Archive for March, 2011

Syfy’s Being Human: Bishop Just Got Better (SPOILERS–from BBC as well)

Tonight on Syfy was the best episode yet.

Bishop is suddenly at a whole new level, and I think he took the show with him.  I’ve mentioned in past posts that I was disappointed in this seemingly softer Vampire King.  In Going Dutch, I was delighted to find out I’ve been tricked.   Bishop has been playing his own version of trust-me-I’m-not-so-bad with Aidan, but because he wasn’t hiding any of the things Herrick hid from Mitchell (werewolf cage-matches, the room of trapped humans), I assumed he wasn’t hiding anything at all.

Now I admit this episode was  a complete revelation for me partly because I  missed something important in the Bernie episode.  I never saw the part where Bishop asks Seth if he “took care of the boys”, leading Aidan to blame and reluctantly kill Bernie.

So much for empathy towards human children.

No matter.  Bishop’s gloves have now completely come off.  Meeting with the Elders for their final judgment, he absolutely shines.   He calmly admits that mass murder and slavery are two options for his Vampire Supremacy Plot, causing Aidan’s brain to explode.    The Dutch demand that he go underground and have Aidan cull the clan,  Aidan volunteers to rein him in, and Marcus bursts forth with a power sharing dream that is clearly the wish his heart makes—doom and betrayal all around, but nothing wipes the smile from Bishop’s face.

That’s because Bishop has a surprise for everybody in the room (and me on my couch).  He’s poisoned the Elders with juniper-laced blood and serenely explains his plans while decapitating all but the one that a panicked Aidan manages to save.  Here, finally, is the charismatic, psychopathic Bishop that I’ve been waiting for,  reminiscent of Herrick’s malignant genius for the first time.   Suddenly I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Yeah, Bishop owned the episode, but there were other honorable mentions.

The exorcism (borrowing slightly from BBC’s Season 2, but not much) was a nice twist for Sally and Danny, since Danny can’t see her and torture her à la the terrifying Owen.  Having Sally thrust herself into the exorcist’s body and face him as such was startling in a really good way.

For me, however, special effects are dessert, but dialogue is the meat and potatoes.  So I loved the simple little scene with Josh and Aidan in the hospital, where Josh worries about his friend and tells him about his own awkward reaction to Nora’s pregnancy.  I enjoy their connection; there is at least an echo of Mitchell and George here.

Speaking of connection, I don’t think I’ve talked much about Rebecca, but I do like her.  She’s a strong character, portrayed sympathetically by Sarah Allen (possibly the best female actress on the show IMO).  She gets to kill Marcus, with the added incentive that she found out Bernie died because of him.  I liked the fact that she’d been given a heart, and that Aidan went through so much with her.

Complaints from the BBC fan (you knew I had some):

Just a few questions.  If the exorcist is saying ‘let the spirit be filled with light and love’, why is Sally in so much pain?  Is she actually evil then?  Why did she completely disappear before a commercial break, only to be back in the same position and in pain again in her next scene?  If she’s being exorcised from the house, where is her Door?  When Annie was forcibly removed in Season 2, she was dragged into a Door and it slammed shut.  In this version, if you move on naturally you use a Door, but exorcisms make you sick until you disappear?  And since I did bring up that demon-spawn Owen, let me firmly assert that Danny is still a very watered down version.  Watching him fearfully tell Sally her death was an accident (though he did try choking her right after he said it) reminded me of how much Owen enjoyed killing Annie and getting away with it.  He didn’t mean to do it exactly, but he was awfully glad that he did.

On another note, next week they show her getting all psycho-ghost with Danny and the other roommates are concerned.  This is one sticking point for me; the roommates haven’t had much bonding time with Sally this season–she mostly whines at them and they argue with her.  If they try to show them as being attached to her the way George and Mitchell wept for Annie at the end of Season 1, I will just gag or maybe vomit on my TV.  I don’t want to do that.

Have I mentioned that I hate, hate, hate that Nora is pregnant with Josh’s child already?  They barely know each other.  Yes, I am aware that this is a realistic chain of events, but I’m just saying that I prefer the courtship of George and Nina by far.  When Josh and Nora had their serious conversation at the end about the pregnancy and Josh mentioned that he was worried about genetics, I worried that Nora would attempt to reveal what we only just found out from Nina in Season 3 about her family history.  Fortunately, she didn’t go into detail.  That’s good, because damn it Syfy, you have to save some of the mystery!  Most importantly, will Nora turn wolf this season, or at all?  I’m starting to wonder if the next season will resemble BBC’s version or if they will split off completely and form their own tangent.  And the pregnant woman on the table was gross.

Still.  Best episode yet.

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Being Human: UK Season 3 Appearing in US Season 1? (SPOILERS)

So here I am, still watching, still complaining.  I’m not sure what’s going on with this version.  I’m up to date on this season in the UK, so imagine my astonishment to see some of the new season 3 plotlines appearing in the US’ season 1.  I find it confusing.  I’d love to know what new fans think of it, because maybe it’s a BBC-Fan-Personal-Problem.  See, the first season in the UK was all about the 3 roommates becoming close and relying on each other for safety, acceptance, and understanding.  The US version seems all over the place.  Storylines appear and disappear and a lot more characters have been introduced.  Some of the differences work, and some I just don’t like at all.  I’ll helpfully share just a few of each kind.

Last week’s Bernie episode went differently.  Presumably the writers didn’t feel that it was realistic to have Aidan confide in Bernie’s mother and turn Bernie himself,  leaving her with a vampire child (Mitchell’s move).  That’s okay; most vampire fans have read enough and seen enough to believe that vampire children never work out for the best. (Claudia from IwtV anyone?)  Instead Rebecca turns Bernie in the hopes of making a family with Aiden.  Not bad; it goes along with her struggle in her reluctant life as a vampire.  The only part that disturbed me was Bishop’s apparent sympathy for human children.  I’ll explain that later.

This week’s episode was where the new UK season has showed up a lot.  BBC has just introduced the concept of vampires hosting werewolf cage matches, so imagine my surprise when Josh gets kidnapped for this same purpose in Dog Eat Dog. The difference is that instead of tossing some poor human in to be slaughtered, the vamps pit two werewolves together.  In the UK version, Mitchell was not even aware that the cage matches still existed; it is supposed to be another example of the crueler side of things that Herrick hides from Mitchell in order to keep him from leaving.  That’s why it was hard for me to watch Aidan stand by looking chagrined at best, mostly just because his best friend happens to be involved.

The Elders that have been mentioned for the first time in the UK (whom we’ve yet to glimpse) have appeared here as Amish vampires who show up now and then to kill the vampire king.  Their presence keeps Aidan from being able to outwardly rescue Josh, so he makes a deal to return to Bishop in exchange for Josh’s release.  This takes the place of Mitchell deciding that vampirism is the answer to humanity’s problems after Bernie was killed, causing him to return to the fold.

If Aidan isn’t going to have this misguided epiphany, that could explain why I saw a very similar storyline to  Mitchell and his human love, Jonie, shockingly applied to Bishop.  Jonie is the one to help Mitchell see the error of his thinking, but now she isn’t necessary for Aidan.  Of course, the story changes quite a bit, since Bishop is offered his leadership in exchange for giving up (by choking her to death) his love.  This entire idea is a huge departure from Herrick, who has never had a moment that was not pure evil, unless you include his indulgence for Mitchell.    Herrick scares the crap out of me most of the time, just because he is capable of anything and really enjoys himself all the while.  Yet Bishop shows sympathy for human children, and seems as if he was once on the same journey as Aidan is now and was forced by the Elders and Aidan to give it up.  What gives?  How does this softness coincide with his plan to have vampires come out in the open and take over the world from humanity?  More importantly, does this mean they won’t be including the following vital scene?

Anyway, right next to that big softy is Aidan when he was still drinking the kool-aid, quoting party lines and living it up vampire style.  He’s the one convincing Bishop to renounce the human woman, threatening betrayal if he will not.  I could be wrong, but I don’t recall a single Mitchell-Herrick flashback where Herrick was not completely in charge.  Herrick has always been King, while it now seems that Bishop and Aidan were fellow peons once.  BTW, I didn’t really appreciate this added line about Aidan, while fighting the Revolutionary War,  leaving behind family, a wife and a son.  Sounds sooo familiar…True Blood’s Bill Compton minus the pretty southern accent?  Just about.  Trying to differentiate your story from its source by borrowing from another, more popular story seems like a mistake.  Maybe it’s just me.

Shocking to the point of horrifying, the trailer for next week’s episode shows Nora announcing that she’s pregnant, which causes nightmares for Josh.  Is this for real?  Nina is pregnant now, season 3, after they’ve been through so much and she’s actually a werewolf herself.  Why make Nora pregnant before she even finds out about Josh?  Season 1, they’ve just been getting closer together, and struggling to do so because of his gigantic, dangerous secret.  Sure, throw a baby in the mix.

I don’t know what the Syfy version intends with all this skipping ahead.  I do think my point of view is irrevocably biased in favor of BBC, so I can’t tell for sure if these changes are actual problems or not.  Maybe it’s better to give Bishop a softer side and knock Nora up straight out of the gate?  Maybe with more episodes in a season, events move faster?  I don’t know.  Maybe it doesn’t matter.  George owns “Who wants some of my chair?” anyway.

Biggest Loser: Down With the Red Team!

This will be quick because I’m exhausted and it’s a million o’ clock and I have to be up early.  But I just caught up on the Biggest Loser and, man, am I heated.  Yeah, you know why.

Arthur got kicked off, and on paper he brought the situation on himself.  He’s the one who chose to toss his teammates, Jen and Jay, to the sharks and simultaneously set Sarah and her mother up as easy targets in order to keep himself and his father safe.  It was cruel and I was pissed at him when he did that, just like everyone else.

Except Jillian.  (Note:  I love Jillian Michaels.  Biased and not sorry about it.)

Jillian recognized that Arthur was really just a frightened man who kept being on the bottom and couldn’t see another way out.  It doesn’t make it right.  It was a crappy choice.  But Bob and Jillian brought the focus where it belonged by reminding his team that he severely needed their help if he was going to get better, and the team stepped up.  They got past what he’d done, so I did, too.  Arthur finally saw where he was messing up  every week and he’s been saving his under dog team (or they would be if the reds didn’t suck so much for no apparent reason) ever since.

So now some demon spawn have set Arthur up but good, with a contest that his short legs and huge stature can’t possibly compete in (the triumph was in the finish) and a prize that had a good chance of putting him in danger.  Karma my ass.

Fine, I don’t know anything about that and I really don’t care anymore about what he deserved or didn’t.  All I know is how I felt when I saw Arthur walk out in that red t-shirt.  I just dissolved into tears.  He’d tried so hard on that stupid treadmill, he really had.  He’d also done what he was supposed to do at home (couldn’t be bothered with that, eh red team?), which had to feel like a miracle.  I saw his despair, his grief, his genuine need, and then I watched his trainers literally plead for his life.

Now, look, I don’t think this is actually a death sentence.  I believe that Arthur did have his breakthrough, enough that by the grace of God he’ll actually continue at home successfully.  I just can’t get past that red team slamming him down that way.  They saw what I saw, they just were not moved.  How must that have felt, to beg for your life and have them say, ‘nah, you’ll be fine’?  I understand not wanting to toss your “family” out, but I really thought at least one person would step up and sacrifice for someone clearly in danger.  Or what about votes based on merit?  Wasn’t that supposedly the reason for sending Q home?  Maybe that was just easier because Q was a pain in the ass.

Anyway, I watched them vote Arthur off  with those empty speeches (sorry, bro, I know they said your life is on the line, but I only like sitting next to my friends in class) and felt anger bordering on loathing for each one.  I suspect I’ll get past it, just like I got past Arthur dicking around that first time.  Until then, I hope the black team can somehow become Bob and Jillian’s fist of vengeance.

Or the red team could just keep sucking for no reason.  Either way.