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Syfy’s BEING HUMAN Off To A Promising Start

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Syfy’s BEING HUMAN Off To A Promising Start

Being Human Syfy

Photo : Syfy

The channel-formerly-known-as-SciFi has taken BBC’s formula for BEING HUMAN and decided to remix it. But is  “There Goes the Neighborhood – part 1” delightful like Cherry Coke or dreadful like New Coke?

  By : TAMARA BROOKS

The channel-formerly-known-as-SciFi has taken BBC’s formula for BEING HUMAN and decided to remix it. But is  “There Goes the Neighborhood – part 1” delightful like Cherry Coke or dreadful like New Coke?

The story follows Aiden (Sam Witwer – BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, SMALLVILLE) and Josh (Sam Huntington – FANBOYS, SUPERMAN RETURNS), two nurses who happen to be a vampire attempting to give up feeding on people and a reluctant werewolf respectively. They move in together in an attempt to help each other on the road to “normalcy” and end up with a unexpected third roommate – Sally (Meaghan Rath – THE ASSISTANTS, I ME WED), a ghost who doesn’t remember how she died and can’t leave the house.

Being Human Syfy

Photo : Syfy

There are moments of deja vu (like Aiden confronting another vampire in the hospital) and certainly a lot of the larger plot elements are going to be the same, but I definitely felt like I was watching a different show. This is not by any means a shot-for-shot remake. Beyond simple name changes and the fact that no one has an accent, the US version feels more introductory in that Aiden and Josh seem to have only recently become friends. I always felt the UK series started somewhere towards the middle of the story. Josh’s storyline follows a much different initial path than George’s, which was much more passive in comparison. Also, the relationship between Aiden and vampire-with-a-plan Bishop (the most excellent Mark Pellegrino – LOST, SUPERNATURAL) seems clearer here. There’s a definite father/rebelling son vibe but you can also tell it’s more complicated than that.

I’ve always found Huntington incredibly likable (he’s come a long way from JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE) which is very important considering how neurotic Josh is. He manages to be adorably panicky and charmingly clueless. Witwer is alluring and personable as Aiden and seems more comfortable around humans than the UK’s Mitchell, though not by much. The only character I can’t accurately gauge right now is Rath’s Sally since she had relatively little to do in the first hour. Pellegrino, who looks totally different than he did as Lucifer or Jacob, is absolutely fantastic as main antagonist Bishop. He’s incredibly sinister even when he’s trying to be kind.

From a basic storytelling point of view, the US series seems to aspire to be an action-oriented character study while the original was a character study with some action, a change I approve of. The effects are very good, especially the werewolf transformations – they’re tricky and I’m very impressed by the mix of digital and practical they used. So far my only gripe is some of the music choices. The instrumental pieces were lovely but I found all the worded songs incredibly distracting.

While I’m a bit disappointed that they will seemingly be using a lot of the plots from the original, the last ten or so minutes of Syfy’s redux were the best. It had tension, emotion, intrigue and definitely made me want to tune in next week. While I can’t quite tell if this will be a successful adaptation yet, if the series can live up to those ten minutes, it just might surpass its forefather.

Being Human Series Premiere : Monday, January 17th : 9/8c on Syfy

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