Being Human has finally come to the United States – a full-on American version, that is. Fans of the original British series, available on BBC America, have mixed feelings. For one, the core storyline is exactly the same: a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living together trying to be as normal and human as possible. So basically, if you developed any kind of relationship with the British cast, you’re probably going to have some separation anxiety. However, to be fair, the producers of the American version have changed the names of the three characters, so there’s that, and they’ve also said that they don’t expect that the American series will follow the plot direction of the British series, which could be cool. The show’s premise is based on three supernatural creatures living together without having to hide what they are from each other, while facing everything else going on in their everyday lives.
Either way, the premiere held its own for me on Monday night. I’ve only seen a couple episodes of the British version so I’m pretty open to an American cast with its own direction. I thought that the first episode of Syfy‘s Being Human had decent special effects, funny one-liners, and one seriously hot vampire (Aidan) – played by none other than Sam Witwer (Doomsday from Smallville). The werewolf, Josh, is played by Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen from Superman Returns or Ox from Not Another Teen Movie), and the ghost, Sally, is played by Meaghan Rath. The premiere opened with a bang with a neat werewolf shifting scene in the middle of the woods (more lycan-like in the Underworld tradition as opposed to the werewolves from Twilight, which was awesome), and a vampire attack on an unsuspecting victim … with fangs!!
Aidan (vampire) and Josh (werewolf) are two friends working in the same hospital in Boston. Separated from their families/covens, they decide to move in together. The only problem is their new abode is haunted by a ghost (Sally) who is trapped inside. They all have baggage – Aidan trying to escape the drug-like nature of his vampiric curse, and staying away from Bishop, the vampire leader who keeps drawing him back to being a monster; Josh dealing with shifting every month and running away from his family; and Sally who can’t come to terms with the fact that she had everything and now is left nothing as a ghost. Being Human is about their lives, their stories, and their relationships with each other, in their struggle to be human. As Aidan put it, “We just want the same things that you do, a chance at life, at love. We’re not so different in that way. And so we try, and sometimes fail. When you’re something other … a monster, the concequences are worse. Much worse. You wake up from your nightmares, we don’t.”
The episode had a great start, a slow middle, and picked up some more steam in the end, when Josh finds himself trapped in his no-exit “change” room with his sister, and he has already begun to shift. Unable to reach Aidan, who has been lured back into Bishop’s depraved clutches to partake of human blood (which he has supposedly sworn off), Josh appeals to Sally to find the strength to leave the house to help him, and then the episode ends.
Overall, great foundation. Apart from the fact that Aidan is smoldering hot and perfectly cast as the vampire in the trio, I can’t wait to delve deeper into their world. I also really enjoyed the humorous one-liners which lightened up some of the darker elements.
Josh (about getting an apartment with Aidan): We’ll have full moon parties. We’ll invite the neighbors over and eat them.
Interestingly enough, in the information section on the channel guide, it was categorized as a comedy on Syfy. I enjoyed the banter, and some of the laugh-out-loud moments like Josh stealing and wearing a dress when he wakes up post-werewolf in the nude. Classic. Even the stalwart and scary Bishop has a tongue-in-cheek comment about the reality of being a vampire that was pretty funny.
Bishop to Aidan (about killing his date): Somehow between the tiramisu and the naughty bits, we lose our head.
I really enjoyed the episode, and am looking forward to the next one. Jury is out on whether this will be as popular as it’s British counterpart and namesake, and whether it has the staying power of other vampire/supernatural series like Buffy or The Vampire Diaries or Supernatural is yet to be seen.
Being Human airs on Syfy on Mondays at 9pm.