Next to Normal
What happens when a werewolf, a ghost, and a vampire all live under the same roof, in a well-worn flat in Boston? No, this is not the initial makings of a humorous quip with a worn out punch-line. You should know me better than that. This is the actually the premise for the SyFy network’s re-imagined take on the supernatural drama, Being Human. I’m sure most of you have already heard of or seen the original BBC version of this noteworthy series, as it is still very much alive, moving on to its fifth season. But have any of you taken the time to survey its American counterpart? Yep, that’s what I thought. Though the similarities between the two shows were initially substantial, creator Jeremy Carver (of Supernatural fame) has reshaped the newer series into something worth watching, creating contrasting story arcs for a corresponding series.
Premiering in early January 2011, Being Human introduced us to a trio of supernatural characters all striving for the same goal. Much like their contemporary peers, the search for humanity is their primary motivation. The Vampire, Aidan (Saw Witwer). Initially struggling to tame his natural instincts – swiftly slugging down mass quantities of hospital blood bags – like some other vampires we know, Aidan is the archetypal monster trying to do good. Josh (Sam Huntington), the werewolf, battles most with what he is. Having to abandon his old life for a punishing new existence, Josh finds his only solace in having Aidan as a friend. The two rely on each other, dedicating their strength and time to finding their humanity, longing for it. When Sally (Meaghan Rath) enters the picture, their search for normal complicates their day-to-day lives even further. You see, Sally is a ghost; looking for answers, hoping to find peace after death. Of course, it isn’t that easy. Attempting to be human, is much more difficult than it seems.
The series presents non-stop action (vampire-on-vampire fights, graphic werewolf transformations), relationship drama (much more complex, considering the fact that they’re all mythical creatures), and archaic vampire overlords that always seem to find a way to make trouble (but I think that’s just a prerequisite for stories like these). Like most shows we love, Being Human relies on elaborate twists in plot and model cliffhangers. No matter how much we complain about them, these are significant factors that give the program the extra oomph that it needs. I will admit, sometimes the show hits a slow-paced plateau. Though stalled as it seems at certain points, the storyline goes on, tackling obstacles, moving the characters forward. Yes, you have to be patient, but the payoff is worth it.
The show has a group dynamic, yet the main characters have distinct plot points which almost act as separate stories. After watching the first and second season, you’ll find yourself contemplating which supernatural persona you like the best – a common dilemma for me. Each performance stands out, yet molds fluidly into a single group rendition. Actually, in this case, I may have to give the edge to the werewolf. I never thought I hear myself say that.
Fans of Fantasy and Science-Fiction will rapidly discover the tell-tale signs of a must watch show. Romance, action, detailed character threads, and a whole lot of drama. Seriously, a lot of drama. I mean, I would tell you more, but it’s hard to do without stepping on spoilers. You’ll just have to trust me. Wink. The show immediately pulls you in, takes your hand and commands you to watch these intricate story-lines play out. You almost have no choice in the matter. There is something almost hypnotic about the series. I can guarantee you’ll find something to love about Being Human.
New episodes of Being Human return January 14th, 2013 on SyFy
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Are you a fan of Being Human? If not, will you watch? Who’s your favorite character? Have a favorite episode? What other shows do you think are worth watching? Tell me in the comments!