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TV Series Review

So a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf move in together.

Seriously. There's no joke setup here, no punch line. We're not even talking about a reimagining of The Munsters. This is the crux of SyFy's semi-serious drama Being Human: three archetypal "monsters" rooming together in Boston.

You'd think there'd be some natural tension, given the living (or in some cases, unliving) situation. What if vampire Aidan spills blood on the carpet? What if Josh the werewolf sheds excessively? And then there's Sally, who never pitches in to wash dishes or pick up the place. As a ghost, it's difficult for her to pick up anything at all.

But the three get along quite well, all things considered. And that's a good thing because, as folks who don't fit neatly into Boston's societal norms, they can use all the friends they can get.

That's the thing about Being Human: It really is about being human—albeit in somewhat monstrous ways. Based on a popular BBC series of the same name, the show uses this curious threesome to explore what it's like to grow up, move out and make your way through this confusing, sometimes hostile world. Aidan, Josh and Sally are as much metaphors as monsters—characters who speak to the inherent alienation that many of us feel every day.

Aidan, part of the ever cool and snooty vampire cliqué, finds he enjoys hanging out with his less-than-hip friends more than folks of his own caste and kind. Josh struggles to keep his inner demons under control, all while trying to reconcile his nature to his family and himself. Sally, killed by her abusive fiancée, finds that she still hasn't escaped the relationship—even in death.

"You don't have to be a fan of any sort of vampire movie or show, or any genre show to watch this show because at the end of the day it's about their relationships and what's happening to each other on a very human level," Anna Frick, one of the show's executive producers, told poptimal.com. "When we talk about these characters, they all want what all of us want which is sort of to be normal. All of us are fighting the monster within, only they are fighting real monsters."

Which makes Being Human better than you'd think. These characters all want to retain, or reclaim, a sense of humanity—not embrace or excuse their less than ideal natures. This show, at least at the outset, is less about accepting yourself for who you are (which is a great message that's lately been taken to an unhealthy extreme in a whole host of other entertainments) as it is about pushing yourself to be better—and along the way, finding a sense of peace and community.

That said, being human also apparently means being violent. And crass. And uninhibitedly sexual. Depending on the episode, viewers can be exposed to nudity, gore, killings and extremely uncomfortable situations. Josh's sister is a lesbian, and Josh's own condition can seem, at times, to serve as a metaphor for closeted homosexuality. Aidan's past murders get screen time. And the show's supernatural and theologically twisted underpinnings run the gamut from dim to dark.

"What we loved about the original series is that it is dark and it does push the envelope," Fricke told TV Guide. "We hope to do the same thing."

And that's being human, too.

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Episode Reviews

BeingHuman: 2282011



Readability Age Range



Sam Witwer as Aidan; Meaghan Rath as Sally; Sam Huntington as Josh; Gianpaolo Venuta as Danny; Mark Pellegrino as Bishop; Angela Galuppo as Bridget; Vincent Leclerc as Marcus






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On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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