SyFy Pulls Off a Better-Looking Being Human

Let's get this out of the way: Being Human isn't really about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who share an apartment. I mean, it is, but what the show is really about is three twenty-somethings dealing with the pains of being different. While I've never woken up naked next to a gutted deer (except for that one time in Tahoe, but I can explain that), I often feel like I'm on the outside looking in, and that's the whole point of Being Human, Syfy's enjoyable adaptation of the U.K. series that itself is relatively new.

The first thing you have to do to appreciate Being Human is repeatedly tell yourself to "just roll with it." Forget your preconceptions about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and everything else. This is a world that exists in the mind of original series creator Toby Whithouse, and it's his world. So if you have a problem with Aidan the vampire walking around in broad daylight, check that baggage at the door.

Being Human does a great job of balancing everyday humor with serious drama. When Aidan, Josh the werewolf, and Sally the ghost are at ease in their apartment, the banter is light and jovial. But when s*** gets real, as it did at the end of the series opener, it gets really real. This spinning-plates task of keeping things hilarious and heavy is going to be vital to the show's quality, but so far, so great for executive producers Anna Fricke (Everwood) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural). Carver's influence is especially noticeable, and given the fact that he wrote Supernatural's genius episode "Changing Channels," that's a fantastic thing.

Sam Witwer looks right at home as Aidan, Sam Huntington and his perma-Hound-Dog-eyes work well as the befuddled Josh, and a bloated Mark Pellegrino, after stints on Lost, Dexter, and Supernatural, has turned himself into an entirely new beast as a vampire boss. Meaghan Rath is a tad too bubbly as Sally the spectre, but that should change as the gravity of her situation unfolds. No complaints about the casting here.

What surprised me the most was the look of Being Human. By far and away it has the most style of any Syfy series, and it's a perfect accompaniment to the tone of the show. Yes, it's largely borrowed from the U.K. original, but the if-it-ain't-broke-why-fix-it rule definitely applies here. Plus, Syfy has poured much more cash into its version, bringing the look of things like Josh's werewolf transformation into this century.

Whether it was the right time or not to remake such a recent program (the U.K.'s Being Human premiered in 2008) is moot; Syfy is assuming you haven't seen the surprisingly wonderful original. And from Syfy's pilot, which debuted last night, it looks like the differences are understandably minimal. Producers had a chance to let arrogance take over and make this their own, but they wisely retained much of what makes the original great and the result is one of Syfy's best offerings. Even it is technically the BBC's.

How do you think the Syfy version fared?

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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