I absolutely love Being Human although I am a bit of a snob preferring the early seasons of the UK version. For those unfamiliar with the plot, the series tells the story of three roommates coping with the absurdity of being human while facing all the challenges that life and love throw at you. While this could describe any number of sit-coms or dramas, what makes this story unique and interesting is that each of the roommates has an unusual trait that affects their humanity: Mitchell is a vampire, George is a werewolf, and Nina is a ghost. The theme of the series is exploring the exact impact of these “conditions” on the humanity of our heroes. What results is a delightful mix of comedy, horror, and drama that also explores a number of important questions about being human such as the meaning of life, the definition of love, and the very essence of humanity.
One of the episodes that I love the most is the Series One finale, Bad Moon Rising, because so many of these issues reflect struggles that we face in our more mundane human lives. What would you do to protect the ones you love? How do you live with your past? How do you become the person you want to be? How do you cope with your true nature? While we do not have to cope with being a vampire or werewolf, most of us do possess a dual nature — a mixture of good and bad — that pull us in different directions and force us to make decisions on a regular basis about the paths we will take in life. Let’s be honest. We all have a monster living inside us that we know could be unleashed in certain circumstances.
The scene above (George transforms) illustrates everything that I love about Being Human. Throughout the first series, our vampire Mitchell has been struggling with his past both internally and externally as it is represented by vampire leader Herrick who wants to win Mitchell over to the bad side. He is not willing to tolerate a vampire-turned-good (as Mitchell no longer feeds off humans). However, when Herrick threatens to destroy Mitchell’s friends, George and Nina, then Mitchell decides he will sacrifice himself for his friends.
However, in the end it is George who steps between Herrick and Mitchell. Mitchell is appalled because George is the better person who does not possess a dark past like Mitchell does. He does not want George’s humanity touched by this evil. Herrick echoes this threat by noting George will lose his “ridiculous naive morality” and “last shred of humanity” by killing Herrick. However, George is committed because of two important facts. One, he knows that Mitchell cannot retain his humanity if he returns to the vampire life because Mitchell himself notes in the episode that “the gap between me and humanity gets worse” every time. Two, George notes: “Humanity is about love and sacrifice. This doesn’t rob me of my humanity. It proves it.”
I love that Being Human explores the very essence of what it means to be human as well as the reverse of what it means to be inhuman. I believe the world would be a better place if we spent more time exploring our humanity and what we must do to prove it. What do you think we can learn from Being Human?Tags: #Heroes, #Stories