The “American version” of Being Human debuts tonight on the SyFy channel. I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it really is a clever story that explicitly interrogates what it is that is essentially human about humanity. On that same hand, let me also count the delightful excuse that this premise offers for plenty of skin, including the requirement that the werewolf character wake up naked the morning after each full moon. I’m a big fan of the BBC original, so it’s entirely possible that I may become a big fan of the American knock-off (this has happened before… definitely not with Queer as Folk, but yes to both versions of The Office).
On the other hand, I’m a big fan of the BBC original, and, let’s face it, most American knock-offs suck. And as for the opportunities for fine male skin, I think it may be a close call as to whether the Americans can titillate me to the extent that BBC does. Case in point, the explicitly sexy, seductive vampire character, known in the BBC series as Mitchell and apparently called Aidan for the American version (which is the name of the BBC actor who plays the character, getting me all confused). BBC features the fine, fine Irish beauty of Aidan Turner, with a shaggy head and a carpet of hair across his chest that would mislead one to guess he’s the werewolf in the bunch.
The Americans have cast the perky pecs and cleft chin of Sam Witwer for the part. I’ll just have to see this to say definitively, but my initial take is that the Brits (or, more accurately in this case, the Irish) have put up the sexier, self-tormented vampire. Sam has a harder body, no doubt. He may even have a more classically handsome face. But Aidan Turner oozes effortless sexuality. In a head-to-head competition (and you know where my mind jumps), Aidan embodies the dark, violent, primal lust of a self-denying vampire better than the casting of Sam. I will happily correct the record should I be proven wrong.
Turning to the aforementioned werewolf, it’s no secret that I have a major crush on Russell Tovey of the BBC production. Russell (who has the most entertaining Twitter feed of all time) has shown up in two of my fictional wrestling matches, not to mention hundreds more private fantasies that play through my imagination. He’s got a fantastic ass that gets featured often in Being Human as he wakes, dazed and confused, naked from a night of werewolfing in the woods. Russell is not a muscleboy. He’s more adorable than classically handsome. But he turns… me… on… period. He has an incredible timing and wit that comes through in his acting. True, sometimes I just want to smack “George” upside the head for yet another bout of self-pitying whining. But as soon as I’ve smacked him (and perhaps after a body slam and a head scissor), I want nothing more than to climb into that S&M cage in his bedroom with him and do it doggie style.
The Americans have cast Sam Huntington for this role. George is now Josh, and they’ve clearly played up the “unlikely wild man” angle in casting Sam here. I vaguely remember him as Jimmy Olsen in the last Superman flick. He’s doing very little for me so far. He’s “cute,” not so much handsome to my tastes. He’s in no better physical shape than Russell. And he’ll have to seriously turn on the charm and acting chops to put him anywhere in the same ballpark, and he’ll have the added disadvantage of more prudish censorship of cracks and crevices on American television.
I will be watching tonight, and I’m preparing myself to be disappointed and bitter (just telling the truth). I’m suspicious that this imitation will sink like the Titanic, in which case all that may be left to compare will be these boys relative wrestling prowess in my imagination (you knew that’s where this was headed). Russell and Aidan fought hard and only had their fine asses handed to them in their debut tag team match in my imagination thanks to a dirty (sexy beast) ref on the take. I could see why the American knock-offs might think that they have a shot at bullying their way to success by stepping on the faces of their English/Irish counterparts. I strongly suspect that Sam-squared will run into a brutally rude awakening.