4.0 out of 5 stars
Very good, and sometimes great, even if there are flaws, Jan 1 2013
Season 1 - Very inventive series, which morphs somewhat along the way during it's first 6 episode season.
A vampire. a werewolf and a ghost all share a small house in England. They desperately want to simply fit
in, be accepted and not hurt anyone. It's got a lot of dry wit and some real emotions as well, with strong
performances throughout. Someone remarked it's like `Seinfeld' with undead characters, and that is part
of the appeal early on, seeing these characters more in human, often humorous ways than in scary supernatural
ones. But over the course of the season, the supernatural and darker tones become more and more prominent.
This leads to some confusion in tone at times, along with some messiness as to just what the rules of the game
are for these creatures. There's also a few hard to take leaps of faith (e.g. a human character who hardly seems
fazed when he leans the true identity of our three leads.). When it first turned from `dramedy' to drama, and
the supernatural elements began to grow stronger I was very disappointed, as it seemed like the show was losing
what made it unique, but then it regained it's balance by amping up the emotions along with the other-worldly,
and making the characters' pain at being trapped between worlds, and their love for each other moving and real,
while avoiding (mostly) clichés or the familiar. I'll be very curious to see where it goes from here.
Season 2 - While still uneven at times, with it's goofy moments of humor not always meshing smoothly with it's darker
and more emotional sides, the series has grown a bit in it's 2nd season. While still not (for me) up with the all time great
series like The Wire or Mad Men or Breaking Bad, at it's best, it's an amazingly potent mix of heartrending drama, dark,
off-beat humor and some effective horror as well. But this is horror with all the rules reversed, with the `monsters' being
the human race, and the heroes our vampire werewolf and ghost who simply want to live like other people. At times, in
an odd way it reminded me of "Dexter", the outsider with scary possibilities, who wants to fit in. But whereas Dexter
is all about emotions repressed, here the emotions are on the sleeve (occasionally a bit too much, and there are a few
Much like the first season this starts strong, seems to lose its way a bit in the middle, with some forced humor, and
repetitive moments but finishes with such a kick that its easy to forgive any lapses. The acting is on a very high level,
the writing is witty and human, and the direction and camerawork can be very effective at creating mood and scares
on a TV budget. Not perfect perhaps, but it's a rare TV show that can make me think, laugh, cry, and send a shiver
down my spine all in one episode. Some great use of rock tunes to set the mood tops it off.
Season 3 - I seem to be in the minority, but for me season 3 represented a bit of frustrating fall off from the preceding years,
although it still has it's share of strong moments, and the last 2 episodes are very powerful. But some of the earlier weaknesses
have gotten more prevalent; twists that seem a bit arbitrary, rules of its world that seem to shift to fit story convenience, story
lines that get dropped, character choices and complex morality that aren't really explored or are over-simplified, episodes that
seem a bit disconnected from the others.
And some of the strengths are less played too; fewer ironic or emotional uses of rock music, fewer visually inventive scenes,
and most importantly, less genuine emotion, and more slightly histrionic soapy-ness. (Suddenly the characters seem to
cry in every episode, which starts to make those powerful moments lose their impact). And the questions of 'what are good
and evil in a complex world' seem to get answered a bit more facilely than before
There are also episodes in the middle that feel a bit dull, as if treading water. Perhaps this season would have been stronger
as 5 or 6 episodes.
Certainly good television, and worth watching, but for the first time I found myself less emotionally moved, and more apt to
find my mind wandering. The climax (which in some ways feels like a natural ending to the series) certainly makes up for a
lot of that, but not all of it.