Review of Being Human: ‘Being Human 1955’
Following on from an episode tinged with tragedy, this week lifted the mood with something lighter.
Part of the charm of ‘Being Human’ is in the comedy, whether it be dry witticisms, absurd situations or out of place references to popular culture, there is something there for everyone. This eclectic mix creates a balance with the more serious plot lines and this episode had all of these different types of comedy. However, there were two moments that stood out.
The first was when Cutler (Andrew Gower) invited a focus group of humans to give their thoughts on the possible existence of supernatural beings, only for them to be devoured by some other vampires before he had time to read their answers. It was a moment where dark comedy was juxtaposed with surreal comedy. The idea that a vampire would have a focus group to genuinely gauge public opinion is ridiculous which is why it worked so well. The dark comedy was in Cutler’s annoyance that the blood-spattered notes were completely illegible more than anything else. What makes Cutler such an enjoyable character to watch is that he thinks outside the box rather than just conforming to the vampire stereotype of killing and feeding. He also seems to always have a droll observation just waiting on the tip of his tongue.
The second moment was Annie’s ‘ceremony’ where she reverted to Josh Groban lyrics and Latin phrases via lines from ‘Star Wars’ after losing half of the words to a ritual. The last time she tried to adlib was in series 3 when George’s father had supposedly died. She wanted to say something profound but ended up quoting poet W.H. Auden and Cheryl Cole. Lenora Crichlow, who plays Annie, has really developed her comedy skills by exploiting Annie’s pedantry and neurotic tendencies. Annie attempts to be motherly and authoritative but in truth she is making it up as she goes along, it’s likely that more of Crichlow’s comic ability will be seen as series 4 progresses.
But it wasn’t all laughs. The storyline involving Leo (Louis Mahoney), Pearl (Tamla Kari) and Hal (Damien Molony) was surprisingly emotional. Although their characters were only introduced in the last episode, the bond between the three of them came across well and it was all the more sad when Hal was left alone after Leo and Pearl crossed over. The audience can easily understand the relationship and the affection between them because they have seen the pain that Annie, George and Mitchell have been through. The show is constantly featuring loss because it deals with life, death and the grey area in between, and yet it never loses its impact.
Hal is now the lead vampire and Molony shows that he can hold his own. He is a world away from Mitchell primarily because he has a lot more self-control and discipline. There is a very different dynamic between the three main characters with Hal being the outsider, whether this will change now that they are all living in the Honolulu Heights is yet to be seen. On a small note, Hal’s jibe at Tom’s accent, where he suggested that subtitles were required, was similar to a gag featured in ‘Misfits’. The character of Kelly Bailey was also mocked for her Derby vernacular which is an amusing coincidence considering that Kelly is played by Michael Socha’s sister Lauren.
‘Being Human 1955’ was another establishing episode but it also showed that the ‘Being Human’ universe is far larger than viewers might previously have thought. George, Annie and Mitchell were not the only ones who wanted to live out their lives in peace, there were others before them and there will be others after them. The extension of the cohabitation concept to other individuals gives the programme a new flexibility that it didn’t have before and opens up the possibility of more characters in the future. Within these last two episodes ‘Being Human’ has transformed, with the central characters now in place the story of the War Child can really begin. As the teaser shows, next week there is a growing danger that threatens Eve’s life.
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Image credit: BBCTagged in: being human, toby whithouse, vampire
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