Review

Review

'There Goes The Neighborhood: Part 1' - 'Being Human' Episode 1.1

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Being Human Episode 1.1
"There Goes the Neighborhood: Part 1"
Written By: Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke
Directed By: Adam Kane
Original Airdate: 17 January 2011


In This Episode...

...we meet Aidan, a vampire, and Josh, a werewolf. The two work as orderlies at a hospital, and support each other with their nocturnal proclivities. Aidan, after hundreds of years as a vampire, is wearily used to vampirism, and is trying to detox from live blood. Josh, only a werewolf for two years, is still having a hard time adjusting to his "monthly curse." The two decide to move in together in the hopes of building normal, human lives.

Josh falls in love with a two-story townhouse that is a real fixer-upper. Aidan is sold on the place when Danny, the landlord, promises not to run a credit report. Danny is desperate to rent the place. He and his fiancee were fixing it up when she died suddenly. The boys move in, only to discover they have a third roommate: Sally, the dead fiancee. She is overjoyed that the boys, supernatural entities themselves, can see and hear her. Sally is still in the house because she has "unfinished" business - what that is, she doesn't yet know.

The boys come with their own baggage. Aidan has fallen off the wagon. He takes a nurse, Rebecca, out for drinks and they end up back at her apartment - and she is the drink. Aidan is desperately guilty, and calls Marcus, an old vamp friend, to help him clean up his mess. Marcus is the number two in the vampire hierarchy. Now that Aidan has made contact, Bishop, vampiro numero uno wants Aidan back in the fold.

Josh ran away from his family when he turned wolf. His sister Emily sees him when her girlfriend is admitted to his hospital with a broken arm. She is overjoyed to see him, but Josh does his best to push her away. She doesn't give up, and becomes locked in Josh's basement saferoom with him on the night of the full moon.

Dig It or Bury It?

When I first heard about Being Human, I thought the concept sounded hokey: a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost move in together, and hilarity ensues. Then I heard it was based on a British show, and I thought, "Oh, those wacky Brits." But in preparation for the series, I caught up on the British series - and I liked it. So I started looking forward to the American version. Guess what? I liked it, too. The series does not take itself too seriously, which makes it all the more real. Aidan's storyline has been a little bit puffed up - he is one of those deeply tortured vampires, and all his vampire scenes come across as overly-important.

The production values on the American version are much higher than its predecessor. Granted, it doesn't take much to look better than a British show. BBC shows tend to look like they were shot ten years before they actually were. But Being Human looked great, even by American standards. The werewolf effects were smoother, and they gave Sally ghost effects: she can't interact with objects, and she occasionally evaporates when she gets upset.

US Being Human is very, very close to UK Being Human - almost too close. Thinking back about tonight's premiere, I find British scenes splicing in with American scenes in my head. Some scenes were taken from the original series line for line. Sally, the American ghost, wears an outfit that is almost identical to that of British ghost, Annie (neither ghost has the option of changing clothes). I really did enjoy the American series on its own merits, and the series got international distribution locked up before it even aired tonight, but I worry about the series longevity if it doesn't distinguish itself.

Brits vs. Yanks

Yanks: We see the boys move in together, and discover they have a third roommate.
Brits: When the show begins, the three flatmates are already living together, and the story is focused first and foremost on the ghost.

Myths Revamped

Aidan can walk in the sunlight, and so far there has been no explanation as to why. Sally cannot leave the house she died in, but it isn't clear if that is because she physically can't or mentally can't.

Bloody Hell

In flashback, Aidan revisits a wedding that he and Bishop crashed. The two slaughter the entire guest list. There is something unsettling about a room full of corpses, whose blood is mingling with pastel-colored buttercream frosting.

Prophecies?

The series is promising to follow the British version pretty closely: Josh will be mentored by a werewolf; Sally will be mentored by a ghost; vampires will make life very difficult for Aidan.

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