troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Series: Being Human (Remake)

Aidan: Hey, you know—there's a better way to do this.
Josh: Do what, be a better monster? No thank you.

Being Human is a North American remake of The BBC's Being Human, created by Toby Whithouse. It debuted in January 2011 on Syfy. As with the original British show, it centers around a trio of friends, each a different sort of supernatural being: Aidan, a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire; Josh, a geeky and uptight werewolf; and Sally, a Cute Ghost Girl; all of whom live in an old Boston brownstone where they try (and usually fail) to be as human as possible.

While the first season of the American version mirrors the plot of the BBC version's Series 1 to some extent, the plots diverge entirely in subsequent seasons, resulting in two shows with very different characters, lore, and storylines.

News of the remake was initially met with a strong negative reaction, as most American remakes of British works end up being relatively poor. However, the show has proven to be very successful, being Syfy's highest-rated scripted drama for multiple seasons in a row, and is well-regarded by Toby Whithouse himself. In the summer of 2013, Being Human made it full circle around the Atlantic, with the US version premiering in Britain on the UKTV-owned channel Watch.

The show lasted four seasons before concluding in 2014.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adorkable: Josh, though he begins to drift away from the awkward "dork" thing in the last few episodes of season 2, a trend that continues for the rest of the series. Surprisingly enough, Aidan starts to fill this role in his place after the second season.
  • Affably Evil: Bishop and, later, Donna.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Marcus. After an entire season of acting like a hateful bastard, he gives us his origin story, where we learn that he was made a vampire only because Bishop couldn't turn his more desirable older brother, and then he was passed over as soon as Aidan came along. Marcus is basically the loyal good son who does what his father tells him, but Bishop only has love for the prodigal Aidan, and that burns him up with jealousy. When he finally gets a chance to act on his jealousy and kill Aidan, he ends up getting staked himself.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Vampires plotting world domination in Boston.
  • Anyone Can Die: Aidan, Sally, Josh and Nora are safe, but anyone else is fair game - young or old, friend or enemy.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Zoe can see ghosts and transfers them into babies as a method of reincarnation; and yet she doesn't initially believe in vampires or werewolves.
    • Season 3 has Josh and Nora visit a witch in order to help Sally. As in an actual magic-using witch. Josh in particular is skeptical but this is perhaps justified since they've already been to a lot of fake mediums and outright magic (versus something personal and innate) is not something any one of them have ever encountered or even thought about.
  • Ascended Extra: Nora becomes a member of the main cast in season 3, though she's definitely been an important character since the beginning.
    • More properly goes to the character of Nina in the UK original, whom the character of Nora was based on. Still applies, though.
  • A Storm Is Coming: One of Sally's opening monologues uses this metaphor.
    Sally: Right before a big storm, I used to go with my dad to the harbor. To look at the clouds, feel the air. There's an eerie stillness before the sky cracks open, a hush. You can feel the storm gathering, smell the flood on its way. When you know you're going to die a violent death, when that's the only way you can die, it's all about the waiting for that final storm if the waiting doesn't kill you first.
  • A Taste of the Lash: How Suzanna punishes herself every night in order to atone for killing her and Aidan's son Issac during her first feeding.
  • The Atoner: Aidan and Suzanna.
  • Babies Ever After: Nora and Josh end up having two children that they name after Sally and Aidan.
  • Back from the Dead: Sally and two of her previous ghost friends, with the help of some very dark magic.
  • Batman Gambit: Bishop uses the fact that the Dutch prefer to kill and fully drain their victims to poison the blood of the 'donors' and thus make the Elders powerless, allowing him to easily kill them off. If they were less 'greedy', they would have been fine.
  • Big Bad: Bishop, at least in season 1.
    • Mother in season 2.
    • Liam in season 3, though his plans are less grandiose and more violent. He competes with Donna for this title.
    • The house itself in the final season.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Aidan to Josh: Aidan beats the living hell out of Marcus for going near Josh, two episodes later? He offers himself up to Bishop to protect Josh
  • Big Good: Josh has somewhat developed into this for the household by season 3, in combination with his Team Mom status. Should he die, chances are Nora would go berserk, Aidan would jump off the slope, and Sally would be lost.
  • Black Comedy: This show REVELS in gallows humor. A good example would be when Aidan kills the two girls he brought to Henry to feed upon; Henry makes the remark "Five-second rule!" and continues draining one of their corpses.
    • Those two girls come back as ghosts to 'play' with Aidan in a sort of karmic retribution scheme using their own form of Black Comedy.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, everlasting youth, superhuman strength, and mind control are all neat perks, but vampires trade their souls for these powers, and are they worth being turned into a cold-blooded murderer for? Some vampires view their condition this way, others don't. See also Cursed with Awesome.
    • Mediums of varying power can talk to and help ghosts, but since their power is passive, any ghost that happens to be around is free to accost them and disrupt their lives. As a result, even a well-adjusted medium like Zoe is something of a loner and is forced to take various measures to have some sense of privacy.
    • Zombies, at least of the form we've seen so far, they get a second chance at life but outside of a craving for raw meat, they also kill anyone they knew the last time they were alive.
  • Blood Magic: The means by which Sally was resurrected.
  • Body Horror - Josh's werewolf transformation looks and sounds extremely painful and grotesque: it's depicted as basically every bone in Josh's body breaking and re-fusing, every muscle tearing and re-attaching, every organ moving and changing, and various other bits (man and wolf) growing or being absorbed in the span of a few minutes.
    • The resurrected corpses in Season 3 begin to rot if they don't consume raw meat. One infamous scene in particular sees Sally put a toothbrush through her cheek by accident.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul
  • Black and Gray Morality: Although there are certainly villains in this series, the ways that the protagonists deal with their problems aren't always noble.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Vampires acquire these when they "vamp" out, such as when they're about to feed or fight.
  • Breaking Speech: Delivered by Sally to her roommates when she's "inhabited" by the Reaper/Scott.
  • Broken Masquerade: Suren almost causes one as a result of Henry's infidelities. Mother is not pleased and gives a Kill 'em All order on the entire hotel in order to protect the Masquerade.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mocking Aidan after trying to kill him was probably not the smartest move, Connor.
    • The werewolves out hunting sick and dying vampires run afoul of a strong, healthy and recently-fed Aidan. It does not go well for them.
      • Doubles when the previously sick and dying vampires discover the cure for the virus is werewolf blood.
    • In season 4, Mark and his "alpha wolf" mentality. He's socially obnoxious, ultimately crashing Josh and Nora's party with his "pack." He then prompts a fight between some wolves and Kenny and Aidan, which goes about like you'd expect. Then after his wife's wolf has sex with Josh's wolf during a full moon he tries to go after Josh, not knowing that Josh's wolf can come out at any time. This also goes about as you'd expect.
  • Buried Alive: What happened to Suren, for decades. In the season 2 finale, Mother also has Aidan buried.
  • Bus Crash: One that apparently took out most of the vampire race. During the time that Aidan spent underground, a plague caused most of the vampires to die out, including Mother.
  • Canada Doubling: Set in Boston, shot in Montreal. Oddly enough, a flashback in late Season 1 is set in Montreal in the '70s.
  • Can Not Spit It Out: If Nora just told Josh that she fears she might have been turned into a werewolf, some of their arguments at the start of season 2 would be avoided and they could take precautions or at least discuss what to do if she is.
  • Cartwright Curse: One of Aidan's defining tropes, it even seems to extend to platonic relationships. The only people that seem to be safe are Josh and Sally. Lampshaded in Season 3.
  • Cassandra Truth: Aidan eventually comes clean and tells Kat that he's a vampire. She (understandably) laughs in his face. Subverted however in that he quickly finds a way to prove it.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Heggeman's antique rifle and three silver bullets change hands several times throughout season 2. Heggeman tries to kill Josh with it, but misses when Nora attacks him. Josh takes it and keeps it under his bed, and we don't see it again until halfway through the season when he gives it to Cecilia to kill Brynn and Connor. After Cecilia fails to do so and gets torn apart by the wolves, Aidan shoots Connor with the second bullet. Finally, in the last episode of the season, Josh brings the rifle with him into the woods and tries to kill Ray with the last bullet.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Aidan knocks the fangs out of the vampire priest in order to prevent the priest from turning anyone in 'his' hospital. It's probably a side benefit that this also means the priest is going to have a much harder time feeding.
  • Continuity Nod: While the show in general is pretty heavy on continuity, the Professor's book on werewolves shows up again in season two as something Nora is reading, then once more in the third season when Erin takes it from Josh's room to look at.
  • Cultural Translation: The remake's plot is almost completely different from that of the UK version to begin with, but even some of the elements that were carried over across the pond are tweaked for a North American audience. For instance, Aidan was turned during the American Revolutionary War, not World War 1. The old aristocracy of vampires consists not of European nobility, but rural Amish farm dwellers and a Mafia-like criminal organization. Some characters (including the protagonists) also own and use firearms in the remake, which obviously couldn't happen in the UK because of British gun control laws.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Werewolves can lift the curse on themselves by killing the werewolf that first turned them. The catch? It has to be done while in human form. The part where doing so also cures anyone you've infected, on the other hand, is just a hopeful myth.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Vampires get a laundry list of superpowers, which do offset the downside of their compulsion to murder innocent people somewhat. Some vampires view their condition this way, others don't. See also Blessed with Suck.
    • Quite a lot of werewolves enjoy their "curse" as well, especially purebreds.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Sally, of course.
  • Demonic Possession: Sally accidentally possessed the medium who attempted to exorcise her in Season 1, an act she likens to a panicked mother lifting a car that has rolled on to her child. But she learns in Season 2 that she can possess certain people, particularly when they're open to suggestion or intoxicated (some people simply cannot be possessed at all). The experience is pure ecstasy for ghosts, as they are able to experience the senses of touch and taste again, but there are obviously ethical dilemmas about stealing someone's body, which is why certain ghosts won't do it. Sally ends up repeatedly possessing a woman to the point where the woman starts 'remembering' some of Sally's memories, both alive and dead. The poor woman gets all the bad ones too, such as Sally dying and the Reaper coming after her.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Josh isn't so good with the ladies, poor guy. Or, apparently, anyone living. Or dead. Or...yeah. Let's just say Josh excels at this.
    Nora: You're like an artist and awkwardness is your medium.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The way the show seems to treat vampirism, lycanthropy, and er... ghostlyness. Vampirism is a pretty blatant metaphor for alcoholism or drug addiction, werewolves behave like people with PTSD, and ghosts often have elements of a myriad of personality and mental disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, dementia, agoraphobia, and dissociative identity disorder.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Oh, very much so. Our three protagonists are only the most obvious ones with serious issues. Evil boyfriend Danny, emotionally-closed-off abuse victim Nora, Josh's divorced parents and rebellious sister...the list goes on. And sadly, they're decidedly among the more functional members of their respective communities and among humans in general that we see.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Aidan. Wow. Josh is no slouch either.
  • Enemy Within: Sally and the Reaper.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: There's a reason vampires don't turn kids. See Shoot the Dog below.
    • Bishop feels that the Council Elders are greedy for insisting on killing the humans they feed on and draining them completely of blood. He prefers to feed on willing donors and does not kill them since it is a waste.
      • He's still willing to compel a pregnant woman into serving as a meal for the visiting vampire elders, and has no problem with taking a bite out of her himself. Bishop's standards are motivated by practicality, not morality. Case in point being Bernie. He sends Marcus out to kill two boys in order to demonstrate to Aidan why having vampire kids is a bad thing.
  • Exact Words: Donna - and possibly other witches - uses this when making her deals. Outwardly it seems like a formality or simply as a way of making sure the deal is proper... but she usually leaves out one or two minor details that swings things in to her favor.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Being Buried Alive is said to be this for vampires, as they can't die. They'll just become weak and slowly go insane due to hunger. At the end of Season 2, Mother even says this is the worse fate for vampires as she is burying Aidan. He however points out she has it even worse. She will live forever knowing she killed her daughter, the only person to ever truly love her.
    • At the start of season 4, the strain of being a wolf for 29 days a month has taken it's toll on Josh. It's very clear he's starting to forget how to be human - he has trouble walking and talking, and generally becoming more wolf than man
  • Face Heel Revolving Door: Season 4 shows that Aidan has a sordid history of this. Consistently Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into villainy, then later becoming The Atoner and a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire to make up for his horrible deeds.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The ghosts of the two girls Aidan murdered walk around in their bras and panties while still drenched in their own blood.
    "We are the definition of Hot Mess!"
    • Sally's gross rotting body, both in-universe and out. Invoked when she gets annoyed with Josh and Aidan and flashes her underwear-clad, rotten sore-covered body at them in retaliation.
  • Fanservice: Hello, dream Sally.
    • The camera very deliberately pans over Nora's naked, face-down body the night after she transforms.
  • Fantastic Racism: Vampires are disgusted by werewolves, werewolves often see it as their moral imperative to kill vampires when they're strong enough to do so.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Vampires call werewolves "dogs", werewolves call vampires "leeches" and "ticks".
  • Final Boss: The house itself.
  • Flaying Alive: How Suren punishes Henry for his infidelity.
    • He spends virtually the entire next episode walking around without any skin.
  • Forced Prize Fight: Josh is forced to participate in a cage match against an older werewolf as "entertainment" for a group of visiting vampire elders.
  • Foreign Remake: A pretty good one, too.
  • For Want of a Nail: Sally travels one year into the past and prevents herself from dying. Her presence causes a few deaths, Aidan and Josh's relationship falling apart, results in Josh and Nora never getting together, causes Aidan to pull a Face-Heel Turn and somehow causes Nora to descend into pill popping substance abuse and illegal blood smuggling with Aidan.
  • Foster Kid: Erin.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Played straight for the most part with Aidan and subverted with the rest of them.
  • From Bad to Worse: Watching this show is a little like watching a train wreck full of little children that manages to spiral into an orphanage and explode a pound full of cute, fluffy bunnies. It just keeps getting worse and worse for the characters. So much disaster. So much. SO MUCH. Pretty much the only thing that goes right for them is finding an apartment together and maintaining a steady job. Everything else is fair game. NOPE!, the apartment is a murderous evil entity.
  • Frozen Fashion Sense: The "Dutch" vampires choose to live in Amish country because they're old-fashioned. When they come to visit the city, they're still wearing the same clothes.
  • Fur Against Fang: While Aidan and Josh are friends, vampires and werewolves really dislike each other in this setting. Vampires seem to think that werewolves are disgusting and mistreat them, which in turn breeds resentment among the werewolves. In addition, vampires are stronger and scarier than wolves 27 out of 30 days in a lunar month, but stand almost no chance against one around the time of a full moon. Arrogance and insecurity lead to vamps picking on wolves only at their most helpless.
    • After the plague all but wipes out the vampire population and weakens the rest, the werewolf population is booming, and they seem to be making a push to reverse the trend if not wipe out their kind completely. Liam seems to be a leader in this movement but the fact that Aidan remains strong gives him pause.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Never mind that Kat is attractive, Aidan finds her so very fascinating due to her interest in American history... specifically the time period during which he was alive. In fact, you can almost hear his brain stumbling when she mentions she has period clothing and does reenactments.
  • Genius Loci: The house itself, as revealed in Season 4, was once the site of a sacrificial ritual meant to appease one of the demon lords of Hell. As a result, the house has a will of its own, personified by the little girl, Ramona, who was sacrificed. It has remained hidden until now because every death that has occured there has fed its hunger, but with the roommates moving out, it has finally turned on them.
  • Genre Savvy: Kenny the bubble boy is an aficionado of classic horror films, so when his pale night nurse draws extra blood he immediately jumps to the least logical but correct conclusion. Played with when the classic tests he uses to verify his suspicion all fail because the myths they're based on aren't true.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "One is Silver and the Other is Pagan", Kat and Aidan have an awkward/cute moment of connection over the American Civil War. She quips "I suddenly feel not-dry." Sure, they had just finished fixing some plumbing together, but...
  • Ghost Amnesia: Sally can't remember how she died, probably because it was so traumatic.
    • Played with in that she knew, subconsciously, that she had been shoved down the stairs. The house's plumbing issues were her way of trying to get herself to remember.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Celine, as noted by Josh.
  • Grim Reaper: A ghost appears to Sally in the second season claiming to be the Grim Reaper. Instead of sending souls off to the afterlife, he says his role consists of 'reaping' ghosts who cause an unbalance in the universe. Which turns out to be complete bullshit, as the Reaper is no more than the product of Sally's swiftly-disintegrating sanity.
  • Hand or Object Underwear: Josh is seen doing this before his transformation.
  • Handsome Lech: Henry the vampire. Notably, he was forced to go into hiding for several decades after cheating on Suren.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners - Josh and Aidan.
  • Ho Yay: Aidan/Josh, commented on in universe.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Sally teases Aidan about not having sex for a year.
  • Horror Hunger: Blood addiction.
    • In wolf form, werewolves have an uncontrollable urge to kill and eat seemingly every living thing they come across.
      • In the third season, the resurrected corpses of Sally, Nick and Stevie feel intense cravings for raw meat to counteract the decay of their bodies. Both are driven to eat small animals like mice and cats before feeling the urge to chow down on human flesh. Stevie actually does.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Aidan stakes Rebecca after she asks him to kill her in Season 1.
    • In Season 3, Josh performs an assisted suicide on Stevie.
  • Idiot Ball: Mostly Aidan and Sally, though Josh and Nora have carried it from time to time.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Aidan's response upon coming home after reviving Mother's daughter and being told Nora's been turned into werewolf by a nervous Sally.
  • Invisible to Normals: Humans can't usually see or hear ghosts.
  • I See Dead People: One of the side effects of being supernatural.
    • Zoe is a medium- an otherwise normal human who also has the ability to see ghosts, and knows more about them than even Aidan.
  • Improbable Antidote: The cure for the vampire-killing flu is werewolf blood.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: "Why are there ghosts [in the kitchen] punching each other in the balls?!"
    • "You already died once and lived through it."
  • It's A Wonderful Plot: Inverted in an alternate timeline in which Sally prevents herself from being killed by Danny.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Cecilia the vampire cop, who has been tortured and is badly injured, tells Aidan to leave her behind when they're being hunted by a pack of werewolves. She gets torn apart.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Sally, in the second season.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zoe is rather abrasive to the ghosts who hang around her, but it's mostly to ensure that the right ghost is allowed to reincarnate into the right baby.
  • Karma Houdini: In season 4's alternate timeline, Danny gets away with murdering Bridget.
  • Killed Off Screen: Most of the vampires from the flu between seasons 2 and 3. Also, Nora claims she killed Brynn during their wandering together.
  • Kind Restraints: Most werewolves try and isolate themselves from humans during the full moon. Josh and Nora opt to either go deep into the forest to change, or lock themselves in storage units that they rented.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: While vampire bites are generally depicted as extremely painful in this series, Aidan is very tender when he drains Celine.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Aidan is cured of the vampire-killing flu by Erin's infusion of werewolf blood. And Aidan has put the word out to the other vampires. If Liam had left well-enough alone, it never would have come up.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Played straight down the middle "but we only had sex once" when Josh knocks up Nora and generally joked about for a few episodes, and then turned brutally into an in-Convenient Miscarriage after zigzagging through several other pregnancy tropes along the way.
    • It works in the other direction in one of Aidan's flashbacks to his time as a human, where he and his wife kept trying to have a child and only succeeded after two miscarriages.
  • Little "No": In the pilot, we get one from Josh, when the door shuts, locking Josh and his sister in together just before he's about to turn.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Sally becomes trapped in a cheery fantasy world when Scott takes control of her mind. Notably, he even played the part of her fiancee. Season 4 begins with her trapped in one, alongside Donna.
  • Lovecraft Country: Boston and the surrounding New England countryside can be a pretty eerie place in this show. Haunted Victorian architecture, creepy agrarian communities with dark secrets, perpetually overcast skies, and huge, dimly lit forests are all present in spades.
  • The Mafia: The Boston Family functions in a similar manner.
  • Magic Pants: Averted. Josh is completely naked before, during and after a werewolf transformation. He does manage to steal a dress, though.
  • Masquerade
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: A recurring problem for the characters.
  • Mexican Standoff: A variation of this occurs at the end of Season 2, with Ray holding a gun on Josh and Nora pointing a gun at Ray.
  • Mind Rape: While vampires have the power to influence and even brainwash people, it is not easy and takes lot of skill and constant practice. Bishop is quite good at it, but he practices a lot and has centuries of experience. Aidan, on the other hand, is really bad at it, and when he tries to cover his tracks by erasing a man's memory of an event, Bishop suggests that it might be kinder to just kill the man. Aidan ends up damaging the guy so badly, he kills himself the next day
    • What Bishop did to Aidan's ex-girlfriend, Celine, has got to count for something. It went straight over into both Rape as Drama and Scarpia Ultimatum territory. She never gets over it, even on her death bed.
  • Mistaken for Gay - Josh and Aidan by their landlord. Josh doesn't get what the guy is trying to say, but Aidan just shrugs it off with 'It's okay'.
    • Josh's parents also do this.
  • Monster Mash - You've got a vampire, werewolf and ghost girl living in the same house. How is that not awesome?
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Apparently Boston is within walking distance of woodlands heavy enough for a werewolf to roam free at night...
  • Mood Whiplash: Josh makes Sally and Aidan a nice dinner to have some semblance of a normal evening without any monster-related business... then reality hits when the only things they have to talk about are monster-related things. Not to mention that Josh is the only one of them that eats food.
    • The show revels in its ability to go from, admittedly, Black Comedy to the more depressing nature of the show.
    • A really good example goes to Kat and Aidan admitting that they love each other and like their mundane life together to Suzanna flogging herself in penance as we find out through flashback that she killed her son Issac during her first feeding.
  • Morality Pet: Josh plays this as well as the Only Sane Man. Notable so in season 3 where an increasingly hostile household is explicitly held together 'for Josh's sake'.
  • Mythology Gag - Aidan is named after Aidan Turner who plays the leading role of Mitchell in the original BBC incarnation.
    • The other names can be construed as (very) vague references to their UK counterparts as well. Just say them out loud: George/Josh, Annie/Sally, Nina/Nora. They're phonetically close without being pointlessly similar.
  • Neck Snap: How Aidan is forced to dispose of two hysterical girls who find themselves in bed with a recently-flayed Henry.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sally had basically given up on taking revenge on her former fiancee. Danny's attempt to exorcise Sally from the house only reveals to Sally's friend (and his current girlfriend) that he murdered her.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: Nora discovers that Josh is a werewolf at the end of the first season. She's cool with it.
    • Aidan reveals his vampiric nature to Kat in season 4. She can't deal with it and not only breaks it off with Aidan, she cuts Josh and Nora out of her life as well. Aidan takes it surprisingly well.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the appropriately named "That Time of Month". Sally reveals one of the ingredients for the spell to turn Josh into a human again is menstrual blood, to Nora and Aidan's disgust. Then Aidan sheepishly reveals that as a vampire, he can smell when a woman, namely Nora, is on her period.
  • Nothing After Death: This is the fate of vampires that are slain. No door, no afterlife, just oblivion.
  • Not Using the Z Word: It isn't until late in season two that the word "supernatural" and other implications of such is even used.
    • Season 3 has an aversion. Josh outright wonders if Sally will come back as a zombie.
  • Off The Wagon - When normal people fall off the wagon, they end up hurting themselves (unless they're drunk drivers). When Aidan does, he usually kills someone.
  • One Bad Mother: In Season 2, we are introduced to an elder vampire referred to as "Mother" who exhibits speed and strength far beyond other vampires. She also seems to possess additional powers not seen by the others.
  • One Curse Limit: Vampires can't become werewolves, and vice-versa. Neither of them seem to become ghosts when they die, either.
    • In the alternate timeline Sally creates by preventing her own death, she becomes a werewolf and after she dies in this timeline, she becomes a ghost, again, but it may be because of the unique nature of everything that's happened to her.
  • Only Sane Man: Josh finds himself in this role a lot, though he slips too.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Sally (and all ghosts) is invisible and inaudible to normal humans unless they are open to suggestion, but vampires and werewolves can see her perfectly. She at first has no ability to manipulate the physical world except with her emotions, exhibiting some poltergeist powers. When a ghost resolves the issues tethering it to the physical world, a Door to the other side opens up, allowing them to move on. Should too much time pass before the Door is found, a ghost will start to lose its sanity. If a ghost turns down the Door, he or she starts to exhibit a closer bond with the physical world, manifesting in the ability to manipulate physical objects if they focus hard enough. Ghosts can also possess humans if they are open to suggestion or under the influence of a narcotic, however the ghost may get stuck if they stay too long. This possession can be blocked by protective spiritual charms, such as the Thai Hill people's Soul Lock. Iron will dissipate a ghost's spirit, but it will reform in the place where his or her body died. Ghosts can also be exorcised, usually by trapping them in a salt circle and then using sage and the Lord's Prayer to purify the house they inhabit. They can be destroyed by completely destroying the place they haunt, and ghosts are also able to destroy each other via "shredding", completely annihilating the spirit energy of the other ghost. However, this sends the spirit to a torturous reality known as Limbo where they are punished to relive the way that they died endlessly. The only known way out of Limbo is through blood magic, restoring the spirit back to their physical body where they live, again, as Sally is brought back to life by Donna Gilchrist. The ghost's death spot can be used as a portal to a purgatory-like dimension. After Sally kills Donna, again, Donna manages to trap Sally in this purgatory as she feels the two of them are too dangerous to exist on the mortal plane anymore. Sally manages to escape through Donna's death spot, but that way out forces the ghost to relive the moments of death. Ghosts not in Limbo can be brought back to life through the use of magic, but another person's soul must be sacrificed.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They are immortal, but need to drink blood to keep them strong and healthy. If deprived of blood for too long, they will grow increasingly weak and sick before eventually shutting down and entering a sort of stasis (they will normally lose control and attack humans long before this point, though). Garlic is not harmful to them, but it will expose their vampiric traits (fangs, black eyes, etc.). They can go into sunlight without bursting into flames, but Aidan describes them as being "photosensitive". The only surefire ways of killing them are to pierce the heart with a wooden stake, beheading them, or draining them of blood. The Vampire Invitation rule is also in effect, and if a vampire enters the home of a mortal without being invited, their skin begins to boil and burn. Vampires also possess the ability to compel humans into thinking
    • Due to the flu virus that nearly wipes out all vampires in the third season, and its cure of drinking werewolf blood, new vampires created during this brief period are horribly deformed and insatiable. Kenny, Aidan's son, is spared death during this period, and returns, apparently completely fine, except he is still heavily deformed but he has the ability to compel anyone, including other vampires.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They transform during the full moon, and have heightened senses and strength a few days before and after the change. While transformed, they look like mangy four-legged wolves with vaguely human bone structure, and are almost impossible to kill without a silver weapon. Werewolf blood is also extremely toxic to vampires, and will cause hemorrhaging and seizures even in small doses. It is however the only way to stop the effects of the flu that has been killing vampires. Josh at first sees the lycanthropy as a biological disease and catalogs everything that happens to him, but Nora later reveals that Brynn told her that it is a curse and the only way to lift the curse is to kill the werewolf who cursed you; however, the curse is only lifted within that "generation", and any werewolves created by the one seeking the cure are not cured. Werewolves are also stated to generally be loners, with packs only supposed to be formed as a result of blood ties or love.
    • In addition to werewolves who are created through a bite or scratch, there are pure-bred werewolves that result from a male and female werewolf having a child. They seem stronger than regular werewolves their senses are constantly heightened, not just during the days near the full moon and many of them view their human forms as the true curse, as they would rather be wolves all the time. They also enforce a strong camaraderie among other werewolves.
    • Due to Donna's magic, Josh gets attacked by his inner wolf and when he transforms the first time after being re-cursed, he is trapped as a werewolf every day except on the full moon, when he turns back into a human. He and Nora have a brief period of time when they are both human before she changes. This, compounded with the fact that he has seen the financial burden he has put on them, pushes Josh to suicidal thoughts, until Sally returns and reveals she can use magic to turn him back to normal. The spell she uses, however, is incomplete due to her own quirks in coming back, and while he is now a human, he is closer to being to the purebreds in anxiety outside of the few days before the full moon, and under duress his wolf is able to come out when it is not the full moon. Josh later is able to control his transformation at will.
    • Two werewolves cursed via a werewolf attack can also conceive a child, but the pregnancy is three times as fast, and the reason the baby survives the mother's transformations is because the child is a purebred werewolf and is partially transformed in the womb, reverting shortly after birth.
  • Our Witches Are Different: Magic exists, and it is used by witches. The most powerful form is blood magic, which as it suggests requires human blood to perform. It can be used to bring the dead back to life, as Donna died during the Salem Witch Trials and Sally returns to the living world through the place she died after Donna tries to keep her away from either the living or spirit worlds. Donna ultimately reveals that she was brought back to life during this time by a group of witches to make her part of their coven, sacrificing another spirit to restore her own spirit to her body. Sally also discovers she can access Donna's magic, after defeating her at the end of season 3, and can read the book that she used to keep herself alive, until Donna tries to trap her, again, forcing Sally to destroy the book, only for all the spells to become a part of her. Whenever Sally uses magic, she finds herself thrown back in time, sometimes to the pasts of her friends, or to certain parts of the past in their house. She cannot interact with anything in the past, but she can possess people, and she uses this to possess her former self and prevent her own death, rewriting history.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Dead humans can brought back to life with blood magic, however because witches' spells always have their catches they cannot see anybody that they knew in their previous life, or else those people are doomed to die within a few hours to become nourishment for the witch who cast the initial spell. This can be changed should the resurrected request the witch to do so, at the cost of giving up their own soul to the witch once they die. The resurrected also display an almost insatiable appetite, only advancing after the soul bargain is made to where raw meat is consumed. After this bargain, their undead bodies begin to rot, and the process can only be reversed if they eat living things, such as mice and cats. The hunger gets worse and worse as time goes on, until they get the urge to attack and devour living humans. As supernatural beings, the undead can see ghosts the same way werewolves and vampires can. It should be noted that the undead are not technically "zombies", as explained by Donna, since zombies are not sentient or aware that they have been raised from the dead. The existence of "true" zombies has thus far only been hinted at, but Ray seems to have been brought back from the dead in this way.
  • Overtook the Manga: The original Being Human had very short seasons thanks to British Brevity. As a cable show, the US Being Human has shorter seasons than a network primetime series, but it's still way more than six episodes. As such, what begins as a fairly straight adaptation quickly develops a lot of new material.
    • Also, the US version not having the entire original cast decide to bail means the UK and US versions are now very different shows.
  • Painful Transformation - Werewolves go through this.
  • Papa Wolf: Liam is literally one. Josh has become one for his adopted family. Ironically, he's more of a Papa Wolf as a human protecting his family than he ever was as an actual werewolf. Even Liam is impressed.
  • Parental Substitute: Nora and Josh become this for Erin when she is infected with lycanthropy, teaching her how to deal with the wolf and seeing her through the first change. Nora obviously wants to take this the whole way (her wolf even bonds with Erin's) while Josh at least tries to maintain a realistic emotional distance. However, he goes completely Papa Wolf on Nora's little brother when he catches them in Erin's bedroom together.
  • Person as Verb: This exchange in Season 4.
    Zoe: You obsesses over things and you can't let them go. Now when I get all wound up about something I say "don't Sally this up."
  • Pinocchio Syndrome - The basic premise of the series.
  • Poltergeist: Sally meets another ghost who specifically refers to herself as a poltergeist. She has learned to project frightening visions into the minds of the living and uses her powers to torment her former boyfriend.
    • By the end of season one Sally is able to move the pages of a newspaper and even close a heavy door. Though to clarify, she has learned how to do this consciously and willingly. She was always able to do these sorts of things, just never in a way she could manage.
    • Sally tends to involuntarily shake the house and make the lights flicker when she's angry or upset.
  • Power Trio - Aidan is Id, Sally is Ego; Josh is usually Superego, though his werewolf side is pure Id.
  • The Plague - A particular strain of influenza shows up in season 3 that kills vampires if they drink the blood of a person that had it at one time.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Josh gets a few in during his fight with Ray. Though certainly used for similar reasons as most, it's more importantly a show of how the events of the third season (and the show as a whole) has changed him into somewhat of a Butt Monkey friend to Aidan into the Team Dad and probably the most powerful (from a mental and spiritual standpoint) of the four.
  • Really 700 Years Old - Aidan is over two hundred years old (257 as of the first season, to be exact), having been turned during The American Revolution, but looks to be in his mid-20s. Bishop, the vampire who transformed him, is older, although we don't know by how much.
    • Heggeman is stated to be over thousand years old. The other 'Dutch' vampire elders are probably close to that age as well.
    • Mother is even older still since as old as Heggeman is, he doesn't display anywhere close to the level of power that Mother demonstrates and he treats her as effectively a living legend.
    • In the fifties, Suren was almost 700, so she's this trope almost to the year.
  • Recurring Character: The show likes to get their mileage out of characters, small and large. Even if certain characters don't always speak much, their actions will usually have dramatic ramifications.
    • The medium that initially tries to exorcise Sally shows up as the person who directs Nora and Josh to the witch that raises Sally.
    • The two girls Aidan brings to Henry return as ghosts to haunt Aidan in retribution.
  • Refusal of the Call: In Season 3, Sally no longer wants anything to do with trying to help people as it has always ended badly for everybody. She goes so far as to disperse ghosts who try to ask her for help.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: One way of killing vampires if a stake isn't handy is by beheading them.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: The pure-bred werewolf twins, Brynn and Connor.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Aidan slaughters almost everyone in Corwich when the 18th century villagers execute his wife Suzanna for allegedly consorting with the Devil.
    • When Mark and the rest of his pack have Nora at gunpoint in order to have Josh recaptured, Josh transforms and kills all of them.
  • Self-Deprecation: This is the canon reason why Josh's transformation hurts so much more and why he has so little control over his wolf compared to Nora and other werewolves. However, it's not that his wolf hates his weak human side. Quite the opposite. His loathing of his wolf side has actually made his wolf afraid of him! To the point that when he finally meets his wolf during a meditative trance, his wolf runs away from him in fear.
  • Shiksa Goddess: Emily's girlfriend.
    Emily: God, what if [Josh] never even gets to meet Jackie? ...I really wanted to rub it in his face that I ended up with a shiksa goddess.
  • Ship Tease: Aidan and Sally have a moment on the couch in the beginning of Season 3 after Sally is brought back to life, but Aidan gets weirded out and backs off.
    • And then again in "Cheater of the Pack", when a drunk Aidan tries to "get with her". This time it's Sally who gets weirded out.
  • Shirtless Scene: Aidan can't apparently afford a blanket that covers his entire body when he sleeps.
  • Shoot the Dog: Aidan kills a recently turned Bernie because the latter can't control himself. And he's not taking it well.
    • Done a second time with Rebecca. Poor guy can't catch a break.
    • Josh insists that Aidan to do this with Kenny at the end of season 3. Aidan can't bring himself to do it and lets him go.
  • Shout-Out: Sally aptly compares Josh and Nora's situation at the beginning of Season 4 to the movie Ladyhawke.
    • Several characters have referred to Twilight on multiple occasions in order to tease or insult Aidan.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: While most character fantasies involving bodily harm to their enemies are inherently funny, it is simultaneously sad, and appalling that Danny made some level of his fiance's consciousness want to see Aidan tearing at the guy's throat.
    • It's even a little bit cute that Sally imagines that Aidan thinks of her as "their girl."
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness - In the lower middle. It's possible to be good... but it's like going off a hard drug while it walks around you. Aidan talks about it a bit in season two and the show continues to emphasize the comparison to drugs: feeding 'live' is fairly euphoric and stopping cold turkey is extremely dangerous.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Sally suffers the most from this, as she unlocks more of her ghostly powers, she begins possessing innocent people so often she drives them insane and learning to shred other ghosts results in her developing an Ax-Crazy Grim Reaper split personality. Aidan is always just one bad breakup away from a Face-Heel Turn. Josh Becomes a murderer and begins to like violence and the power it gives him. And Nora's transformation into a werewolf unlocks a hidden violent side in her.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used regularly.
  • Snuff Film: Aidan receives a DVD from Rebecca which features her having sex with a man and then killing him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Reaper to Sally though it turns out to be more of a case of Screw Yourself.
  • The Starscream: Henry plays this role with Aidan early in life, but later subverts the trope by defending Aidan from other vampires when he runs off with Suren.
    • Marcus towards Bishop in the first season.
  • Status Quo Is God: Much of Season 3 deals with the character's deepest wishes seemingly being fulfilled(Josh's curse gets lifted, Sally is brought back from the dead, etc.), but everyone falls back in line in the last couple of episodes.
  • Supernatural Angst - The entire show is this trope...
  • Supernatural Soap Opera
  • Stronger with Age: Both vampires and werewolves are implied to grow stronger as time passes in this series.
  • Tainted Veins: Sally displays these after surviving an exorcism.
  • Take That:
    Sally: Are you guys going to go all Twilight on each other at some point, or...?
    Josh: Excuse me?!
    Sally: It's all you guys ever talk about. "I want to be normal, but I can't, 'cause I wanna eat people!" Et cetera.
  • Tears of Blood: Aidan gets these after drinking Josh's blood.
  • This Was His True Form: Inverted. When Aidan shoots Connor while he's a human, he reverts to his werewolf form in death.
  • Tomato Surprise: There was never any Reaper. It was Sally all along who was killing the other ghosts.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah, Connor, totally a good idea to taunt the pissed-off silver-bullet-gun armed vampire whose ally you just brutally killed. On the other hand, not only are werewolves overly aggressive near a full moon (and this was the next morning), but Connor was already taking wolfsbane because he was hyper-aggressive to begin with.
    • The thing is, Connor was so idiotically cocky in that encounter, it's possible he wasn't trying to taunt Aidan, but legitimately trying to congratulate him for surviving
    • In season 4, the entire wolf pack. Since Josh can turn at will, they lock him up and torture him until he turns so he can make more wolves, then show up at his house and hold Nora at gun point. What kind of reception were they expecting to get after all that? It's no surprise they're all viciously slaughtered by him when he transforms to protect Nora.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: A complete solar eclipse has an unexpected result on the supernatural world during the second season. First, it causes all the ghosts that Sally shredded to return from the limbo that they were sent. Secondly, it causes Josh to partially transform into a werewolf just as he's trying to tell Julia about his curse.
  • Undead Child: Bernie.
  • Undeath Always Ends: In the series finale, Aidan is reverted to human by a spell cast by Sally, who sacrifices herself in the process. Aidan then dies destroying Ramona and joins Sally in the afterlife.
  • Vampires and Werewolves Are Sex Gods: Aidan can't walk down the street without attractive women throwing themselves at him. In Season 4 alone, he has several beautiful women competing for his attention at various points.
    • In the two or three days before he transforms, Josh becomes way more aggressive in the sack.
  • Vampire Bites Suck - In the first episode.
  • Vampire Invitation:
    • Played straight. A vampire can enter a home uninvited, but he starts burning and quickly dies.note  On one occasion, a vampire breaks into someone's house and attacks him, but flees before he suffers permanent harm.
    • If the owner or resident of a house changes, all invitations lapse. On one occasion, someone arranges for a house to be legally sold while vampires are inside; those now-uninvited vampires burn to death before they can escape.
    • In Season 4, Kenny reveals that he can enter the group's home without an invitation because he was "born" there, and so apparently has permanent access.
  • Vein-O-Vision - Sort of. It's more that the person's skin looks flushed. It's accompanied by the amplified sound of blood rushing through his/her veins.
  • Villain Ball Magnet - Every time Aidan tries to do the right thing, he ends up making things WORSE than Bishop, the show's main villain would have. Sally is even worse in this regard, every time she says the phrase "I can help" expect the lives of everyone around her to be worse off then before she met them.
    • That's debatable, given what Bishop was ultimately planning: dominion over all humans.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Erin's death by pillow takes a mere 12 seconds.
  • Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere
  • Wham Shot: At the end of the Season 3 finale, it's the morning after a full moon but Nora finds that Josh hasn't changed back from being the wolf.
    • From the same episode, Suzanna is shown walking out of a taxi in the present day
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? - A major theme of the show.
  • World of Snark: Everyone manages to be a little snarky.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Liam suffocates Erin in her hospital bed after she fails to murder Aidan
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: All the goddamn time. Somewhat literally with Josh.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Suren makes this comment to Josh during an awkward dinner party. Julia misinterprets it as a Jewish slur. Aidan is able to cover it by saying she meant Josh kept a clean house for a guy.
  • You Can See Me? - Sally is more than a little surprised that Aidan and Josh can see her. note 
    • Occurs again in Season 2 with Nora and Zoe, and in Season 3 with Trent. Basically, this is the reaction that every ghost has when they first meet another supernatural being.
    • Once more in Season 4 with Robbie before Sally discovers he's died and become a ghost as well.
  • Younger than They Look: Pete, the vegetarian werewolf, mentioned he was 39 when he looked at least a decade or so older than that. He explained that the strain of being a werewolf for most of his early life took its toll.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. While Sally ended up changing the lives of her and her friends quite significantly in the alternate timeline she created, there are still some key events that proved to be immutable. Sally was destined to die young, and Aidan was going to kill Bishop sooner or later.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Donna's 'deal' for raising the dead. They come back to life and kill everyone they knew - she gains whatever it is she gains from the slain souls. They come back to life and change the deal so they don't kill everyone they know - she gains their soul for the same purpose. Either way, the risen are still very hungry zombies so their new life may not be as long lived as they think - she gains their soul and/or that of their victims.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Sally rocks this look in "For Those About to Rot".
Being HumanGhost FictionDead Gorgeous
Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined)Creator/Sci Fi ChannelBionic Woman
Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined)Creator/HuluThe Booth at the End
Becoming HumanSupernatural Soap OperaBuffy the Vampire Slayer
Being HumanVampire FictionBlade
Being HumanUrban FantasyBitten
Being HumanHorror SeriesBeyond Belief Fact Or Fiction
Being EricaCanadian SeriesThe Best Years
BeetleborgsAmerican SeriesBelieve
BedlamThe New TensThe Bible (2013)
Being HumanWerewolf WorksBig Wolf on Campus

alternative title(s): Being Human Remake
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
106263
29