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Being Human, US & UK Versions: TV Review

IN THE January 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Lauryn Crum

To be human: breathing, eating, sleeping, running, laughing, crying, wanting, missing, loving, losing, talking, yelling, whispering, staying up late, long car rides, adventures, funny faces, music, movies, comfort, and life. All these things we associate with being alive and being ourselves. What if all this was taken away from you by dying and turning into a ghost, being bitten by a vampire or by a werewolf?

These have happened to three individuals in the series Being Human. Although unconventional, they have slowly become friends and share a house together, all the while trying to keep what humanity they have left. Whether that is eating a normal meal, albeit only one of them can actually eat the food we consider normal, or watching TV with a cup of tea in hand.

Annie Sawyer, George Sands, John Mitchell, Sally Malik, Josh Levison, Aidan Waite; No, not six characters, only three. Annie, George, and Mitchell are the protagonists on the original BBC’s version of Being Human getting its start in 2009. While Sally, Josh, and Aidan are the features in the American version, which premiered in 2011.

US Cast

Annie and Sally portray the ghost character; she was killed tragically in the house that the other two moved into. She begins her journey trying to move on to the next life, world, dimension, or whatever is out there. When she realizes that moving on is more difficult than previously thought, she tries to capture what her humanity once was. In each series this is approached differently.

George and Josh take up the role as a werewolf. He works in a hospital to try to keep his supernatural ability under wraps. He is still new to everything though, so he has several errors while trying to understand how to control the wolf and also protecting himself. George/Josh also falls for a nurse who works at the same hospital; their romance sparks but eventually leaves the nurse in a dangerous situation. Each series portrays this situation differently; in fact it’s completely different but equally terrifying and exciting.

UK Cast

Mitchell and Aidan hold root as the vampire who abstains from blood. He struggles throughout the series to see why he should. All the while desperately trying to find something to make him human again, or at least remember what it felt like. Mitchell/Aidan struggle between joining the rest of the vampire cult and having them all try his way of life. Each series has different situations arise to test the vampire to see if he will stick by his kind or by his friends.

Each episode throws a spark into the already dry forest that is the odd dynamic of their life. How they handle things is very specific to the situation and which character it is. As you would imagine, living in a house with two other supernatural beings is very tricky, especially when no one else really gets your perspective of life.

Both series are very much worth your while, whether you are a die-hard Brit fan or you tend to only watch American shows. Each band of characters will have you following along until the end; you might surprise yourself and find out just what makes you human.

The US version airs on SyFy and has had two seasons (the short kind you expect to find on cable and in the UK) with the third season beginning on January 14, 2013. The UK version has had four seasons. Season 2 of Being Human US and all 4 seasons of Being Human UK are available to watch on Hulu Plus.

Lauryn Crum is currently in her second year at Reedley College. She is majoring in art history with minors in photography and women’s studies. One of her goals for the future is to become a yoga instructor and own her own photography studio.

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