Friday, January 29, 2010

Being Human

When I first heard about this show a few months ago it was described as a vampire, werewolf and ghost are roommates. Pure sitcom fun, right? Well imagine my surprise watching the pilot ep to find that it's a fairly dark, quasi-existentialist drama, though admittedly with bits of low-key humor. (And I should point out that I watched the original BBC eps - apparently the ones airing on BBC America are heavily edited for content and time.) One interesting quirk is that after the pilot all the main roles except for one were recast but the entire pilot is still the beginning of the story. It's peculiar to see the story continue with different actors, though clearly part of the intention was to lighten it up just a bit. (Bunuel tried the same tactic in Tristana, definitely one of his lesser films.)

Being Human does go a bit overboard on underlining what "being human" might mean rather than letting that come out of the events. Doesn't help that most of the eps open with voice-over musings that suggest Mohinder wandered over from Heroes to lend a hand. But that's easy to let slide considering that it otherwise manages to be clever, reasonably surprising and sometimes even effectively moving, perhaps a result of spending a bit more time on daily life than the Big Plot Points. The ending seems a tad forced but mostly it effectively wraps up the stories by the end of the season without feeling arbitrary. Season two just started a week or so back.