Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Being Entertained enough to keep Watching Being Human

Space started airing the British series Being Human tonight, and while I've taken pains to avoid the glut of supernatural-themed shows on the tube lately, this one looks promising.

The series centres on the friendship between a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living together in the same flat. Mitch, the 100+ year old bloodsucker (played by Aidan Turner), and his buddy George (Russell Tovey, from the Doctor Who Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned"), a 20-something who's been infected by the lycanthropic curse for two years, are doing everything they can to control their supernatural tendencies and live normal lives. They work as orderlies in a hospital and have rented a house in a normal working class neighbourhood. Enter Annie (another face from the Doctor Who crowd, Lenora Chrichlow, who appeared in "Gridlock"), a former resident of the house who died and stuck around. She's balancing her desire to be able to interact with the rest of the world (beyond her supernatural companions), and the feeling that she ought to find out more about the circumstances of her death so that she can "move on". Meanwhile, Mitch is harassed by an obsessive undead ex, and there are rumours from the vampire community of something terrible in the works.

In terms of tone, this show is a strange mix. Think of Forever Knight, with about 50% less angst and 70% fewer flashbacks, and set in a hospital half the time instead of a cop shop; then add a hefty chunk of Friends with half the cast; and season with the awkwardness and ridiculous humour you'd find in Extras. That would give you Being Human. Sort of.

Admittedly, there are times where the story gets a little schmaltzy and hackneyed, but unexpectedly it's entertaining enough to stick with, at least for another episode or two. We'll see if it's able to get its claws into me for the long haul.
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