Meet the Neighbors – TIST Review of Being Human Episode 1

Jul 31, 2009 1 Comment by

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Being Human airs on BBCAmerica on Saturday evenings. If you missed Episode 1, BBCAmerica will re-run it on 8/1 at 8pm EST just before Episode 2 airs at 9pm EST.

*** Spoiler Warning***

This review of Episode 1 of Being Human contains spoilers for Episode 1 so proceed if you already know or want to know what happened.

Meet the Neighbors – By Wendy Hembrock

A ghost, a werewolf and a vampire get an apartment together in London… This could be the setup for a British spinoff of True Blood. While the premise of Being Human involves three characters who are unnatural or supernatural, this show explores the human condition in a mix of humour, horror, and heart.

True Blood comparisons aside, the show made me think that the main monsters, Mitchell (vampire), George (werewolf) or Annie (ghost) could have graduated from the teen horrors of Skins into their cozy apartment. (That’s a compliment if you aren’t familiar with Skins, another compelling BBC show.)

Turns out that three monsters coming to grips with what they are is a lot like human twenty-somethings. Their lives veer drastically from their hopes, plans or dreams as they stumble into adulthood.

Mitchell was originally a twenty-something soldier back in WWI. He got vamped by a gang of bloodsuckers, led by Herrick. Mitchell was Herrick’s favorite, but they’ve fallen out since Mitchell is trying to make it amongst the humans. Herrick is keeping on the down low as a police constable, while he makes his dastardly plans with his gang of vampires. He finds Mitchell’s efforts to avoid feeding irrational, since “a shark wants to be a shark.”

Mitchell is a charming rogue and natural leader. For all he says he doesn’t want to kill humans for blood, he puts himself in the way of temptation a lot. He works in a hospital with access to bags of the red stuff he hooks up with Lauren, a nurse, and bites her. After the hookup, he leaves the nurse to wake up and deal with vampification alone…which proves he’s charming and ruthless like many 20 year-old guys… and kind of stupid since Lauren wants paybacks.

Mitchell doesn’t ‘fess up what he did to his roomie George either. George also works at the hospital. He was recently attacked and turned into a werewolf. His lack of control over the violent change into his wolf-side makes him awkward in scary funny ways. George runs away to the woods to “change” before moonrise, only to find it full of humans doing nasty thing in the dark, so he flees back to the apartment, where he’s “safe” to turn. When George’s transformation becomes too violent to hear or watch, Annie and Mitchell vacate the apartment, sitting on the doorstep, clutching the telly and each other, like kids thrown out of the house by an alcoholic parent destroying the place in a rage. The next day they dutifully clean up his mess and urge George not to blame himself.

Episode 1 begins with the guys settling into a new apartment that’s available since Annie died in the apartment, and haunts the place scaring the normal humans away. Annie seems to be “stuck”. Girlfriend is seriously high-strung too. Before she was haunting folks, she might have been a stalker. She lures her former fiance, Owen, (also the landlord) to the apartment by texting him from George’s phone about sink repairs. For unknown reasons, when Owen arrives, he can’t see her, but he senses her. Lauren swings from thrilled to see her lover, to distraught over the abrupt end of her own life, then to jealous that he has a new girlfriend.

Episode 1 made a promising start. The burdens each bears makes each empathetic, and their failures are woefully pathetic and sometimes laughable as human failings. There are hints at larger mysteries too, like how exactly Annie died, what does Herrick plan, and what will angry Lauren throw at Mitchell next.

As roommates and neighbors go, I’ve seen worse than these three. Get acquainted with George, Mitchell and Annie in these prequel videos…

Review

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One Response to “Meet the Neighbors – TIST Review of Being Human Episode 1”

  1. Ashley Martin says:

    It is not Based in London, But Bristol.

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