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Being Human: Season One
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Being Human: Season 1 (DVD)
This American adaptation of the popular British supernatural series Being Human does a fine job of transposing its core idea--twentysomethings who struggle with their own inhuman identities as well as the day-to-day tribulations of their demographic--to a stateside setting while retaining its balance of character detail and horror-tinged thrills. As in the UK version, Being Human centers on a pair of friends (Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington) who come together over their hidden identities--vampire and werewolf, respectively--in an attempt to aid each other in pursuing "normal" lives. A wrinkle is soon added by the presence of Sally (Meaghan Rath), a ghost who haunts their new apartment and adds a touch of levity to the boys' brooding personas while also dealing with the loss of her own life and separation from her fiancé (Gianpaolo Venuta), who owns their building. The three leads are personable and acquit themselves well to the dual nature of their roles, which are complicated immeasurably by their interaction with humans like Huntington's sister (Alison Louder), who can't understand why her brother has abandoned their family, as well as more diabolical agents like Bishop (Mark Pellegrino), an envoy from the vampire underworld who wants Witwer to embrace his undead side. The three leads' desire to "fit in" with the rest of the world is a broad but effective parallel for the trials set in the path of "normal" young adults; said age group will probably find their endeavors a bit more compelling than older viewers, but the quality of writing and performances should provide the show's greatest appeal. Those who saw the original British version will note that storylines from multiple seasons have been employed in this first go-round (due in part to the shorter season length for UK TV product), while some scenes have been reproduced almost to the letter, which may be a positive or a detraction, depending on one's affinity for the original production. The four-disc Blu-ray set includes a wealth of extras, with the extensive Making of Being Human offering the most insight into the show's conception and execution through interviews with cast and creators. Additional interviews with the cast at press events and a panel at the 2011 Comic-Con convention are more lighthearted and should find favor largely with fans already committed to the series. --Paul Gaita
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Top Customer Reviews
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 dramedy about a little supernatural gang trying to live their lives in an mundane world -- pretty good acting, a cool concept, and a slow-building plot about some rather ambitious vampires.
A youngish vampire named John Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and his werewolf buddy George (Russell Tovey) move into a nice rented house, and find themselves with a third roommate -- a ghost named Annie (Lenora Crichlow) who becomes almost solid as she hangs around the guys. George and Mitchell work a pair of low-level hospital jobs, and attempt to do normal things like date, go out to pubs, and keep house.
However, the trio still have supernatural problems to deal with: Mitchell is struggling to stay "on the wagon," George is in denial about his beastly transformations, and Annie longs to see her ex-fiance (as well as trying to find out what her earthly tie is). And they have to deal with enraged mobs, more ghosts, homeless werewolves, and the local vampire community (why are they in communities and the wolves are "alone"?), who are planning something major.
"Being Human Season 1" is one of those shows that isn't brilliant, but it IS clever and fun -- especially the whole idea of watching a werewolf, vampire and ghost trying to live "normal" lives ("What is it about us that says 'we need jam'?"). And the writers have some fun mocking the cliches of the urban fantasy genre (where else will you see a "little old lady" vampire?) while also delving into the painful issues of temptation, loss, and what it means to be human.Read more ›
But that doesn't mean that it's easy for George, Annie, and Mitchell. Far from it. Not only do they have to go to work every day (except for Annie, who can't leave the house she died in), but they have another full time job.
Making sure that no-one finds out who, or what, they are. And it's hard work. George actually has to leave his old life behind, because he wouldn't be able to hide his true nature from his family.
And that's the sadness of the series, that no-one can know a freak except another freak, and to reveal yourself leaves you open to ridicule or danger (or both). Who couldn't feel for these three, trapped in their own lonely little island in a sea of humanity?
But don't think it's all moping around. The flip side to werewolf George is he's one of the fussiest people around, constantly cleaning and arranging things. Mitchell tries to befriend the entire neighbourhood to stake (pun intended) his claim on humanity, and Annie makes endless cups of tea, leaving them all over the house, as well as being totally useless at haunting.
There are some really really funny lines 'The only reason why I haven't torn your face off yet is because I've just done the hoovering in here.' claims one villain. Or Annie and Mitchell, talking about George. "We've got work and then it's his time of the month." says Mitchell. "Oh I used to hate that." Annie says to George. "Curl up on the sofa, Pride and Prejudice, if anyone spoke to me I'd bite their head off. Of course, that's probably likely for you. The, the biting."
This supernatural series has it all. Good looking cast? Check. Hot accents?Read more ›
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 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 kinds of
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 a
confusion of 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.).
As it turned from `dramedy' to drama, and the supernatural elements began to grow stronger I was very disappointed at first,
as it seemed like the show was losing what made it unique. But then it regained a new balance by amping up the emotions along
with the other-wordly, and making the characters' pain at being trapped between worlds, and their love and willingness to
sacrifice for each other moving and real, while avoiding (mostly) clichés or the familiar, particularly in a very strong season ending
episode. I'll be very curious to see where it goes from here.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great series. Good character development and interesting to see how a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf try to navigate the human world and hold onto their own humanity. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Venita
Although I love the concept of this season the acting was not the best. And when the werewolf would scream when he changed was so annoying that we would mute and fast forward it. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2012 by Sally E. Kitchen
Fantastic acting. Great dialogue. Wonderful characters. A must watch. The original Being Human. Far superior to the American "Being Human" knock off. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2011 by Amazonshopper
This show is so fantastic! The characters are so loveable. There is great character development which is important. Read morePublished on June 30 2011 by Ashlee L. Galletta
The characters are so human that you don't even realize you are watching a vampire, ghost, and werewolf, until of course Mitchell attacks someone. Read morePublished on March 9 2011 by Catherine
Having just seen season 1 of this British series, I can heartily recommend it to those who enjoy a good supernatural tale coupled with excellent acting & good special effects. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2010 by Garry
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