Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Cindy Sampson, Jason Spevack, Kristen Hager, Sarah Allen
Chris Dingess
Jeremiah Chechik
Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
March 7, 2011

BEING HUMAN largely returns to copying its British forebear with “Children Shouldn’t Play With Undead Things,” in which vampire Aidan’s (Sam Witwer) befriending of bullied 10-year-old neighbor Bernie (Jason Spevack) leads to unintended consequences and Josh’s (Sam Huntingdon) courtship of nurse Nina (Kristen Hager) results in very wild pre-werewolf transformation sex. The one original bit here concerns Sally (Meaghan Rath), who is not exactly delighted by what she finds when Aidan leads her to a creepy, abandoned section of the hospital.

This last bit packs a bit of punch, partly because viewers of the original BEING HUMAN haven’t seen it before and partly because director Jeremiah Checkik makes the haunted hallways and their mournful denizens both creepy and pitiful. We can’t blame Sally for being angry at Aidan for leading her there (despite his good intentions in doing so), though we certainly can blame her for fulminating through Josh’s attempts to ask Nora for a date. In their efforts to be funny, the show runners fall on the wrong side of irritating character narcissism here.

Then there’s the Aidan/Bernie subplot. Witwer and Spevack do create some trans-generational chemistry as one-time father Aidan finds his parental impulses coming to the fore. The new version also makes it a little more plausible that the boy “borrows” the specific DVD (vampire porn, not the Three Stooges collection Aidan thinks he’s loaned out) he takes, which causes his mother (Cindy Sampson) to leap furiously to the wrong conclusions.

Unfortunately, what was mordantly funny in the English version loses its footing here, so that we’ve got a confrontation that doesn’t make us wonder where it’s going next, but instead makes us shrug at one more scene of a BEING HUMAN protagonist trying to defend himself against a regular human’s recriminations, based on a misunderstanding (though as with so many plot points, a correct interpretation of the facts would hardly help). Josh’s reaction to Aidan hanging on to the disc (introduced in a previous episode, with Aidan vowing to dispose of it) is actually much more interesting, as Josh’s grasp of the implications has lots of dark nuance.

There is a bit of mileage to be found in the guest turn of Sampson, who is Dean’s sometime girlfriend on SUPERNATURAL.

The romantic banter between Josh and Nora is actually pretty charming, with the schism between Josh’s normally diffident demeanor and his wild abandon coming off as intriguing enough to justify Nora’s continued tolerance for this odd mystery man in her life.

Clearly, plot elements are being set in motion here for things further down the road, but enough story threads are dealt with here to make “Children Shouldn’t Play With Undead Things” feel almost like a standalone episode. It’s not great, but it’s agreeable.

Do you love the new BEING HUMAN or hate it? COMMENT below at let the debate rage on

CLICK HERE for AX’s exclusive interview with Sam Witwer and Mark Pellegrino

CLICK HERE for more EXCLUSIVE interviews and reviews from ASSIGNMENT X on BEING HUMAN

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