Episode Title: "There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1"
Writers: Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke
Director: Adam Kane
In a remake of the BBC series of the same name, a vampire named Aidan (Sam Witwer) and werewolf called Josh (Sam Huntington) decide to live together to combat their respective curses, only to discover the ghost of Sally (Meaghan Rath), a recently deceased woman who lived in their new home.
The epic tale of three roommates begins with Aidan at the tail end of a date with his coworker, Rebecca (Sarah Allen). And it must have gone well, as she makes a point of inviting him inside and she takes off her shirt almost immediately to lure him into her bedroom. Elsewhere, Josh runs into the woods and strips out of his clothing. As night falls, he painfully transforms into a werewolf. Back at Rebecca’s house, Aidan has sex with her before his fangs emerge and he violently bites her. The next morning, he wakes up next to her corpse and calls someone for help cleaning it up. In the woods, Josh wakes up next to a half eaten deer and steals a dress before meeting up with Aidan in a car.
Since the two clearly know each other already, Aidan suggests that they move in together to help each other overcome their supernatural issues. At the hospital where they both work, Josh rejects the idea at first. But he slowly comes around after deciding that he wants to have a more normal life. Aidan tells him that he doesn’t clean and Josh warns him in turn that he’s OCD. After sharing a laugh, the two eventually find a large apartment that Josh clearly loves. While speaking with Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta), the landlord, he discloses that his fiancée died there. Regardless, the guys take the place.
After moving in, Aidan and Josh encounter an apparition and follow it upstairs. It turns out to be Sally, Danny’s fiancée who is haunting the house she lived in without any idea how she died. But she is ecstatic that both men can see and hear her. Aidan is fairly cool to the idea of her staying in the house, but Josh wants her to go and haunt Danny. However, she admits that she has no idea how to leave the house in her current state and she is afraid to even try. Later, Aidan finds Josh a hidden room near the hospital where he can transform into a werewolf without hurting anyone or waking up naked in the woods.
But at work, Aidan is the target of a police inspection over Rebecca’s disappearance. Only the interference of his sire, Bishop (Mark Pellegrino) keeps the cops at bay, since Bishop is apparently posing as a police officer as well. He tries to goad Aidan into returning to his vampire family, but he refuses. In another part of the hospital, Josh sees two girls kissing and one of them turns out to be his sister, Emily (Alison Louder). She demands to know why he abandoned her and the rest of their family, but he won’t answer her questions and asks her not to tell their parents that she found him.
That night, Bishop practically drags Aidan to a brothel that serves vampires where a young woman slits a vein her arm to allow Aidan to drink from her. At the hospital, Emily follows Josh to his secret room to get answers out of him, but she locks herself in with him when he tries to expel her. Josh tries to call Aidan to come get him, but as he’s otherwise engaged, Josh then tries Sally in desperation. As his transformation begins, he leaves a message for Sally begging her to help in any way or else he’ll kill his sister when he transforms completely.
I’ve tried watching the original BBC version of "Being Human," but I’ve never been able to get into it. There’s just something flat and lifeless about that show that seems to suck all of the energy out of it. And unfortunately, the American remake suffers from a lot of the same issues. Going into this show, I was optimistic that it might be somewhat entertaining, despite Syfy’s spotty record with non-space based shows like "Tremors" and "Haven." And there are times when it looks like there’s actually an interesting story ready to emerge from the series… but it hasn’t happened yet.
The biggest failing of this episode is that there’s no genesis for the friendship between Josh and Aidan. From the beginning, it’s apparent that they’ve known each other for a while and they know all about their double lives. But it feels like an important part of their relationship was skipped over completely. How exactly did a werewolf and a vampire become the best of friends? Seriously, I’d like to see that story. However, the series seems more concerned about setting them up in an apartment together than really exploring their characters.
Even the introduction of Sally seemed rushed and without any real buildup. There could have been some effective humor in watching the two roommates slowly work out that their place was haunted. And I did laugh at Sally’s attempts to scare them with Bon Jovi lyrics. But again, their new relationship with her was glossed over so quickly, it was pulled over for speeding. How are we supposed to relate to any of these characters if even the writers don’t seem willing to stay on them for very long?
Of the actors, Mark Pellegrino gives the best performance. But this show is many steps down from "Lost" and "Supernatural." Sam Witwer shows some promise as Aidan, but Sam Huntington comes off as a more awkward version of Arthur Darvill from "Doctor Who." There was also a really gratuitous scene of Josh’s sister Emily kissing her girlfriend which just seemed out of place. It actually overshadowed the revelation that she was related to him, which can’t have been the intended response. I did like the scene where Emily first confronted Josh for abandoning her. It was an actual scene of human drama! Who would have thought that even supernatural characters can become relatable if they act like human beings?!
If anything, "Being Human" needs more scenes to ground Aidan, Josh and Sally as people rather then the embodiment of their respective curses. The only way an audience is going to give a s*** about this show is if we care about them as people.
And right, we don’t.
Crave Online Rating: 6 out of 10.