Erin Willard reviews Being Human airing on SyFy. SyFy takes on the hit UK show about a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf living together as they attempt to keep hold of their humanity in this re-imagining.
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This week’s episode of Being Human, airing on SyFy, was another solid episode, which moved the story and the characters along nicely. Although, this episode seemed to lack a little of the emotion of the first.
I ordinarily despise montages and what I call “whiner” music, but that’s because they usually appear at the end of a show. These montages can feel like lazy writing and a replacement for good dialog. Not to mention, I cannot stand whiner music. In this episode, though, they used a montage at the beginning, while “Sally” narrated over it. I found it an excellent way to help the new viewers get a feel for each of the characters, as well as build impressions of each of them for the veterans. This montage provided our first chance to really see Josh’s transformation, which was really well done.
I’m going to try to refrain from excessive comparison of this series to its UK counterpart, but I have to say the US creature transformation is better, as is the end result. The transformation happens in bits and pieces, understandable on a cable network budget, but still nicely done. We were given the transformation during an opening montage of flashbacks to earlier times in the lives of our three characters.
I’ve decided I am not disappointed the writers did not have Josh kill his sister. It could have been interesting to see how Josh would deal with the guilt and the fact that his friends could not stop him. But this early in the season, it would have set the tone for their interaction. Honestly, the characters probably have enough to deal with right now without having that level of angst. In the alternative, it could have been interesting to have his sister see at least some of his transformation – plenty of future plot potential there. However, it would have been a distraction from the development of the relationship between the main characters, which is the strength of this series.
Thank goodness for superfast vampire running speed! Apparently, in this series vampires are fine in the sun, though they appreciate sunglasses – but really, who doesn’t? The creator of the original series worked under the philosophy that there are so many different ideas about what vampires can and cannot do, he could pick and choose what elements he wanted to incorporate. The show-runners of this series appearing to do the same, adding “superfast running” to the plus column. Aidan saving Josh’s sister allowed them to have a discussion about Josh and what his life was like before he became a werewolf, or from his sister’s perspective, before Josh had a nervous breakdown and ran away from his family two years prior. “Okay, he’s quirky,” medically trained, and has a mother who experienced an “incident – our little family curse” – and Aidan’s lovely reply, “I think we’re all a little cursed that way.”
At that point, they BLASTED the whiner music; even if it wasn’t whiner music, if the singer’s voice is as loud as the actor’s, it is too loud. Just saying.
Josh was nicely goofy in front of Danny. His “we like creepy” was counter-balanced later in the scene, in a lovely way, by Aidan’s “there’s a good echo here.” A key line from the ghost’s fiance in the UK version was missing from Danny’s scene, so I’m curious to see if they will change that entire storyline.
So, Rebecca is still “missing.” It is an interesting twist, as is having her be a flaming redhead. But a flaming redhead who is hanging out at the park where she used to hang out? A beautiful flaming redhead? Really, no one would notice? On the other hand, if it’s on purpose, it does point to her recklessness as a new vampire. Also, a nice setup with Aidan unaware Rebecca was turned by Bishop and the gang. The glimpse into the vampires’ lair was interesting, and we were given a better idea of Bishop’s true nature this week – sarcastic, slick, and unsympathetic to new vamps.
Overall, the tone of this episode was a bit lighter. The US series definitely has a lighter feel than the UK version, which is much more angsty. I do not mind the lightness, as it isn’t anywhere near a Warehouse 13- level, nor should it be. Although, the UK version has higher highs and lower lows. Russell Tovey absolutely owned the exchange between he and the vampire when he learned that the vampire “killed” their mutual friend – but with an American accent I don’t seem to mind as much.
No cliffhanger at the end of this episode, but it was billed as a Part Two episode, so perhaps the cliffhangers will only happen in the middle of two-part episodes.
There were quite a few great lines this week, some of which I incorporated above; here are a few more:
Sally: “I may not be here forever. Or maybe I will.”
Rebecca: “Not sure if I want to take advice from a man who fell off the wagon and into my neck.”
Josh: “It was a miracle I got her to love me once.”
I liked it, and I’m still in.