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It’s Hard Out There for a Ghost . . . and a Vampire . . . and a Werewolf – A Retrospective of SyFy’s First Season of Being Human

On Monday night, the SyFy channel aired the Season 1 Finale of it’s critically acclaimed supernatural drama,  Being Human (based on a British series with the same name).  The show, which has just been picked up for a second season, chronicles the lives of three roommates, who WOULD lead fairly normal lives, were it not for the fact that they are a Ghost, a Vampire, and a Werewolf, respectively . . .

Nice hat!

Nice lipstick . . .

Nice boxers!  (Now, please take them off!)

Although I stopped formally recapping this show after Episode Three, (due to other recapping responsibilities, and my general inability to secure solid screencaps of the show, in a timely fashion *blushes*) . . .

“That smells like bull$h*t to me!”

 . . .  I watched it faithfully, each week.  And, as a result, I am proud to name myself as part of its fanbase.  Admittedly, the series was a bit slow getting out of the starting gate, as its writers struggled to find a balance between copying what made the British version of the series so successful, and striking out on their own.  However, as the cast developed their character’s distinctive voices, and the producers ventured outside the British series for episode inspiration, Being Human really began to hit its stride, with the episodes improving significantly from week-to-week.

“You like us!  You REALLY like  us!”

In honor of that sentiment, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at Being Human’s first season, as seen through the eyes of its three main characters: Josh, the Werewolf, Sally the Ghost and Aiden the Werewolf . . .

Wolfman Josh (played by Sam Huntington)

Poor Josh!  Life definitely hasn’t been kind to this guy.  Two years ago, he was a loveable, overachieving college graduate with his sights set on med school.  He was also engaged to be married, and had a younger sister who admired him, and parents who worshipped the ground on which he walked.  Sounds pretty good, right?

Cut to two years later, when we first meet the afore-described “Golden Boy” in Being Human’s pilot episode.  Now, Josh is a hospital orderly, who cleans bedpans for a living.  He hasn’t had sex for two years. (So much for being engaged!).  And his whole family thinks he suffered a nervous breakdown.  Did I mention he is also a werewolf?

In addition to being my absolute favorite character on Being Human, Josh also bears the impressive distinction of being the cast member most often naked on the show.  Given Sam Huntington’s fine physique, I suspect this is NO accident . . .

If the repeated appearances of Naked Josh on Being Human were inserted into the show, as a cheap ploy to increase the female viewership of a television station, that has, heretofore, been almost exclusively watched by geeks men, it sure WORKED ON THIS FEMALE!  In fact, every time Naked Josh “exposed himself” to my television screen, I may or may not have have reacted like this . . .

Anyhoo . . . in addition to the monthly “wolfing out” of his man parts, Josh underwent a number of intensely personal and painful transformations, during the course of the season.  In the first few episodes, we sympathized for Josh, as he coped the shame he felt regarding his true nature, and the anger and bitterness he experienced over the many ways in which being a werewolf prevented him from achieving his lifelong dreams and goals.  These complex, and super angsty, emotions that Josh kept bottled inside caused him to isolate himself from others. 

*sings* “All by my selllllllllf . . . don’t wanna be . . . all by my selllllf, any morrrreeeee.”

However, as the series progressed, Josh began to open his heart to his roommates, who taught him that, just because he gets a bit hormonal once a month, doesn’t mean his life is over.  (Surely, many of us girls can relate to THIS!)  This “heart-opening” eventually enabled Josh to reconnect with his baby sister . . .

  . . . and make a new werewolf playmate (who ended up being this TOTAL vampire-hating psychopath, who was responsible for scratching Josh, and turning him werewolf in the first place . . . but still . . . babysteps!)

Eventually, he even manages to fall in love again, with a nurse at the hospital named Nora.  And she falls in love with HIM too, once he finally figures out how to stop growling at, running away from, and butt humping her, of course!

Speaking of butt humping, it takes a real well-endowed wolf to impregnate a girl THIS way, on the first try .  . .

Way to go JOSH!  (You sly DOG, you!)

In a matter of days post ass-screwing, Nora is suddenly the human-equivalent of three months pregnant (Apparently, wolf gestation periods are WAY shorter than ours.  Who knew?  Plenty of people who regularly watch the SyFy channel did, I bet!  ).  This, of coruse,  is going to make it REALLY hard for the new couple to find time to decorate the nursery! 

In the season finale, Nora walks in on Josh during a wolfy transformation, and watches him endure it.  In an oddly calm moment, a Wolfed Out Josh blinks his big yellow CGI-created eyes at Nora, from beneath a locked door.  (This Wolfman knows a Baby Mama when he sees ONE!) 

Far from being freaked out by this revealation, Nora actually seems pretty relieved to learn that Josh has been acting like a crazy man around her, because he’s a werewolf, instead of just your run-of-the-mill a$$h*le.  But then she realizes that, during his transformation, Josh inadvertently scratched HER, in an effort to push her out of harms way.  Sorry She-Wolf!  It looks like the MONTHLY CURSE is on YOU . . . TOO!  (And now you have TWO of them.  LUCKY YOU!)

Sweet, loveable, socially awkward, and undeniably goofy, Josh is definitely a character with whom I wouldn’t mind spending a second season.  Except, I’d probably buy him a REALLY THICK PAIR OF GLOVES, before I got too close . .  .

A girl’s always gotta use “protection,” you know!

Vampire Aiden (played by Sam Witwer)

If Josh was the Being Human character who got the most Naked Time (though, admittedly, Aiden got HIS share of that too .  . .) . . .

. . . Aiden was the character that got the most TOTAL screentime. (Then again, if YOU were alive for as long as THIS vampire’s been roaming the Earth, YOU’D have a lot of ISSUES to address too!)

Well, hello, Charlie Chaplin!  I didn’t know YOU were in this show!

*sings* “Grease is the time.  It’s the place.  It’s the no-tion.  Grease is the way we are FEELIN”!”

Yeah . . . I don’t really have anything to say about that . . .

For Aiden, most of the season was spent struggling to maintain a non-human munching lifestyle, and cope with centuries of past wrongs, all while trying to avoid the clutches of his evil old Vampire Empire Building boss, Bishop (played by Mark Pellegrino). . .

I’m proud to report that it only took me THREE-QUARTERS of the season to stop thinking of THIS GUY as “Jacob from Lost.”

Though Aiden managed to lead a fairly “human” law-abiding life style, throughout the season, there were a few minor missteps along the way.  Like, for example, the time when he accidentally ate his human girlfriend, Rebecca, while they were screwing . . .

So, Bishop turned her, just to piss Aiden off, basically.  Then, Rebecca became this REALLY ANNOYING, SUPER UNLIKEABLE CHARACTER with whom Aiden still inexplicably hooked up, for most of the season.  That nonsense ended in the penultimate episode, when he finally staked her, at her own request, thereby, putting us ALL out of our misery . . .

SAYONARA, BLOODSUCKA!

Then, there was this OTHER time, when Aiden met this guy who SWORE that Aiden had killed his dad, back when the guy was only 10- years old.  (HE HAD!)  So, Aiden tries to take away the guy’s memory of the event, but ends up driving him to KILL HIMSELF, instead . . . OOPS!

Then, there was this THIRD TIME when Aiden befriended a little boy, named Bernie, who accidentally got into Aiden’s vampire porn stash, making Bernie’s mom think Aiden was a TOTAL Pedo!  Then Bernie gets hit by car, and dies.  So Rebecca turns him.  But Bishop makes Aiden think his new vampire son is running around EATING bullies, so Aiden kills the little vampire child.  (Am I noticing a PATTERN, here?)

“Hey, little boy!  What do you say I give you a REALLY untimely death?  Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

The season ends with Aiden killing Bishop, and becoming Sheriff of Area Five, Eric Northman Vampire Ruler of Boston.  (Be afraid, Ben Affleck!  Be VERY AFRAID!)

Broody, tortured, soulful, and super sexy, with a healthy dose of guilt and self-hatred to boot, Aiden is EXACTLY the kind of TV vampire, us fangbanging fangirls love to drool over!

Sally the kind of Whiny Ghost (played by Meaghan Rath)

Sad Sack Sally has a sob story to tell.  You see, a few months back, she “fell” down the stairs of her apartment, hit her head, and died.  So, she’s been literally hanging around the apartment in her pajamas, ever since . . . unable to move on to the Great Beyond, due to “unfinished business.”  Sally spends the first half of the season crying over her boring, and rather personality-free, fiance, Danny, who is renting the apartment, where he and Sally used to live, to Aiden and Josh.

To make matters worse, Danny has recently started boning Sally’s best friend . . . while Sally watches.  AWK-WARD!

Care for a Menage-a-GHOST?

Things with Sally become slightly more interesting (not to mention WAY less annoying), when she learns that Danny just so happens to be a Girlfriend and Fiance-Beating Sociopathic Cretin, who KILLED SALLY, just because she accidentally dropped her engagement ring in the sink!  Suddenly, it becomes a battle of “wits” between Sally and Sociopathic Cretin.  Sally, with more energy and intensity than she’s exhibited all season, haunts Danny’s ass FOR FUN!  It’s all INCREDIBLY dark . . . and oddly cathartic.  In return, Danny does everything in his power to try and get Sally out of the house, even going as far as to perform an EXORCISM on her, and light their apartment ON FIRE!

After a brief bout of zombieism . . .

That’s taking the “smoky eye” look a bit too far, don’t you think?

 . . . Sally (with the help of a vamped out Aiden) finally scares Danny into turning himself in to the cops for killing her. 

When this happens, Sally’s Unfinished Business is suddenly not-so-unfinished anymore.  In the Season Finale, a LITERAL door opens for Sally to travel into the Great Beyond . . . and she conveniently forgets to walk through it.  OOPS!

And that was Season 1 of Being Human in a VERY SIMPLIFIED nutshell. 

Thirsty for more?  You can now check out full episodes of the first season of Being Human on Hulu.com.  For those of you who would prefer a “quicker fix” of the show, check out these nifty little sixty second episode recaps on the SyFy website: here

Not only do these recaps come FULLY LOADED with excellent video footage from each episode, they are also narrated by a woman, who clearly has a gift for the delivery of deadpan humor.  This woman can make you roll on the floor laughing without EVER HAVING TO CHANGE THE INTONATION OF HER VOICE!  She’s the Ben Stein of SyFY.com!

“Bueller . . . Bueller.”

Some of my favorite gems from the recaps include lines like these: “Evil Greaser Aiden threatens Bishop,”  “Josh gets sniffed .  . . weird,”  “Rebecca yells at Aiden.  She’s forgiven . . . again.”  and “Aiden and his Sideburns refuse.  Then they leave.”

For those of you who had a chance to watch the First Season of Being Human live, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the Comments section.  As for the rest of you, see you in Season 2!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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