Archive for February, 2012

Being Human: Horrible Nora (Spoilers BBC, SYFY)

I suppose I should thank the writers on the Syfy version.  I’ve been struggling to separate Nora’s character from the one on BBC whom she’s ever so loosely based on, Nina.  The connection has been severed, because Nina is fantastic and Nora is simply awful.  It is suddenly hard to imagine that Josh can’t do better.

For the unlucky fans who don’t know, Nina is a little spitfire who fell in love with George in the very first season, worried about him losing his humanity and tried to convince him to embrace it in the second, and then returned to his side to make a family with him in the third.  She is the great love of George’s life and apart or together, she always had his back.

On the BBC, the women lift the men up, but on Syfy (with the seeming exception of Sally), they can’t stop dragging them down.  Since Nora became a werewolf, she’s enjoying her furry self much more than the human one.  This makes her detrimental to everything Josh and Aidan (and, off on her own, Sally) are trying to do.  The idea seems to be that someone who was once vulnerable enough to be abused by her boyfriend to the point of being viciously burned would prefer some access to power and even a separation from her own humanity, as if she equivocates her humanity with weakness.

The show implies that unlike Josh, who is completely separate from his wolf side for most of the month while he is human, Nora is ruled by wolf instincts, which cause her to jump to the defense of the two strangers who happen to share their condition.  Though she was quick enough to make Josh feel guilty about attacking her ex the previous week, she now admits that she finds Josh’s intent to have the werewolf pair murdered attractive—even as it threatens her suddenly sacred “pack”.

While Nora goes native, Josh continues to love and protect her, which ends up threatening Aidan’s life  and ending vampire cop, Cecelia’s.  Annoying (if sexy) sociopath Connor, the brother-werewolf who started all the trouble for Josh and Nora, finally gets got and his corpse conveniently takes the blame for the vampire murder that Nora committed.

You had to feel sorry for Brynn, who clearly never meant to cause trouble by approaching the two new werewolves with her different ideals.  But how irritating was Nora, who holds and comforts her new best pal, easily trading her loving boyfriend for what is now a pack of two?  Will Nora ever rediscover the urge to be human?  If so, can it be written in a way that will make her likable again?

Right now, that feels like a stretch.  Nina once left George because he participated in covering up a vampire murder.  Neither Nina nor George ever left the other because he or she didn’t want to stay wolves and eat people with impunity.  Considering the focus of the show, it puts Nora very firmly in the “Do Not Want” category for Josh.  At this point, she’s as damning to him as Suren is for Aidan.  Judging by the BBC, that’s not the way their relationship was supposed to go down.

Touching base with the other two roommates:

While it was fun the previous week to watch Aidan hallucinate my favorite vamp, Bishop, it was even more satisfying to watch the two roommates actually interact with each other this week, with Josh forcing Aidan deeper into the vampire conspiracy but both Josh and Aidan ultimately choosing their friendship over the werewolf/vampire politics that would tear them apart.

Sally looks as though she might not fight the Reaper after all.  She had a very brief confrontation with now-dead murderer, Danny (giving me immediate fantasies about the possibility of a similar circumstance for Annie and the diabolical Owen—how about it, Whithouse?!), and was saved by the Reaper.  She then admits she feels left behind by her roommates and is looking to move on.  She looks tempted to tell at least Aidan about this decision, but both Aidan and Josh are too busy to realize anything is amiss.  Too bad she was too busy last season to bond with them properly…surely they’d pay more attention then.

What’s to come?  It’s hard to say, being well away from most of the BBC second season plotlines.  All I know is how sorry I feel for Josh:  the person he fell for no longer exists.

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Being Human: “Addicted to Love” (Syfy, BBC Spoilers)

Oh, Nora.  Girl.  What are you doing??

Last night’s episode is still careening off into no-man’s land, as far as nothing that we BBC fans have seen before.

There’s a flashback of Princess Suren’s temper tantrum, which didn’t seem impressive enough to warrant her punishment.  Granted, she killed in a public place, forcing Mother and the other vampires to mass murder the rest of the human witnesses.  I suppose this is the same as BBC:  the old ones wanted to force Mitchell underground for drawing too much attention to himself with his own mass murders, but he was able to refuse their offer.  For a time, at least.

Sally gets stuck possessing her living crush’s girlfriend until she’s driven out by the Reaper.  I notice many viewers are wondering why the Reaper is after her in the first place, which is made clearer on the BBC.  Instead of a ghostly figure, the BBC Reaper takes the form of Annie bleeding on the floor where she died, but thereafter uses the ability to communicate through radio or television…which is extremely creepy, but at least it’s verbal.  Annie is targeted because she turned down death and pissed off the powers that be…powers that are never explicitly defined.  As punishment, they try to drag her into hell in a variety of ways, and she has to learn how to fight death.  I can’t say if this will be the same for Sally—Syfy has the luxury of more episodes in a season, and therefore can take their time with the reveal.

We also get to meet the psycho ex who burned Nora, and see him get some richly deserved if brutal justice.  Nina’s ex never made an appearance, though she had the same story and the same vicious burns.  There is a pilot episode where the original George confronted his ex-fiance’s new abusive boyfriend with a violent reaction like Josh’s,  but no such episode where Nina does anything remotely similar.

Nora is not Nina.  That has to be my new mantra; they are nothing alike.  Nina never killed, and in fact was the one spending the second season searching for a cure.  Therefore, I can find little insight to Nora within Nina.  Nora seems to love Josh, but her wolf loves murder and mayhem—both represented in this new werewolf, Connor.  Josh/Nora fans like myself have reason to worry…Nina and George did part ways in the second season.  Nina refused to be sucked into George’s acceptance of the murder and chaos that surround the three roommates.  It’s possible that Nora and Josh will part on the opposite basis.

I’m looking forward to next week for one reason, and if you’re with me from last season, you know exactly what it is:

Herrick flashbacks on the BBC all involved actual memories, and I found it odd that Bishop wasn’t around for Aidan’s Suren background.  You might say I’ve missed him.  I can’t wait to get his take on the new order.  I bet he finds Mother and Suren as tedious as I do.

He Gets…A Letter.

I love him.  I really do.  I mean sickening…stomach-turning love…practicing my signature with his second name kind of love.  But I look at him, and I want to pull chunks of flesh from his face.

Being Human: “(ILoathe You) For Sentimental Reasons” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Still digging through Syfy in my search for similarities to BBC, which should be waning as time goes by.  They can still be found if you’re willing to stretch for examples.

Sally attempts to help her living friend Zoe find a date, which is somewhat like when Annie attempts to help Hugh reconnect with his ex-girlfriend.  Hugh is one of those everlastingly nice guys who never get the girl, in love with Annie without realizing she’s a ghost.  Seemingly as a consequence of escaping the plot of the afterlife to suck her beyond the door, Annie becomes invisible to him but tries to help him find a more practical and appropriate love interest.

Zoe’s situation is the opposite, as by the end of the episode she prefers to date a ghost than a living human being.  Sally goes back to inhabiting a woman in order to get physical with the doctor she finds attractive.  Here, Syfy introduces an interesting addiction problem similar to Aidan’s.  Sally is the one who attends a support group of ghosts, whereas in the BBC version it is Mitchell who institutes a kind of Vampire AA—or would that be BA?  Of the two, the ghost support group is a bit easier to accept as a concept, since it’s hard to imagine the savagely blood-thirsty Being Human-style vampires sitting around expressing feelings.

Speaking of vampires, this week featured the return of boring, serious Suren with her ever-monotone voice.  I can’t help but wish she was played by Lucy Liu, who can deliver a line with the straightest face and still manage to inflect both humor and attitude.  If not, maybe the character needs some livening up through the writing.  I know what they’re trying to sell, I’m just not buying it.  The rebellious child of presumably the oldest and most powerful vampire in existence should be a lot more impressive.  I miss Bishop.

Aidan fights against dealing with the mafia, which is like Mitchell’s reluctance when dealing with dirty politician Chief Constable Wilson  in order to protect the vampires in Herrick’s stead.  Herrick”s progeny continued to kill teens and couples with impunity, forcing Mitchell to compromise his ideals in order to clean up after them.  Similarly, the mob man catches a rogue vampire as an act of good faith and to convince Aidan that his aid is necessary.  Aidan killed the mafia man because he succumbs to his blood addiction and his jealousy for Suren (unwarranted, if you ask me—what’s so great about her?).  Mitchell kills Wilson in much the same way, minus the sexual aspect.

In the BBC version, there is no brother/sister pair of natural born werewolves.  There IS a werewolf father/son duo claiming to be born werewolves in the third season, but their claim turns out to be false.  In the BBC version there is only one example of a natural born werewolf, and that’s Nina and George’s baby.  I do think the fact that it has never happened before adds a lot of drama and angst that Syfy will miss out on, and I did not fall in love with the idea that the resulting werewolves would prefer not to be human at all.  Should Nora and Josh follow that path, I guess their baby would be like that as well?  That seems to defeat the purpose of the show.

On Syfy, the three roommates continue to lead mostly separate lives.  This was also the case in the second season of the BBC version, but they’d already had a solid foundation built the first season.  There are a lot of satisfyingly dramatic scenes between them that can’t realistically occur without that closeness, such as George trying to break down a door to save Annie or Mitchell going psychotically savage to save them all.  I can’t see Aidan, Josh, or Sally getting that roused about each other.  Each one does fine without the others, and to me that’s a pity.

Those who worry about the future of certain main characters based on what happened in the last few episodes on BBC should rest easy—Syfy has no intention of letting them go that soon.  Maybe that’s why the characters can take their sweet time becoming close to each other.