Let me start by saying that I have no taste when it comes to television and it’s a rare day that I fess up to what is being recorded on our DVR. There’s the good stuff that comes on a few weeks out of the year like Dexter or Shameless, which I’m really enjoying at the moment, and there’s the bad stuff like the procedural crime shows or those competitive reality shows or the shows, as a co-worker puts it, that I belligerently watch (those are shows I enjoy griping about continuously, but I’m not ready to give up – like Stargate: Universe – thanks to Syfy for making the decision I couldn’t).
Among those shows that I don’t easily confess to watching is one called Being Human a show that runs on BBC America. The premise sounds like either a paranormal Three’s Company or the beginnings of a bad joke: a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost get an apartment and hijinks ensue. Well, I suppose it’s not quite that lighthearted. The show is moody and dark (filmed in blues when it’s more serious, brighter colors when the trio is safe in their world). The werewolf (George) and vampire (Mitchell) work virtually unnoticed as orderlies in a hospital while the ghost (Annie) copes with her death and mostly mopes around the apartment. (I can’t write a review to save my life, so bear with.) George is kind of a dopey and awkward looking fellow with rage issues brought on by his inner wolf, Mitchell always looks to be in desperate need of a bath or at least a good shampoo with oily combed back hair and usually sports a running jacket circa 1984 (all that’s missing are the head and wristbands to complete this ensemble) – not the leather-wearing, motorcycle riding, charismatic stud we’re used to enjoying in our vampires – and for me, this is part of why that show works. Ordinary looking people with crappy jobs living in a not-so-amazing flat that’s not very nicely furnished dealing with extraordinary events. (Aside, I would mention Annie’s appearance along with the guys, but there’s nothing to note – she’s cute and wears the clothes she died in, which were rather nondescript)
I enjoy the show. It’s different enough and short enough (8-10 episodes) to not annoy me much. So, imagine my surprise when Syfy started running ads for Being Human “an original Syfy series”. I stared at the TV as images of an entirely new cast danced across my screen. Sure, we claimed Coupling and The Office as well as other shows, which is either the greatest form of flattery or helps illustrate the belief that there are only so many new ideas under the sun. But come on “original Syfy series”? Does the BBC know that it’s Syfy’s, because the BBC is about to air Season 3 of Syfy’s “original series”. And the cast looks like something straight out of the OC or any number of shows that appear on the WB/CW. Everyone is clean and pretty and have great jobs (ok, maybe not great – the boys got upgraded from orderlies to nurses). The townhouse is adorable and nicely furnished and the show is very “bright”. Now, while I find all of that to be pretty darned adorable and only slightly annoying, the thing that bugs me most – their names. Yes, forget it no longer looks edgy or a little dark or that they’re all so darned pretty (if you’re into that sort), what’s stuck in my craw is their names. Where there was George, now there’s Josh, the werewolf. Mitchell (the vamp) has become Aidan? He’s 200 years old and you’re telling me that Blake, Harrison or Diego weren’t popular 200 years ago? Was Aidan? and Annie, our sweet/vulnerable/fragile ghost is now Sally. Yes, Sally. Is anyone named Sally anymore? I can only think of Charlie Brown’s sister and my guinea pig when I was 6 years old, because I thought Sally was a lovely name in 1974. Did Sally’s parents hate her and that’s how she ended up dead, no one wanted to have to hear or say her name again? (Of course, I think it’s a fine name if you happen to be named Sally or you’re the hapless guinea pig of a 6 year-old. Well, I may still believe your parents hate you, but I’m not here to work out your relationship issues with them.)
I’ll watch it a couple of more times, but it will be belligerently so I can grumble about it once a week (it’s on my “To Do” list). I’m anxious to see what they do with Sally since she seems to have died in bed. I want to know why she isn’t in her jammies. (In the non-orignal BBC series (Syfy claimed it!) Annie fell down a flight of stairs – that’s why she stuck in those particular drab clothes.) OR what will become of Josh’s sister. When George got trapped with a girl in his “changing” room she ended up becoming a really pissed off werewolf and angry ex-girlfriend – some people just can’t say “thank you” anymore.
Maybe I shouldn’t have confessed to watching this show.