Sunday, 4 March 2012

Review: Being Human 4.5: Hold The Front Page

Annie and Hal discover a murder.
Becoming Human notwithstanding, child-star Craig Roberts' most recent contribution to the Being Human world was last series' "Adam's Family". I still see that as the worst thing in the series' history, and I stand by that. Luckily, without BDSM vampire orgies, Hold The Front Page was a perfect extrapolation of the character we saw in the aforementioned spin-off, and had both powerful character work and a fun new contribution to the mythos. It was a shame that this turned into a Merlin-esque, "brainwashed characters" storyline, but it was different and still provided some great entertainment.
     Adam, after the events of the spinoff, is seen to meet the headmistress of a posh public school, the middle-aged Yvonne (Selina Griffiths). The two then arrive in the present day, hounded by the press over their apparent toy-boy-style relationship. Despite her long-standing relationship with Adam, the visit to Hollywood Heights is an attempt by him to introduce her to the supernatural world, something which she rejects. Vampire-obsessed reporter Pete (Sacha Dhawan) catches some shots of Adam outside and matches them up with the tapes of Tom from last week, bringing them to Cutler - the man who released him. As part of his anti-werewolf pro-vampire PR campaign, he admits freely that vampires exist, but insists that Werewolves are the real threat.
     Soon, it becomes noticable that every man who comes in physical contact with Yvonne falls in love with her, the suspicions culminating in a dream-within-a-dream of Hal's in which he kills Tom and then baby Eve under her orders. This was a bit of a time-waster, but it was quite tense and because of Being Human's unpredicatability we really didn't know whether this was the intention all along. Pete meets Cutler in his hotel room, and reveals his hatred for Vampires - trapping Cutler in the room with a cross on the wall. When Hal and Annie investigate, they find that Cutler has mauled Pete and used him as a shielf. After all the boys have locked themselves in, Annie forces Yvonne to admit to herself that she is a Succubus, a fifth type of Supernatural. Adam leaves the house in order to decide for himself whether or not he loves Yvonne or is simply brainwashed, but he finally admits to her that he loves her. They move away to an Island, and Cutler spreads his werewolf video on the internet.
Craig Roberts and Selina Griffiths.
Adam (Craig Roberts) and Yvonne (Selina Griffiths) are
in love. Or so they think.
     Most of the humour came from the characters' interactions. Selina Griffiths' continually stuck-up and aristocratic personality is a perfect comedy archetype, but there were some issues. I got the feeling that we were supposed to get some humour out of seeing Tom and Hal's fetishes as expressed by the relatively conservative Griffiths, but like in Adam's Family I really wasn't feeling it. Instead, her more emotional moments showed how both she and Craig Roberts were perfect for their roles, and this episode, with its themes about the manipulation of emotions and the ability to distinguish what is genuine in your own mind, was incredibly emotionally charged.
      The Cutler storyline is looking more and more interesting, despite how little time it's had to shine amongst the rest of these subplots. Andrew Gower's portrayl is a little unnervingly stilted at times, but that adds to his rise as a villain. His subtle manipulation of PR is actually quite innovative and I love that even on three wheels Being Human can still bring up this kind of clever subversion.
     Hold The Front Page was a masterpiece of character moments and drama. A few of the laughs went awry, but this is the first time that I have felt total confidence in our main trio and the dynamic between the characters was a joy to behold. It's certainly not perfect and we've still got a long way to go, but Being Human Mark Two is at an all time high and I'm really loving it.


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