Being Human (UK Version) Review
Being Human is a show on the premises of how a werewolf, vampire, and a ghost live in the same house while trying to keep up the pretenses that they are human. The show begins with Annie, a recently deceased fiancée, lying in a pool of her own blood. She shows the audience a peek of how Mitchell was changed into a vampire during war when his unit was attacked by a unit of vampires led by Herrick, and how George survived being attacked by a werewolf in the park with a friend. After living with George and Mitchell for a while, Annie learns to make herself seen by humans, except her fiancée and his new girlfriend.
The show follows the three main characters’ struggle with keeping a balance with their human world and their supernatural world.
Mitchell is fighting his hunger for blood, pulling away from the other vampires that he has been with for centuries. The vampires are shown to be everywhere in human society shown in the first two episodes as hospital attendants and police officers. Mitchell had also recently changed a young girl, Lauren, who worked with him in the hospital into a vampire. She haunts him by tempting him to use his vampire skills. George tells Annie at the end of the first episode that vampires are fueled by “hunger and fury.” He tells her that for Mitchell to fight his instincts is tremendous. Instead of changing a dying girl, Mitchell saved her by not changing her into a vampire.
George struggles with accepting the beast inside him as part of him. During his “time of the month,” George would be locked in the basement of the hospital. When renovations are being made to the room, George had to seek a new place to change. To save the humans in the park, George changes in the house they live destroying it. He refers to the beast as a separate entity blaming the destruction of the house on the beast. In the second episode, Mitchell explains the pain of George’s change in medical terms. George has a heart attack to the point where his heart stops beating while his body literally reforms into a wolf. It was also in the second episode where he meets an older man, Tully. Tully is seen in the first episode following, watching George without the audience knowing why. It was the first encounter with this man that George and the audience knows that the man is a fellow werewolf. Tully becomes a mentor to him teaching him about how to maintain both worlds. It is later in the second episode that George learns that Tully is the werewolf that attacked him.
Annie struggles with her feelings for her ex-fiancée and seeing him with one of her best friends from when she was alive. She also struggles with trying to be seen and trying to “feel” alive. Annie is obsessed with making tea keep up a normal routine, but the problem pointed out by George is that she cannot drink the tea. After seeing Owen, Annie reverts back to not being seen by humans, only “supernaturals.” Annie first leaves the house completely when scared by Tully trying to kiss her. It is also in this episode that Annie and Mitchell accidently kiss. They both play it off in a friendly, jovial way, but it will be interesting to see if that develops in later episodes and how she could deal with the feelings for Mitchell and Owen. The first two episodes focused on Mitchell and George. Annie has not had her episode yet, so her story is still developing. What the audience does know this far is that she can leave the house, transport around in a flash, can be seen by humans (shortly), she is developing touch, and she wears the same clothes that she died in.
Charismatic Mitchell is portrayed by Aidan Turner. Awkward George is portrayed by Russell Tovey. Lovable Annie is played by Lenora Crichlow. Their acting was strong and believable. Their laughs sound genuine and sincere. I always believed that you cannot fake a hearty laugh. The chemistry between the three of them is what keeps the audience engaged. I had seen Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow in Doctor Who, and at first while I recognized the actors from being from Doctor Who. As the two episodes developed, I stopped seeing the actors and started seeing the actors. The audience gets a chance to see the character’s change as the show progresses. The characters develop after each struggle. They learn something new about themselves, but the temptation is always there teasing them, especially Mitchell. They do not see themselves as humans, but their feelings, their struggles are human. The want for someone to understand the feeling of loneliness, of being afraid of themselves and humans is so strong that the audience can connect with all the characters. The three characters are so different, but they find a mutual understanding. They are all afraid of the monsters, the evil inside of them.
Special effects were minimal. Most of the special effects were the transformation into a werewolf, Annie’s sudden appearances, the vampires’ black eyes, and blood. The crude dialogue combined with the fantastic acting makes the episodes hilarious and completely British. It tends to get a bit of overdramatic and corny, but it shows how strong their internal struggles are. The pace allows the audience to keep up and see each side of the characters, the “human” side and their “monster” side, never stretching a moment too long. It has a rush feel, especially since the scenes switch among the three characters, but the moments where all three are together are timed at a good amount.
In these two episodes, I have learned that vampires have black eyes, fangs, and can only enter a dwelling by being invited in, even if the house is lived in by “supernaturals.” In the first episode, Mitchell sees the elevator doors open on the security screen and then hunts down a vampire in the hospital. A vampire’s image cannot be captured on film. This is also seen at the end of the second episode when Lauren sends Mitchell a tape of her having sex and then feeding from a man. The tape only showed the man and then bloody footprints walking away from the corpse. Mitchell was in Casablanca as an extra. He says that you cannot see him, “of course,” but the chair being knocked over was him. George says that Mitchell does not have to be haunted by the image in the mirror like George does, implying that Mitchell has no reflection. When Mitchell is holding Lauren by the throat, she pretends to choke to death. It was then that I realized that in the show vampires cannot breath. Also when Herrick, Mitchell’s maker, gets a free coffee from the lady at the hospital, Mitchell asked if that was another trick. Herrick tells him that it was his charm. Mitchell and other vampires cannot glamour humans. It is the human’s choice to go willingly into the vampire’s tricks.
The show is very enjoyable to watch. The struggle between the three main characters is believable. They keep each other balanced and “human.” Their struggle to stay “human” is like how Robert Neville tried to stay “normal.” The show continues after these episodes and I suspect there will be more to learn. The first two episodes were a delightful taste of the series and will leave the audience craving more. I am also curious about the U.S. version. The U.K. version is so completely British tackling controversial views like open displays of gay relationships and crudeness, like foul language, obscene gestures, and scenes for older viewers. The U.S. has more subtle ways of doing these scenes, and if they kept the scenes, I would suspect this show to be on a channel like HBO or Showtime where you have to pay to watch the shows.
I would recommend this television show for viewers over the age of sixteen who have a soft spot for supernatural beings and witty British humor.
Watch on Netflix, Hulu, or Buy the First 3 Seasons!
- Netflix : Being Human (U.K.)
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- Being Human UK - Full Episodes and Clips streaming online - Hulu
Being Human UK: The series follows the trio as they do their best to live their lives as normally as possible despite their strange and dark secrets. But with unwelcome intruders into their world, rumblings about an impending revolution from the vamp