Supernaturally good • 2 February 2009 • The SnowBlog
I was saying cruel and hurtful things about Demons recently (that's the lazy ITV copy of Buffy The Vampire Slayer). The good news is that it's getting better. The last episode was boring and predictable but not laugh-out-loud bad. What a coup.
I'll tell you what is good, though: Being Human. I didn't plan to watch it after reading the premise which was: a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share a flat. Eeek. What a horrible, horrible idea. It made me think of Rentaghost, a very annoying kids' program from the Eighties about a house full of ghosts that still makes me grind my teeth with its pointless shoddiness. The only way they could have made the concept for Being Human sound worse is if it were: 'A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost go into a pub...' Of course, having said that, you won't be surprised to hear that Being Human is marvellous. Very mature (definitely not suitable for kids). It's also funny, exciting and altogether unexpected, with surprisingly intense moments of drama, and every character is intriguingly idiosyncratic and watchable (with the possible exception of a few moments of Russell Tovey going a little broad occasionally, but that's nitpicking). I didn't see the original one-off show in Feb, 2008. I wish I had, but now that they've recast two of the three leads - and I really like their choices - I sort of don't want to see other people play those characters.
Being Human is as perplexing to me in its own way as Demons. Why is Being Human so gripping? (And Demons so bad?) After all, it's mainly talking. There's the odd visual action sequence, like George turning from human to werewolf, but I'm definitely not waiting for those moments. In fact they almost feel like a slight pause in the story. Being Human has achieved something almost instantly that Demons has no idea how to do: it's made me care about the characters. Why does a lot of talking from one vampire equal compelling drama (on Being Human) whereas some other vampire nattering away bores and irritates me in equal parts (true of almost every character on Demons)? I'd like to have an answer that's more specific than just 'the writing is incomparably better on Being Human'.