If you’re interested in supernatural drama’s, consider picking up the series Being Human. What you get is a look at the lives of a Ghost, a Werewolf, and a Vampire (it’s not a joke, they’re not walking into a bar) all living together. And did we mention this is a BBC show, so they all have British accents?
This series out on DVD and Blu-ray on July 20th, and the second season is starting soon (July 24th) on BBC America. With just six stunning episodes in season one, there’s time to watch them all before season two begins.
Picture shows: l-r George (Russell Tovey), Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and Mitchell (Aidan Turner). Ph: BBC
Created by Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Being Human is an extraordinary look into the lives of hospital porters George (Tovey) and Mitchell (Turner). Toiling anonymously in Bristol, England, they lead lives of quiet desperation under the burden of a terrible secret – Mitchell’s a vampire and George is a werewolf. Deciding to start life afresh and leave behind the dark side, they move into a house, only to find that Annie (Lenora Crichlow), the ghost of a woman killed in mysterious circumstances, haunts it. As the three deal with the challenges of their new lives together, they’re united in their desire to blend in with their human neighbors. However, with unwelcome intruders into their world, a threatened revolution from the vampire underworld, constant threats of exposure, and the day-to-day issues faced by young people – the only thing they may be able to rely on is each other.
Being Human Season 1 DVD Review
The dialogue in Being Human is clever, engaging, and prompts your brain to think about topics that escape focus on most days. Despite the obligatory angst, there’s also a lot of humor that happens from some of the trio’s interactions. Speaking of the trio, the strongest scenes include them all together. But every scene in this first season is a tiny, beautiful portrait of a moment. Because of the limited amount of episodes, you won’t find any drawn-out or unnecessary scenes.
Mitchell: We can’t just dip our toe! We have to dive into the churn of humanity. Laugh with them, listen to their stories.
George: About Vin Diesel?
Mitchell: A remarkable man, I’m starting to realize.
Meet the Characters
Mitchell (Aidan Turner) is the rebellious, attractive vampire, George (Russell Tovey) is that slightly goofy-looking guy who turns out to be a triple-threat of clever, amusing and romantic (okay – plus a werewolf), and Annie (Lenora Crichlow) is a ghost that’s ruled by strong emotions and a need to nurture. I don’t have a favorite character because I gleefully love them all equally. And that kind of stamp of approval isn’t easily won by me.
Annie: Everyone dies. Actually, can I start that again? Everyone deserves a death. I was going to die of old age. That was the plan.
Each of the six episodes is narrated by one of the characters, and they work in a rotation that goes forward and then backward. Does that make sense? Probably not, so I’ll clarify! The character of Annie narrates the pilot and then the season finale. The narration is not to spotlight the narrator’s character. Usually they’re talking about another character in an almost-anonymous sounding way.
- Mitchell: Owen’s moved on with his life. You need to do the same.
- Annie: I’m dead!
This Ghost Life
It’s so nice to see the spotlight on a ghost, becuase so many series opt-out of covering that particular mythology. Rather than make Annie a Witch or some other sort of supernatural being – she’s the one otherworldly being that most people believe can actually happen to you. You’re far more likely to ever become a ghost than a vampire, either of those are possible options, yanno?
- Lauren: And the blood Mitchell. Can you remember the taste? So rich and warm. You can have it again. As much as you want.
- Mitchell: I can’t, the cost is too high.
- Lauren: Please! Who are you saving, really? Have you seen Britain’s Got Talent?
The Human Condition
We see ideal traits in animals. These are traits we could embrace. But humans have more options, and too often we choose the less than ideal behavior or action. Watching Being Human made me think about what it means to be “normal.” It’s not the first time I’ve thought about it, and I doubt it’ll be the last. The series prompts questions like, “Are you kind? Are you accepting? Are you compassionate?”
Even though we’re human, sometimes the state of “being human” or “being normal” is such a foreign concept. I think the key is to remove the word “normal’ from trying to be tackled at all. To be human is to be imperfect and abnormal.
George: Who keeps their rotten tomatoes? Who looks in their salad cooler, sees their tomatoes are on the turn and thinks ‘oh no, no I’ll hang on to those in case some pedo’s move in opposite’?
A Lovely World
I have to admit, I love British accents. They say “hot chocolate” in such a wonderful way that emphasizes the “C”. They also use charming words like: cuppa, hoover, and caper.
Mitchell: Where do I belong? Where do I fit? Who are my people? Where do my loyalties lie? We all choose our tribe. It’s that need to belong, to live within boundaries, cause it’s scary on the outside, on the fringes. Some labels are forced on us. They mock us, set us apart ’til we’re like ghosts, drifting through other people’s lives. But only if we let the labels hold. You can piss your whole life away trying out who you might be. It’s when you’ve worked out who you are that you can really start to live.
- “What would Patrick Swayze do?”
- There is David the Gnome wallpaper in George’s bedroom! (It’s a rented place.)
- Episode 5 has an amazing cliffhanger.
- George reminds me of Adam Brody’s character, Seth Cohen, from The O.C. in terms of personality. Is there any doubt as to why I’m charmed?
- “I am the weapon.”
- “I said leave them be. They’re only-” – George / “Human?! Then it’s our mistake, wanting to be like them.” – Mitchell
Being Human Season One DVD Extras
The deleted scenes include a super cute George and Nina scene, another Mitchell and Bernie scene, and the trio celebrating Annie’s special day.
One of the extended scenes is from the pilot, and it’s marvelous.
In this section they go into the challenges and tricks to filming Annie’s death scene, and the Bernie/Mitchell car scene.
Our Journey’s End
The three main cast members talked about the end of season one, and their hopes for season two.
Becoming a Werewolf
While most movies and TV shows use CGI, that’s not the case here. It’s all about prosthetic and puppetry.
All three of the main cast have a CAM section, where you see the specific world they inhabit on set, and what it’s like in their personal experience. It’s as close as you can get to being on the actual set. You’ll witness on-set hijinks, and personal confessions. Russell Tovey (George) seems endearing, Aidan Turner (Mitchell) seems enthusiastic, and Lenora Crichlow (Annie) is incredibly funny.
The series is all about looking at life, and living life, from an outsider’s point of view. Who can’t relate to that?