Being Human US Series 1
For any fan of the original ‘Being Human,’ the most important question
that this review can answer is; how does this American/Canadian
collaborative effort stack up? Is the appeal of these unique characters
and their stories universal, or has too much been lost in the
Trans-Atlantic transition? Let’s have a look.
Just to re-cap, ‘Being Human’ is the story of three people who come into
each others lives, all of whom are afflicted with some supernatural
condition: Sally is a ghost who can’t leave the house she was murdered
in; Aidan is a vampire attempting to go without fresh blood; Josh is a
werewolf who has abandoned his family in the hope of starting life
Each character has his or her own developing story, which are handled
individually over the course of the series. There are common themes
running through each one, such as the need to belong to a community.
Josh, Aidan and Sally all meet others like themselves, and have their
ideas about maintaining a normal, ‘human’ existence continually tested.
Also strong is the theme of embracing or repressing one’s dark side, and
the question of just how far you can take these darker urges before you
cease ‘being human’ altogether.
The most obvious difference to the British series is the length: 13
episodes for season 1, compared to just 6. It tells the same story, just
in a more drawn-out, laconic and brooding way. Every character from the
original series has an analogue, albeit with a different name and
sometimes different abilities. The scheming vampire overlord this time
is Bishop, played to very creepy and sinister effect by Mark Pellegrino.
This incarnation is slightly darker, both visually and thematically,
than the British series. There are more scenes featuring explicit gore,
and more CGI effects are used.
While they do seem awkward at first, the actors settle into their roles
as the series progresses. You do eventually get to care about each one
and his or her personal dramas, but it does take some time.
The biggest (and only real) problem I had with this version of ‘Being
Human’ was the way it was edited, often tearing us away from a scene
right when it was becoming interesting. We’re then taken to a point in
the future, after the dust has settled. This makes it confusing to keep
up with what’s happened, as a lot of that missing time is left
This is a darker, more serious and straight-laced version of a cult
television hit. Well worth a look if you like your supernatural dramas,
and you’re not too vampire-weary already.