There’s been a plethora of vampire and werewolf driven film and television series that have been let loose on poor unsuspecting viewers in the past couple years and much of it hasn’t been all that great. True Blood is the exception for me but that’s more of a guilty pleasure full of gore and nudity that real substance. Being Human provides me with what “The Walking Dead” did for me with zombies: gave me gore and violence with actual human soul and misery. That sounds completely undesirable but with monsters like ghosts, werewolves and vamps, it can be easy to forget that they were once human. Being Human brings vampire and werewolves back to their vicious roots and away from the teenage romantic perversion that they’ve become so recently (thanks to “Twilight”). Thank you Syfy!
Okay so brief summary: A 200 year old (played by sinister sexy Sam Witwer) and a baby werewolf (portrayed by the adorable Sam Huntington) move in together as roommates into a house which is, coincidentally, already inhabited or rather haunted by a ghost (Meaghan Rath). In theory, this combination shouldn’t work at all. This should be cornier than True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight combined and that’s A LOT of corniness! Being Human also shouldn’t work because it’s based on a preexisting UK series of the same name which means it shouldn’t translate as well in its US reincarnation. It just never works out as well when you try to copy an original especially when from another country. The UK’s language may be English, but they’re still culturally a bit foreign! 🙂
“Being Human” gives you the combination of supernatural elements with great writing and good acting, both of which have been seriously lacking in other supernatural series as of late. These characters are understated in ways that make them accessible and believable. The wolf is goofy, the ghostie is pretty neurotic and the vamp is convincingly conflicted. These characters are likable and likable characters are on the short list of requirements for a successful series. The audience has to care about the main characters enough to come back every week and for the most part, they deliver. Rath as the ghost unable to move on is a little annoying but still likable all the same and Witwer plays the tortured centuries old vampire with much more credibility than his t.v. vamp counterparts. But Huntington’s performance as the goofy and awkward werewolf is wonderful and brings a lightheartedness and vulnerability that makes his plight all the more painful.
What is most interesting about this show for me is that all parties acknowledge that they are monsters and the show emphasizes how truly dangerous a human/monster relationship would be. There are few illusions about their natures and “Being Human” works hard to eradicate the myth that humans, vampires, and werewolves can be chummy with no real consequences. The monster’s point of view has always been the more fascinating idea to me. Who cares what the villagers and the victims feel. What exactly is going through the monster’s mind as he accidentally throws a little girl into a lake (Frankenstein’s monster) or attempts to sever the carotid artery of his love because she just smelled so tasty (Wolfman). Cheers to the creators, actors and writers of “Being Human”. You’ve brought it back to basics and it works!!! But, it’s just the first season so hopefully they’ll keep it up for season 2.