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Being Human

January 25th, 2009 (10:18 pm)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a hit.

I didn't see the pilot episode of Being Human, but given that there have apparently been many changes, aside from recasting, this is perhaps a good thing as it avoids my making comparisons when this episode was demanding to be taken on its own terms. While at times I felt that Being Human was too self-conscious that it was setting out to be a comedy-drama about human relationships, it also knew that we knew, and that if it was bothered it was going to co-opt any anxiety and throw it back at us. Unlike this week's Demons, which was encouraging its pre-watershed audience to go and read Dracula and thinks that monsters are most likely to hang around goth clubs, Being Human knows that the monsters are all around us. It also expects us to have read Dracula, and have seen all the films and TV series from An American Werewolf in London to Ultraviolet, via Blithe Spirit. It's also about confidence and belief, belief not just in oneself but in the potential for good in other people. While this episode seemed most interested in the predicament of Mitchell, a vampire who has trouble staying on the wagon (with the effect that we have the enticing supporting character of Lauren as a permanent embodiment of temptation) it looks as though next week will concentrate on werewolf George; and ghost Annie, whose state of existence could be described as "I have no self-confidence, therefore I am", managed several moments, particularly her non-encounter with her fiancé's new lover. While these characters at first glance have all been seen somewhere before, Toby Whithouse looks to have devised new situations and the potential for development is high.

Comments

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: January 25th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
buffy

So it is not worth watching it if one has seen hardly any of the films and TV series? I've seen Buffy, about half of the American Werewolf and a couple of seasons of the original Dark Shadows.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 25th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)

I think that's enough!

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: January 25th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
fennec

I've forgotten most of the American Werewolf... I suppose I will try watching it if I ever notice it being on. Seeing as your LJ post is the first I'd heard of it at all, though...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 25th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)

I did emphasise the originality as well, though perhaps not enough...

Posted by: helflaed (helflaed)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
vampire rabbit

No- you don't need to. Maybe you could pick up on more of the references if you have, but I've only read Dracula, seen Buffy and seen/heard Blithe Spirit (the BBC radio play a few weeks ago might still be available and is much better than the film)

I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because it doesn't sugar coat things.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)

Having grown up on Doctor Who - The Unfolding Text, I tend to view television in terms of a reference game perhaps too much. I agree with the lack of sugar coating - our characters are coming to terms that life (however defined) doesn't work out how you planned. It reminds me a little of the expectations generated around the first season of Angel, and Mitchell has lots in common with Angel.

Posted by: Freya (freya_9)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 08:10 am (UTC)
Ninth Doctor

Thanks for this - I watched the pilot erroneously thinking there'd be more very soon, and fell in love with it - so I'm going to look forward to noticing the changes as well as sink my teeth into a tv series at long last :)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
Eccleston

Then you are on the Lauren, Herrick and Seth side of the debate, and not with Mitchell and George, then?

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
No whining

I adored the pilot as well - I just hope that the change of Mitchell will work, I was quite disappointed to see they'd changed the actor.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Kirkcudbright Samoyed

I didn't see the original actor at work, but I've read one review which prefers the new actor. There's a new Annie too, with Leonora Crichlow being physically earthier, somehow, than Andrea Riseborough, which helps.