LENGTH just how uninterested they are, however, have me itching for some target practice with my Nerf crossbow. Especially those who aren't over here, and don't have the legitimate gripe of being bombarded with the promos.
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Well, I will be over there in about a month - so may in fact try to catch an episode just to see how it's turned out (and for the weird parallel universe value, as someone noted below!).

But yes; if someone is uninterested, there must surely be comms which are only about the UK version and specifically don't include the US version, for the benefit of people who are deeply traumatized by remakes. And if there aren't, someone could easily start one.
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
To my surprise, the NYT reviewer of the North American BH had actually seen the UK BH. She has a little enthusiasm for the UK version, and none for the North American, and pushes my buttons smartly on ways to "ruin" the story, but, eh, this is the same department of the same newspaper that didn't understand that HL was syndicated. TV is not their forte.

I didn't realize this was set for a January premiere until I saw her review. I thought it would come along next fall.
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
I've read probably a dozen to fifteen reviews, most of them by people who've seen the original show. They vary so wildly that I find myself wondering if at least some of them were written before actually seeing the one they're reviewing!

I expect different things to work for different people, of course, but this is running the gamut from "clever, subtle writing and I really care about these people" to "anvils falling from the sky, cliché as hell, cardboard cutouts as far as the eye can see."

The bottom-line assessments of the few that don't seem to be familiar with the original range from passable to very-good-but-not-earthshattering. The whole thing may end up being more interesting to watch than the actual show.

Edited at 2011-01-17 06:54 pm (UTC)
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
This reviewer in the Detroit Snooze, er, News hasn't seen the BBC show and seems to like the SyFy version. He also seems a bit distracted by comparing the BH characters to the actors' characters in other shows. Caveat lector.
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Hadn't seen that one, thanks!

I'm not sure what's up with bringing in other characters, but a lot of reviewers seem to be doing it. Commenting that you like someone's body of work in general is somewhat relevant, but otherwise, huh??

That said, of course, brainiacfive has been cracking, "Jimmy Olsen, Doomsday, and -- Great Caesar, a ghost!"

Edited at 2011-01-17 08:24 pm (UTC)
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I can get past the "weird parallel universe" effect of US BH, which I anticipate due to the level of my fascination with UK BH - but I'll try. It isn't as though there are that many TV shows I get excited about and make an effort to follow, and I'm very interested in seeing what they've created from the basic premise of (a vampire/werewolf/ghost)carving out a definition of human. And oh, Annie and Mitchell - they are going to make us cry, aren't they?
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "weird parallel universe" is pretty much how I'm thinking of it, just because I know I won't be able to do otherwise until/unless it establishes itself as its own reality.

And of COURSE they're going to make us cry. It's one of the things they're best at.
Jan. 18th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
It's one of the things they're best at.

They are stellar at it, aren't they? If the US show and characters can engage me at that level, I'm in :-)
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
There's plenty of space below that level where I'm probably still in. Especially because I generally don't want to do anything on Monday nights but watch TV anyway. *wry g* It's not like I have to hunt it down.

And as I said to someone on Twitter earlier, if it sucks, I can immediately cheer myself up with Castle ;-D
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Yes, given the state of US television (I'm about one reality show commercial shy of throwing rocks at the screen), I've probably got a bit of space below as well.

Castle, yes; I watched Slither again today, though, so I made need to skip a week for Nathan F :-)
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
I'm not sure there's such a thing as too much Nathan. Though I haven't gotten around to Slither. Is it is hilarious as it looked from the trailers?
Jan. 18th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
No, no such thing as too much Nathan. Slither is hilarious, even on TV with cuts and commercials. In an "oh-my-lord-what-does-it-mean-about-me-as-a-human-being-that-I'm-laughing-at-this" kind of way. Sometimes. The rest of the time, it's just plain hilarious.

Thanks for the mention of God's Blueprint, btw; I've got loooong overdue BH festfic in the works, just have to see if it's jossed by S3E1 :-)
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I can get past the "weird parallel universe" effect of US BH

Exactly. Thank you for putting into words what I couldn't figure out how to articulate.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
I keep finding myself recalling watching "Dark Knight" when I had the original NK pilot pretty much memorized. I knew they had something dynamite on their hands when, though of course I couldn't entirely stop the surreal effect of it playing back in my head, it did so WAY less than I expected.

Mind you, that was one two-hour pilot, not a whole season arc, and of course I'm not holding my breath that it will grab me remotely as viscerally. But I'm still more curious about than put off by the "parallel universe" thing. As previously noted, of course, I seem to be a rather strange creature in that regard. :-)
Jan. 18th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
I don't mind AUs at all, actually. But given that I was an unwilling fan of the BBC BH (remember, I'm the one who's like "Oh, vampires. BORING. Do not want." Which continues to be hilariously ironic), this one would really have to sell me to win me over.

I mean, I'm catching it on my DVR, but we'll see. I'm choosy about the very limited TV I watch these days.
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
Me too, or at least choosy about what I pay actual attention to. We have that bad habit of having something on in the background all the time.

I'm kind of wishing I had avoided the PR stuff more, because of course they're saying all sorts of things that sound interesting, and I'm not holding my breath that the actual show will live up to the potential. Would be nice if it did, though. *wry g*
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
You're quite welcome :-)

Of course if I'm honest, there's also the "madly infatuated with Aidan Turner" effect to overcome...
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
I'm mostly madly infatuated with his talent. Which is possibly a bigger hurdle.

It does crack me up that Witwer is so analytical and ultra-articulate in all his interviews, while Aidan tends toward variations on "They tell me what to do and I do it," even though it's pretty obvious he doesn't lack for smarts either.

I do think Witwer's very different personality and working approach will stand him in good stead in not coming off as a poor copy. And I just read a TV Guide bit today where he said all his classmates at Juilliard expected him to hit it big in comedy! So I suspect there's more to him than he's had much opportunity to work with in his career to date.
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Aidan tends toward variations on "They tell me what to do and I do it," even though it's pretty obvious he doesn't lack for smarts either.

No he doesn't, and it's that adolescent energy combined with a growing sense of dark wisdom Turner brings to the character that makes his Mitchell so intriguing. I've seen Witwer in...something, and I remember being impressed with him if not with whatever the production was. At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what transpires tonight. I'll be watching after seeing Black Swan - may need an hour or so to transition :-)

Jan. 18th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
Oooooh. Possibly more. Black Swan takes some serious digesting.

I'm just about at the point where I'm ready to see it again, but I don't know if I'll have a chance while it's still in the cinema.
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if I have any positive feelings towards BHUS, that said I will give it a chance.

THE TRAILER OMG!!! Only a few more days and I'm already hyperventilating!!
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
I know!! *grabbyhands* It's been impossible not to be spoiled on the "Mitchell going in after Annie" thing, and of course it's exceedingly logical (as evidenced by djarum99 anticipating it in "God's Blueprint," f'rinstance). So all the ramifications of it have been spinning around in my head. We've seen ample evidence that he's quietly terrified of the other side on his own account, so that's one helluva leap for him to take. And of course what that does to George, with the prospect of losing him as well as Annie, and, and...

The VERY soonest I could possibly see it (figuring for *ahem* availability and my work schedule) will be a week and and hour from now. It's too long!!!
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Sorry you have the blergh. Feel better soon!
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! {{{{ hugs }}}}
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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