Review – Syfy’s Being Human: Season 1 Episode 8 “Children Shouldn’t Play With Undead Things”

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.


Photo courtesy of NBC Universal


Being Human airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy.
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An enjoyable episode this week, although it didn’t have the same level of drama or shock value as some previous episodes.  It did, however, contain more great individual lines than I’ve seen to date for the series. 

Sally, to Josh:  “Isn’t that your… what are we calling her?”
Josh:  My Nora.”

I melted.  We instantly understand that he is completely besotted with the woman.  And when he is unable to approach her, we further understand that he has confidence issues.  At that point we’re thinking, as we are told to think by Sally, it is because the man with Nora is a doctor, and is gorgeous.  Nice it is Sally who brings it full circle at the end of the episode and apologizes for not understanding the horror that is Josh, “once a month, every four weeks.” 

From an effects perspective, Josh’s transformation was adequate, and the werewolf, while not what I was hoping for, was nevertheless far better than the UK version.  It may be that I got that impression simply because they didn’t show very much of the werewolf in this version.  I appreciate that philosophy; if you don’t have good solid effects, don’t spend a lot of time showing them.

Nora, to Josh:It’s as though you’re an artist and “awkward” is your medium.”

Are we surprised that Nora forgave Josh so easily for errrr loving and leaving her the previous night?  It was a rather quick turnaround in attitude, but the fact that she bothered to come over – and that she called first – were good indicators that she was interested, or she would have blown him off just as she thought he had done to her.  Thank goodness they are dealing with this relationship in a fairly straightforward and positive way.  Aidan and Rebecca have enough angst for the show already.   Besides, Josh exhibits enough insecurity that a languishing unrequited love would push him from Kinda Adorable Character toward the Unbearable Character column, and we don’t want that. 

We knew that the Aidan’s DVD of Rebecca was going to come into play again, or we would have seen him destroy it.  I was, in fact, relieved that they put it to rest this episode, or it would start sliding into “gratuitous” territory, especially since the episode opened with it.

Aidan, to Bernie: Your “fun” bar is set really low.”

Aidan’s relationship with Bernie was sweet, and I was pleased with the way the porn DVD aspect of the storyline was dealt with.  Although fans of the UK series might feel this version was too light, it was entirely in keeping with the entire feel of the US series to make it simply one parent accusing him, and the child quickly explaining that he took it without permission.  The pitchfork-and-torches manner of the UK version was horrifying in the best way, but honestly I was almost considering fast-forwarding if the US version was the same.  I don’t think the US version has anything to apologize for; I appreciate its lighter tone and atmosphere.  It manages to work in a lot of comedy that isn’t silly, and opts for stronger, cooler, less dramatic but still interesting and sympathetic characters that I want to watch.  Speaking of which…

Sally’s response to Aidan when he told her that she needed to be working on her “journey”:  “I love how you say “journey” like I’ve hopped on some fantastical winged steed and am soaring through some cloudy land of adventure.”

I liked Sally a lot more this week.  I didn’t dislike her before, but she sometimes exhibited a weakness that wasn’t dramatic enough to come off as much more than a whine.  She had some good, snappy lines this week that made her rise to the level of Josh’s delivery in the best ways.  “If you think I’m going into a place that scares a member of the undead, you’ve flipped your pancake” was really well delivered.  Writers, please keep writing like this for her, it suits her.

The ghost hall was weird, and distracting enough that I didn’t catch much of the point of it the first time I watched, which is a shame.  That the way to move on is different for each person, and that sometimes it helps to just announce yourself, are what I suppose were the two main points.  Aidan later warned her that if she didn’t quickly figure out why she hadn’t moved on, she could end up like those hallway ghosts: “If you wait too long it will be too late, searching for pieces of a puzzle that doesn’t even exist any more.”  Another lovely line.

But the fact that watching Josh transform got Sally over her self-proclaimed pity party really won me over.  Yay, she recognizes that she’s been a whiner and she’s ready to start looking for answers!  Yay, she realizes that she may actually be able to do something about her “monster-ness.”  Just as her previous best moment was when she took control of the situation with her former fiancee and trashed his apartment, taking control of her situation as a ghost, apologizing to Josh for her attitude, and “writing” on the hallway wall showed a strength that serves her character well.

Again, not the strongest episode, but enough advancement on the plot and the characters, and more than enough great lines, to get me excited about the next episode.