BEING HUMAN Series Premiere Review

     January 17, 2011

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At a time when pop culture is plagued by an onslaught of vampires and werewolves sweeping women off their feet, a fresh take on these familiar monsters is always welcome. While True Blood may have the market cornered on brutal violence and eroticism between these mythical creatures, Being Human steps into the ring with surprising success. Being Human follows the exploits and struggles of a werewolf named Josh (Sam Huntington), a vampire named Aidan (Sam Witwer) and a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath) as they live together and console each other while figuring out where they belong in the world. It sounds like a silly idea at first, but if you give Being Human time, this is a SyFy series that is something special to behold. Find out why below.

being-human-image-sam-witwerThough Josh, and especially Aidan, have been dealing with their unique problems for awhile, Sally is still getting used to her spirit status. When the afflicted duo move into the house in which Sally died, it’s clear that these misfits can learn a lot from each other. Josh and Aidan moved in together in order to help each other keep their sanity and humanity. Aidan is constantly tempted by blood in the women he dates, and the hospital in which he works. Meanwhile Josh’s transformation is a danger to all of his surroundings. Meanwhile, Sally just misses her husband and is desperate to leave the house in which she died, but the rules of the afterlife don’t seem to allow for that much freedom. Making her situation that much harder is the fact that her husband just moved out of the house and sold it to Aidan and Josh.

Inside the house might be a prison for Sally, but it’s a haven for Josh and Aidan as the outside world is full of drama. While there’s the expected storylines of a society of vampires attempting to keep Aidan slightly evil and heartless, the real drama and intrigue comes from Aidan and Josh’s struggle to figure out just what the hell they’re supposed to do with their lives. Mark Pellegrino (Jacob from Lost) is constantly tempting him and calling him back to a circle of bloodsuckers who want him back in the fun. Meanwhile, Josh’s sister is upset and frustrated with Josh’s seclusion and isolation from the rest of the family. He wants her close, but it’s too dangerous. A new dynamic is introduced here because there’s no romance. This is family struggling with these supernatural problems.

One key element that will keep me interested is the history that Aidan and Josh have with their afflictions. Sally’s cause of death that took her into the afterlife is revealed in the second episode, and while we also seem glimpses of Josh after his werewolf attack or Aidan after being bitten by Pellegrino’s character in the Revolutionary War. There’s a history there that can definitely be an integral part to later episodes. Personally, I’m hoping Josh’s werewolf attacker shows up at some point. meaghan-rath-being-human-image-2

The drama on display is unexpectedly powerful, especially for a SyFy series, and helping you get in touch with the characters and the story is a phenomenal soundtrack. Featuring indie and acoustic tunes, it makes our characters feel that much more human. Honestly, I haven’t felt sincere emotion and raw drama from a project based in fantasy like this since Let Me In (or Let the Right One In if that’s your pleasure). It’s gripping, heartfelt, genuine and just plain good television.

THE FINAL WORD: SyFy delivers a surprising series packed with genuine drama, and a captivating start to these character’s lives. Since no other vampire/werewolf laden series or film has charmed me yet, I have no problem making Being Human my first.

Being Human airs Mondays at 9/8c on SyFy.

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