Monday, March 02, 2009

All good things come to an end....

Which sadly means that Being Human is over.... Well at least till series 2. I am not quite sure how in the absence of Primeval and Dr Who I am going to fill the fantasy world gap that will now develop in my Sunday evenings, but they'll probably be repeating it endlessly on BBC3, so that might just keep me going till then.



If you didn't see it, or as mentioned before, inexplicably don't like fantasy tv revolving round vampires, ghosts and werewolves, look away know.



There








Will








Be









Spoilers.....









After last week's fabulous edge of the seat ending, inevitably there was a bit of flat feeling to this - well for me anyway. Which isn't to say it wasn't very very good, but I think series finales always suffer from that how are we going to end it/damn it's all over kind of feeling, however good they are. So there was a little bit of that going on, and I have to say I felt just exactly the same way as I did when Life of Mars ended, a kind of Nooooooo I don't want it EVER to be over, I love it so much...

Having said that, it was still brilliant, and though it lacked the pace of last week's action packed adventure, the slow tension build and that brooding sense of waiting was fantastic. As usual the music choices were top notch - I don't even know what song they were playing when Mitchell was brought into the hospital was, but it worked fantastically well.

I loved the flashback at the beginning when we got to see how Mitchell and George met. The vampires' attack on George was brutal and vicious and made you wince - one of the great things about Being Human is even though it is a fantasy, so much of it seems so real. You end up thinking, yup if there were vampires and they came across a werewolf, that is EXACTLY what they'd do. As Spouse remarked the vampires know that ultimately the werewolf is stronger then them, which is why they pick on George in his (to them) weakened human state.

George as brilliantly played by Russell Tovey is I think the character at the heart of Being Human -which isn't to say I don't love Mitchell and Annie, because I do. But he, more then them, exemplifies the dilemma they all have of how to keep hold of their humanity - as he says to Annie when it looks like he's going to be leaving Mitchell to his fate, he's the only one of the three who still has a chance to make it in the human world. He can still have a human life, if he chooses, with Nina. The other two don't have that choice anymore.

Which isn't necessarily to say that they can't find love. Mitchell's reaction to the sacrifice his ex girlfriend makes for him was incredibly moving. I loved what she said last week, about Mitchell being frozen in time, and she's not. And the way she welcomes death and he can't die.

One of the things that also has worked incredibly well in Being Human is how much of the characters' pain you feel watching - seeing George's face when Nina asks him if he's choosing Mitchell over her, watching Annie fall apart as she realises the truth about Owen, listening to Mitchell describe the horror of going cold turkey and having to face up to all the the things he's done as a vampire... All of that feels, like I say, incredibly real, and truer then a lot of straight drama.

And I think the fact they undercut all the emotion with such wit and dark humour makes you appreciate the characters' suffering more somehow. Being Human is incredibly funny - this week we had George and Annie trying to work out how they could spirit Mitchell away from the hospital before anyone starts asking too many questions about the oddity of his condition and a hilarious turn from a sarcastic vicar, who gets the shock of his life when he encounters some vampires. I hope we get to meet him again in series 2, because he was great.

This episode was also full of some quite searching questions - what does happen to us when we die? (Doesn't sound to great from Annie's/Mitchell's descriptions) What is the point of belief? Should we all be a bit more "elastic" (as George brilliantly puts it) about what we see and think abou the world we live in? And as usual, subverting expectations, I had a sudden moment when George confronted Herrick when I thought, shit, maybe the vampires are right, perhaps nature should win out after all. (Then Annie did her poltergeisty saving the vampires' victims bit and I realised, no Herrick really is a bastard, so moral equilibrium was restored).

Although I did twig once George had gone to meet Herrick that he wasn't really ratting out on Mitchell, I was completely on the edge of my seat for the last twenty minutes. Was George going to be strong enough to kill Herrick? Would Mitchell and Annie save the day? What was going to happen to Nina? I felt so sure Nina was for the chop, and really didn't expect what did happen - her discovering George's secret and him accidentally scratching her when he tried to save her - as usual Toby Whitehouse is one step ahead...

I absolutely loved the debate about what Herrick was trying to do to George - ie make him kill him, so he would turn into a monster for real - only for George to turn round and explain that it is love of Mitchell, Annie and Nina which is keeping him human, and that after all humanity is stronger then the monsters... Herrick has been so sneeringly contemptuous of humanity and I did a little hurrah for that speech of George's which was touching and moving, and well damned heroic actually...

The only duff thing about this all is, the transformation sequence of the werewolf is brilliant, but the werewolf mask itself is just pants - I preferred it when we just saw the profile against the moon. Heaps more effective.

But that is a minor quibble. This was a really fantastic end to a brilliant series - I loved the way Nina looked through the spyhole into George's werewolf eye - and the true horror of what he is became clear to her.

I loved the ending with some seeming normalcy as they all sat around the table drinking tea, and then you cut to Nina in the bathroom uncovering her scars. OMG is Nina going to top herself? We don't know because the bastards have left that one open... but my money is on her dying, which I just don't think I can bear for George as he has suffered far too much already. (Y'see? Y'see who good Being Human is? I'm beginning to talk about George like he's real).

And then of course, just to make sure we don't go to bed with a totally easy mind, the final scene cuts to Owen gibbering away in the secure unit, while a clinically cold psychiatrist takes notes. Is he a vampire? Is he something else? We don't know, all we do know is that you can be sure that George, Mitchell and Annie, aren't going to be enjoying that cup of tea for very long...

Being Human has been just the best thing on TV I've seen for ages. It's reminded me of the way I felt when I watched the first series of NuWho and saw Life on Mars for the first time. There have been a few duff moments along the way, but barely any. It is funny, dark, sardonic, moving, scary - all the things Torchwood should have been and wasn't (I never cared once for a character dying in Torchwood, I have totally cared for each and every dead character in Being Human - and yes, that does include Herrick). And I for one, can't wait for series 2... (But until then will be watching the repeats of series 1 over and over and over again...)

5 comments:

Marie said...

Love love love it. Will be posting my own review just as soon as I've written it.

stu-n said...

"You shouldn't have gone after Mitchell. It got my attention."

Brilliant.

Jane Henry said...

Yes that was a fantastic line. I also liked the vicar hoping George WASN'T going to take up his offer of help...

Marie I'm waiting for that review..

Marie said...

Posted! x

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Great post (and you too Marie) - I am trying to get the time and mental energy to appreciate it on the iPlayer. Tomorrow night possibly... I know, time is running out, but repeats will come and boy has promised me the boxset anyway! Hurrah!