Vampires, and Werewolves, and Ghosts, OH MY! – A Recap of Being Human’s Pilot Episode “There Goes The Neighborhood”

OK . . . so let me get this straight .  . . It’s a show about vampires . . . and werewolves . . . and ghosts . . . where almost the ENTIRE cast is in their twenties . . . AND there was male frontal nudity in the first TWO MINUTES of the pilot episode?  You had me at HELLO!

A few nights back, the Syfy channel debuted it’s U.S. incarnation of the hit British supernatural horror comedy series Being Human. (Well, more accurately, it’s a Canadian incarnation.  Though the show is meant to take place in Boston, it is obviously filmed in a place where people are more likely to say “oot and aboot” than “pahk your cahr in a Hah-vahd yahd.”)  As a lover of all things supernatural, who had never watched the British version of this series, I was excited to get a fresh and unfettered glimpse at the show, when I finally got around to watching it this evening.  (For better or worse, Monday is a crowded night for me in TV Land.)

Though comparisons between this series and its U.K. incarnation, as well as other television shows of supernatural bent (most notably, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood) are inevitable, and not always favorable, I, for one, enjoyed this pilot.  In fact, once the producers iron out a few of the “freshman kinks,” I think this has the makings of a pretty awesome series — one that has the potential to stick around for a long time. 

Freshman Kink #1 – Is that supposed to be a werewolf, or a leprechaun wearing cheap dentures?

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s bite into that pilot episode!

I’m really “torn” about this screenshot.  (No pun intended.)  On one hand, I’m loving the Dirty Naked Dude!  But the Butchered Bambi’s Mother?  Not so much . . . Next time?  Let’s stick to Bloody Humans, and leave the Furry Woodland Creatures ALONE, shall we?

Meet Josh.  He’s a lonely twenty something, who’s desperately in need of a female influence in his life . . .

Worst . . . Walk of Shame . . . EVER!

For the most part, Josh leads a normal, if slightly dull and unfulfilling life.  But once a month, he really “lets his hair down.” When that happens, his Freak Flag flies at full mast.  You see, two years ago, Josh was bitten by a werewolf.  This event caused him to leave all his family and friends behind, and seek shelter in the vast city of Boston.  Now, he spends his nights alone in a forest, and his days rightfully feeling pretty sorry for himself . . .

This is Aidan.  And, no, he doesn’t always look like an extra from the Maenad-induced Orgies on Season 2 of True Blood.  (True Blood fans know EXACTLY what I’m talking about here.)

There . . . that’s better.  Aidan is a REALLY OLD vampire.  And, unlike his friend, Josh, he is not exactly unlucky with the ladies.  In fact, he gets lucky with one in his very first scene . . . a bit TOO lucky, some might say.

Don’t let this image fool you.  Aidan is not a BAD vamp.  In fact, he’s trying to go “straight,” by cutting living human blood out of his diet, entirely.  He just has a bit of an . . . “addiction problem,” one that has been fueled by many years of unadulterated feeding.  Sound familiar, TVD fans?

Unfortunately for Aidan, dead humans aren’t quite as readily accepted by the human population as Dead Bambi’s Mother.  And so, Aidan is forced to call upon one of his former vampire “friends” to clean up his mess for him, while he heads off to work.  On the way there, he picks up Josh.  The latter is still clad in that ridiculous dress (which fits him perfectly, by the way) that he pulled off some old lady’s clothes line to cover up his nakedness.  (Really?  Has anybody actually used a clothes line, since 1952?)

I read that, in the British version, Aidan (a.k.a. “John”) and Josh (a.k.a. “George”) are “hospital cleaners” by trade.  But here, in the American version, they seem as though they might be low-level orderlies, of some sort.  The job is convenient for Vampire Aidan, obviously, because it gives him ready access to a non-living blood supply.  Josh’s rationale for taking the job is a bit more murky.  However, we suspect it has something to do with him having been “pre-med,” during his “pre-werewolf” days.  It’s also a fairly anonymous job — one where he likely won’t have to work through too many full moons.

Throughout the day, Aidan keeps trying to convince Josh that they should shack up together.  By doing so, they can help one another satisfy their sexual urges “be more normal.”  (Honestly, I’m not really sure how sharing an apartment with another “freak” makes one less “freaky,” but I guess, there wouldn’t be a show, without it, right?)

Let the Bromance BEGIN!

Though initially skeptical, Josh ultimately agrees to live with Aidan.  (And why not?  After all, we never got a chance to see where either guy was living to begin with.  So, for all we know, they may both have been homeless.) 

“I don’t cook (or eat).  I don’t clean.  And my credit sucks,” explains Aidan, before the pair head off apartment hunting.

(Best ROOMMATE ADVERTISEMENT, EVER!)

Inevitably, the first day of apartment hunting, Josh falls in love with a little duplex fixer-upper apartment, close to where the guys work.  It’s current owner is a young skittish-looking guy, who seems VERY eager to rent out the place.  “You can keep all the furniture, and move in today.  And, honestly, I don’t need a credit check,” says the landlord nervously.

As it turns out, this guy has good reason to want to be rid of the apartment.  You see, his fiance DIED there. (Insert Dramatic Music Here).

But, as we know, Dead Stuff doesn’t phase these two in the LEAST.  So, into the apartment they go!   There’s just one problem.  They aren’t alone . . .

“BOO!  Haha, scared ya, didn’t I?  Get it?  Because I’m a GHOST . . . yeah . . . never mind.”

Remember how the landlord said his fiance died in the apartment.  Well . . . she’s still there!  Except, now she’s in “ghost form,” and can only be seen and heard by . . . wait for it . . . supernatural creatures.  Ghost Girl (her name is Sally, by the way) is just THRILLED about the prospect of finally having a two-sided conversation.  So, she just starts talking the boys’ ears off.  Aidan doesn’t seem too phased by the idea of bunking with a ghost AND a werewolf.  But Josh is PISSED!  He wants to have sex with Aidan alone time, DAMMIT!

The problem, of course, is that Ghost Girl Sally CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE.  You see, she still has “unfinished business” on Earth (as most ghosts do).  Specifically, Ghost Girl Sally isn’t quite sure how she died.  And, until she figures that out, Aidan and Josh are stuck with her . . .

Friggin Ghostly Cock Block!

But our boys have more problems than just coping with a third-wheel Casper of a roommate.  As for Aidan, there’s that little problem of the coworker he killed . . .

The police have been milling about the hospital where he works, asking questions.  And everybody seems to know that Aidan and “Rebecca” were kind of an item.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Aidan’s call to a “vampire friend” to “clean up his mess” resulted in him being tracked down by THIS GUY . . .

That’s Marcus.  He’s a Vampire Henchman of some guy named Bishop, who you will meet, in just a bit.  He keeps talking to Aidan about “coming back.”  Apparently, like in True Blood world, the vampires in Being Human are, at least somewhat, organized.  They have a leader.  They have a social structure.  And Blood Bank Sipper Aidan . . . well . . . I guess that makes him a bit of a deserter.

During lunch, Aidan gets cornered by a policeman, who seems to know WAY TOO MUCH about Aidan’s relationship with Rebecca. In fact, he all but accuses Aidan of murdering the girl.  And, just when I’m starting to yell at the TV screen, “YOU’RE A VAMPIRE!  USE MIND CONTROL ON HIM ALREADY, YOU MORON,” the cop sitting next to him does exactly that.

That’s right, boys and girls!  Big Bad Vampire Bishop is Jacob from Lost.  How’s that for a coincidence?  Now, don’t get me wrong, casting a Metaphor for God Character from a successful series, to play your show’s main (religiously named) villain is not a bad idea, all things considered.  And yet, if Stunt Casting was, in fact, the ultimate goal, there are a few other actors I think might have served this purpose even more effectively:

A girl can dream, can’t she? 

Anyway, Jacob Bishop mind controls  . . . or compels . . . or glamours (whatever you want to call it) Mr. Policeman to think Aidan is innocent, and leave the premises.  But he doesn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart.  He wants Aidan “back.”  (Here we go again, with that “come back” stuff, which sounds a bit sexual, if you ask me.) 

From flashbacks, we learn that Aidan used to be quite the naughty beast — crashing weddings with his pal, Bishop . . .

 . . . and proceeding to EAT the entire bridal party . . .

 Mmmmm, that Vince Vaughn is TASTY!

. . . well . . . except for THIS GIRL . . .

 .  . who we just KNOW is going to be important later, don’t we?

As for Josh, he’s having his own problems.  For starters, he’s getting all tongue-tied around the Cute Quirky Future Love Interest New Girl at the Hospital . . .

“Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.  My name is Poor Man’s Claire Danes.  Nice to meet you!”

He’s also been spotted by his baby sister, who was visiting her girlfriend there, because she conveniently had a broken bone, or something,  (Yep, Little Sis is gay!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  Now, Emily (that’s her name, by the way) insists on knowing where Josh has been for two years, and why he ran away in the first place . . .

Of course, Josh ultimately decides NOT to come clean to his sister, a decision he will soon come to regret.  That night, Josh heads back to the hospital, to seek out the new conveniently located dungeon therein, where Aidan suggested that Josh could “safely change.”

Sounds good, right?  Well, it would be . . . . except, unbeknownst to Josh, his sister has followed him down to the dungeon.  And now, she is LOCKED IN THERE WITH HIM.  (Again, sound familiar TVD fans?)

When Josh finds out what happened, he starts FREAKING OUT, understandably.  His poor sister, who mistakenly thinks he’s sick, keeps trying to comfort him, only to finally get shoved violently out of the way.  Josh uses his cell phone to contact to Aidan, who has the key to the dungeon, and has promised to help out in situations like this. 

Unfortunately for Josh, Aidan has been swept up in a little intrigue of his own, having been practically kidnapped by Jacob Bishop and brought to some sort of Vampire Brothel . . .

(Unfortunately, it is not named Fangtasia . . .)

Once there, Aidan is taken into some seedy back room, where a slutty-looking girl slits her wrist, causing Aidan to become totally aroused, vampire-style . . .

(Something tells me, he won’t be answering his werewolf friend’s text messages any time soon.)  Josh also calls Ghost Girl Sally.

Unlike Aidan, Sally really WANTS to help her new roommate!  Unfortunately, her ghostly hand keeps going through the phone.  So, she can’t pick it up.  (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

The episode ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with Aidan voyaging “back” toward the Dark Side, and Josh beginning his wolfy transformation, as his defenseless little sister looks on in horror . . .

SOMEONE needs a manicure!

And that was the Pilot Episode of Being Human in a nutshell.  Did YOU watch?  If so, what did you think?  Was it good enough to find a place on your permanent TV roster?  Or was it just a One Night Stand? 

 

Yes, I do recognize that using this picture again (especially in this context) was in poor taste.  It didn’t stop me from doing it, though!

[www.juliekushner.com]

11 Comments

Filed under Being Human

11 responses to “Vampires, and Werewolves, and Ghosts, OH MY! – A Recap of Being Human’s Pilot Episode “There Goes The Neighborhood”

  1. Andi

    It’s not bambi’s mother, it’s a buck. Looks to be about 2-3 years old
    lol

    • LOL. True. But I automatically associate all Dead Deer with Bambi’s Mother. (Not that I’ve seen all that many in my lifetime, fortunately.) This probably has something to do with the fact that the Disney cartoon in question traumatized me as a child. :)

  2. I saw the British version, so watching the American/Canadian edition was a bit awkward. But I loved your review, and still might be back for more of the show next week.

    • Thanks so much, Noelle! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recap. I can definitely see how it would be jarring to see this version of Being Human, having recently watched the original U.K. version.

      Even having not seen the original, I, personally, found myself very confused by the whole “name change” thing. Half the reviews I read in preparation for this post used the U.K. names for the American characters, and vice versa. If the American writers planned on sticking, more or less, with the same storyline, why did they bother changing the characters’ names?

      It’s not as though “British” names are particularly “foreign” sounding to Americans. “John” and “George?” Those names are about as American as Apple Pie! In fact, they are arguably more American than “Aidan” and “Josh.”

      Name pet-peeves aside, I thought the pilot showed a lot of promise. Sure, it had its weak points: cheesy special effects, a bit too time spent philosophizing on the meaning of life for a quirky supernatural show, and a bit of inconsistency in the acting department for some of the characters. And yet, TVD’s pilot had many of these same weaknesses, and look how far THAT show has come! :)

      I particularly liked Sam Worthington’s portrayal of Werewolf Josh. For me, the actor found just the right mix of dorkiness, quirky charm, awkwardness, frustration and angst, to make his character extremely likeable and relatable. I also thought the actress who played his younger sister, Emily, did a great job. The pair have a real natural chemistry together. And, for me, their scenes together were some of the pilot’s strongest.

      Though I’m not entirely sure where this will fit in my permanent TV watching schedule, I plan on giving Being Human another shot too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show, as the series progresses, particularly the ways in which you feel this version is better and/or worse than the U.K. one.

  3. Your one night stand joke was hilarious to me, because it reminded me of the freaky demon in season one of Angel (the only one I watched because I never got around to the others) that jump from one person to another right after sex, by BORING A HOLE IN THEM. The blood in the one night stand image is kinda in the right place… yes, I am dark and twisty too, don’t worry ;)

    I LOVED all of the Vampire Diaries references, but the Forwood one made me the happiest. Shocking, I know, in a post with Damon pics! My love for that ship is THAT strong.

    Speaking of Forwood, as long as there is a Tyler at the end of the werewolf leprachaun’s rainbow, I’m happy! I think werewolves are the hardest creature to pull off convincingly, so I’ll be a little bit lenient in this department.

    Being a ghost would be depressing. Imagine having no physical human contact whatsoever ever again. And being stuck in a house, so you can’t use the the most awesome part of your female ghostly powers, walking into boys’ locker rooms without raising an eyebrow, would suck.

    The floral top worn during the walk of shame gave me flashbacks to Lafayette hallucinating that Lettie Mae is Eric and holding a gun to his head while wearing her Sunday best.

    There was so much win in this post and I can’t wait to read your other recaps of this series. I especially loved the Wedding Crashers reference. Makes the WC boys’ motives for crashing weddings look positively Snow White fair by comparison.

    • Hey Cherie! Do you know that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single full episode of Angel? *hangs head in shame* Then again, maybe I’m better off, seeing as the episode you are describing would have given me The Nightmares, FOR SURE! (It’s really ironic, given what a vampire lover, and supernatural TV and Book buff, I am. But I truly am a WIMP of EPIC PROPORTIONS, when it comes to CERTAIN horror concepts. *blushes*)

      LOL. That DOES look like the Dress Vampire Eric Northman was wearing in Lafayette’s hallucination! Good call! You know, I bet somewhere out there, there’s some Old Lady Clothing Store for Supernatural Creatures Who Like to Cross Dress, and that dress is on sale there. :)

      I agree with you that being a Ghost ,who was stuck in the house for all eternity, would suck royally. After all, what good is being able to “haunt,” if you don’t at least get “frequent flyer” miles out of it? ;) I also wouldn’t want to be a werewolf . . . WAY too much shaving involved in that. ;) Plus, I’m such an animal lover, that the unconscious Bambi killings would be too much for my fragile psyche to take.

      Now, vampirism . . . THAT is something I could “live” with . . . ;)

      You’re very welcome for the Forwood references of course! How could I possibly talk Werewolf Locked in Dungeon to Protect Others from Himself, without even mentioning the EPICNESS that was Tyler’s First Were-Transformation? It would be a sacrilege of the highest order! :)

  4. Definitely a one night stand for me… I can’t help but compare it to the original, which I LOVED. First love never dies I guess =P Writing about it on my blog soon!

    • Hi diplomaticwife! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! :)

      Between this and Skins (the U.K. version of which I have recently discovered on YouTube and am now, officially, obsessed with), I am starting to be SUPER jealous of all you folks that have regular access to U.K. TV shows WHEN they first air. :) Having nothing to compare them to, I felt as though both U.S. Skins and U.S. Being Human (well, I guess they were more Canadian than American) were fun and fresh.

      However, after I watched a few episodes of the U.K. Skins, I definitely began to understand why fans of both original shows were dissatisfied. I suspect that it’s almost impossible to recreate the charm of an original show with different actors, and a different setting — no matter how well intentioned the producers of said show may be. (The U.S. version of the Office did it successfully, but only after completely revamping the original show’s style and sense of humor, to conform with American sensibilities.)

      I actually have yet to see the U.K. version of Being Human. So, I very much look forward to seeing your take on the U.S. pilot, as someone who has seen both versions. Even if it was just a one-night stand for you. ;)

      • I have yet to watch Skins and now I am intrigued. Should I watch the UK or the US version first? Would love your thoughts!

        Ah we don’t have UK shows here..but there’s always torrents. Ooops! Maybe I shouldn’t say that here. Eeep. I am guessing that’s not allowed in the US aye?

        Will definitely message you when the post is up! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Being Human UK when you do get to watch it. Very exciting!

      • Definitely start with the U.K. version, diplomaticwife! I found the series on YouTube early this weekend, and have since become a FULL convert! (Start by searching for for “Skins Series 1, Episode 1,” and you should find most of the episodes, in good viewing quality, without too much sleuthing.)

        If you end up watching, definitely stop by, and let me know what you think! Now that I’ve seen most of the first season, and about half of the second of the U.K. version, I would LOVE to chat with a fellow “newbie” about my new obsession! :)

  5. Pingback: It’s Hard Out There for a Ghost . . . and a Vampire . . . and a Werewolf – A Retrospective of SyFy’s First Season of Being Human | TV Recappers Anonymous

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