Last night's Being Human episode tipped the scales with a little fantasy wish fulfillment, a new "big bad," and a general raise of excellence. Take note, Fall 2011's fantasy-laden programming: this is the supernatural soap opera we want.
True, Being Human hasn't seriously diverged from the BBC original (yet). And true the show came from slightly bumpy beginnings. But the growing pains for this series have been merely that, signs of growth. We're seriously happy with the leaps and bounds this series has grown in the last month (which may have been why Syfy just renewed if for a second season). After viewing the last few episodes back-to-back, we can see why this drama is getting a lot of love over in the states.
The Chemistry, It's Better!
Finally, this group has gelled! Sure it's taken a few episodes and some unfortunate ghosts with even more unfortunate eyeliner to get us here, but we're here. This little moment of banter (from the episode "Children Shouldn't Play With Undead Things") is by far one of our favorite moments of the season — because Sally officially fits in with the fellas. She's found her comedic beat and timing and finally, the jokes can be heard. Plus her jokes are better. We're overjoyed that Sally groove in this group! She's funny, we always knew she was funny (that quip about Josh really being a janitor, delightful). This is just the first step. We assume the next is some sort of horrible tragedy that brings the group even closer together.
Bring on the Dutch. There's nothing better than forcing the audience to feel sorry for villains. So when "The Dutch" were eerily introduced in their upside down burlap sacks, all of our creep buttons were getting smashed. You know we're a sucker for an-out-of-touch omnipresent supreme being, but to make them prefer the orthodox lifestyle of Amish living was a stroke of genius. Also, you gotta love the nickname "The Dutch," the least terrifying, and yet still somehow horrifying quip ever.
Killing off the kid was dark. And a good move. Nothing tanks a series faster than saddling the two dysfunctional adults with a child. Nothing. Our last memories of this vampire baby in the BBC series was of him jetting off with his mother (no longer the vampires' problem). But in this version, Aidan has to face the adorable mess Rebecca made. No doubt this will make things much more hellish between them. Excellent. We love watching these two make horrible decisions, it's what they excel at.
The Nerd Gets To Shine
Imagine our surprise when biggest hand-fanning moment of the season wasn't from the tall dark and muggy vampire. Sorry Aidan, the hottest moment in this season (thus far) isn't from your shirtless, crazed, vampire opium den rampages (although we did enjoy those shirtless scream cry laughing sessions). The sex appeal on the back half of this series has been shouldered entirely by one skinny werewolf. Color us surprised when Being Human delivered crazy, growling, werewolf style sexin. Hot? You bet. But also tastefully done. And 1,000 times more interesting because you finally got to see the meek orderly go full blown were-sex rage.
More Mark Pellegrino
Once you pulled your eyes away from Aidan's 1950 greaser hair-do in the sepia toned Being Human flashbacks, you may have noticed that this was a Bishop flashback. No fault if you didn't — I mean, that hair, that hair (amazing)! We're ecstatic that Pellegrino's character is getting additional screen time. And were even more elated to see that it was he, and not Aidan, that used to be the little vampire bitch. While we're not 100% sure why Bishop had to kill his human love (why not mind-wipe her?) it still made for some crazy character-building TV. And all good soap characters need a horrific sob-story flashback. Even better if you can get them in West Side Story garb.
So does this mean the US Being Human series now problem-free? Not exactly.
There is still a lot of telling and not showing going on in this series. Please don't promise us excellent werewolf cage fighting, and then cut away the minute the werewolves are unleashed! And yes, the CG werewolf circlin' scene looked great, but where was the actual werewolf fighting? We're happy that you didn't show Aidan killing the vampire kid, but a werewolf fight? You cut this scene? All sizzle, no steak. (You can win our trust back with additional footage of vampire accordion girl).
And even though the chemistry is infinitely better, if could always be improved. As we stated early, we suspect something truly horrible is about to happen and that should bring the group together once and for all. But, for now, the trio will continue to mistrust one another and make bad calls, thus enabling the story-telling devices of a supernatural drama to churn on. If all the Brothers Grimm-themed fantasy stories taking place on Fall TV this year can take a page from Being Human's classic soap skills, we could be in for some dramatic fun.