Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BBC in the USA: Being Human

I love Maggie Cats' approach to blogging about Comic Con. She brought a special notebook to every panel and took copious notes and pictures. Now she will go through it all chronologically, bringing you pertinent details and fascinating insights into your favorite shows.

Yeah, I'm not going to do that. From me you will get rambling, disorganized squee. Sorry, that's just how I roll. On the upside, I was able to see a few panels that Maggie was not, so now I bring you the first of my BBC series: Being Human.

This show doesn't sound like it would be any good. "Listen, there's this great show about a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost sharing an apartment in Bristol..." At this point, whoever you're trying to convince just gets up and walks away. But it's really really really really good. Honestly. And it makes more sense when you hear how the concept came about.

The creator, Toby Whithouse, was first approached about doing a show about three twenty-something college grads who decide to live together. He decided that was just about the most boring concept he had ever heard. Then, three characters dropped fully-formed into his head: Annie, an agoraphobic; Mitchell, a recovering sex addict; and George, a usually mild-mannered man with anger issues. Still, he didn't feel like the series was special enough. And then it dawned on him ... George, who periodically lost his temper and turned into a monster, was kind of like a werewolf. This naturally (or supernaturally) led to the ideas that Annie was like a ghost and Mitchell, a vampire. Thus, Being Human as we know it was born.

I really feel that this organic development of the show is reflected in its completely sympathetic characters. These are not monsters of legend, creatures to be feared or idolized. The bottom line is that they are people. Like any good fantasy show, the supernatural nature of the protagonists shines a spotlight on human nature.

Plus, Russell Tovey (the man who plays George) is adorable. Doctor Who fans many recognized him as Midshipman Frame from "Voyage of the Damned" (Allons-y, Alonso!). I was sitting super close to the stage, having practically camped out all day. At the end of the panel, I jumped out of my seat with a huge grin on my face. Russell looked at me and cocked his head to the side as if to say, "why is that tall Indian woman giving us a standing ovation ... all by herself?" Needless to say, I swooned with delight.

This picture does not do them justice ... but it is pretty hilarious.


Maggie Cats said...

I've got this on my DVR (it recorded while we were in San Diego) and can't WAIT to give it a look-see. I've heard only good things!

Monkey Sri said...

One may wonder how I, a humble American, was able to see the majority of the season already. My answer ... magic. *shifty eyes*

angel32383 said...

I watched what I think is the first episode of Being Human last looks like something I may enjoy so I've set up a season pass on my DVR. :-) Thanks for the recommendation.

Monkey Sri said...

So glad I could spread the Being Human love. Thanks for your comment!

Bec said...

The love spreading continues -- after being inspired to hunt this down after reading your post about it, I watched the whole first season last week, and I'm all kinds of in love with George now. Classic British bumbling wit AND shrieking?? Love!! (I'm a little puzzled by the fact that he is one letter away from being named after female French novelist George Sand, as that seems like a bizarre coincidence, but as I can't come up with any good reason for it, I will let it go.)

I watched the pilot first, and was excited about the show from that. They changed quite a bit in transitioning to the series (including actors, the only one they kept was Russel Tovey) and those changes were a little off-putting at first, but it didn't take long for the changes to grow on me, and soon the love was born.

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the recommendation and give Russel Tovey a few more props! And, if you haven't seen it and if you can get access to it, I recommend a viewing of the pilot -- it leans a little more on the comic side of the fence than the dramatic. George's shrieks of joy as he explores their new flat are worth the price of admission, and their bar room conversation about which Hogwarts houses they would all be sorted into is also quite enjoyable.