Channel Guide: ‘Being Human’ Offers a Less-Campy Spin on Multi-Species Mysticism

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Sy-Fy‘s Being Human made its second season debut last week, recussetating the nerd tv quotient in my life exponentially. Yes, I watch True Blood, and as you now know all-too-well, if it’s on PBS or BBC America, I’m on board. But there isn’t much I watch that I’m wholeheartedly embarassed to admit to, with the exception of Being Human. Well, FSR readers, I’m coming clean. Yep, I’m a SyFy watcher, and semi-proud.

Being Human, for those of you not in the know, is the story of three unlikely roommates, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. I mean, totally believable, right? Of course not, but if you’re looking for believable TV, then stick to the Law and Order franchise. It’s across-the-pond counterpart appealed to me after popping up in my “recommended for you” Netflix queue so often that I finally succumbed, plowing through a couple of discs in a matter of days. So you can imagine my delight when SyFy’s incessant bus shelter/subway stop/public transportation domination campaign alerted me to an American reboot. With Jungle 2 Jungle‘s Mimisiku!

Yeah, I ate it right up. The adorable Sam Huntington aside, the US adaptation’s actors appealed to me on a far greater level than their Brit bretheren. Sure, the acting reeks of Canada on a Degrassian level, but Being Human makes the best of its source content in a way that True Blood doesn’t. That’s not to say that True Blood isn’t a show worth watching – it’s insanity is at oftentimes beyond entertaining, in seasons one and two especially. But once you start really looking at TB, you realize that at its heart, it centers around some of the most irritating characters in all of television. Sookie Stackhouse? Tara Thornton? Bleh.

Nope, Being Human is more, pardon the pun, human, at its heart, and that’s what draws me to it. There are ghosts, Mimisiku werewolves, vampires, and even a poor, poor man’s Ralph Macchio involved. Oh, and somehow the Amish are involved at the epicentre of a vampire underworld, but BH’s supernatural stars aim to… be human, and that’s what comes through. Werewolf Josh has relationship troubles that (despite their often lupine origin) are as awkward and real as those of the rest of us. Vampire Aidan just wants to give up his bloodsucking ways and become one of the yuppies gracing the streets of their Bostonian setting. Ghost Sally sees her fiance get over her death too quickly, prompting a rage in her that many are likely to experience. OK, so maybe she manifests her fear in the form of a poltergeist, but still… these are real problems, people!

When Josh’s pretty nurse girlfriend Nora gets pregnant, what does he do? He freaks out, as any late-twenties man not expecting it would do. If this scenario were to take place in the realm of Bon Temps, LA, there would undoubtedly be some sort of meat statue sacrifice, curated no doubt, by Lafayette himself. This season, even more problems face Being Human‘s triumverate, as power plays, ghostly transcendance, and even an unfortunate scratching incident that leaves poor Nora a fellow werewolf for life plague the gang. Sally struggles with the transition from ghost to full-fledged dead girl in a vein similar to an adolescent looking for that inevitable transition into adulthood. And Aidan strives to fit into two worlds simultaneously, succeeding at neither. Oh, these freaks. They’re just like us!

This isn’t a groundbreaking show, and the likelihood is that you won’t be seeing it take home any accolades any time soon. But for the mild sci-fi fan in all of us, Being Human is one that gets it right.

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Mikela is what you'd call a "TV Person." In fact, upon accepting a position in television, she proclaimed one day at lunch (as the conversation drifted towards the infamous ROSEANNE 'Becky Switch,') "THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!" Growing up, she dreamed of having the fashion sense of Clarissa Darling, the hair of Rachel Greene, and the career path of Rory Gilmore. She calls Liz Lemon her ‘spirit animal; has seen every episode of SEINFELD and can notoriously insert a WAYNE’S WORLD quote into nearly every sentence. Mikela is happiest when she's caught up on all her "stories," which these days include (but are definitely not limited to) HAPPY ENDINGS, PARKS AND RECREATION, and MAD MEN.

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