Monday, 4 February 2013

"This is a two-sets-of-marigolds problem."

If it's February it must be time for new Being Human, although only for the next six weeks this time. Did the show have its budget cut, and decide to cut back to six episodes again instead of stinting on quality for eight? I've always done Being Human blog posts in bullet points, don't ask me why.

"The Trinity" by Toby Whithouse, directed by Philip John. Spoilers under the cut.

- A strong start to the series, although I did find that the comedy sometimes went more sitcom than it has in the past: Crumb's boss with the mixed metaphors was a bit much, and the hotel manageress blurting out "hot!" and trying to cover her tracks was pure Miranda. But I'd rather this than the show erring too far on the depressing side like Series 3 did. And it's not like there wasn't major darkness elsewhere in the episode.
- Which I found nicely handled, and I'm glad Toby Whithouse didn't try to drag out the reveal to the audience that Phil Davis' Captain Hatch was Yer Actual Devil. Davis' performance is so repellent, I like the idea that after so many bad guys with innocent-looking façades, the biggest of all is hiding in plain sight.
- I'm still not completely sold on Kate Bracken as Alex, she does "feisty" well but I'd like to see how she handles more different sides of the character. And I find she mumbles, I feel like I'm missing half the gags. "I'm sure growing up in the paramilitary wing of ??????????? has many advantages." Still, her leftover resentment about Hal's part in her death was neatly dealt with in this episode so the rest of the series can move on creating the new group dynamic.
- I loved that we started by finding out Hal was back to normal by him freaking out over the state of the housework. It's this OCD element that's such a major part of Hal that's on the one hand a logical turn twist to the vampire myth, and on the other a new one, and which makes me like Hal as a lead vampire so much more than Mitchell. And not just the fact that I fancy Damien Molony.
- Seriously though, how has he somehow contrived to be even better-looking this year?
- Toby Whithouse gets a cameo as the Home Secretary, as well as, through Alex, going "no, really though, we killed a baby in last year's series finale. That's actually what we did."
- Another callback to last series with "Trust me, you don't want to see a world where I'm leading the vampires" - we saw Hal as a Hitler-like despot in an alternate future.
- I'm not sure how much of a departure Rook's secret organization will end up being from Jaggat and Kemp's in Series 2, but at least so far their purpose seems very different.
- Cram/Crumb's story of the victim becoming the supervillain is pure comic-book origin story, but again it's a new dynamic to have in this series where all the previous Big Bads have had a backstory going back decades at least. As well as us having seen Crumb's creation, he's also tied in with Hal in a more interesting way than, say, how he sired Cutler. I thought Colin Hoult was very good at giving two wildly different portrayals of the same character.
- Obviously there's actually two trinities in the episode, the new one that's going to be our cast for this series, and we now find out that Pearl and Leo weren't even the first werewolf and ghost Hal has teamed up with in the past; like his good/bad cycles, it's a recurring theme he keeps coming back to whether he wants to or not.
- This is rumoured to be the final series, but then almost every series has been rumoured to be the last. However, the failed spell in 1918 suggests to me a way this could be designed as the end of Being Human: In the first trinity, Emil and Lady Catherine were destroyed by the spell but Hal didn't give his own blood so survived, at the expense of weakening the spell's impact. I wouldn't be surprised if where this was headed was the new trinity getting rid of Hatch for good by doing it all again, but all sacrificing themselves this time.
- Next week The Men With Sticks And Rope actually show up. Can the show reconcile how varied a threat level they've represented over the years?

Favourite lines:
- We find out the vampire version of a "your mum" joke courtesy of Hetty the Old One stuck in the body of a child: "Your mum's so fat her blood type's Ragu."
- "I knew Radley, ginger fellow. How was he?" "Yeah, good. Until we killed him, obviously."
- Tom after a job interview: "I'm sorry again, about the crying."
- "Ian, I have no intention of bumming you."
- "Most parents are worried about messing their kids up. I'm worried about eating mine."
- "I'm still very traumatised. And all that jazz."

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