Being Human means I’m allowed a rant.


Being Human (original image here)

There is something in this world I have a real problem with: untimely remakes. Did we really need Repo Men two years after Repo! The Genetic Opera? (Yes, I understand that the films reached two vastly different audiences and yes, Jude Law is awesome, but did he need to be awesome in that movie so soon after its predecessor was released?) Did we really need an American version of Death at a Funeral three years after the original British film was released? (I have no concessions to make on this front. The idea of Americanizing such a superb film is completely absurd. And I cannot understand how they expected to do better when the original was BRITISH and starred Alan Tudyk.)

Given this pet peeve of mine, I’m sure it’s understandable that I would be upset over SyFy network’s revamp (no pun intended) of BBC’s Being Human.

Now, I’ll admit that Being Human is not the best show on air. It can be melodramatic and–at times–whiney, but it can also be intriguing, funny, heartfelt, and stirring. So why, why in the name of all that is good and shiny, would SyFy feel the need to remake a show that is still on the air?!? I am literally at a loss here. As if it’s not bad enough that television and film producers are letting remakes act as substitutes for original story telling, they are letting it happen before the original product has even left the screen.

BBC’s Being Human has finished its second season, with three award wins under its belt. It doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon. I can’t understand why SyFy would think this an opportune time to begin a remake. Because the series doesn’t get enough play in the states? Fine, then perhaps the best course of action would be to air it like SyFy airs Doctor Who. But that doesn’t seem the case. I seems to me that SyFy saw a good idea for a story and thought “Oh, I bet we can get the rights to do our own version of this show. Maybe it’ll be a cash cow!”

You’ve changed, SyFy. You’re too cool to be “SciFi” anymore, and now your hawking off someone else’s ideas to up ratings. I’m disappointed. It’s uneccesary. You’ve already got Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Stargate Universe, just to name a few of your successful shows.

This is not the first time the US television scene has felt the need to remake British shows, either. The Office, What Not to Wear, Eleventh Hour, Life on Mars, and, more recently, Spooks (MI-5) all have American counterparts, some of which are very popular. And I’ll admit, I loved the American Life on Mars. That does not change my feeling that the industry is floundering for material.

If you are curious about SyFy’s Being Human, or if you want to scold them with me, read their article here. If you want to learn more about the original series, you can do so at IMDB or BBC America.

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    • Cassie
    • September 11th, 2010

    Although I know little about the other examples, Repo Men wasn’t a remake of Repo! The Genetic Opera. It was blatant plagiarism. The book Repo Men was based off of came out after The Genetic Opera, and the similarities between the two universes are a liiiittle too coincidental.

    • Cassie,

      I was going to cry “plagiarism!” because I totally agree with you–I was trying to be a little more diplomatic about it, but you’re completely right. I didn’t know about the book, but I did know that the basic plot line of Repo Men was similar enough to Repo! The Genetic Opera to make me feel a little squirmy. Why do you think the industry lets things like this happen? Are they just in it for the money? Do they care? (I hope they care!)

  1. September 12th, 2010

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