Syfy's version of Being Human completely baffles me. I don't understand at all why it exists. Don't get me wrong" I understand the general concept of remaking UK shows for American audiences, particularly something like Skins, where the likelihood of getting the majority of 15-year-old MTV viewers to sit down and watch a show with British teenagers is highly unlikely. Or taking a comedy like The Office and translating the humor so that the majority of American audiences can feel in on the jokes. But in my experience, that doesn't really hold true for science fiction. Most of the sci-fi fans I know are usually pretty up on the UK shows that fit this genre, particularly if they've already aired on BBC America, like the original Being Human did.
So why do this show? I guess SyFy just wanted to capitalize on the success of vampires and werewolves in pop culture right now, but was there not a fresher way to do that? I guess they couldn't resist, considering the oddball premise of the show. Basically a werewolf and a vampire are friends/co-workers and they move into an apartment that is already inhabited by a ghost.
Aidan (Sam Witwer) is a vampire who works as a nurse and is trying to only drink blood from banks instead of humans, but slips up and occasionally kills people during sex. Josh (Sam Huntington) is a reluctant werewolf who is fairly nerdy and would love the opportunity to kill someone during sex. Well, not literally, but he mentions many a time that he hasn't had sex in two years, so he's desperate. And then there's Sally, who was killed a few months ago, is stuck in limbo and can't seem to leave the house. They all do their very best to blend in with regular folks, and given that they deal with the majority of the same issues (aside from the fact that they are monsters), they do a fairly decent job of it.
The story is told more through relationships and dialogue rather than action and gore, but it does have some funny moments... mostly courtesy of Sally, who attempts to scare off her new roommates with Bon Jovi lyrics and poofs in and out of existence randomly. Josh has his moments, too: post-transformation, he has to borrow a dress off of a clothesline and then walk through town with the most pissed-off look on his face. So that was kind of amusing. As for Aidan, well, he's not exactly funny. He's more brooding and depressing and spends most of the first hour trying to convince us he's sexy. For my money, he's not.
There's also a whole plot about a vampire mafia of sorts, who clean up after "incidents" and make sure the right sorts of high-rollers get turned. Jacob from Lost is unsurprisingly involved in that aspect of the show. And there are some tremendously subpar special effects, particularly when it comes to the werewolf transformations.
So basically the show is a mixed bag. There's an interesting premise, a funny ghost and a lovable werewolf, competing against a dramatic vampire arc, moodiness and just the problem that many people in the audience already know what happens next. Seriously, I didn't see the how-Sally-died twist coming the first time around, but now I'm kind of dreading watching it happen again. Given that my DVR is already overcrowded on Monday nights, this one will probably not make it on my must-see list.
Watch TWoP's editors discuss Being Human and more of the best and worst winter sci-fi and fantasy shows in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable channel:
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