Being Human Series 1 DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 8.5
Distributor: ABC
Running Time: 420 minutes
Classification: MA15+
Reviewer:
Simon Black

8.5


Being Human Series 1
(2009)

As far as premises for TV shows go, Being Human may take some beating.  Commissioned off the strength of a lauded hour-long pilot which aired in early 2008, the series revolves around three friends who share a flat in Bristol, England.  The catch?  George is a werewolf, Mitchell is a vampire and Annie is a ghost.  Throughout the course of this first season the trio are faced with the usual twenty-something dilemmas; the search for love (Mitchell’s peevish ex for one is most unimpressed that he turned her into a vampire), meaning, companionship and rent money.  The main difference is, of course, that they must also struggle to find some sense of normality in their lives, despite no longer belonging entirely to the land of the living and having to keep their respective secrets at all costs. 

Given the current vogue for all things supernatural it’s no surprise the series rated extremely well in its native UK, with a second season having been recently commissioned.  Australian audiences may not be as familiar with the program, given it appeared on the digital-only ABC2, but it has proven a steady seller on DVD since its Region 4 release in August.  Word of mouth, it appears, is spreading. 

And rightly so.  The series strikes a perfect balance between subtlety and substance; it is dramatic without being dour, humorous without needing to play for laughs.  Much of the comedy is derived from the characters’ foibles and insecurities; Mitchell is attempting to go cold turkey from human blood, George refers to his dreaded lycanthropy as ‘the thing that happens to me once a month’ and Annie is so delighted when she once again begins to take on something resembling a corporeal form that she celebrates by making endless cups of tea.   

The mythical themes at the core of Being Human haven’t always translated successfully to the small screen – Moonlight, anyone? – and attempting to pull off both drama and comedy in the one series is an audacious undertaking.  But under the steady hand of writer and creator Toby Whithouse and with a trio of likeable, vulnerable and convincing lead actors at its nucleus, the necessary elements have combined perfectly to give the Beeb one of its biggest hits in recent years.  The three leads seem to have a genuine regard for one another, and scenes in which their characters must bolster one another emotionally are all infused with a certain poignancy.  The special effects are also convincing, with scenes in which George is transformed into his hairy alter-ego particularly affecting. 

All in all Being Human is a fresh, funny and expertly-crafted rendering of three time-honoured mythologies, with thoughtful performances and an emotional core making it the perfect blend, as has been noted, of the mystical and the mundane. 

Special Features

Character Profiles

Exclusive Behind the Scenes Footage

Cast Interviews 






 
 



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