Posts Tagged ‘Annie’

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.

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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.

Being Human: “All Out of Blood” (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

This was a pretty tame episode, but at least we weren’t subjected to boring “Princess Suren”.  Instead they delved deeper into the roommates’ personal issues.  Syfy makes a lot of the same points as BBC, even if they’re not using the same exact stories.

Off the three roommates,  Sally has to do her own thing almost completely.  Initially in Season 2, Annie could be seen by and interact with regular humans.  There was an entire plot point where Annie gets a job at a local bar and is targeted there by some entity from the other side, the BBC equivalent of Sally’s dark, misty reaper.  The entity uses a human who had a near death experience to try and drag her through a door.  After this experience she goes back to being invisible to normal humans, at which point Sally could possibly pick up the same storyline again—or not.

It’s still similar:  Sally’s in danger from an entity because she turned down her door, and though it’s not explicitly stated as it is in Annie’s case, she’s beginning to worry about her roommates moving on without her.  For the BBC version, Annie has good reason to worry, as Mitchell is always gone because of his new vamp obligations or his new crush, and George actually moves out.  Combined with her own experiences in her failed attempts to build some sort of social (after)life, she starts to realize the downside to eternity in one state of being.

Sally has come to this realization much faster, but that makes sense since she hadn’t bonded as much with her roommates as had Annie in the first season—they’re not grounding her in the same way.  This season, even in only 3 episodes, has already shown her reaching out more to the boys than she did before.  There hasn’t necessarily been much depth involved in the reaching, but there’s still plenty of time for that.  I appreciate any improvement.

Aidan is struggling much more with his addiction than Mitchell initially did in the second season, but there are reasons that I think this helps with the continuity if Syfy intends to have a similar third season.  Mitchell ‘s stress mostly sprang from being unable to keep the other vampires clean and then being ill-equipped to deal with their indiscretions.  Trying to work within the dirty but effective system that Herrick left behind to protect the vampires’ secrecy was enough to test his self-restraint, but there were no blood bags or whores to fall back on.  The problem for me with continuity came when Mitchell had little trouble sleeping with a mortal woman, yet in Season 3 he tells Annie he’s incapable of separating sex from blood and in fact uses one to get the other.  If Aidan has a similar future in store, it makes more sense to show a great deal of struggle now.

Julia, the doctor that Aidan’s been dating, is revealed as Josh’s ex-fiance.  Lucy, the doctor who dated Mitchell for much of the second season, had no prior relationship to any of them.  George’s fiance never makes an appearance except in the pilot, which isn’t included in the first season because it had different actors for Annie and Mitchell.  At one point during the first season, George mentions to Annie that he has seen his ex-fiance with someone else, and that’s the end of it.  I won’t appreciate them using Julia as Aidan’s love interest for the rest of the season because they don’t need that wedge driven between two best friends—that would ruin Aidan for me.  That friendship should continue to be the most solid part of the show.

Finishing up with my favorite couple, Nora and Josh are very different from Nina and George, but perhaps on a similar trajectory regardless.  I’ve said before, Nina never killed—George did, and it made him much more aggressive but not necessarily looking to kill again.  Fortunately, I was looking for a tougher Nora and this is a way to get one.  There must be something wrong with my brain, because I love this savage Nora.  Watching her stalk Josh’s ex—c’mon, which one of us wouldn’t do that??  I love the way Kristen Hager, the actress playing Nora,  reveals the beast within with a simple change of tone and expression.

Last week I wondered about Nina’s wrath with Mitchell, which Nora would have no reason to feel since Aidan never set her up with Josh.  I missed this plot point because it lead to such an intense confrontation between the two.  Instead of not being angry at all, Nora directs that wrath at Josh, rightfully so, because he fled from his relationship with his fiance, Julia, but felt free to take chances with Nora.  Which way is best?  George was too kind-hearted to take a chance with Nina’s safety but Mitchell thought dating Nina was part of “Being Human” and so he asked Nina out for him.  Josh made that same decision for himself, presumably having been convinced by the success he’d had so far in their joint experiment.

Speaking of experiments, this show has Josh attempting to find his own cure.  On BBC, George never returns to medical school because of his condition and though he is still a genius, he never believes there is a chance of a cure.  Season 2 does revolve the idea of a cure, but from outside sources, which have yet to be hinted at on Syfy.

Next week shows some extra-curricular (read:  nothing to do with BBC) werewolf problems for Josh and the return of the very stereotypical vampire princess (yawn).  I think I know where some of this is going—I’m just not telling you yet.

Syfy’s Being Human: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? (Spoilers Syfy, BBC)

Two episodes in and I’m having a much better time than last season.  Admittedly this could be because I found more fault with the BBC’s second season than I did with the first.  Syfy has a lot of opportunities to improve upon it.

I mentioned last week that George was kind of useless for Nina.  Like when he finally faces the fact that he changed her, it’s Nina who comforts him while he cries.  Every time I see that scene I want to reach into the screen and shake him.

Anyone who watched Syfy tonight saw Josh contain his own guilt as he attempts to convince Nora to survive this.  Two things in George’s defense:  First, Josh’s circumstances allow his mind to be more stable; he never killed, is not being constantly attacked by vampires, and has not given more ground in his head to the wolf.  Second, Nina is far stronger than Nora…heck, Nina is a lot stronger than George.  That’s why they complement each other so well.

I’ve decided the best thing to do is to stop expecting Nora to behave like Nina and accept her as a completely different character.  That’s why now I kind of like her.  I suppose she doesn’t need to turn any of that blame Aidan’s way as Nina did with Mitchell.  Mitchell is the one who encouraged George to date Nina, going so far as to invite her over for their first date.

Nina:  You loaded a gun and you fired it into a crowd.

My feelings for Sally are, per usual, slightly more mixed.  It’s good to see that she had some bonding moments with both roommates that didn’t involve whining and I was thrilled to see that she called for Aidan for help after her nightmare.  In the BBC version, Mitchell and Annie had already had some “moments” in season one that never happened for Sally and Aidan, so I was wondering if they were going to scrap the connection between them.  Maybe not!  🙂

Another Syfy plus is Sally’s ability to enter the bodies of humans.  I thought Meaghan Rath did a great job portraying something anyone could imagine:  the ultimate high, for a ghost to really be human again.  In the BBC second season, Annie is also testing her powers but the best she can do is touch the human and feel what that person experiences.  One finds out in Season 3 why that’s just not as good…

At this point, I can’t tell if Aidan’s storyline will resemble Mitchell’s second season at all.  True, the young woman that Aidan met at the hospital could be the human who was Mitchell’s love interest for a time, but she didn’t get the job and this episode ends with them leaving the bar together.  If he is hunting her, then she’s not the love interest.  That woman sticks around.

BBC has no Mother, nor Mother’s Daughter, Suren, but perhaps Suren is supposed to replace gorgeous, psychotic vampiress Daisy?  If so, Suren should step up her game because in comparison she’s completely dull.  I’m just not thrilled with all the cliche vampire posturing from her character.  Daisy was all about having fun:

“A lot of vampires, it’s all about the blood and the world domination. Me and Ivan… we’re just about the tourism.”

Daisy’s story was completely different from Suren’s, but she was the most important female vampire of Season 2.  She influenced Mitchell and even George, to some extent. But this wouldn’t be the first time I thought they were replacing a main character from the BBC’s version, only to see that character show up later in the season.  Syfy has more episodes, so they’ve got plenty of time.

SyFy’s Being Human Season 2: Off the BBC Track (SPOILERS BBC & Syfy)

Here we are again:  another series and another chance to play Syfy versus BBC.  At the end of season 1, I speculated that there were enough differences between the two that perhaps Syfy would be branching off in its own unique direction.  One episode in and it definitely still looks that way.  Just to be clear, I intend to spoil the ending of both BBC and Syfy’s first seasons, and the BBC second season.  If you didn’t see either of those endings, don’t go forward—you’re supposed to be surprised.  🙂

Let’s start with the end of last season, which is important in order to understand some big differences that exist before the second season even begins.  If you don’t recall and you missed the replay tonight, let me remind you that Sally tries to torture Josh via bitching and moaning so that he’ll use his wolf to kill Bishop for Aidan, since all three friends are veritably certain that Aidan will lose the fight.  Josh reluctantly agrees, but then Sally and Aidan turn the tables on him in order to protect him from having to kill.

That was a huge surprise for BBC fans, which was great because I thought I could only be surprised the first time around.  In ours, George pretends he intends to run away with Nina, when in fact he tricks Herrick into being locked in with his wolf.  He changes and tears Herrick to shreds.   The American version does offer a more satisfying fight, as the BBC focuses on a battle of words and the fight itself is a few blurry moments of audible savagery.  Yet this is George’s attempt to accept his wolf in order to save his best friend.  That’s why George and Josh begin their respective second series in completely different places.

This might be a good thing, since in the BBC version, George spends much of this season being kind of a dick and poor newly-turned Nina deals with most of her problems alone.  Will this happen for Josh?  Hard to say, but so far there are few similarities.

Both Nina and Nora keep having been scratched a secret until the first change.  However, Nina can see Annie, so she asks for help and swears her to secrecy.  I had hoped that Sally and Nora would have a similar bonding experience, which in my mind could have been done without allowing Nora to see her yet, but Sally continues to be solely immersed in her own ghostly realm.  While it seems likely that Josh will find out about Nora, depending on how he manages to escape being shot by the vampire, Nina continues to keep her secret until the truth comes out in an argument.  She has distanced herself sexually from George, which he interprets as her rejecting his wolf.  (This may still happen with Nora and Josh, since the series starts with her gently refusing him.)  Nina begs George for patience and support but he is overwhelmed with self-loathing and the new level of anger and violence that are the result of his having embraced his wolf in order to kill Herrick.  He is also on edge because vampires are constantly attacking him in retaliation for Herrick’s death.  This is obviously not part of Josh’s reality at this point, which may change the direction of the series.

BBC’s Being Human Season 1 ends with an introduction to the villain of the following series, and it has nothing to do with any vampire “Mother”.    I’ve said before that the Old Ones were only introduced on BBC in Season 3, and the finale suggested that there would be a conflict with them next season.  The villain for Season 2 is an old man who has apparently been searching for the trio, and found them with the help of mental patient and fiance-murderer, Owen.  We find out in Season 2 that he’s a religious man who views all non-humans as abominations.

The environment between the roommates is fertile for a villain to exploit.  Mitchell is overwhelmed with being the new vampire king; George attempts to separate himself further from his wolf and causes more problems with his denial; and Annie is threatened by the world beyond the door that she turned down and also begins to think about the implications of immortality as an unchanging ghost.  Given Sally’s nightmare about a reaper coming after her and Aidan’s problematic attempt to keep the vampires clean, some BBC plot lines will clearly prevail.  The future of Josh and Nora is much more unclear.  I do hope Nora will go through the same anger and angst and love that Nina went through as she struggled to accept her new role.

One thing is clear, Syfy has an advantage because they’re two seasons behind.  This gives them a chance to avoid the pitfalls that poor Toby Whithouse’s show has run into because three of the four main characters are leaving before the story is told.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, those are  more spoilers than I really want to put here—Google at your own risk.

Syfy’s Being Human: “You’re the One that I Haunt” (SPOILERS)

It’s late and I’ve got to be up early, so expect some stream of consciousness writing.  Per usual, if you haven’t seen both BBC’s entire first season and Syfy’s to date, I’m about to spoil the hell out of it for you.

Sally vs. Danny:  the final showdown was tonight.  Anyone who has read my previous posts on the subject already knows that I think Annie and Owen, for the most part, have blown this pair out of the water.  In the contest of cool special effects, however, the prize belongs to Syfy.  Last week’s possession was impressive; this week was as well with Sally’s frightening impression of “The Grudge” and her transformation back, plus her angelic appearance when Danny is finally able to see her for himself.

I’ll also reluctantly admit that the BBC original might have left something to be desired in their simplistic handling of Annie’s final fight back; perhaps with Annie’s powers in general.  We are on Season 3 of the BBC version, and although Annie has progressed in her abilities, we still have yet to see the extent of her powers.  Sally progresses much faster, and here she uses her new-found power to try and force Danny to slit his own throat.

She’s also a little meaner than Annie.

Anyway, Danny shows up to burn the house down and Sally traps him inside with her.  Josh and Aidan arrive in time for Aidan to go all vamp-scary on him and Josh to helpfully (if surprisingly easily) put out the raging fire.  Josh also plays the good angel on her shoulder, since Sally is on the fence about letting Aidan take Danny out for good.  In some ways, this was more satisfying than Annie insinuating what Mitchell and George are capable of before threatening Owen with a secret that sends him running to turn himself in for her murder.  Maybe Syfy can’t match BBC with the emotional aspects, but at least they keep it interesting.  I also have to respect the choice to keep Sally a more traditional ghost:  ordinary humans simply cannot see her (until they lose their minds, like Danny) and she touches no one.  I still don’t see why not, because if she learned in either the first or second episode how to touch physical things, wouldn’t she be interested in some physical contact (I’m thinking about hugs or something, relax) with her roommates at least?  I guess she’s met enough ghosts this season that it hasn’t been an issue.  She also hasn’t bonded with Josh and Aidan all that deeply, which might be another factor.

Moving on to the delectable story of Aidan, Celine, and Bishop.

I’ve mentioned Mitchell and Jonie before, after the episode Dog Eat Dog when I was taken aback by Bishop’s past love with the human woman, Jane.  I’d assumed that this relationship was an echo of Mitchell and his human gf Jonie, since the story with Bernie turned out so differently, as did Aidan’s return to Bishop.  In tonight’s episode, I found out I was wrong, and I can’t help but enjoy the way the relationship was handled.

Jonie, Mitchell’s strong-willed love from the 60’s, is replaced with Celine (70’s?  I couldn’t be sure, but I thought that’s where the haircuts and leather jackets came from) and through flashbacks we see an intense love affair in Aidan’s past.  The story is still very different; Jonie saw through Mitchell and realized that he did not want to kill with Herrick any longer, even as he kidnapped and threatened her.  Thus, she ended up helping him to stay clean.  This is why, when she sees him later as a dying patient in his hospital, she is able to once again force him to find focus and get back on track.  I just adored Jonie.

Celine, however, is shown begging Aidan to turn her, and allowing him to drink from her.  Not cool, when you consider he’s an addict, but her scene with Bishop made me like her just as well.  Bishop has kidnapped her and basically blood-raped her in order that Aidan will believe she has abandoned him.  I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t just kill her, until he explained in a gorgeously perverse manner that he preferred knowing he had her under his thumb.

Mark Pellegrino was so hot in that scene.  Evil, but hot.

Right, focus.  But Celine impressed me when she not only proved she knew Aidan, but saw through Bishop as well.  The big moment comes after Bishop tells her that Aidan will always return to him.  Despite being pinned to the wall by a blood-drinking psychopath and clearly terrified, she looks him in the eye and tells him Aidan will also always leave him again. Very badass.

About the big ending, of course I knew what was coming.  Last week after watching Going Dutch, I worried that the writers would show both guys as being emotionally attached to Sally.  My worries were unfounded; they kept it real.  Syfy fans, you have no idea how heart-wrenching that same scene was in the BBC version, where the roommates had already been through so much together.  I cried both times I’ve watched it.  But when Sally’s Door showed up, it was more like, ‘Hey, you did it…Bye!’

The emotional part comes when Bishop bursts in through the window (or was it the wall?) and stabs Aidan.  Now Josh gets to cry, and although I didn’t cry with him, at least they’ve bonded enough that I believed him and felt something.  Their friendship is one of the best parts of this show; maybe it’s even the heart of it.  I am such a sap.

BTW, I know Syfy does things in the cool, over-the-top way that we Americans tend to prefer, but what was up with Bishop’s grand entrance?  On BBC, Herrick simply knocks on the door (making George scream like a little girl because he thinks the knock comes from Annie’s Door) and when Mitchell answers, Herrick grabs him, yanks him forward and stabs him.  He wasn’t invited so he couldn’t come bursting in, and the fact that he couldn’t reach him very well explains how he missed the heart.  So how did Bishop get in, how on earth did he miss when he was right on top of him, and why did he act like the sun was hurting him when we’ve seen both Bishop and Aidan outside many times?  No sunglasses = burning vamps??  I wasn’t thrilled with the rule-breaking, just for the sake of drama.  Seems sloppy.

Oh yeah, and Nora’s still pregnant, though she knows nothing about Josh’s true nature.  Joy, rapture, way to freakin’ go.  I suppose she finds out next week, hopefully in the same crazy way that Nina did in season 1.  I won’t give it away (for once) because in the original, it took me by surprise.  Here’s hoping Syfy fans have the same experience.

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.

Being Human: Syfy is good, BBC is still better. (Mad Spoilers)

This post will give away a lot of secrets before you’re ready if you haven’t seen any of either show.  In that case, take the title for truth and be on your way.  😉

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still watching the Syfy and I find it completely charming.  It’s just that BBC America has conveniently put the first season of the original Being Human on demand in full, just when I was wondering what the differences were.  I didn’t actually expect to come away convinced that the BBC version is far superior, but that’s what happened.

I’m no TV critic, just a fan.  This is just my opinion.  But if you read my other post, you know I’ve had a problem warming up to Syfy’s Sally.  Now I know why, and I’ll start there.  (Last chance; go no further if you haven’t seen the entire first season of BBC’s Being Human and the 4 episodes of Syfy’s version as well.)

There is a scene in the first episode where Sally cries over her fiance because he’s in the house and can’t see her.  If you’re as into angst as I am, then you might have noticed that actress Meaghan Rath is going through the motions but there isn’t a single actual tear on her face and her eyes are clearly dry.  That is supposed to be the love of her life, right?  Compare that to the first episode in BBC’s version, when Annie is shown at her own funeral attempting to communicate with her loved ones, and her face is a mess of tears.  Watch the scene and try not to feel empathy for her.  Plus, Sally seems to have been written almost childishly innocent, whereas while Annie does have a vulnerability to her which leads George and Mitchell and others to want to protect her (and seems to attract predatory men), she is certainly a grown woman and puts her two roommates in their place when necessary.

Speaking of the writing, I really don’t think Syfy’s is as strong.  To be fair, BBC’s eps are an hour long with no commercials, so maybe they’re able to draw things out better with all that extra time.

Let’s stick with Sally vs. Annie for a while.  We first see Sally pining over her fiance and struggling with him moving on, this time not with a shallow frenemy that crushed on him while she was alive, but with her best friend.  In episode 4  she finds out what  Danny, Syfy’s answer to Annie’s diabolical Owen, has done to her.  She’s upset for a while, then goes to his house and uses ghost mojo to ransack the place, leaving her ring as a sort of threatening signature.

Even though Annie finds out in only 3 episodes, there manages to be foreshadowing and build-up that comes before the reveal.  For instance, George’s werewolf friend Tully becomes aggressive with her and she accidentally calls him Owen. The memories she relates to 80s ghost, Gilbert, are also telling if you know what to look for:  moving in with Owen and missing her family and friends (showing that he isolated her), waiting on Owen and his screaming at her every morning, “Annie, where’s my fucking keys!”  She tells them in a loving manner, but if you stop and think…not exactly loving behavior.

Speaking of Gilbert, the American version, Tony, is great but I liked Gilbert’s storyline better (though why he can smoke when ghosts can’t ingest food is a bit inconsistent).  Tony has to resolve the love he’d had in life before he moves on.  Gilbert’s story is much more touching.  He’d never loved in life but while helping dear Annie, he falls in love with her.  That it turned out to be his unresolved business was really sweet, and far more satisfying than when Tony just shows up and says, ‘You’re right!  Turns out I still had feelings for my ex.  Hey, look, a Door!’

As for Annie and Owen vs. Sally and Danny, well, obviously I’m only 4 eps in, so maybe their interaction will get better.  But I thought  that with BBC, between the build-up, the death scene, and Annie’s slow struggle to defeat Owen, you actually get a great description of an abusive relationship.  Recall the scene where Owen is crying over Annie’s dead body until there aren’t witnesses, and then he smiles possessively, pridefully over her corpse.  Greg Chillin, who plays Owen,  completely lives up to his name with his rage and cruelty toward Annie.  Can Gianpaolo Venuta be as creepy?

Judging from the death scene alone, I’d say no.  Both characters are irrationally angry but only Owen is downright scary, in her face and rabid, Annie crying and terrified in a way that clearly suggests this isn’t the first time she’s been faced with his violent side.  In contrast, Sally seems simply upset and confused, and this time the shove is the first physical contact between them in the scene, maybe ever?  The show hasn’t told us otherwise yet, unlike its predecessor.  Once Annie knows the truth, she admits to Gilbert that she remembers Owen’s temper but just assumed she’d always been the problem, by being “annoying and pathetic”.  I don’t know why the Syfy version has left out the depth of the relationship, but so far clearly they have.

And let’s talk powers.  Sally doesn’t know what she can do yet; she’s just learning to physically interact with things and she’s never touched Aidan or Josh, so I assume that she cannot.  Yet as I mentioned, in her anger she is able to wreck Danny’s house.  Annie has always been able to move around and touch her roommates and things, but she has to work herself up to facing Owen with the truth.  In fact, her first attempt is a major Fail, since she has no idea how to use power to frighten him.  Also, when she and George hilariously save Mitchell from the vampires, she picks up a chair just like any human would and hits the vampire Seth with it.  It’s only in the finale, when she has already faced down Owen, turned down death, and believes that Mitchell will probably die and George has left him to it, that she is able to burst into the vampire lair and start tossing vamps around with poltergeist impunity.  Her confidence has to be built up to that point and my heart was with her on the entire journey.  Where is Sally’s journey?  Is she going to show us the vulnerable victim of an abusive relationship and how she picks up the pieces after, faces her abuser and other attackers??  So far, the answer is a disappointing and resounding no.

Giving Sally a break at last, there’s Herrick vs. Bishop.  I got caught up in pretty Bishop’s face, but Herrick is really something special.  He’s charming, funny, and frighteningly evil in the most unexpected scenes.  I’ll have to pay more attention now to see if Bishop’s dialogue, if his presence can match Herrick’s.  Check out the scene where Herrick threatens Annie with his, “Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock”, smiling all the while…or when he’s doing magic tricks in front of some delighted patients.  It’s such a small moment, but he’s surrounded by innocently clapping patients and the expression on his face when the change is falling from his palms is pure malevolence.  Just like that, he defines the entire character.  That has to be a hard act to follow.

I’ll just say right now that I don’t think Nora, the American Nina, is going to be able to pull it off.  Nina is this tiny little force of nature (super-nature?), cynical but compassionate and completely fearless…doesn’t everybody know somebody like that?  But they’ve Americanized her in Nora, and by that I mean they picked someone taller and stick-thin, modelesque in the way that we insist a proper love interest should be.  Granted she’s only had a couple of scenes, but I’m put off by the change.  I don’t find her intimidating, I find her fake.  Maybe the actress will actually have talent and help me see past it.

On the Syfy plus side, (and there is a plus side) I do like that Sally’s best friend is the one dating Danny.  It puts more at stake for Sally to face him and save her friend from the same fate.  George’s werewolf friend Tully is a vampire hating womanizer who seems to have lost touch with his conscience and suggests George would soon do the same…but you feel sorry for him.  You still feel sorry for Ray, the American Tully, but the scene where he gets Josh to help him violently attack vamps makes it easier to believe that Josh does the right thing by telling him to get lost.  They also leave out the scene where George tries to change in his house, which I thought was sort of silly.  A crazed werewolf can’t find his way out of a house aside from the front door?  I don’t know about that.  Instead, Josh’s  sister is accidentally locked in with him when he’s about to change, and they end the episode without telling you whether she survives.  That was a lot better, if you ask me.

I think I’ve made my point.  The BBC version touched my heart and actually made me cry a few times and I don’t know if Syfy can do the same.  Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, and their supporting cast have produced some powerful acting and they are doing justice to Toby Whithouse’s brilliant and crafty writing.  While the show remains worth watching, I just don’t know if Syfy’s cast and writers can fill their respective shoes.

“Being Human” Crosses the Pond

I’ll be honest.  I said I wasn’t going to watch this show at all out of loyalty to the BBC version, which I absolutely adore.  But…it just happened to be on and I just happened to be sitting here…whatever.  Here’s my take, as much as I could get from a single episode:

First off, the werewolf character “George” from the BBC version is my sweet, bumbling favorite.  I didn’t have much hope for his American counterpart, Josh, but I was pleasantly surprised.  True, his voice never cracks in that funny way that George’s does (is that only important to me?), but you still get the Little-Boy-Lost vibe, the endearing agitation, and the all-important sad puppy eyes.  The comic timing seems on point as well.  Nice job, American George.

On to our vampire:  BBC’s Mitchell is very sexy and he has a lot of dramatic work to do, fighting against  his addictive blood-lust while the local vamp community tries to drag him back down.  Can Syfy’s Aidan handle the pressure?  Helping him along is the younger (and hotter) Vampire King, Bishop, as opposed to BBC’s evil father figure type, Herrick.

Moving along to our ghost,  I’ll admit I’m not completely won over.  I’m not giving up on Sally completely, I just found her a little annoying.  I can’t decide what it is, which may mean that my Annie-loyalty is leaking into this post.  First,  and this may not be relevant, but I don’t like the bottom half of her outfit.  It is similar to Annie’s, but Sally’s version has short pants and ugly flat shoes.  I feel like they made her look frumpy instead of comfortably stylish.   Sally does show some of the innocent charm that is vital to the character, but I think it will take more than an episode for her to grow on me.   I will say that there is already some nice chemistry with vampire Aidan.

Having gotten the superficial stuff out of the way, all that’s left is the plot.  Fortunately, that was the best part.  I thought this would be silly for me.  I’m already through season 2 in the BBC version, and will therefore always know what’s going to happen.  Yet the Syfy version, while starting out with the same ingredients, is adding its own flavor to the mix.  There are new characters to watch out for and in fact the pilot ends on a cliffhanger that has a new character of interest already in grave danger.  You can bet I’ll be watching the next installation, regardless of my original intentions, if only to find out if said character survives.

After all, Sally deserves a chance to be judged on more than her outfit.  Josh may yet find a funny, higher pitch to his voice when he gets upset.  And Aidan…though I suspect I’ll still prefer the rugged version that is Mitchell, it’ll definitely be fun to see him go head to head with a different type of Vampire King.

I guess as far as the Syfy version is concerned, I’ll continue to give it a chance.  No matter what, a ghost, a werewolf, and a vamp shacking up together is still one hell of a premise.