Aidan - Sam Witwer
Josh - Sam Huntington
Sally - Meaghan Rath
Bishop - Mark Pellegrino
OTHER BEING HUMAN SERIES
Being Human UK
OTHER VAMPIRE SHOWS
Buffy The Vampire
There Goes The Neighbourhood - Part 1
Josh is a werewolf and hates his life. Aidan is a vampire and hates himself. Sally is a ghost and hates not having a life any longer. These three come together in a new house in an attempt to have a normal life, but there are already dangers on the horizon in the shape of Aidan's maker, Bishop.
The British BEING HUMAN is one of the best things that we've had on the TV to watch for the past few years and so it is hard to see the American version (finally showing in the UK after the demise of the UK version) without comparing. That's a problem, but it may not be a problem for very long because this opening episode gets better as it moves along and comes to an end on a crashingly exciting cliffhanger.
This opening episode is dark, starting with Aidan slipping off the blood wagon and introducing Bishop, the leader of the local vampires who has a special interest in our hero. Sam Witwer's Aidan is a little bland, conveying neither the torment nor the danger of the vampire. Sam Huntington also doesn't manage to give his wimpy Josh any real sense of torment or any wit either.
In fact, wit and charm are the two things that are missing from this opening episode. There is no sense of light or moments of successful humour to give the impression that these people are going to be characters that we want to hang around with. Even Meaghan Rath's Sally, who seems to channelling the edgy brightness of the UK's Annie early on, goes into a deep depression midway through.
It is clear that this version of the show is going to be very different from its parent series if this episode is anything to go by, but there are definite signs that might not be the end of the world and we certainly have to come back to find out what happens next.
There Goes The Neighbourhood - Part 2
Rebecca, the girl that Aidan thought he killed, comes back as a vampire with a mean streak, pushing Aidan to join her. Josh tries to deal with his sister, and Sally tries to make contact with her boyfriend.
There's a lot of angst and tension in this second episode of BEING HUMAN, but a little bit of humour as well. The humour was missing from the first episode and it helps to balance out the darker side of things. Even so, it is left to the non-principal characters to provide the entertainment whilst the main three wallow in their misery.
Rebecca makes for a fun and vengeful vampire, enjoying what she has become and threatening Aidan's secret way of life. The event that follows on is hardly surprising, though still tragic.
The balance of the show isn't quite there. The darkness is all-pervasive and the slight chinks of humour that are starting to come aren't enough yet to make it work.
Something To Watch Over Me
The boys host a meeting of the Neighbourhood Watch and Aidan comes to the attention of someone who believes he killed his father. Annie gets some training from a longtime ghost.
Despite attempting to ingratiate themselves with the neighbours, there is still too much angst going on in this episode for anything other than dark drama. Aidan's run in with the son of a previous victim gives him plenty to torture himself over, and Josh is still struggling with his animal side.
Only Annie gets to have any fun, learning to overcome her limitations and widen her horizons. That still leads to more angst though.
Wouldn't It Be Nice (If We Were Human)
Josh meets another werewolf who shows him ways to deal with his condition. Sally struggles as her fiance finds a new girlfriend and Aidan enters a destructive relationship with Rebecca.
This episode finally gets the balance between the otherworldly angst and the very real world comedy just right. Seeing Josh try to channel his inner wolf and pick up a nurse is just hilarious. These sequences manage to offset the really rather dull Sally storyline in which she has some issues seeing her boyfriend and best friend get it on. Nothing comes of it at all.
Aidan is also proving to be a bit of a problem. Though he claims to want to 'be normal' he spends most of his time a bloody (pun intended) mess. He hasn't managed to keep from bloodying someone up in any episode to date.
This is the best episode to date, but it is still a long way behind its UK counterpart.
The End Of The World As We Know It
Sally learns the truth about how she died, Josh learns the truth about his werewolf friend Ray and Aidan learns the truth about Bishop's plans for Vampirekind.
Personal angst continues for Sally and Josh as they come to terms with how they were made. Sally's discovery of the truth behind her death is suitably dramatic and opens up an ongoing storyline whilst Josh's discovery about Ray brings some closure to him, though how he is going to react to it was never predictable.
These, though, are personal stories whilst Aidan's discoveries about what Bishop is planning sets up a much, much bigger picture plotline to be dealt with. The religious and ethical conversation between Aidan and the priest/vampire is actually an interesting one.
With all this going on there is no place for the occasional flashes of humour that made the original lighter and more accessible. This remains a dark drama.
It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Wrong
Rebecca taunts Aiden with a video of a killing. Sally begins to haunt the boyfriend who killed her with unexpected results. Josh's sister comes to stay just as he asks Nora the nurse out.
The tone of the show is starting to settle down and gives us one of the best episodes yet. The lightness of touch shown with Josh's fumbling attempts to woo Nora segue nicely into the darkness of the destructive relationship between Aiden and Rebecca.
Only Sally's stuttering story of trying to haunt Danny misfires, but unfortunately it misfires badly. It is meandering along getting nowhere fast and being repetitive about it. At least Meaghan Rath gets to play something lighter with her reaction to Josh's news. The subplot of her meeting up with a poltergeist in a club and learning a few things is carelessly thrown away.
BEING HUMAN USA is finding its feet and getting better with every episode.
I See Your True Colors ... And That's Why I Hate You
Josh has to take his injured sister home, which means dealing with the parents he ran out on. Sally tries to get Bridget to believe that Danny is her killer and Aidan tries to sort out the vampire trouble.
There are some funny moments here as Josh deals with his (rather strange) parents and you can see why he would probably have run away even if he hadn't been a werewolf. Aidan turning up is inexplicable until the vampire that attacked Emily shows up and how his speech to Bishop is supposed to resolve everything is a mystery.
The show still hasn't found a consistent tone, but the comedy here is welcome and shows that there is hope that a balance can be struck.
Children Shouldn't Play With Undead Things
Aidan bonds with a fatherless boy until matters go awry, Josh tries to get his relationship with Nora back on track even though the full moon is upon him and Sally learns the fate of ghosts who hang around too long.
The paedophilia storyline in the original UK series lasted for a single episode and so was over rather quickly. The US show is either going to give it more room to breathe over several episodes or has removed the whole subplot, which would be a pity. The relationship between Aidan and the boy is nicely drawn, giving the character a little more depth to his backstory.
Much better, though, is Sally's trip into the haunted corridor at the hospital, a place where lost souls search for a way forward and slowly lose themselves, a fate that Aidan rather chillingly tells Sally will be hers if she does not make her peace and find her door.
Josh's romance with Nora the nurse remains the emotional heart of the film and even that twists in surprising directions. This is one of the best episodes of the show to date.
I Want You Back (From The Dead)
Sally meets the spirit of a man she had a crush on only to find him reliving his drowning over and over again. Aidan has to deal with a new vampire.
The focus of this episode is very much on Sally and Aidan. Sally's story is the more straightforward and you just know that it's not going to end well all along, so the eventual outcome is not all that affecting.
Josh trying to deal with his ongoing relationship with Nora continues to be nicely unpredictable, though you can't help but think that telling her the truth right out is the only way to go.
Most effective, though, is the story of Aidan and the neighbour's child brought back as a vampire. Children aren't turned because they cannot control themselves, their blood lust, their emotions or their need for revenge. The eventual resolution of this story is harsh, cruel and somewhat inevitable, and does kind of make you wonder why Aidan carries on his existence at all since there seems to be so little joy in it.
Dog Eat Dog
A group of ancient vampires known as The Dutch pay a visit to assess Bishop's set up and Aidan is dragged back into the vampire fold when Josh is taken to be a contestant in a werewolf dogfight.
This episode is an unsatisfying one in many respects. The fact that both Aidan and Josh are completely helpless throughout and that the whole thing leads up to climactic event that isn't even shown makes for a storyline that never really seems to have any point other than to fill out the running time.
That isn't what we've had from the show to date and so it comes as something of a disappointment.
Bishop's assessment by the Dutch takes an unexpected, and deadly, turn whilst Sally faces an exorcism organised by Danny.
Sally's story is one of her most dramatic moments, but since she doesn't do much about the threat other than stand around and beg them not to do it, there really isn't that much punch to it. Even the actions that she finally takes and the resolution fail to satisfy.
Josh's news that Nora is pregnant leads to the one bright spot in all the doom and despondency as he completely mishandles the situation, of course. It's amusing and provides the lighter moment that the ongoing darker storylines sorely need.
The central plank of all this, however, is the vampire plotline. The original idea of a ghost, werewolf and vampire trying to live a normal life has been long since jettisoned and you certainly get the feeling that the vampire tale is the one that the writers would rather be focusing on. There are some nice twists along the way, the satisfying death of one particularly annoying enemy and Aidan is forced into yet another act that is destined to send his soul spiralling ever deeper into darkness.
You're The One That I Haunt
Aidan gets paranoid about Bishop's inevitable retribution, but also comes across an old girlfriend. Josh and Norah get an ultrasound scan. Sally's attack on Danny leads to drastic actions on his part.
After last week's event-packed story, the pace drops right back down again in a surprising penultimate episode. Josh gets almost nothing to do, waiting around for the news on whether his unborn child is a wolf monster or not. Sally gets a serious makeover as a ghost from THE EVIL DEAD and her story is the most dramatic, for a change, involving arson and confessions.
Aidan's tale of an old love interrupted by Bishop is perfectly fine, but needed to have come along earlier in the season as it tells us nothing now that we have not already learned about Bishop. It's a tender story for Aidan, but seems inconsequential in the face of the vampire war that seems inevitable after last week.
There is, however, a very nice last couple of minutes as Sally's door into the afterlife shows up and Bishop's revenge comes unexpectedly.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Me Killing You
Following his attack on Aidan, it is clear that Bishop has to die. Sally, whose door to the afterlife has vanished, and Josh plot to use his becoming a werewolf as the manner in which the assassination will be carried out.
BEING HUMAN USA neatly uses elements of the original TV storyline whilst abandoning others in order to create a season finale that is unpredictable even to fans of the original. Aidan has to accept the sacrifice of one more loved one, Josh must accept that he is as much a killer as the wolf within and Sally has to accept that she may be tied to the earth forever.
There's a sense of doom approaching that hangs over things, but that is at least leavened by the fact that Nora finally learns the truth about Josh, something that leads into one of the ongoing plot threads for the next season.
Also, the final showdown with Bishop is pretty epic.
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