BEING HUMAN: The First Two Seasons. Reviewed By Ross Hughes
“While you will love everything it is about Being Human, it makes you weep for the state of British TV”
Maybe it was the fact that I watch too much horror, but at times, especially at the beginning of this horror BBC television show, I struggled with what was going on. Its like the creators really do not care about the rules of the genre and they simply had a need too stick two fingers up to what we know should be happening and what should be right. For this I found the first two episodes a bit hard to swallow. Before all Being Human fans jump down my throat, let me analyze just one scene that made me shake my head and question everything around me!
Its a clear day, the sun is out in all its glory and down on a normal street, sitting on their doorstep outside the flat they share are Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and Annie (Leonora Critchlow), both talking away while drinking a cup of tea in which Annie loves to make. Of course for all those who have never seen Being Human will wonder why the fuss, well for all newcomers, Mitchell is a Vampire and Annie is a ghost. Now see what I mean? Broad daylight! Vampire!….a ghost! Which means that all the neighbours who look out of their window will see Mitch talking to himself while a cup floats right by him.
Ok, I am reading to much into it and maybe I should just go with the flow and the only thing that kept me interested in those early days was the other character. Meet the third person that shares the flat with them. George (Russell Tovey), a geeky and quite neurotic young man who struggles with life, with the women he interacts with and also the fact one day of each month, he just happens to turn into a werewolf. It was his story arc and the struggle to adapt that made me sit and think that this TV show could become something. It also helped that his transformation from man to beast was the coolest thing that BBC have done and while it does not quite match the achievement of American Werewolf in London, you be very surprised at the effort that has gone in to make it seem realistic as possible. The Werewolf plot also seemed fresh and new, because all horror fans are overun at the moment with Zombies and Robert Patterson forever in the news.
Everything with fangs and a need to suck blood is having a severe overdose for the genre that I call horror. With Buffy still fresh and with Angel forever sealing the vamp with a soul angle, at first I found the story involving Mitchell a bit old hat. He was a good guy who was tortured by the fact he needs the red stuff to survive and he treats his condition like an alcoholic, trying his best to stay on the wagon and not fall off. With True Blood the new cool thing on the block, at first I could not see the difference between this creature of the night and that of Bill Compton, well of course apart from the obvious in that Mitch did not have Sookie Stackhouse going all lovely and declaring her undying love for him.
Even Annie did not grab me at first. The ghost who died so young and only George and Mitchell can see, it was not the tragic tale I cried out for and it does not take a genius to work out why she died, especially if you have seen loads of horrors in the past. Of course at the moment it sounds like I did not like this hit cult show, but then something happened. By the time the third episode ended I realised these three characters have already become a trio that I care for. They attempt to lead a normal life and not be different gets right under your skin, its all about being human, but for these three, its totally impossible when major obstacles get in the way.
Season One is all about the character build up. The three are already living together and are struggling with life. Annie is desperate to know the reason why she died, a path that leads all the way to a dangerous discovery that links up the already planned season two. Mitch falls off the wagon once that results in a death of a co-worker, which brings him to a couple of old friends who have a deadly plan for the human race. While George is trying his best to adapt and falls in love but then struggles to hide his secret. It seems like not a lot when written, but all three stories collide and by the time you reach the fifth episode you be struggling for breath with the pace of it all. The final part is wonderful telly that makes a mockery of True Blood that seems tongue in cheek with its approach than the dark vein that ripples through Being Human. This is adult stuff from start to finish, its not the laugh riot and serious tone that Misfits manages to bring to the table, there are occasional moments of a few jokes, but this is serious stuff and its wonderfully written from start to finish.
Season Two is simply bigger and better. There is no need for development and once again the creators bend the rules which may frustrate hardened horror fans. Annie getting a job is one example that made me shout “how is this possible?”, but such is the weird and black storytelling, you can not help but marvel at its originality. The consequences of the shock ending from Season One is played through out the entire plot, affecting the entire trio. George is devasted for what he has done, Mitch goes towards the darkisde, while Annie begins to become more powerful as she learns how to use her spiritual powers. The flat is also targeted by an organisation who for reasons unknown at first want the three watched and recorded. This leads to a shocking twist half way through that had me open mouthed, a sign that I am clearly watching a quite wonderful TV show. If you thought the first season was dark, then this goes further, and once again the finale is a blood soaked extravaganza with yet another twist that will will have you begging for Season Three to start straight away.
While you love everything it is about Being Human, it makes you weep for the state of British television. This along with Misfits are the best two TV shows for many years to be made in this country, but they are locked away like a secret on two free view channels. They both deserve wider audience and more respect, because when story telling is as strong as on show here, then its a shame that they are being missed by many who simply do not know they are on.
OVERALL: If you love True Blood then you will love Being Human more! Its dark and gritty with a massive heart but those who pine for all things Twilight and Robert Patterson, need not apply…..this is one heck of a show with one massive bite!!!!
Season One 4 OUT OF 5 Season Two 4 OUT OF 5
[pt-filmtitle]Being Human Series 1[/pt-filmtitle]