As it turns out, supernatural beings need therapy and someone to talk to about their problems just like regular humans. That’s the premise behind Canadian web series Inhuman Condition from KindaTV and Smokebomb (the same people that brought you Carmilla). Created by RJ Lackie and directed by Jared Pelletier, the series follows therapist Dr. Michelle Kessler (Torri Higginson) as she treats troubled supernatural patients from zombies to werewolves. Each episode follows Dr. Kessler’s attempts to reach out to her patients as they deal with their ‘powers’ and the effects they have on their lives.
Like most web series, Inhuman Condition was shot on a very different schedule than most television series. “We shot 35 episodes in 5 days. I had just come off shooting This Life and I was in rehearsals for a play. It was a crazy time,” Higginson tells The TV Junkies. While the shoot may have been a bit of a whirlwind, one in which the star of This Life, who is also coming off a pivotal role as Commander Truffault in Season 2 of Dark Matter, jokingly recalls “I lost so many brain cells that week it was nuts,” turned out to be well worth it in the end. “I was deeply surprised at the product they got out,” says Higginson, before going on to say that she finds “the characters and politics of it are so engaging, layered, complex and smart.”
Given that Dr. Kessler’s patients include Tamar (Cara Gee, Strange Empire), a young woman who could cause major damage should her emotions get out of control, Clara (Clara Pasieka, Reign), a trust fund zombie who wants to end her life and Linc (Thomas Olajide), a werewolf and activist forced into therapy by the courts, it’s pretty safe to say Inhuman Condition is bringing an interesting take to the standard therapist/patient relationship. “I remember thinking when I first heard the concept that really struck me. ‘What does Spider-Man say to his therapist?’ I’m sure all those dudes need a therapist,” Higginson jokes.
Yes, these patients may have supernatural abilities, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the same problems as everyone else, making them relatable to the viewer. Higginson explains that “even if your gift is super positive or super evil, you are outside of society and there’s a loneliness to it.” So while Dr. Kessler’s patients “have these inhuman abilities,” what they are feeling is “such a human emotion and struggle,” she says.
Not only does the series focus on Dr. Kessler’s relationships with her patients, but it delves into her personal life as well. She’s fresh off a divorce from her wife Rachel (Angela Asher, Hard Rock Medical) and from what we can tell it was a pretty messy split. Add in the fact that she’s now seeing her ex-husband William (Shaun Benson, ARQ) and it’s easy to think Dr. Kessler has just as many problems as the patients she sees.
While Higginson admits that the show’s diversity–both in its cast and the characters’ sexuality–was something that she “wasn’t that conscious of at the time,” it is filling a void in the medium. She says “there’s not a lot of non-sexualized gay subject matter out there, especially for women, it’s usually very sexualized.” In fact, she likens Inhuman Condition to Carmilla because on both series sexuality is not something that defines the characters. “I’m not defined by my sexuality, so why do we feel the need to define people as ‘you are a gay character’? No, you’re a character and that’s your sexuality,” Higginson says.
That’s why when it comes to Dr. Kessler and her patients, Higginson explains that “it’s just a bunch of normal people that are trying to figure stuff out.” Well you know, except for that whole supernatural twist.
Do you plan on checking out Inhuman Condition? Already a fan? Sound off in the comments below!
Inhuman Condition Season 1 episodes are currently available on KindaTV’s YouTube channel.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.