Being Human

 
(i)

 

Edgy British show about “monsters” examines human nature.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sends the message that even vampires, werewolves, and ghosts have fundamental human needs, including the desire for companionship, love, and human connection (being undead, it seems, doesn't necessarily make someone less human).

Positive role models

Mitchell and George struggle to control their very uncontrollable issues and try to live a seemingly normal life. Both are tempted by others of their kind to yield to their darker natures, but they resist as best they can because they sense that it would also mean abandoning their humanity.

Violence

The vampires are sometimes shown attacking and feeding on humans, and there’s plenty of gore and blood. There are fewer scenes featuring werewolf attacks, but they tend to be even bloodier and gorier.

Sex

A few sex scenes show half-clothed people locked in passionate embraces. Mitchell (the vampire) has trouble separating his erotic needs from his thirst for blood, and his amorous encounters tend to end badly for his partners. George (the werewolf) is shown nude when he transforms. It’s not sexy, but it does show just about everything except his penis.

Language

Some swearing, including unbleeped uses of “s--t” and “f--k.”

Consumerism

A few major retailers, like Ikea, are mentioned by name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking in bars and when characters entertain at home.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this British drama about a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost examines what it really means to be human. The supernatural roommates support each other as they try to manage their unique physical conditions and seek happiness. In the process, the series shows that despite their dark needs and less-than-human cravings, they can be just like anyone else -- in need of human contact, friendship, and love. Don't tune in expecting Twilight, though: The show is aimed at older viewers and features swearing, the occasional passionate sex scene/brief partial nudity, and a fair bit of blood and gore.

What's the story?

A ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf move into a house together. It sounds like the setup for a bad joke, but it’s really the format for an intriguing drama about the undead and the nature of humanity. In BEING HUMAN, the supernatural trio attempts to live normal lives -- despite some very significant complications. Mitchell (Aidan Turner) is the handsome, brooding vampire who tries to control his bloodlust. George (Russell Tovey) is a bit of a geek, whose inner beast is released once a month. And Annie (Lenora Crichlow) has trouble accepting her own death.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The characters aren't fully human, but they give it a good try, and their struggles shed some light on what it really means to be a person. All they want, just like anyone else, is to find love and enjoy life. Their stories are all tragic in different ways. For Annie, the worst part of being a ghost is loneliness; few people can see her, and she finds it especially painful to see her beloved former fiancé. Mitchell must control both his craving for blood and his erotic desires because romantic encounters can trigger his thirst and often end badly for his partners. And gentle George is mortified after every transformation to see the destruction caused by his wild alter ego.

These already challenging lives are further complicated when the three meet others of their kind, especially Mitchell and George. Neither of them wants to fully embrace their dark natures, but they're constantly tempted, and watching their brethren revel in their power is alluring. In such moments of weakness, it’s important that they can lean on each other. The characters in this unusual and entertaining series have a very special friendship, based on the shared knowledge that none will ever be fully human.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes people human. Though the main characters might be considered “monsters," they clearly have the same needs for companionship as anyone else. Can “monsters” also be human? Aren’t there some real humans who act more like monsters than them?

  • How do the “monsters” in this series compare to the way they've been portrayed in other TV shows and movies? Do they seem less monstrous? Does making them the central characters instead of the villains change the way you see them? Does it make them seem more “human”?

TV details

Cast:Aidan Turner, Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey
Network:BBC America
Genre:Drama
TV rating:NR

This review of Being Human was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent of a 15 year old Written byzuzamiller October 20, 2010
 

Great for older viewers but not for young teens

This is a can't miss show for me but not for my 15-year-old. Too much to explain and things I don't want her to see yet.
Teen, 15 years old Written bysupernatural lover February 22, 2011
 
love it but not for kids and people who hate blood. Last week a man got cut open alive with a saw . Do you want children seeing stuff like this. 15+ DEFINATLEY.
Kid, 12 years old February 24, 2011
 

unmissable great show

i love this show soooooooooooo so so so much and its ok for me i think :)its a bit violent but other wise its good .this show is my fav tv show of all time :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models

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