Episode: Being Human (US) 1.01 – “There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1”
Original Air Date: January 17, 2011
Screencaps by rawr_caps.
The premiere of the highly anticipated U.S. “re-imagining” of the BBC’s popular series Being Human, aired on Syfy on January 17th. Director and co-executive producer Adam Kane (The Mentalist, Heroes), executive producer Michael Prupas (The Kennedys, Pillars of the Earth), and husband-and-wife executive producers/writers Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and Anna Fricke (Men in Trees, Everwood) comprise the show’s creative team, and the cast includes well known actors like Sam Witwer, who audiences will recognize from his roles on Smallville and Battlestar Galactica, as well as his appearance in Stephen King’s The Mist, and Mark Pellegrino, who recently appeared as Lucifer on the CW’s cult science fiction series Supernatural. The premiere, “There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1,” is the first of thirteen one-hour episodes planned for the series’s inaugural season on Syfy.
Quick and Dirty: The Plot
In the season opener of Being Human, viewers are introduced to the show’s three main characters: a werewolf named Josh (Sam Huntington), a vampire named Aidan (Sam Witwer), and a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath). In “There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1” Aidan and Josh, friends that work together at a hospital in Boston, find the perfect place to rent in an attempt at living some semblance of a “normal” life. When the two move into their new home they come to the startling realization that it is already “occupied” by the ghost of a previous resident, Sally.
“There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1” introduces some of the conflicts that each of the show’s main characters will deal with throughout the series: Aidan’s choice not to drink human blood, Josh’s effort to manage his monthly transformations, and Sally’s inability to move beyond. Each of these issues is further complicated by the living situation, and as the roommates begin to coalesce into a familial group each of them must examine his or her life — or afterlife, as the case may be — in a critical way that takes their new situation into consideration.
As Aidan struggles with his bloodlust and Josh tries to deal with what he perceives as Sally’s intrusion into his new home, the ghost makes a fruitless effort to leave the house for the first time since her demise six months earlier.
The first episode is the only one for which I have a basis of comparison to the British BBC series, as I attempted to watch the original Being Human in preparation for Syfy’s new series. Although an immediate Doctor Who and Torchwood fan, I couldn’t get into the BBC’s Being Human, and almost forewent the U.S. version as a result. I’m glad I didn’t, however, as I really enjoyed the first episode of the Syfy series.
One of the key differences between the U.S. and BBC versions of Being Human is Sally’s ability to interact with objects. On the BBC show, the ghost not only can interact with solid objects, but spends a great deal of time making endless cups of tea for her new roommates. In reimagining the show for Syfy, the creators decided to remove Sally’s ability to interact with objects — a factor that plays an important role in later episodes of this season and proves to be one of the most frustrating aspects of being dead for the character on the U.S. show.
Another major difference between the two shows deals with Aidan and Josh’s feelings towards their unexpected roommate; in the BBC version, both Aidan and Josh seem to take Sally’s presence in stride and welcome her without question, while in the American version the characters are a little more hesitant to embrace the house’s former resident. Josh, especially, is bothered by Sally’s presence in the new series, citing his desire to keep things separate and to have a place where he can go to be alone as reasons for his discomfort.
The first episode or two of a new series is never the best of the bunch, and Being Human is no exception. While it is clear that the series has a great deal of potential, especially given its superb casting, “There Goes The Neighborhood, Part 1” is good at best and undoubtedly will be one of the worst episodes of the season.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars