No Heroics - just Being Human

Every now and then you see a TV show which seems destined to fail, but yet you personally enjoy. One such was a rather unusual one-off comedy I saw early this year on BBC3 called Being Human, about a vampire and a werewolf who flatshare — and then discover that their house is haunted by a ghost.

It was warm, it was witty, it was original, and yet I didn’t expect the subject matter would appeal to many, and so even though I contacted the BBC at the time to tell them how much I had enjoyed it, I wasn’t surprised to hear them say that “there were no plans to commmission a series”.

However, it was only through idly leafing through a review in the Guardian’s ‘The Guide’ (the weekly TV review) called The Greatest Cape, that I discovered that there was a new superhero based series appearing on ITV2 called No Heroics.

No Heroics is basically about a set of B-list superheroes: there’s The Hotness, who has heat-based superpowers and a ridiculously camp name… his ex-girlfriend Electroclash, who can make machines work for her, hides behind some shelves during the robbery of a corner shop because she’s in a bad mood with the proprietor and wants some cigarettes; Time Bomb, who can look into the future; She-Force, who has powers of super-strength but can’t seem to find the right man.

And it’s basically about the pub they hang out in, where you have Excelsor, the big, famous, successful superhero (there is a chart on the wall of the pub showing the number of TV appearances each superhero has had; The Hotness doesn’t seem to have managed to make it onto the chart yet), who is something of an arrogant cock and a bully. The pub also features a doorman (”Thundermonkey”) who has the power to summon monkeys — only they take about two and a half hours to arrive.

In short, it’s not the sort of thing you’d expect to find on ITV at all. It’s barely the sort of thing you’d expect to find on BBC3 or E4; it’s obviously been put together on a fairly small budget; it’s got lots of — shall we say robust? — language, and it is very different. But that quality of unusualness is also what makes it interesting. Let’s hope it continues to develop well.

No Heroics. Thursdays. 10:30pm. ITV 2. At least give it a try

And in further good news — which I wasn’t aware about until I started googling around for stuff while writing this post, BBC3 has commissioned a 6-part series of Being Human for transmission during 2009. Quirky and offbeat sometimes does work, after all.

One Response to “No Heroics - just Being Human”

  1. Julia responds:

    Thanks for these references - both sound bizarre, but just the sort of thing I watch, so I’ll look out for them. The first sounds similar to the plot of a novel series I’ve just discovered - have you read any of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series? The first is called Dead Witch Walking - and the setting is a witch and vampire who flat share (well, church share actually!)

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