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Being Human Recap: ‘There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 1’

A ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire walk into a bar. . . oh, sorry got that wrong. In the SyFy Network’s American version of the British show Being Human, a trio of otherworldly characters move into an apartment together like some supernatural remake of Three’s Company. They might have the gifts of immortality, mind control, and teleportation, but at the end of the day they just want to remember what is was like being normal, being human.

[Warning: Spoilers follow…]

The pilot “There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 1” opens with vampire Aidan playing the role of lady-killer as he romances a coworker on a date. They end up in bed together – and she ends up dead. Like an addict off the wagon, Aidan must call his sire to clean up the mess. Meanwhile, werewolf wild man Josh travels out to the woods in order to experience his monthly transformation – and ends up waking next to a dead deer. Not a good way for either of these two guys to start the day.

Aidan and Josh know each other through their jobs as nurses at Suffolk County Hospital in Boston, but it’s their shared secret of their true dark natures that binds their friendship. They decide to move in together so at least at home they don’t have to either be alone or pretend to be something they’re not: human. Even though that’s precisely what they both yearn to be again.

Out of fear of hurting them, Josh ran away from his human pack, but his sister inadvertently finds him when her partner is brought to the hospital. He tries to avoid her the entire episode, but clearly he comes from a close-knit family who won’t let him go so easily.

Aidan tries to fend off Bishop, the police officer and sire who is trying to bring him back into the vampire fold. Aidan claims he doesn’t “drink live” anymore, though he certainly did the night he killed his coworker. With the threat of his crime being revealed by Bishop, Aidan lets himself be taken to a “blood club” complete with “blood slaves” offering themselves up to the undead. At the memory of a young victim that seemingly made him question his undead lifestyle, Aidan resists temptation, but for how long?

While Aidan and Josh deal with the trials and tribulations of daily life, their unexpected roommate Sally deals with the frustrations of being a ghost. The fiancé of their landlord who couldn’t continue living in the apartment after her death, Sally doesn’t remember how or why she died and is just happy that finally after six months someone can see her.

The ramped up drama combined with Aidan and Josh’s hospital jobs make me fear Being Human could potentially turn into a supernatural Grey’s Anatomy, but with writer Jeremy Carver from Supernatural on board I hope they poke fun at the similarities. I love the dark humor in Supernatural and would be really happy to see more of that. The well-done Being Human pilot did show quite a bit of evidence of humor and dialogue like “Somewhere between the tiramisu and naughty bits we lose our head,” “Are you trying to scare us with Bon Jovi?” and a reference to the “Whoopi Goldberg School of Haunting” make me optimistic.

In the end, the frustrations and yearnings of these three characters are metaphors for the cages we all live with. The pilot neatly brought the conflict back around with forcing these two men to face the conflicts that started off the story: Aidan must resist the blood lust that took him over at the beginning of the episode while Josh finds himself locked in a safe room with his doe-eyed little sister unable to escape while the wolf takes him over. Sally can do nothing but listen to Josh’s frantic pleas for help over the phone while her fingers slip through the door, barring her from the real world.

3 Comments on Being Human Recap: ‘There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 1’

  1. Steve Oerkfitz // January 21, 2011 at 11:31 am //

    I thought this was terrible. Obviously geared to the Twilight crowd.

  2. I am a huge fan of the actual ORIGINAL TV series (and must admit it bugs the shit out of me that scufu is calling this an original production, because the by the only actual criteria this is original everything becomes original) and watched this with some trepidation…. and I must say that I quite enjoyed this, and I am eager to see the next episode which as far as I am concerned is is all that a pilot really needs to do.

    My biggest complaint about this episode has to be the uneven and rushed pacing, but I suspect that was deliberate to try set the series up and to do the difficult task of appealing to fans of the Original Show(OS) and to show us that this show is actually going to be different, whilst at the sametime appeal to new viewers.

    I like the casting of Aiden, whilst he is no Aiden Turner (the british actor who plays this role) he does have some on screen charisma and feel the twilight comments are maybe a bit harsh this early in the show.However I was less impressed with the casting of the ghost Sally who seems rather anemic and trying to hard to be Annie (OS) but hopefully she will be given more screen time to develop her own character in future episodes. As for Josh I was left cold… not sure if its the actor or the dialogue he was given something just didn’t click for me… George (OS) is a very complex character with a huge amount of strong emo emotional stuff to deal with and Russel Trovey works his socks off to stop it just becoming an emo whinge and makes George the heart of the show, whether they can perfect this with Josh (who seems to be going for an even greater EMO challenge) is something we will have to wait and see.

    For a pilot (actual tv pilot) I would have to give this a B+, for a first episode maybe a C. As I said I am looking forward to the next episode, this is much better than I feared it might be but will hold my real judgement of the show for a few episodes and see how it beds down and how it deals with its ‘originality’.

    Oh and I am curious about the timing of this… as season 3 starts here in the UK on Sunday.

  3. I just couldn’t stomach or get by the Twilight reference by Sally.  That seriously put me off.  Hey, I gotta have my standards, right?  =)  I don’t see myself watching this one.  The entire supernatural/vampire/werewolf/ghost(hunters) trope is dead to me.

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