40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Having watched every season of the British hit "Being Human," I was a bit wary of SyFy's American reinterpretation. After all, for every successful translation (The Office) of a British gem, there are dozens of failed attempts (Coupling). While I'm sure that I will anger the many avid fans of the original show, I will say that its first season (for me) was wildly uneven. I enjoyed the progress into later years as the plotting became darker and more complex--but while the show had an initial charm, it wasn't perfectly formed right out of the gate. So I was open-minded to this reboot. While some loyalists will contend that it is an utter failure and some newbies will proclaim it is brilliant, I fall squarely in the middle. Once again, I find myself thinking this is a good show with the potential to grow into something far richer and more rewarding. The British version started as an enjoyment and turned into great television. I think that the U.S. version has the same opportunity.
For those new to the concept of "Being Human," it is perhaps one of the most unique and (let's admit it) most ridiculous ones on TV. In its outrageousness, however, it is completely irresistible! What if a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire shared living quarters as best mates? You think the trials of tribulations of being young and attractive in the big city makes for great drama--try adding this supernatural component for a bit of fun. Sam Witwer has an intensity perfectly suited to the role of a tortured blood sucker. Sam Huntington has a goofy appeal as a befuddled werewolf. And Meaghan Rath is a serviceable and pleasant apparition. In my opinion, the cast between the two versions is on a relatively even playing field. I actually prefer Witwer in Season One, Rath is somewhat blander yet also less annoying, and Huntington (while incredibly likable) has a hard time measuring up Russell Tovey's pitch perfect creation. Don't get me wrong. I really appreciate Huntington's easy charm, but Tovey (with Sinead Keenan as Nina) give two of the most underrated performances on contemporary British TV.
The premise of the show is that the three roomies crave normalcy above all else. But it's not an easy road. The first couple of episodes stick very firmly to the British template, but then the scripts branch out in a welcome way. Primary plot points in this season include Huntington's courtship of a new girlfriend, Rath's investigation into her untimely death, and Witwer's political struggle trying to extricate himself from a vampiric organization. Witwer's plot line has the most meat and is very well done. With terrific character pieces by Mark Pellegrino and Terry Kinney, this arc is the primary reason to catch this incarnation of "Being Human." The trio of leads plays off one another with ease, but have yet to develop the chemistry of their British counterparts. All in all, though, I think the show holds promise and the potential to grow. If you've never seen the original, I think that you'll have much to appreciate here--if for no other reason, the concept is so strikingly different. For fans of the original, I suppose a mixed reaction is to be expected--but I, for one, was willing to go with the flow and enjoy myself. KGHarris, 9/11.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Let me put it out there before I go any further; I have not seen the original BBC version of this show. I do plan on watching it at some point, but for the purposes of this review it is not necessary.
Being Human was an absolute surprise for me. When I first heard of it, because it was going to air on SyFY, I assumed it would be as Goofy as all the other shows that air on that channel. Not hating cause Eureka is one of my favorite shows ever. Being Human is nothing like that. It is able to hit just the right tone between the serious plotlines that make up the meat of the show, and the extremely important "lighter moments" that show character development.
The show is about Josh (werewolf), Aidan (vampire), and Sally (ghost), who live together in the same house and learn how to balance what they are with who they want to be. The characters that make up this world are not incredibly over dramatic (twilight) or insanely over the top (True Blood: The Complete First Season). This show manages to find an impressive balance between the two giving it a feel all its own.
The conflict feels organic as well. For Aidan, his past very long past is finally catching up with him, and he must decide between that past and his present. Sally struggles with no longer being connected, and also the loss of her loved ones. Josh desperately wants to be normal, but that is hard to do when every so often you transform into an uncontrollable killing machine. Each of these plot lines intersect at a certain point and they are handled beautifully.
While watching this series my father noticed one day, and sat down to see what all the fuss was about. I was half way through the season, but the show was so strong that every time it came on he would watch with me, despite having to struggle having not seen half the episodes. That is how accessible it is. At the end of the season, neither of us could wait for the next season to come out.
Being human is a wonderful show with characters who are incredibly human and are an utter joy to watch.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
E. A Solinas
- Published on Amazon.com
What do you get when you put a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf in the same apartment?
No, there isn't a punchline, because it's not actually a joke (unless you really, really hate urban fantasy). It's the description of "Being Human," a bittersweet little drama about a little supernatural gang trying to live their lives in an mundane world. It starts off similar to the original BBC series, but soon branches off in its own dark direction.
Vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) and his werewolf buddy Josh (Sam Huntington) move into a nice rented house in Boston. But they find themselves with a third roommate -- a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath) who was engaged to their landlord until she died. George and Mitchell work a pair of low-level hospital jobs, and attempt to do normal things like date, join the neighborhood watch, and pal around with kids.
However, the trio still have supernatural problems. Josh struggles to reunite with his family despite his lycanthropy, and has a relationship go very awry. As Sally struggles to deal with being dead, she discovers that her fiancee did something unspeakable to her. And Aidan's life is disrupted by the city's overlord, Bishop (Mark Pellegrino), who is planning something major for the vampire population -- and will allow no one to stand in his way.
The obvious question about "Being Human" is: how does it stack up beside the original BBC version? Well, it sticks pretty closely to the BBC series' storylines for the first few episodes, but with more episodes to flesh things out in, it branches out in some new directions, with some new characters and events introduced to the story (such as a little boy whose friendship with Aidan ends in tragedy).
And this series maintains much of the flavor of the original series: clever comedy based on the idea of three supernaturals living "normal" lives (Aidan vamps out during a family dinner) and personal drama, while also delving into the painful issues of temptation, loss, and what it means to be human. The entire season is cloaked in bittersweet reflection, especially since the characters' attempts to be "normal" keep tripping up.
As for the actors, they're all pretty solid. Witwer is all gothic dimply charm, and he wrenches your heart during some of Aidan's sadder moments; Huntington's Josh is an endearingly earnest nerd, but he does get a bit whiny sometimes; and Rath's Sally is pretty, flaky and has some issues with her relationships. And Pellegrino is wonderfully, silkily Machievellian as the leader of the island, Jacob... I mean, the leader of the vampires, Bishop.
"Being Human Season 1" is a pretty solid adaptation of the original BBC series -- dark, tangled and sometimes very sad.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoy this show- especially as far as the whole vampire/werewolf genre, which, in my opinion, has become a little tired. These three supernatural beings come together to live in a home as a sort of family and try to fit in- you could go pretty deep in analyzing some of the stereotypes and metaphors.
This is NOT a show for the kids. There are a few explicit(for television) scenes and lots of violence and blood flying- but come on, what do you expect from a vampire, werewolf and a vengeful ghost.
I do literally laugh out loud when I watch it sometimes. The characters are a little unexpected but realistically drawn.
Caveat: I have not seen the British version so I cannot provide a comparison there.
I would say to definitely give it a try. It is quite poignant in some places and hilarious in others.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I liked watching the original UK 'Being Human' but I wouldn't call myself a fan. I loved the show's concept and the over-arching plot kept me hooked all through the first season. Unfortunately it also had a lot of sketchy characterizations and unconvincing moments that can plague a high-concept show (especially one just starting out). While I wouldn't call this U.S. remake "better" than the original (and I'm not sure how necessary it is with the original still airing and available in the U.S.) it does manage to avoid some of it's pitfalls and is a pretty entertaining show in it's own right.
The story of 'Being Human' revolves around Vampire Aidan, Werewolf Josh and Ghost Sally who share an apartment while trying to lead normal "human" lives. All three have their weaknesses and much like original show their "conditions" are treated like curses instead of gifts (Aidan's still addicted to living blood, Josh can't control his transformations, Sally can't interact with anyone outside these two). The plot of this first season more-or-less follows the original's story with Aidan's conflicts with his mentor/tormentor Bishop (the vampire who turned him) fueling the best episodes. We do get a lot more exposition with this U.S. remake (being 13 episodes instead of the original six) and everything is played out a bit more reserved than the original show but it does lack some of the biting-humor and freshness the UK series had.
Much like the writing and directing, the characterizations in the U.S. 'Being Human' are dialed-down but I found them a bit more palatable (and likable). I was caring about Aidan, Josh and Sally right off the bat thanks to the performances by Sam Witwer, Sam Huntington and Meaghan Rath. The best performance comes from Mark Pellegrino as Bishop and the scenes between him and Witwer really crank up the suspense (especially in the season finale).
All in all I found the U.S. 'Being Human' a very entertaining show. If you're a fan of the original I can't say there's a lot to be impressed with here (and some of the changes will probably seem unnecessary) but if you're interested in the premise or just looking for a good supernatural series that isn't ripping off 'True Blood' or 'Supernatural' I'd recommend giving this first-season of 'Being Human' a chance.