Sunday, 12 February 2012

Review: Being Human 4.2: Being Human 1955

Annie holds a "ceremony".
So we need a Vampire/Werewolf/Ghost dynamic, but we're currently stuck with one incomplete group and a full group half-way across the country. Being Human 1955 was, in short, an exercise in character manoeuvering - moving our characters into the right configuration so that the series can adopt some form of "standard". Unfortunately this meant that unlike last week, the episode was a lot more sedate, and tried to focus its lense on the characters - with various degrees of success.
      In the South, the trio of vampire Hal, aged werewolf Leo and 50s ghost Pearl heard an after-life radio message from The Woman (whom I refered to as "Future Eve" last week) telling them to head up to Bristol and find the Messiah. Despite their concerns, Pearl and Hal bow to Leo's wish to follow the message and they pop up to Annie and Tom. Tom and Hal share immediate animosity, even when they meet a shopkeeper who tries to kill them. Despite Annie's best attempts to "harness" Eve's messiahhood, Leo is still dying. It becomes apparent that Pearl loves Leo and the feeling is mutual, and both are able to pass on when they admit this to one another. Losing Leo and Pearl drives the usually controlled Hal into trying to kill Eve and later the shopkeeper. Tom stops him in time, and the three settle into an uneasy friendship. Meanwhile, Fergus asserts his authority over Cutter and discovers Hal's presence.
     Despite how well these characters are played, these characters and relationships are a little worn for my liking. Legendary Vampire who's fighting personal demons? Check. Animosity between Vampire and Werewolf? Check. The relationship between Leo and Pearl felt excruciatingly contrived - there was no real depth to it, just an attempt to get them out of the way as soon as possible. The fact that very little actually happened didn't make it any easier, and I really expected these characters to be phenomenal. They weren't.
Leo and Pearl love one another.
     I'm getting worried about Eve and this series' overall arc already. The episode didn't touch upon it all, aside from the Woman (who I deeply suspect is not Future Eve, but who knows?) appearing on a TV and on the radio. That was a far more fascinating part of the story, and I would love to have the Woman's character developed properly, and not just have her dip in now and then. But this is Being Human, and that's exactly what she's going to do. I just hope, really deep hope, that this will get better.
     Being Human 1955 tried to be a focussed character piece, but instead of developing the characters from the 1955 trio, it felt like a lazy way of reasserting the usual formula. It felt stagnant at times, and aside from a few decent monologues it didn't cover any ground that Being Human had ever fallen shy of. It wasn't messy or even boring, but it felt like one long retread of everything the show's already done. And that's not good form.


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