Tube Talk: Ghosts, werewolves and zombies, oh my!

February 22, 2012

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

Sure, you can watch a show about a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire who happen to be roommates on Syfy. And yes, that TV series is called Being Human. While it’s a decent show in its own right, it’s got nothing on the original British version of Being Human, which kicks off its fourth season Saturday, Feb. 25, on BBC America.

It’s been a while since season three ended with werewolf George (in his non-wolfy human form) staking guilt-ridden vampire Mitchell in front of Mitchell’s ghostly girlfriend, Annie. (Let’s cut George some slack — Mitchell was quite literally begging to be staked.) With so many threads left dangling, almost anything could happen in season four.

Since the previous season finale, the top question in the minds of many fans has been: Can vampires come back as ghosts? I’m guessing they can’t, otherwise the roomies would have been overrun with the ghosts of vanquished vamps after a handful of episodes. Then again, evil vamp leader Herrick managed to be resurrected long after George (in full-on wolfy mode) shredded him up for a midnight snack.

If you haven’t seen the original Being Human — or if you’ve only see the Syfy version — BBC America is offering a chance to catch up on some of the best episodes of the first three seasons with a Being Human marathon leading up to the season premiere. The series deftly balances the drama and gore with humor and, yes, humanity. Often, the otherworldly characters are more humane than the humans they encounter. Why? Because they’re striving to be more than the creatures they are.

You can watch episodes of the original Being Human on BBC America in the early morning hours this Saturday, Feb. 25, from 1 to 9 a.m., and again from noon right up through the season four debut at 8 p.m.

Next up: zombies. The second part of season two of The Walking Dead returned to AMC a couple weeks ago. (Sundays at 8 and 10 p.m.) While the first season focused mostly on what it takes to survive a zombiepocalypse, the second season has included more character development — not just how certain characters react to such extreme situations, but why they react in the ways they do.

Darryl, Andrea, Glen, Carol and even little Carl have grown exponentially so far this season; Dale and Herschel seem ripe for deeper character exploration; but poor T-Dog — apparently the lone African-American survivor — is still stuck digging graves and being asked where other characters have gone. It’s time he gets a storyline of his own.

Realizing the hardcore fans that cult shows like The Walking Dead attract, last fall, AMC debuted a special live “after show” called Talking Dead. It airs Sundays at 11 p.m. Hosted by The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick, the half-hour recaps that night’s episode of The Walking Dead. Guest stars generally include at least one cast member or producer and sometimes a celebrity fan. They answer a couple of viewer tweets and phone calls each week. Learn how to join in the conversation at Talking Dead’s website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/talking-dead.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to tubetalking-paula@yahoo.com.

From the Feb. 22-28, 2012, issue

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