I rant lovingly about the BBC.

January 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm (Uncategorized)

I had originally intended to write about last night’s Golden Globes, but as I am still reeling from the unexpected, disastrous results of a politically and fiscally motivated voting system, I will refrain for now. Unless you would actually like to hear a page-long rant about why Avatar did not deserve any of the awards it was given and is a poor excuse for a film. I digress.

As the resident science-fiction nerd of my entire group of friends, it should come as no surprise that I have found yet another delicious television show courtesy of BBC3. This television station is brother to BBC4, which is breaking tremendous ground with its new, hilariously edgy teen-oriented dramas and comedies (look up Skins and The Inbetweeners). These shows are written as original series for the network, a challenge that has been welcomed with open arms and received extraordinarily well by the network’s teen viewership. Yet along with these original new pieces comes an impressive array of scifi/fantasy shows that are actually extremely popular with most of the general public. The new Dr. Who series, the spin-off series of Torchwood, Primeval, and Life on Mars are some of the most well-loved and critically acclaimed shows around–so much so that BBC America has begun airing all of these and more to share with us on the other side of the Atlantic. Thank God for that. Needless to say, I expect the best of quality from anything affiliated with BBC.

I could spend a day raving about how much I love the new Dr. Who and why I wept for hours upon David Tennant’s dramatic exit from the show; I could lavish John Simm with such attentions as to make him blush like a little school girl, but that is not what today is about. I come to you today to talk about my hesitant, burgeoning love for a little ditty called Being Human. I realize I am incredibly far behind in discovering this potential diamond-in-the-rough (the pilot aired in Britain in 2007 and was granted a first series in 2008), but I’m going to use my “I’m an American and my television networks aren’t lovely” card for this one. BBCAmerica usually does not air a successful BBC show overseas until the first two series have gone into reruns in Britain, therefore, who knows when Being Human will surface in the hearts of those who aren’t die-hard enthusiasts? If I am going crazy waiting for the fourth series of Skins to air on it’s original premiere date of January 28, what are my poor fellow internet-illiterate neighbors going to be like? Scary thoughts…

I’ve gone off the beaten path once again. To continue: Being Human is an hour-long drama that, as seems to be the trend these few years, portrays the lives of three undead persons: Mitchell, a vampire since the civil war; George, an ordinary bloke who happens to turn into a wolf every month, and Annie, a woman confined as a ghost to the flat she died in. Mitchell and George, who happen to be friends, move into Annie’s flat and friendship ensues between the undead ones. The concept seems promising, but I am still waiting to find the wow-factor that I know the show has the potential for. I just finished the second episode, and while the writing is charming and the cast is attractive, the plot lines of each episode are a tad thin. Much more can be accomplished in 57 minutes of run time, of that I am sure. I’m waiting for it to get juicier, to dangle the bait and reel me in. I feel slightly obligated to like this show simply because it is a scifi series from BBC, but I refuse to do so. I like the show, but I don’t love it. Come on, lads (and lass). Give me something to love. More action, more humor, less brooding Mitchell and more witty banter. Give Annie something to smile about (perhaps a meatier role?). Also, maybe, just for a second, think about having more supernatural elements in those 57 minutes. George turning into a werewolf is fine, but it is the only fantasy that we physically see–the rest is just passed on through dialogue.

I could totally change my mind after viewing the next few episodes. SFX magazine certainly gives it an extremely high rating, as one of the best shows of 2009 amongst Who, Mars, and so on. I hope they aren’t wrong.

Original BBC3 Series

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