Television

Being Human: Series 1 Review (Halloween)

I figured this would be an appropriate post to put out on this day. Not that I particularly celebrate Halloween myself but it is nice to see people having fun and sweets so I’m cool with watching them. Just like I like watching TV, what a good segway. Even if it’s TV that’s years old. But if it’s about vampires, ghosts and werewolves it’s relevant. I want to keep myself open to be able to talk about older stuff I’m currently watching, as you’ll know if you’ve seen my anime posts. Everything deserves to be reviewed no matter how old it is.

I have finished watching the first series of Being Human, the drama-comedy from 2009 and made from the BBC. I completely missed it when it was being aired and as I said in my first post about this, it was only a friend recommending it to me that I paid it any mind at all. I also went into a long spiel about how British it was and that’s not usual in my TV lately.

And that’s still at the heart of my problems with this series, because it feels typically British everything is a little too small scale. It’s never adequately explained, at least on my watch, why the vampire lords haven’t conquered the world long ago – why isn’t Herrick sitting in a castle, drinking blood from the skulls of his human slaves instead of skulking around Bristol as a mere police chief? He could easily have his lackies create enough vampires over the years to do that. Maybe there’s a rule somewhere I’m missing, but the message of the series, to take things away from the supernatural world and have something comfortable and friendly at home, seems at odds with the potential scale it presents.

On the other end of the scale, one of my favourite moments of the series, exaggerated though it was, was the huge overreaction of the gang’s street to them possibly being sexual predators (that still went away completely by the next episode but I won’t quibble too much on that). That felt really serious and a plot that shows what happens when people act on hearsay and via mob rule. And it fit in with the small scale role that the characters had already been presented with.

The vampires and the way they act may cause me to ask too many questions while watching but on the positive, the way ghosts and werewolves are portrayed is really effective. Nearly alone, George is forced to deal with his condition on his own and this provides some really good TV moments where he struggles to connect with those around him. Meanwhile, Annie the ghost goes through tons of trauma as her ex-fiancĂ© turns out to be more of a steady adversary than expected and her ghost world seems to work and fills in all the gaps as to why she’s still here while others are not. If they’d made the vampire rules work a bit better like that I’d be far happier with the series. Some restriction to their potential power to explain why they’ve gone through history being immortal and constantly needing to feed without turning the majority of the human race into vampires and why they’re only just now trying something big. Maybe I missed something, maybe it’s explored in subsequent series. As a history buff who’s constantly thinking of the likes of Vlad the Impaler it’d be nice to get an explanation.

Anyway, I will continue to watch Being Human in the future. Maybe I’ll finish it and write another post about it. In the meantime though, happy fright night and may you all die the death you deserve. Or something. Is that Halloween’s version of Merry Christmas. It’d be cool if it was. I just made it up.

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