Being Human UK Edition

It’s a pretty exciting time for supernatural and horror fans, being that the television industry has become overrun with vampires, werewolves and witches (Oh my!). Is it easy to pinpoint what started it all? Surely the success of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Charmed were the frontrunners in the early 90s, but in the the last decade or so, we can really credit True Blood, The Fringe, Vampire Diaries, American Horror Story and Supernatural for really drawing our attention to the tiny screen.

What’s especially great is that there are a lot of these television programs accessible on Netflix.ca! The entire collection of the 90s classics are all available on the website, but today, I wanted to focus on one show that seems to be getting a lot of attention and interestingly enough, an American version.

Being Human.

Synopsis

Essentially, it’s about a vampire (Mitchell) and werewolf (George) who work at the local hospital, are chums and move into a flat that’s haunted by a recently deceased ghost (Annie). The three quickly become friends due to their supernatural predicaments and take turns looking out for the other. When the full moon is close, it’s Annie and Mitchell’s responsibility to ensure that George is safely locked away, when Mitchell (who refuses to drink blood) is tempted, the others must look out for him and help him fight off the hunger. Annie’s struggles are a little more personal, as her former boyfriend is the owner of the place and often drops by and she’s forced to deal with not being seen by him.

Thoughts

He smolders instead of sparkles

What’s not to like about this show? It’s both a situational comedy centered and a horror based drama, really the best of both worlds. By comedy, I want to emphasize that unlike most American humour, it isn’t slapstick. The witty writing and quick delivery of the lines make the comedy more subtle and don’t sacrifice any of the darker elements of the series. If you’ve managed to see the pilot, you’ll notice immediately that the cast is mostly changed which is a positive in the sense that the cast (Aidan Turner, Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow) have brilliant chemistry. The friendships that develop between them in pairings and as a whole are believable, charming and lack any forced campiness.

It is George's time of the month..

With the title in mind, it’s important to remember that the characters are attempting to live in a world where they would not be accepted and so have to ‘be human’ and hide amongst them. The challenges are real, whether it be trying to maintain a relationship, or resist the urge to drink blood, you can sense the troubles that each of them have to face on a daily basis. Then there are the overarching storylines, Mitchell accidentally embracing a girl (early in the season) and her stalking him, trying to lure him to join the rest of the vampires, and the secrets behind Annie’s death, which aren’t revealed too soon, just sort of a background to the interactions between the main characters.

The special effects aren’t the best, but for a television show, they’re not terrible. George’s transformation scenes look agonizingly painful and Annie’s powers as a poltergeist are simple enough – dishes flying around the room and flicker lights on and off. And while there’s plenty of blood and violence, it’s not the focus. It’s pretty easy to tell that the drama elements come before anything else.

Also, the soundtrack kicks so much ass.

Verdict

Well written + Great actors + A good balance of drama-horror-comedy that’s a little sexy and violent = Good Show.

Netflix Rating: ****

My Rating: ****

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One Comment

  1. Rachel WUT
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Not that anyone is asking, but I wanted to comment that not only do I love this show, I love it so much more than the American version. American remakes of British awesomeness tend to be terrible, so I have to give it some credit that it at least isn’t horrendous crap. I can watch it, and enjoy it well enough. The main vampire character in the American version (Aidan, haha) lacks the sexy seductive qualities that Mitchell has, and the American ghost-lady is annoyingly whiny. I mean, so pouty and whiny that I hope bad things happen to her. We are supposed to sympathize with her, like we do Annie (who is, let’s face it, a bit pouty too) but instead I find her absolutely intolerable. The werewolf in the American version is pretty great though, in that same adorable, quirky way. So they have that going for them. Anyway – thanks for the review there, Kim. I enjoyed it.

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