Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Syfy Doing Good With 'Being Human'

Knowing in advance that SyFy's new "original" series, 'Being Human', was based upon a popular British drama helped persuade me to give it a go. This is rare. My default stance with SyFy these days is to avoid most original productions so I don't have to suffer through Atomic Tornado or Croctopus 3: Giraffasaurus Rex.

But if the Brits enjoyed the premise of a vampire, werewolf, and ghost living together as roommates, then who was I to question this.

Truthfully, I was a little wary about the concept, but I had a hunch that, if handled properly, this could be the next 'True Blood' or such--something this network desperately needs, respect. And 'Being Human' delivers with likable characters and plots that are darker and more complex than one might expect from such an offbeat setup.

The broodingly handsome vampire is something of a trope for drug addiction, as he is trying to "go straight". But he stumbles and must wrestle with the consequences (literally) on his road to 'being human'. Our werewolf is something of an odd duck, a quirky geek that keeps people at arms length--lest he feast upon them. But he yearns for connections, a dichotomy that causes him endless angst. Our trio is rounded out by the ghost of a young woman once betrothed to the boys' landlord. She's grateful to have people who can see her finally, but she's as insubstantial as mist in a breeze. She's torn between moving forward and clinging to her past.

If you get a chance to watch it, I say give it a try. It's funny, dark, and interesting. I don't think we can ask for much more from a network that loves to give us wrestling and reruns of 'Joan of Arcadia'.


Autumnforest said...

Yeah, I must be seeing a different show than others. People I usually jive with like this show and I hate it. I think all three characters have the flat affects of the depressed. There is so much you can do with a vampire, werewolf and ghost together. Hell, I wouldn't mind if they decided to go superhero route, but right now, I find it depressing, whiny, poorly acted, very poorly scripted and generally a super snooze fest. I gave it two stabs, but I don't know what I was expecting. SyFy channel has a way of taking great concepts and pinning them to the wall like a butterfly, sacrificing its beauty in the process. I really really wanted to like this show. I do love their brownstone, though. Adorable home! If only they could just film the interior for an hour...

Cullan Hudson said...

For the moment, I'm grading them on a curve. It usually takes a while to find the characters, find their voices, and get the writing down. Look at the first season of any good show and you'll see bumps as they try to hone just what it is they are doing. I'll admit some of the characters lack motivation at times and they can seem a bit 2-dimensional. But there's an interesting idea in here if they're willing to explore it in a smart way and not take the lazy route and rely on the fact that its a show about 'monsters'.