Being Human: Season One

Being Human: Season One
At this point, vampires and werewolves are the property of teenage girls, due to the huge success of the insipid Twilight series. But as True Blood has demonstrated, there is a place for a more grown-up look at the genre, and Being Human reinforces that notion — vampires and werewolves are a lot more than teenage angst. This BBC show (created by former Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse) tells the story of three roommates sharing a house in Bristol and their everyday struggles, which stem from the fact that they're all supernatural beings. There's Mitchell (Aidan Turner), a vampire struggling with his bloodlust; George (Russell Tovey), a werewolf who deals with his affliction by hiding away from the world; and Annie (Lenora Crichlow), a ghost haunting the house where she was murdered. They try to have ordinary lives, but considering their predicament, that isn't going to happen. Instead, they attempt to determine which side of the line they will live on: embracing what they are or fighting the inevitable. Like so many other British shows, the fine balance between comedy and drama is what makes Being Human so appealing. Add to that a surprising amount of blood and gore, and it's easy to understand why it's become a big hit. The episodes are just under an hour-long each, and there are times when it feels like 30 minutes of plot stretched out. Yet the performances are impressive and, more importantly, the mythology attached to the show is strong enough to carry along the slower moments. Plus, it has a lot of potential to head off in numerous intriguing directions as the back-stories are revealed and the overarching story begins to come together. Buffy fans will recognise how the bigger picture becomes more important than the contents of each individual episode. While Being Human is hardly revolutionary, the ideas are executed so well that it makes viewers care almost immediately about the main trio and it looks like the best is yet to come. The two-DVD set has a relatively generous collection of extras. There are deleted, extended and alternate scenes, plus an additional hour of featurettes on the special effects, stunts and, most importantly, character profiles and mythology pieces that help explain the "rules" used in the show. The huge omission is the original pilot, which is mentioned several times in the other extras. It only features one of the current actors in the main parts, but it feels like one part of the puzzle has been deliberately omitted and that's a shame. (BBC/Warner)