By now, everyone knows about True Blood and its vampires and werewolves thanks to a hardcore fanbase, endless media attention, and
undeserved awards show nominations. But it isn't the only show incorporating pale bloodsuckers and lycanthropes. And it may not even be the best.
The premise of BBC America's Being Human sounds like a setup to a punchline: a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost live in an apartment together. Yes, Being Human has laughs, but it's also developed a rich mythology involving a possible end of the world plot and shady supernatural undergrounds, nevermind the day-to-day dealings of being a werewolf and trying to get a date.
Season One of Being Human came out on DVD this week, and if you've never seen this gem, it's well worth checking out. At its heart, Being Human is a tale of twenty-somethings dealing with post-higher-education life in the city. That's because that's exactly what it started out as. Creator Toby Whithouse (writer for Doctor Who and Torchwood) took an outline for a show--the post-University ordeals of three ordinary people--that wasn't quite working and thought, "Hey, what if we made this guy a werewolf?" Everything else fell into place.
The result is three fully-fleshed out characters who just happen to be a vampire, werewolf, and ghost, rather than the other way around. Mitchell is a sexy, confident vampire who is trying to give up blood, George is a sheepish werewolf who is unsuccessfully coping with his lycanthropy, and Annie is a ghost who longs for her fiance. Together they're the best group of dysfunctional friends in Bristol.
Season One admittedly gets off to a slow start, but by the time the final episode comes around (there are only six in Season One), you'll be clamoring for more. It doesn't have the biggest budget in the world (much like other UK shows), but it makes up for some janky effects with story, and most importantly, strong characters.
Being Human Season One is now available on DVD, and Season Two debuts on American TV this Saturday on BBC America. Plus, if you start watching the UK version now, you'll be able to show off and tell your friends how it's so much better than the American remake being made by SyFy. I'll have an interview with creator Toby Whithouse up later!
What would you rather be: a vampire, a werewolf, or a ghost?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom