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Phil Mellows is a freelance journalist living in Brighton


 Being Human


BBC 1, Thursdays, BBC i-Player

When it was first screened on BBC 3 it was easy to dismiss Being Human as frippery. A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost all living in the same house? In Bristol?

Then I accidentally caught half an episode and was intrigued. Currently halfway through a repeat on BBC 1, and with a second series on the way soon, Being Human is a delicious, witty, dark confection in that trickiest of genres, the black comedy. It deftly achieves the required criterion of being both disturbing and funny.

Being Human, more surprisingly, also does what it says on the tin it is not  about being supernatural at all. Each of the three main characters in fact wrestling with ordinary common weaknesses, only gothicked up. Its about being human.

Mitchell the vampire (Aidan Turner) is an addict. Blood is the drug and beneath his charming exterior he is resisting a habit thats trying to control him.

George the werewolf (Russell Tovey) is one of the poor people on that Embarrassing Bodies programme (which Ive never been able to watch more than a few seconds of), trying to hide his occasional affliction. Although youd think hed be more worried about his permanent ears.

Annie the ghost (Lenora Crichlow) is bereaved, trying to adjust to an existence without the people she loves and who have not yet died, uncomfortably sensing there is something missing, unfinished.

Addicted, embarrassed, bereaved, bereft: weve all been there, all struggled against our misfortunes in order to join the world we perceive as normal and happy. Thats being human.


August 31, 2009

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