strange like that

BBC’s “Being Human”

George the werewolf

George starting to transform.

I don’t watch much television these days, but when I do, it’s a lot of BBC programming. I don’t know what it is about British television that I like. Maybe it’s that they can push the limits further than our prudish US censors will allow. Maybe it’s because they have different and interesting shows like Doctor Who, TorchwoodCoupling, and Top Gear, as well as the classics like Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and Are You Being Served?.

In Being Human I found yet another BBC show able to capture my attention. The show centers around a werewolf (George), a vampire (Mitchell) and a ghost (Annie) all sharing a flat in Bristol. That may sound like a flop waiting to happen, but the blend of comedy and drama strangely works.

There was a good chance in the beginning that Being Human was never going to become an actual show. It started life as a one-off hour long pilot, and it was only picked up for a 6-episode season because it received such positive feedback.

After the pilot they had to jump another hurdle as two of the original leads (Mitchell and Annie) were recast. (Something I was really worried about.)

The initial episode of the season had a somewhat rocky start as well. Since the pilot wasn’t technically the first episode, they had to recap everything at an accelerated pace which made it feel frantic.

Despite all of this, Being Human managed to smooth out by the second episode. I found myself wrapped up in the characters and the true core of the show which is what it means to be human. It’s funny, it’s sad and it’s got enough twists and turns to mix things up.

Being a werewolf aficionado, I was especially interested in the character of George. He really is a case of nice guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He finds himself unable to cope with the wolf inside of him, and tries desperately to keep his “human” life and his full moon meanderings seperate.

I’m also impressed by the decision to keep the werewolf effects practical. There’s no CGI magic, just good old effects ala “An American Werewolf in London”. Granted, they’re not as polished as the effects from “AWIL”, but they’re pretty damn good for a television show.

I’ve now watched the full first season twice (even though they’re just now airing on BBC America). The show has been greenlit for a second season, and I’m going to eagerly await answers to questions the first season left me with as well as new stories and drama.

If you haven’t checked this show out yet, give it a try. It may not be perfect, but neither is being human.

Final Score: 5 out of 5.


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