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petzipellepingo [userpic]
Matt Roush Reviews "Being Human"
by petzipellepingo (petzipellepingo)
at July 21st, 2009 (03:28 pm)

A New Kind of Monster House

The high concept(as in, are they high?)of Being Human sounds like a joke, as if Three's Company had mutated into a sudsy supernatural smorgasbord : Two guys-a smoldering vampire and socially awkward werewolf- move into a house with a neurotically lovesick female ghost. They're all in their twenties(the vamp was turned back in WW1, but who's counting?), and like anyone else, they only want to fit in.
"We need to dive into the churn of humanity," says Mitchell, the hunky bloodsucker, opening their doors to the neighbors for a get-acquainted party. The only problem : Try as they might, they're not humans anymore.

That's the ironic and emotionally affecting dilemma that fuels Being Human, a beguilingly original mix of the silly, the sexy and the sinister that works as an urban British counterpart to the Southern Gothic shenanigans of HBO's hit True Blood. Like that series, Human grounds the otherworldly in a decidedly real and modern world, which only makes these eerie everyday misfits' yearning for love, normality and a bit of actual human connection more poignant.

"Overlooked and forgotten, unnatural and supernatural, watching the dance from the sidelines," is how lonely, mopey Annie (Lenora Crichlow) puts it. Housebound in limbo, seeking resolution for her interrupted life, she's thrilled to find roomies who can see her and empathize with her needs.

Meanwhile, the guys struggle against their own monstrous urges. Clumsy and boyish George (the endearing Russell Tovey)is new to the werewolf's curse and is petrified at what sexual passion might trigger: "I have trouble containing myself," he tells a nurse he's timidly wooing. Ladies' man Mitchell (Aidan Turner) has been battling bloodlust longer but is trying to quit, just as the vampire underworld tries luring him back. "Who are you saving, really?" a bloodthirsty acquaintance taunts Mitchell. "Have you seen Britain's Got Talent?"

There are times when you don't know whether to scream with fear or laughter. Being Human is frighteningly good.

Being Human, Saturdays, 9/8C, BBC America