Morning everybody. I’ve held off reviewing the US version of [[Being Human (US TV Series)|Being Human]] mostly because I wanted to give it a few episodes to sink in.
We’re at episode three in season one now, Some Thing To Watch Over Me. It’s bizarre watching this version of Being Human, because it’s almost play for play like the original. The characters are almost perfectly cast American counterparts to the Mitchell, George and Annie combination that we all know and love. And the tone of the show, while heavily playing up the background music in a US-stylee, is almost as good as the original.
Little details mirror the UK edition – like the guys enlisting a ghost from the 80’s to help Sally deal with her, and Bishop (their version of Herrick) compelling the canteen girl. And I get the feeling that Sally is slowly moving toward a shocking revelation about how she died…
Front and center in this episode is Aidan, already tortured at the beginning by visions of himself throughout the ages. In an attempt to reach out to the neighbours (and thus feel more normal and ‘integrated’), he arranges a party in the house which turns into a neighbourhood watch event. It’s attended by the local liaison officer, Michael Garrity, who instantly recognizes Aidan…as his father’s killer.
Bishop warns Aidan that Garrity has been snooping in his file – and so Aidan pays Garrity a visit to find out how much he knows. A lot, as it turns out. And he’s not buying Aidan’s reasonable defence that he wasn’t ‘born’ whenever Garrity’s father was murdered. This prompts an interesting discussion between Bishop and Aidan as to how Garrity should be dealt with. We’re discovering now that because of his abstinent lifestyle, Aidan can’t use his vampire powers as well as normal vamps.
There’s a lot of intensity in these scenes surrounding Aidan. Clearly the obvious thing to do would be to kill off Garrity. Frankly, as a vampire, that would be my first option every time. Aidan opts to compel him instead, wiping his mind. The ultimate tragedy here is that in trying to remove Garrity’s memory, he drives the policeman mad and Garrity later shoots himself. This would seem to confirm Bishop’s stance on compassion is right – there doesn’t seem to be a halfway house for monsters like these.
In a touching storyline, Sally hangs out with her new headbanger friend. Through Tony’s experience, she learns that she’s not as constrained as she thought she was. It’s nice to see Sally bond with someone – even though he ruins the friendship by trying to ghost-kiss her. However, as Tony teaches Sally about her abilities, she’s unwittingly teaching him about closure, and their brief bond is broken when a door appears to take Tony to the afterlife.
In many ways, Meaghan Rath has the hardest role of the three to play. She’s mostly constrained to one place, and no other characters apart from Aidan and Josh (and the occasional blow-in) can interact with her. As we know from the original series, her story options are somewhat limited, so I’d hoped that the encounter with Tony might last a couple of episodes.
Josh has a smaller role in this episode – he’s on a comedy expedition with the neighbourhood watch. The most interesting thing to report here is that his werewolf abilities come to the fore and he can smell a graffiti artist from a distance. The aggression comes out too, as he almost chokes the perpetrator to death.
It’s tempting to constantly draw comparisons between the British and American versions of this show, although since they’re currently running parallel it’s to be expected. I’m sorry if the constant reference to the source material is bugging you, but my point is essentially that Being Human’s US edition so far is developing quite nicely. At this pace, it’s unlikely that it’ll go down the route of Life On Mars, but I’d suggest that as the season progresses, it needs to explore its own ideas to avoid being a complete clone series.
The cast of Being Human is: Aiden (Sam Witwer), Josh (Sam Huntington), Sally (Meaghan Rath) and Bishop (Mark Pelligrino).