Day 55 : Being Human, series 1 (2008)


You would that think by now I would know how to spot a vampire when I see one. The same goes for werewolves–and don’t get me started on ghosts. I’ve read all of the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse series; and watched the shows that were born from these two franchises. Hell, I even watched Fright Night, which, oddly enough, kind of combined the whole vampire and wolf thing. I have seen enough Ghost Hunters episodes to earn me respect on several internet forums (should I choose to comment). So you think I would be prepared for a show like Being Human. Yeah, one would think that, but I guess I wasn’t.

 

I should probably interject a side note here before I continue the review. I have only seen the first disc of Being Human series 1, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The Netflix site has been down all day today (egads!), thus knocking off the entire watch instantly queue from my potential viewing pleasure. At home, I have the first disc of Being Human and The Crazies, but I promised my husband I would watch The Crazies with him (it can’t be any worse for a date night film than Bridget Jones’s Diary). So, Being Human it is. And, after watching the first few episodes, I’m not complaining.

 

OK, so here is the setup: a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost walk into a bar– no, I actually meant to say they live together in a flat in England (you can see how the lead-in for a joke would come naturally). I am not actually sure how they found each other yet. It is quite possible they answered each other’s ads on craigslist (maybe a missed connection?). Each one of these supernatural beings has issues. George (Russell Tovey) is probably one of the dorkiest werewolves in the world (but that makes him an interesting character) and has to come to terms with his “condition.” Mitchell (Aidan Turner) is a vampire with a heart of gold. Like most of the vampires in contemporary fiction these days, he just can’t bring himself to drink human blood. Weenie. And Annie (Lenora Crichlow) is a ghost with unresolved issues keeping her from moving on. They all just want to fit into human society, but their paranormal natures keep holding them back.

 

The series started out a bit slow. The introductory credit sequence lightly touched on the three main characters and how they became what they are. But that is about all it explained. We have no idea what brought them together. Hey, aren’t werewolves and vampires sworn enemies? If not, that means Twilight lied to me. Nooooooo! I can’t deal with that today. Not on a day when Netflix is down; and they sent me the second movie in my queue when the first said “short wait,” thus dashing my hopes of receiving that elusive third DVD. Whatever. Someone is lying to me– either the BBC or the Twilight books (unless the rules are changed for England. They do pronounce words differently, so maybe rules of supernatural are different as well. It’s the whole herb versus herb argument all over again). Whatever the case, they live in a flat together, just like a Three’s Company with fangs. The series starts to pick up steam in the second episode, allowing the characters to become a bit more developed. By the third episode, I was hooked. Just what I need, another TV series to follow.

 

While I am liking the story and the acting, the effects are super cheesy. The werewolf transformation effect I believe would be difficult to carry out. Very few franchises have done this well, and this show is not one of them (Van Helsing, while kind of a crappy movie had pretty cool werewolfing if I remember correctly). I find it a little odd that after George’s transformation, he ends up looking like G’Mork’s head (the wolf dude from the NeverEnding Story) was slapped onto the body of a man in a bear costume. Creepy, yes, but not in the way I am sure they intended it to be. Here is a fun fact: apparently vampires, like sharks, have eyes that turn black at the scent of blood. Nifty (but does their skin sparkle in the sun?).

 

I found myself pulled into the show. Most likely because the drama is dragged out over several episodes, and the audience is only offered little pieces of the backstory at a time. But it kind of works for me. And as long as it works for me, I will keep watching.

 

Happy viewing! :)

 

Score: B+

Netflix Queue: 463


8 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Rachael

    Adding to my queue! I didnt read your whole review b/c I didnt want plot spoilers but I liked the premise. :) B+ also means it has potential, coming from you! ;)

    October 22nd, 2010

  2. Tracy

    There is a one hour pilot that explains how George and Mitchell found the house and met Annie. Mitchell and Annie are played by different actors. As far as I know it’s not available on DVD but you can find it in the torrents if you care to watch it.

    October 22nd, 2010

  3. meg

    Rachel- I totally understand. I didn’t include spoilers in my review (mostly because I only saw a few episodes), but I can totally understand not wanting to spoil any surprises. I hope you like it. :)

    October 22nd, 2010

  4. meg

    Tracy- First, thank you so much for reading! Also, thanks for the explanation:) That makes more sense that I was (in a sense) missing an episode. How did the other actors compare to the ones who play Annie and Mitchell in this season?

    October 22nd, 2010

  5. Tracy

    I thought they were both different, Annie was played a bit more neurotic and the actress had a welsh or scottish accent. It’s been a while so I don’t recall much about Mitchell. In general, what I remember is that it did fill in a lot of gaps about how they got the house and what happened with Lauren. Hope you enjoy the series and you’ll have to compare it to the american version when it comes out in January.

    Also, I just saw the Aidan Turner will be in the Hobbit movies as a dwarf. So it looks like series 3 may be it for the british version of this for a little while.

    October 22nd, 2010

  6. Wow, I watched some of this over the weekend, and it’s nothing like I expected. I couldn’t help but think that this would be a wacky slapstick comedy, but it’s a serious drama, and it’s amazing that they were able to pull that off. Can’t wait to see more!

    November 1st, 2010

  7. meg

    I know, right? It was such a pleasant surprise!! :)

    November 2nd, 2010

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