Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Mark Pellegrino, Gianpaolo Venuta, Alison Louder, Angela Galuppo, Vincent LeClerc
Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke
Jeremy Chechik
Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
February 28, 2011

Ah, there it is. Like Aidan’s fang poking out from under his lower lip, the U.S. version of BEING HUMAN finally finds a personality of its own with a plot thread not seen (at least in the first season) of the U.K. version, as werewolf Josh is roped into going back home to see his parents. These loving, well-educated, upper-middle-class, politically correct folks think Josh is mentally ill and treat him ever so gently while trying to probe for clues as to what might make him well again.

Josh’s flight back to the old homestead is precipitated by the alley attack on his younger sister Emily (Alison Louder), who thinks she just pissed off the wrong drunken jerk. Aidan (Sam Witwer) and Josh know better – it was vampire Marcus (Vincent LeClerc), vampire leader Bishop’s (Mark Pellegrino) second in command, who is ferociously jealous of Aidan.

Aidan insists that Josh and Emily aren’t safe and must leave the city, and Emily (still with no idea of the supernatural goings-on) wants Josh to come home. Josh learns that his disappearance has strained his parents’ marriage to the point of separation, although Dad comes over once it’s known the prodigal has returned. Emily has told their parents that Josh thinks he’s a werewolf, and she’s purloined his personal journal to prove it. Josh, horrified, insists the journal is his blueprint for a graphic novel.

Aidan shows up at the door to try to help sell Josh as someone who is now mentally stable, but this all goes to hell when Marcus shows up as well. Josh freaks out so badly that there’s no disguising his agitated state – nor the fact that he breaks up a living room lamp to use as a stake – but Aidan does the major fighting out on the lawn with Marcus, convincing the other vamp to back off (especially as Marcus is there on his own, not at Bishop’s behest). Although Josh wants to stay and avoid hurting his family further, Aidan’s own experience with his wife and son, long in the past (we don’t hear the details), causes him to persuade Josh that he’s a danger to his kin, because they will trust him too much even if they believe he’s a werewolf. Josh finally comes back to stay with Aidan and Sally in Boston.

In a plot thread that is much the same as the original, Sally gets an earful of hatred from her murderer Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta), who now believes she exists, but is intent on convincing his current girlfriend Bridget (Angela Galuppo) that they’re not being haunted. Bridget thinks Danny is distraught over Sally’s death.

The show fizzles when it’s dealing with Sally’s subplot, but it seems less the fault of the material than the paint-by-numbers approach employed when this BEING HUMAN follows the narrative footsteps of its predecessor. The storyline with Josh is a striking contrast, full of humor and keen observation of what would likely happen with parents anxious to avoid confrontation with a fragile offspring. There is both humor and pathos in the scenario, especially when Aidan is added to the picture, first trying to keep Josh from undermining himself, then having an unexpected attack of black eyes and fangs as garlic in the food causes his real self to emerge (Aidan and Josh both trying to conceal what’s happening and their solution is very funny).

The longer this BEING HUMAN lasts, the more time it has to break out and find itself. This is a very healthy development that also makes for enjoyable viewing.

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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