Saturday, January 15, 2011

Being Human

I just finished watching the first season of BBC's Being Human.  I know, I'm behind the times.  The show is currently heading into it's third season.  Yay!  This is an awesome show with an amazing ensemble cast. It combines drama and the supernatural with a perfect dash of wacky humor, and there wasn't an episode that was not excellent.  The first season is only six episodes, but it's worth the price, no matter if you find it on DVD (Amazon around $20) or a streaming service like Amazon's Video On Demand ($9.99 for season 1 right now).

The show features a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living together in Bristol, in an attempt to 'be human' by keeping their darker natures separate from the side they show the public.

Annie (Lenora Crichlow), the ghost, isn't quite sure why she hasn't gone 'beyond' yet, so wants to solve that.  She's a free-spirit, always happy and eager to please.  She doesn't need to eat, but making tea makes her feel normal, so there's always a clutter of teacups about the house.  She's someone you'd love to have as your next-door neighbor, but you wouldn't be able to see her because she's a ghost.  Her growth over the six episodes is remarkable and she learns both good and bad things about her death and its meaning.  You'll be rooting for her, I promise.

George (Russell Tovey), the werewolf.  What can I say about sweet, lovable, goofy George? He's not what you'd expect a werewolf to be, and that's great.  The whole show turns the paranormal stereotypes on their heads.  George is very firm about keeping his werewolf nature away from his 'human' life and only has to deal with that during the full moon.  Yet, he's fearful in reaching out to humans, and when love comes to him, he is reluctant.  He is the comic relief on the show, and has incredible comic timing.  Heck, the whole cast works marvelously with one another.  You'd think this show was in its third or fourth year for the actors really have a handle on their characters.  One of the things I adore is the gnome wallpaper in George's bedroom (you can see in the pic at left).  It was obviously there when he moved in, but, oddly, it fits him to a T.

Finally, there is Mitchell, the vampire who is about 150 years old.  He's stopped drinking blood in his efforts to be as human as possible.  You can see that he genuinely craves the companionship and affections that humans offer, yet he struggles (as you would expect from any vampire).  Aidan Turner, who plays him, has laidback charisma and charm and just like George, he embodies his character and you can't resist loving him from the start.  The fact he's gorgeous doesn't hurt a bit.  But over the very short story arc he manages to grow a lot as the others do.  He faces his dark cravings, and whether or not he succumbs I'll leave for you to find out when you watch the show.

The BBC site for the show is here, and you can watch clips and video (yes, even here in the US!).  The Wikipedia page is pretty awesome.

The SyFy version of Being Human premieres Monday night.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I don't get the channel, so can't watch it, but I'm so in love with the original I really don't want anyone to try and remake it.  Though advance word on the SyFy version has been good.  You all will have to report in if you see the new show and let us know what you think.  Do we need two versions of this show?  Can they capture the magic of the BBC version?


Vickie said...

I will watch the premiere of the show on SyFy on Monday, but it has big ol' shoes to fill. I luh-huv the BBC series and will be comparing the two mercilessly. Will report my findings.

Anna (Bite Club) said...

I'll be watching too but I'm not sure how that's going to work once season 3 starts on BBC. Can't figure out why the network thought having that overlap would be a good idea but I'm honestly trying to be positive. We shall see.

Maybe I'll put up a post on Monday so we can chat about our conclusions.

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I adore the BBC version! I'm probably going to tune into the SyFy version because my roommate wants to see it, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I don't really think they can best the original!

Anonymous said...

I'm not really a fan of British TV but I was surprised at how much I liked this show (I've only watched 1st season so far). When I saw that Syfy channel is remaking it I thought 'why?'. I don't see the point of it.

Stephanie G
Paranormal Haven

Michele Hauf said...

I will patiently wait for reports on the SyFy version. I don't get that channel so I'd have to wait for DVD anyway. But I'm thinking BBC will win on this one!

Michele Hauf said...

Cool news!
the writers of Being Human (BBC) are launching an online webisode called Becoming Human with similar stories to their original. Here's more info:

Laura Leigh said...

just downloaded the first two series of the BBC version,love it so far, not too crazy about the syfy version after having watched the bbc episode one lol