'Being Human' U.S. series premiere: Snap judgment

Being_human_l A vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf share a flat in Bristol, England: It sounds like a pitch for a sitcom or a Saturday-morning cartoon. But Being Human, the British series that aired its first episode on BBC America last night, is neither of those. The premiere’s tone swung instead between Gothic melodrama and campy absurdity — often recalling HBO’s similarly bipolar True Blood — as the supernatural roomies grappled with themselves and one another. Mitchell (Aidan Turner), a principled vamp firmly in the Bill Compton/Edward Cullen tradition, works diligently to protect the world from his nastier kin; the rather deceased Annie (Lenora Crichlow) pines for her still-living fiance; and lycanthropic George (Russell Tovey) is a neurotic mess whether or not the full moon is out. What could possibly go wrong with any of those situations?

It was all a bit silly, especially when the show tried to grope its way toward a serious statement on the nature of humanity. For the most part, though, Being Human felt like good summer fun, with plenty of TV-MA-worthy sex and violence to go around. Anyone else catch the premiere last night? Will you be tuning in again next Saturday? Who’s your favorite of the show’s freaks?

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  • Ailene

    I tuned in and I thought the episode was pretty decent. I can’t really say its good or bad just yet but I’ll probably watch it again to see how I feel about the second episode. I liked the ghost Annie the most so far. She has this really sweet funny vulnerability to her that was cute.

  • topazbean

    If you thought Lenora Chrichlow was good here, you should definitely check her out in Sugar Rush, where she is absolutely brilliant.

  • Buddy

    I was really eager to see the show. I’m a huge fan of Brit sci-fi (Torchwood, Doctor Who, etc.) But I can’t say I liked this one. It just seemed silly bordering on unbearable at times. Russell Tovey was te highlight for me. So warm and funny, relatable even. The other actors left me cold as did the show’s goofy premise. Not sure I’ll tune back in. Couldn’t we just get more Torchwood eps BBC?

  • GinaVera

    The concept is good but not sure the execution is there will tune in a few more time but if it doesn’t hold it may go the way of the Listener (cancelled Canadian show on NBC).

  • KJ

    I loved it! Okay, yes, it took itself a little to seriously at times, but even at those times I still thought it was intriguing. I enjoyed the roomies aspect, a twist on fairly standard and explored vampire/werewolf/ghost stories past, and I thought all the characters laid the groundwork for interesting exploration in the episodes to come. I liked that you had these very different types of “beings” that were all working hard to care for and protect each other, even during in the creepiest part of their lives (such as the werewolf conversion, which I cringed at– how painful that sounded!). I am eagerly awaiting the next episode.

  • Trina

    Not sure what I think. I like the premise but I would like a little more backstory. How did they all meet? Why can vampire guy go out in the sun? Ghost girl can pick up stuff and be seen (for the most part) – why? Werewolf guy only changes once a month? He’s the only one that they are going to stay true to folklore? How did the three of them team up in the same house? Coincidence? It just didn’t seem to explain anything really well. I like to see the origins and the dynamic. I might give it another episode or two but if it doesn’t explain things better and not try to shove everything together all at once, I may not watch again.

  • Fresh

    I liked it, but thought somehow it must have been the 2nd or 3rd episode, as they didn’t explain how the 3 of them met up…felt like we just jumped into the middle of the story-but I liked it!

  • MSF

    I liked it and will continue to watch, at least for a while, but I hope we get a bit more of an explanation, as others have already said here… especially, if ghost girl can pick things up, make tea, etc, why can’t she change her clothes? But seriously, I agree that it felt like jumping into a story that had already started. I hope we get some more backstory, and soon.

  • znachki

    Having already seen both the series, and the original pilot (with 2 different actors), I can tell you that I think it just gets better and better. When I saw the first ep – after having seen the pilot, I was a bit disappointed for about the first 20 minutes or so, then it settled in more, and I realized that what I saw in the pilot was sort of the “Reader’s Digest” version of what would unfold over a larger part of the series.
    To those who thought we were dropped in, we kind of are, but things will be explained.
    I really like Herrick – the vampboss/copper. It’s a recast from the pilot, and I think a great way to go. He looks to be a totally innocuous kind of guy, and not the big bad vamp. Makes for a much more chilling juxtaposition.

  • topazbean

    znachki – hasn’t there only been one series so far? I have to say, I watched the show without having seen the pilot, and it is very confusing at first but does start to make sense as it goes on. You start to understand a little more why ghosts can touch and be seen at some times but not at others, and the whole vampire and werewolf shindigs get explored a little more, too. They tie the supernatural elements in with the character drama very, very well. The only problem I have with the show is that, much as I like Mitchell, I just don’t buy him being over 100 and I hate Hate HATE his wardrobe. So obviously put together by a 40 year old studio hack trying to work out what a 20 something would wear. Or maybe that’s what they were going for. It’s also a bit of a problem that it’s presented as a comedy but as it goes on you realise it works far better as a drama.


    Unfortunately, I watched this after having seen Torchwood Children of the Earth. I found it slow (even though it was the pilot introducting the premise and leads), and well, boring. So I am done with it.

  • Tiff

    I liked it, but they have got to have great stories, not just the angst — woe is me I am no longer human.

  • Dee

    The premise of the show was what convinced me to watch it at 2 in the morning last night. It’s not that bad, but hopefully in upcoming episodes they’ll explain the origins of Mitchell, Annie, and George. I think I’m going to continue to watch the show.

  • mermaid

    I LOVE this show! I watched it when it was on the UK. Definitely watch it past the first episode; it’s actually very funny (intentionally), and it really hits its stride around the third episode.

  • James

    Most first episodes are pretty terrible. But I liked this. I’ll give it a few more shots.

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