Television

Being Human: A Tentative Review

I’m sure exactly what the people of the internet are searching for in 2016 is a review of an old BBC series that has been fully out for several years. Well thankfully I’m not motivated by that, I’m just writing whatever I want to write at the moment. We’ll see how that changes if I start getting hits and feel like I want to sustain them. But on to the article. I have never seen Being Human, in fact, I haven’t watched any British television series in quite some time, disowning my home culture in favour of Japanese and occasionally American stories to sit down and relax to. My main idea as to why that is is because British series would feel a bit too chummy and like everyday life and all jokes would be far too cringy and close to home. So this article is also somewhat about me getting over my own dislike of British culture. Because it’s a little bit irrational and probably stems from overexposure when I was younger. But I got recommended the series by a friend who is a big fan so I decided to watch the first episode(s, including the early pilot) and see if I was just being a bit silly about this.

For what I’d heard about it, a comedy with supernatural monsters, it seems it has the potential to be a lot more serious than I had ever given a British offering of that sort credit for. While the ineptitude of George the werewolf when confronted with any sort of awkward situation still confirms some of my fears that the cringe factor will still be a thing, there seems to be far more of a threat level with regards to the vampire lords and kings of Bristol. Which is a fun sentence to type. I did not expect them to be anything more than a camp nuisance, which they still are, but a camp nuisance with the potential to cause some drama for the main characters. And the three main characters, their chemistry is readily apparent, especially in the first episode of the series proper. All of them, particularly Annie the ghost, have the promise to grow and provide some great emotional moments further down the line.

Now of course I should say at this point that I have only watched the first episode Flotsam and Jetsam and so what I am saying is merely speculation and if anyone reading this has watched Being Human in its entirety then they’re likely smiling and either shaking their head or nodding sagely at my predictions of promise for the characters and situation. I’m cool with either. All I know at this point is that some major casting changes come up, I don’t know where and I’m not going to find out, that’s just impossible to avoid because of promotional material. That’s definitely going to be the case for anything in the future where I write about something that’s already out. I probably ran into it with my Psycho Pass post a few days ago but that seems like less of a pressing thing even though probably more people worldwide have seen that anime than seen this British series. It’s probably about even.

Flotsam… was definitely a huge improvement over the pilot however. While I liked the first Mitchell’s suave manner and the first Herrick could have grown into a good character given time, the rest of the cast didn’t work for me nearly as well as the updated cast did in Flotsam. Aidan Turner is different as Mitchell but knowing him from The Hobbit, I can easily accept him in a role that is similar but with a bit more added gravitas and a smirk, Kili never quite fit the nervous young dwarf anyway. Herrick now has a bit more added menace to him besides the added joviality, as well as a purpose, with his role in a powerful community position that will be fun for added adversarial conflicts down the road. Lauren is far less of a non-entity and will be fun to watch, while Annie has grown from a character I could have found annoying (I will be honest, it was the accent, combined with the reserved manner), to a warm and sympathetic character who near any viewer, myself included, will see as the character they most want to root for.

So I may well continue to watch Being Human. I don’t know when I’ll finish it or if I will write any extra articles on it, but I may do as the series impacts on me, so watch out for that.

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