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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Sex, Violence, Rage, Passion: "Being Human."

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Mar 15th 2011

Sex, Violence, Rage, Passion: I am not one for discussing silly television shows on Mental Help Net. Yet, I have experienced a curious urge to watch and write about a new television series on the SciFi channel called Being Human. I've been scratching my head about why this show has fascinated me. It has characters who are vampires, were-wolves, and ghosts. Why do I watch? Then, suddenly, it popped into my head. Indeed, this program and its characters are about Being Human.

The writers, producers and directors created a show that is a metaphor for each human being's struggle to control their passions while attempting to live in ways that are ethical and compassionate towards others.

Remember the religious story of angel and devil sitting on each person's shoulder? One angel whispers that we make decisions that are moral, generous and compassionate and peaceful into one ear. In the other ear, the devil tempts and taunts us into making decisions that are greedy, selfish, sinful and violent.

Freud discussed the same concept when he talked about the Id, Ego and Superego. The Id contains all of our passions, unbridled and animal like in every way. It always says "yes, gratification now." The Superego contains all of the teachings received from our parents and the entire society. It is law and order. It makes us feel terribly guilty if we break a law. It says "no," not ever. The ego represents a compromise between Id and Superego. It says, "yes, you can get certain legal and normal gratifications if you wait and get it in ways that are socially acceptable. The three struggle mightily against each other for control. Should I commit murder, steal that money, covet my neighbor's wife, etc?

The TV Show

The main characters are twenty something and are living together in a house. Aidan is the handsome Vampire who has so very moral that he fights against his vampire urges to kill and suck blood. Sally, a ghost, represents the abused woman who was murdered by her hateful fiancee in a violent struggle. Like all abused women, she is invisible, attempting to make people understand what happened to her, and inform others about her fiancees malevolence. But, she cannot be seen or heard. Josh is a were-wolf who, like Aidan, fights to control the internal forces that, once each month, turns him into a vicious wolf who roams and kills with abandon.

The theme of the entire program is a metaphor for religious, interpersonal and internal struggles we face each day.

Naturally, the program was created in London where the English seem regularly produce excellence. It is played there and here but with different actors. Both here and there, the show has gotten excellent reviews.

I recommend this TV series to all of my readers. Just keep in mind while viewing that its not about supernatural monsters but about human beings: both you and me being human.

Your comments are strongly encouraged.

 

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at dransphd@aol.com for details.

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