Okay, I got one for you: A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost live in an apartment together… I’ll stop. It may sound like the set-up to a really corny joke (or a terrible intro to a blog entry,) but it’s actually the premise behind SyFy’s newest show, “Being Human.”
“Being Human” focuses around three beings (I believe “people” would be the wrong word here.) Three twenty-something beings, just trying to get by, find love and live happily ever after. These things are difficult for even the most well-adjusted human; imagine if you add super-natural into that mix. Aidan is a vampire and Josh is a werewolf. They’ve somehow befriended each other and taken jobs as nurses in the local hospital. I would say “all was going well until…” but at the start of our premiere, things are not going well. Josh is transforming into a werewolf and Aidan is on a date that leads to him killing his lady friend in exchange for her blood.
It was a rough night for both of them, but Aidan has a plan. Why don’t they move into an apartment together and look out for one another as they just try to get by in a world dominated by humans? Josh seems the more melancholy of the two beings- constantly mentioning how hard it is to live this life, and how much he wants to go back to just being normal. Our emo werewolf is hesitant to come around, but eventually, with a little convincing, he does.
The guys find the perfect apartment. The owner’s fiance died in it and he’d like to keep his distance as much as possible. After a montage of fixing it up (that I could have lived without,) the guys learn that the apartment comes with a third roommate, Sally. Sally is the owner of the apartment’s dead fiance. She is a ghost, and as you know in ghost world, she cannot leave the place she died in. Sally is confused, lonely, and slightly sassy (we get our first twilight reference thanks to her.)
I am mocking the premise because when you say it out loud, it does seem a little silly. However, let me be clear- this show has a lot of potential. We’re only one episode in and we are left with a cliff-hanger. Josh’s sister has tracked him down after he went missing for two years and she locks herself in a room with him while he’s about to transform. Aidan has been able to tame his eating habits thanks to the blood bank at the hospital, but now that he has covered up his murder tracks by making a deal with the Bishop (who seems to be the head of the Vampires) he is being seduced back into a life of killing and violence. The saddest story, is of course, Sally who has no clue how she died or why she can’t leave. She longs to speak to her fiance and she is the only character on the show who did not choose to live in the apartment with a vampire and werewolf.
Shows on television are constantly trying to exploit the twenty-something lifestyle. Common themes are usually that dating is hard, working long hours for little pay is hard, getting laid is hard, etc. After a while, it becomes the same old story. Taking the commonality of single twenty- somethings and mixing them with the fantasy of super-natural beings is original and intriguing. Other than the fix-up montage and the twilight reference, I found “Being Human” to be refreshingly different and exciting.
I especially appreciated that the writers did not write for an audience they assumed to be dumb. We’ve all heard stories of werewolves, vampires, and ghosts over the years. We don’t need to explain them in great detail, something I have found Twilight does all too often. We’re able to watch a ghost and know that ghosts can’t touch or be touched. We know what a Vampire is and what it eats, and we know that werewolves transform when the moon is full. The script is never weighed down with heavy explanations or over dramatic dialogue about their habits. All of that would have only made the show seem slow and redundant.
I don’t think there is another channel on my dial that I would have been an acceptable home for this show. Bravo isn’t likely to have a show with Vampires unless they are “the Vampirewives of Beverly Hills.” The show is a perfect fit on Syfy and a nice match up with some of their other shows like “Sanctuary,” and “Warehouse 13.” I expect this one to do well for the network. While a lot of shows seem to just jump on the Vampire and Werewolf bandwagon, Syfy managed to find one that seems different and separates itself from the batch.
So when you hear the premise of “Being Human,” I suggest giving it a fair chance. It’s not a joke, and it won’t be a punchline. Hiyoooo.