Saying goodbye to BBC’s Being Human, one of the best of its genre
A werewolf, a vampire and a ghost share a house. It sounds like the start of bad joke but Being Human took the concept and made something special.
From the very start way back with the pilot the idea of having three people struggling with their natures and their fates whilst forming deep friendships and attempting to blend in with the rest of the world was deeply compelling.
Throughout the five seasons there has been a great blend of scares, fun and emotionally devastating scenes. I’ve always been so impressed how over the course of 60 minutes the tone of the show can switch so quickly and yet feel natural. One moment the audience is laughing, the next wondering if they will ever sleep again.
Being Human was never afraid of going down some deeply dark roads. I still remember watching episode 01×04 and being stunned at just how messed up the show was and the issues it was dealing with (for those who can’t remember it’s the episode where Mitchell befriends the young boy and the neighbours accuse him of being a paedophile). Yet that was the show, it had laughs, it had scares but it also dealt with what it means to be human and human nature is often scarier and more disturbing than the vampires or werewolves of the show.
It worked because at the heart of the show was friendship and the struggles that at first Annie, George and Mitchell faced then Alex, Tom and Hal. Making a supernatural show is easy, there are plenty of things that go bump in the night that can scare audiences. Making a supernatural show with heart though, with characters that don’t feel like stereotypes or one dimensional is an achievement.
When the show went through some major cast changes at the end of S3/beginning of S4 I know a lot of people stopped watching but that does a real disservice to the series. The new trio of Annie/Tom/Hal and then later Alex/Tom/Hal has been a pleasant surprise, helped by the fact that the new trio is very different from the old. Tom is nothing like George, Alex nothing like Annie and despite their shared bloodlust Hal nothing like Mitchell. This has opened the show up to new dynamic and new storylines and a host of brilliant supporting characters.
Even after five years Being Human still feels like a show that never really got the attention it deserved and its untimely cancellation, episode reduction and shifted time slot just feels unjust. Yet its fans know just how great it was, just how special and how great a loss it is not only to the genre but to TV.
So goodbye Annie, goodbye George, goodbye Nina, goodbye Mitchell, goodbye Alex, goodbye Tom, goodbye Hal. Goodbye to all the villains to all the great one of characters. Goodbye to the house in Bristol and goodbye to Honolulu Heights. Goodbye to the cups of teas and love of The Real Hustle. Goodbye to The Barry Grand hotel. Goodbye to Being Human. I am going to miss you so.