I’m addressing this to you because, quite frankly, I don’t know anyone that’s more into the Vampire/Werewolf Phenomenon than you. Like, I bet that you own Underworld: Evolution on DVD. I take that back. Nobody owns that movie, except for the three Scott Speedman fans out there and the flocks of guys who want to see a semi-nude Kate Beckinsale (Huddy perhaps?). But I know you’re into True Blood and shit, so maybe you’ll understand what I mean when I say I just finished the first season of SyFy’s Being Human.
As you can clearly tell, I am not into Vampsanity or Weremania or whatever. I may or may not have read the Twilight books, and I may or may not have seen Van Helsing like four times (I can’t tell which is more embarrassing), but that’s it. Supernatural shit scares me. I read the screenplay for Scream at a young age—such a young age that I didn’t realize that Scream is supposed to be funny—and I’ve been terrified of all things horror ever since. I closed my eyes when I saw the trailer for The Squid and the Whale, so you can only imagine my expression when clips of Halloween 8 Mile or Friday the 13th Warrior pop up on the silver screen.
I discovered Being Human when I found out the guy who voices Starkiller in The Force: Unleashed and Darth Maul in the upcoming Clone Wars episodes is in it. That’s like an epic win and a half for nerds like me. If he does any bit of genre-bending and makes one single joke about the Kessel Run or Qui-Gon Jinn whilst in vampire form, then I will truly know that Star Wars penetrates all galaxies, be they close or far, far away. It also has Sam Huntington, who I loved in It’s A Mall World. (Did I really just admit to watching that for someone other than Dianna Agron? Maybe.) And Superman Returns. Fanboys too.
I bit into the show late Friday night and quickly discovered that the show totally fit my tastes. While I got lost in the who-hates-who and the what-hates-what intricacies of vampire politics, the show succeeds in achieving its most important goal: being human. I battled through the wooden stakes and exorcisms, continually touched by the characters’ struggle for ‘normalcy.’ You felt for the characters, even during the most outrageous, monstrous situations. You felt for Sally when she discovers how she died; for Josh when he returns home after 2 years away; for Aidan when he admits he was once a father. The emotion there is genuine, potent. Nowadays we see shows trying so hard to be real that they come across as forced. With Being Human, the chemistry between Josh and Aidan (and Sally too) was undeniable. Bromance at it’s finest.
While I can harp on the main cast till it sucks the life out of me, I probably ought to mention the stellar set of side characters. There’s Aidan’s girlfriend(ish, if you can apply –ish to a noun); a pukey kid who reminds you why you can’t trust kids with freckles; that doucheroo Marcus, whose utter scumminess makes his dialogue difficult to understand; the ex-boyfriend who swings from likable to despicable faster than Jonathon Rhys Meyers in Match Point. Plus it has the most wretched muthereffer in TV right now: Rita’s ex-husband/Jacob/that guy from Fulcrum. His face instantly triggers a sense of bloodlust in me because I will never forgive him for his cryptic character on Lost (need I mention that fucking lighthouse??). I re-watch the shot of Locke tossing him in the fire every time a new episode of Psych jumps the shark and I need something to remind me that all is right in the world.
For a show about freaking ghosts ‘n stuff, the plot lines were surprisingly poignant and frank. Domestic violence, pregnancy, abortion, emotional abuse, bullying. These are just a few of the puppies that ran the gamut of serious late-night shit during the first season. On top of that, each episode picks up a smidgen of the breadcrumb trail to Supernaturalville. We learn a little bit more about the strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics of each species in each episode so that the show doesn’t just blow its load too quickly (the American Pie reference here is too easy…I won’t do it). It baits you with the fantasy stuff, but snares you with the emotion.
I think you should watch it. It’s quick and easy and fun and has the requisite amount of emotion to keep you involved. While I’m not sure anything will ever replace the love I have for Chuck and Pushing Daisies, it was nice to be reminded that fantasy and reality can cohabitate on television once more.
Peace, love, and all that jazz,