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Being Human: Season 1
Being Human Season 1
Actors: Guy Flanagan, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, Adrian Lester, Claire Foy
Directors: Alex Pillai, Colin Teague, Declan O'Dwyer, Toby Haynes
Genres: Television
NR     2010     5hr 43min

Being Human is a witty and extraordinary look into the lives of three twenty-somethings and their secret double-lives - as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost ? as they struggle to live normally despite their strange and dar...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Guy Flanagan, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, Adrian Lester, Claire Foy
Directors: Alex Pillai, Colin Teague, Declan O'Dwyer, Toby Haynes
Creators: Alison Law, Brian Dooley, Rachel Anthony, Toby Whithouse
Genres: Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/20/2010
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 5hr 43min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Best Vampire Show on TV . . .
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 04/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

". . . and best werewolf and best ghost show on TV. Mind you, I like TRUE BLOOD and have even come to see the upside to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, but both of those are enjoyable diversions with no real subtext (TRUE BLOOD gestures at subtext with its parallels with prejudice against all kinds of difference, but in 2010 that is a pretty worked over subtext and lacks power at this point). But if you want more depth of subtext and a more subtle narrative and richer character development and, well, less garishness, than this is a show you should check out. Not yet available in the U.S. on DVD and Blu-ray (every time I have checked on Amazon I've only seen an outrageously overpriced $70 Blu-ray that never seems to be available -- though if you have an all regions DVD player, you can order an infinitely more affordable edition from Great Britain, which I strongly recommend, I repeat, only if you have an All-Regions player). There are only six episodes in Season One and eight in Seasons Two, so the idea of paying over $10 per episode is rather offensive. But you can either catch the show on BBC America or on Region 2 DVDs.

The series starts when two orderlies at a hospital at Bristol decide to room together. What makes this desirable for them is that they are supernatural creatures. Mitchell is a vampire. Not a terribly old one by vampire narrative standards (less than a century old). George is a werewolf and on three nights a week has a rather violent transformation into a truly nasty beastie (and thanks to CGI his transformations are truly horrendous). Both of them are trying to pass as normal humans, and for economic reasons and simply because they don't want to live alone, they decide to find an apartment together. By happy circumstance, the apartment they find and move into is inhabited by an outrageously sunny and upbeat ghost named Annie. Together, the three of them try to lives that are as normal as possible.

The trouble is, the rest of the world doesn't want them to live normal lives. The vampire community (why does there always seem to be a vampire community?) wants Mitchell to return to the fold. They especially don't want him living with a werewolf. And meanwhile, the afterlife wants Annie to move on, into the light, and away from her human life. So their struggles are unusually rich and complex.

What made BUFFY and ANGEL so vastly superior to TRUE BLOOD and MOONLIGHT and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and the TWILIGHT series (both novels and movies) was what they were able to do with the premises, with the metaphorical richness of the stories. TRUE BLOOD ends up being a glorious one-dimensional guilty pleasure show, all glorious surface with nothing beneath. BEING HUMAN is much more like BUFFY, with richly developed, deliciously articulated stories with timely cultural references. Mitchell's vampirism, for instance, is used less as a metaphor for homosexuality, as it is in TRUE BLOOD, but addiction and the difficulty of human self-control.

The show is driven by its appealing leads. Russell Tovey (George) will be perhaps best known from his appearance on DR. WHO and the movie THE HISTORY BOYS, but Lenora Crichlow (Annie) and Aidan Turner (Mitchell) are appealing newcomers. There are endless polls about who the hottest vampires are and if Mitchell were better known in the U.S. he'd almost certainly win them all. He is a spectacular incarnation of the really bad boy who wants to be good but for whom it is a constant struggle. George, meanwhile, is like the big silly family dog. There is meanwhile absolutely noting ghostly about Annie except that she can't be seen. She is dark complexioned, but if you had to assign a color to her personality, it would be yellow. Bright yellow. She is sunny and irrepressibly happy and upbeat. Any room she is in has no dark corners. In other words, the polar opposite of all of the stereotypes of ghosts.

SyFy has announced that they are developing an American version of BEING HUMAN. Hopefully they won't blow it. The BBC series is a great one. I am not opposed to an American version, as long as it is more like the American adaptations of THE OFFICE than other efforts. But even if it fails, it should be seen as a gesture towards the excellence of the original. But even if the American version turns out well, if you love extremely high quality shows dealing with the supernatural, you should definitely know the original. The only thing I hate about this show is that there have been only fourteen episodes to date."
I wanna be normal
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 04/29/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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 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.

The first four episodes are a smooth mix of comedy and drama, with some hilarious dialogue ("Who looks in their salad cooler, sees their tomatoes are on the turn and thinks 'Oh no, I'll hang on to those in case some paedos move in opposite'?"). But there's a darker subplot about Vampires Seeking World Domination twined with the one-off plots. And in the fifth episode the storyline suddenly blossoms into a dark, harrowing little plot. Good stuff.

And the main actors do pretty good jobs -- Tovey is quite good as a geeky, mild-mannered werewolf who tormented by his inner beast, and Crichlow is very endearing as a fluttery, brave ghost. Turner is also good as a laddish vampire with a playful side ("The SHIN, George!"), but he doesn't quite have the punky anorexic glamour of Guy Flanigan (the original Mitchell... boy was he sexy!).

There really isn't enough vampire/werewolf stuff on television, and "Being Human Season 1" is a clever little addition to the genre. Not brilliant, but definitely fun."
"This does not rob me of my humanity. It proves it."
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 06/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Being Human" is another of the UK's gifts to mankind and has thankfully been imported to our shores unlike the even more awesome Dead Set, which is still only enjoyable to Americans with region free DVD players. The sitcom premise (a werewolf, ghost, and vampire sharing a flat) of this one belies it's flair for the dramatic. Not that Being Human isn't funny; it's very funny, but I wouldn't qualify it as a pure comedy by any stretch. The heart and soul of this show is the relationships between the characters and the strength they are able to muster together outweighing their many individual weaknesses and failings. The British have certainly been gathering a lot of steam on the supernatural/sci-fi television front and soon they may overtake America's offerings altogether. Let's just hope this one lasts.

The cast, then. Mitchell is the classic brooding vampire cut from the Angel mold. That is to say he's a former hell-raiser who has turned over a new leaf and is attempting to live a "normal" murder-free life. But old habits die hard. Whereas many vamp stories of this nature equate the vampire's hunger with drug addiction, in Mitchell's case his seems to be something even more applicable in the males of our species: sexual desire. His victims are typically one-night stands, and his denial of responsibility is about to bite him in the rear even as his former comrades put designs in motion to bring him back into the fold. Annie is the best character in my opinion. She's an outwardly cheerful spirit who is trying to figure out why she has been unable to pass on and she desperately wants to make contact with her fiance, who has moved on in life. In my opinion, her journey is the most interesting and dramatic as she eventually learns that the very emotions that make her feel vulnerable and weak can also give her great power. Just a great lovable, and relatable character. George is a bit of a mixed bag. He's whiny, shrill, and annoying in a way I've never really seen in a lead character but that wussiness is juxtaposed with the beast he harbors within him, which makes it interesting. Every full moon he undergoes a grotesque and agonizing transformation into a monstrous wolf and then awakens the next day not knowing where he is or what he's done. It's very American Werewolf in London, but who can argue with the classics? The supporting cast may actually be stronger then the primaries. Mitchell's sire, Herrick, is the series' main villain whose desire is to lead the vampires in an all-out war with humanity and he is extremely well-played. Lauren is Mitchells' last "conquest" who comes back to haunt him and raises a bit og hell in his life and there's also a freeloading werewolf who takes to teaching George the finer points of living with lychanthropy as well as an apathetic gothpop-loving ghost who takes a shine to Annie. Even as these fellows of the characters teach them more about themselves, it becomes apparent that our heroes are not destined to succumb to the ways of their fellows and are in fact stronger and better for having each other to lean on even if it means being outcasts among their own kind as well as humanity.

The show is obviously very low-budget, but George's transformation scenes still look great. The wolf itself....well, it gets the job done and has very little screen time. The primary focus of the first season is on the vampires making their move and attempting to entice Mitchell into returning to the fold. George's attempted relationship with a co-worker who has some secrets of her own and Annie's struggle with coming to terms with the truth about her death are great secondary stories and flashbacks that tell the tales of Mitchell's exploits fill out the rest of the show, leaving just enough room for a little levity. The humor in Being Human is not as central as one would think, but it's very effective. George and Annie's confrontation with an office vampire who assures them that the only reason he hasn't ripped George's face off is because he just did "the hooverin" in there is particularly laugh-out-loud. Then there's Lauren attempting to menace George by telling him about the things that go bump in the night without realizing that he is a werewolf who rooms with a vamp and a ghost. Hard to intimidate that guy with scary stories. On the other hand there is some pretty devastating stuff in the show as well, such as an episode where Mitchell befriends a boy he saved from some bullies only to wind up being accused of pedophilia and be assaulted and harassed by the entire neighborhood. Not the kind of attention a group of supernaturals in hiding need. The balance between the character-based comedy and drama is nearly perfect at times. Plus, the title premise is a very strong one in that it leads us to question what it is that truly makes us human. It's a theme that is very common, but always compelling. Turns out that being a monster is just a part of being human. But you knew that already didn't you?

Being Human is not yet on the level of American shows like Buffy and Supernatural, but it isn't far off. The first season was a mere 6 episodes, but the amount that is accomplished storywise in that time is extraordinary. If they extended the seasons to at least twice that to make more room for character development and humor, I feel this could be one of the best shows out there, period. Good news is, season two is underway. Being Human is must-see tv for fans of supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi dramas. There is an American remake planned, but don't wait for the pale, watered-down imitation. Get with the real deal."
So, A Vampire, A Werewolf, And A Ghost Walk Into A Bar...
Karen Joan | Texas | 06/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have to admit, I've been planning the title for this review since I watched the very first episode of BEING HUMAN. The premise does seem like the set up for a bad joke. But, truth be told, BEING HUMAN is anything but a joke; rather, it is an interesting and unique look at what BEING HUMAN really means.

My husband and I found this tv series quite by accident. The six episodes from the first season of BEING HUMAN aired on BBC (2008) and later on BBC America. It is a quirky, odd little comedy-drama, but one that certainly grows on you, especially if you are a fan of the urban paranormal genre.

In BEING HUMAN, we meet a vampire (Mitchell), a werewolf (George), and a ghost (Annie) who end up sharing a house together in Bristol, England. Mitchell and George are hospital orderlies who are trying to lead "normal" lives. Mitchell has been killing and feeding for over a hundred years and wants no more of it. George is a recent werewolf convert and is a mild mannered young man who really has no clue how deal with his inner beast. Mitchell and George recognize each other for what they are and decide that they can help each other - George is to help Mitchell overcome those nasty cravings, and Mitchell is to keep George locked up during his time of the month. So they move in to a flat near the hospital and set up housekeeping. Things start happening in the new flat that are strange even to a vamp and a lycan. But soon, they discover Annie, the recently dead former occupant of apartment, who not only won't move on, but can't for some reason. The three settle down into their own odd little family, and try their very best to be what each one of them wants so desperately to be: normal...human... Or, at least, as human as possible. Of course, given their unique circumstances, normalcy and humanity don't come easy, and that is what makes BEING HUMAN so entertaining.

The acting in BEING HUMAN is quite good and very believable. Aidan Turner as the vamp who just wants to be loved is wonderfully dark and brooding, but he has a lighter side, too. Russell Tovey is just about perfect as dorky and innocent wolf who is in total denial about his condition. And Lenora Crichlow is convincing as the newly dead ghost who can't quite figure out what is going on (although she is just a bit whiny). The three have good rapport and chemistry, and that is what makes BEING HUMAN click.

As with all the best shows, the key is in the writing, and the writing for BEING HUMAN is quite good. The timing, the interactions, and the "throw away" lines all gel quite well, making BEING HUMAN something more than you might expect it to be. If you like urban fantasy, paranormal stories, or British television, then you will enjoy BEING HUMAN. And at the end of one of the early episodes, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost do, in fact, walk into a bar.