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Watching the second half of Being Human series 1, I have to admit, I steeled myself for disappointment. There are too many shows out there that started well and went nowhere. It seemed hard to believe that the show could finish the first series as strongly as it started.

You know what? It got even better.

I think what I liked most was the way the last three episodes managed to use the buildup of the first three, but then take things in slightly unexpected directions that were still true to the original characters. A few comments on the individual episodes may help me explain this. (Obviously, they contain spoilers for the episodes.)


This episode made me really appreciate something interesting about this show: there’s a lot going on in every episode. The main plot here, where Mitchell befriends a lonely boy and ends up getting the whole household ostracized as pedophiles, was a very thinly veiled metaphor for rampaging townfolk out to terrorize the perceived monsters. Actually, it wasn’t veiled at all, since they show (I think) the mob the from Frankenstein movie on the TV. The idea behind all this – that humanity can be just as bad, if not worse, than the supernatural monsters – is very interesting, but as a plot it seemed a little overdone. It also made me wonder if Mitchell was really that dumb about people, which at least turns out to be a consistent character point given what happens in the next episode.

However, the other storylines in this episode really made up for my issues with the main plot. In particular, I really, really liked how the relationship between George and Nina played out. Originally, I had gotten Nina and Annie’s names (but not characters) mixed up (in my head they sound a bit alike, two syllables with N sounds), but after this episode: no way. I really like Sinead Keenan as Nina, and her character is really well written here, somehow avoiding the pitfalls of being too sympathetic or too unsympathetic, able to be strong about her choices, but also realistic when it seems like there’s no way to make it work. Her line to George on the doorstep, that if he keeps going he’ll have pushed everyone away, but she would have listened, is fantastic.


Every now and then, I see or read something, get to the end, and find myself just sitting there thinking about how good it was. This episode definitely fell into that category. All three of the main characters got such great definitive moments that showed how far they’ve come – even if it took a little help from the others, for them to realize it.

I was a bit frustrated with Annie until this episode, but her story here was well done. There was a certain irony to her having to try to warn Owen’s new girlfriend, even though she really despised her. Coming through for Mitchell, even at her lowest moment, with a little help from George? I started liking her character. Staring at the her own personal doorway to the afterlife, torn between staying with her friends and moving on? Even better.

At first I thought Mitchell was rejoining Herrick and the Evil Overly Dramatic vampires as some sort of undercover plan to find out what their big plan was, but after this episode, I have to think that he really was naïve enough to believe Herrick and was in over his head. His former girlfriend Josie was wonderful, though, and had some great lines, especially the one where she was hoping George had a useful power. “I though perhaps you were a wizard or something.”

Speaking of George: he was wonderful in the scene where he persuaded Annie to go help Mitchell, leading directly to perhaps the funniest thing I have seen in a long time: where George and Annie mount the most pathetic rescue attempt ever. Gay ninjas, indeed.

The ending cliffhanger was so well done. I was in complete suspense about whether Mitchell would survive and if Annie would choose to cross over. Since there was one more episode, I was pretty sure I knew, but with British TV, you never really know, right?

Overall, I think this episode just had it all. It used the buildup to take the characters new places, then used those events to build up for something even more to come. The comedy was really funny, the drama was really, er, dramatic, and the big emotional notes felt earned. Bravo, show.


Great finale to a great season!

I loved that all the characters finished the season in completely different places from where they’d started. It’s hard to imagine that they each came so far in just six episodes.

Annie rescuing the vampires’ captive blood donors was a really strong moment – meant to emphasize, I think her growth from abuse victim to rescuer of the abused.

Just when I thought they wouldn’t be able to top George’s big moment from last week, George’s secret plan was revealed. The final confrontation didn’t play out exactly as expected (I’m still confused why Herrick decided he had to die even after George flat out told him that killing Herrick would only make George more human), but I liked that it hit the same emotional beats that had been built all season, while not being completely predictable. At least to me.

The other thing that stood out was the way two guest characters, Mitchell’s mortal ex (Josie?) and the sarcastic hospital chaplain who spoke with George, helped nudge the main characters along toward their big moments. I think they were also a much needed reminder of the humanity that Mitchell and George were looking for inside themselves – and a strong counterpoint to Owen, who got darker and darker.

Overall, I liked the writing, acting, and development throughout the series. I think it really lived up to its premise, which can’t be said of very many shows, as an exploration of what it means to be human, even if supernaturally so.

Date: 2012-02-21 08:11 pm (UTC)
ext_2351: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lunabee34.livejournal.com
Must. Resist. Spoilers. :)

Date: 2012-02-22 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceloty.livejournal.com
Be strong! It's definitely worth staying unspoiled.

In my haze of enjoyment, I forgot to mention that the series 1 has some nudity, explicit sex and violence. Not really too gratuitous, and some might consider it a bonus, but forewarned is forearmed.

Date: 2012-02-22 04:04 pm (UTC)
ext_2351: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lunabee34.livejournal.com
Oh boy, all my favorite things. Ahahaahhahahaa.

Date: 2012-02-27 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceloty.livejournal.com
See, you'll love it!

Date: 2012-02-25 08:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belantana.livejournal.com
It also made me wonder if Mitchell was really that dumb about people - Yes, yes he really is. Made me raise my eyebrows a few times too. He has to be the world's most naive hundred-year-old murderer.

You make some great points about Annie. She's one of my favourite characters of all time I think, even though I don't always like her. I love how even after her moments of great strength and conviction, she doesn't magically turn into a stereotypical Strong Character - she's still at times insecure, annoying, pathetic, frustrating and controlling, and she's still the same person who fell for Owen and convinced herself it was all okay.

Date: 2012-02-27 05:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceloty.livejournal.com
He has to be the world's most naive hundred-year-old murderer.

Haha! And also, as dumb as a box of rocks!

I don't know if it's Aidan Turner or if the show's portrayal of vampires is a little much on the campy side, but I have a bit of hard time buying Mitchell as the century old reformed badass. He just seems to be missing that little something, the un-look-away-able quality that would make me believe Herrick wanted him back so badly. Maybe I'll see more of that in S2.

I'm impressed with how the writers and actor handled Annie's character. Like you said, she has all these flaws, but also these great moments of strength. Well, all of the characters are that way, but unlike George and Mitchell, she doesn't really show her strength until late in the series. I've been thinking about how the show managed to keep her tolerable in the first half of S2, and all I can come up with is we're inclined to like her because she (mostly subtextually) shows care and concern for Mitchell and George, and because the history with Owen is revealed in such a way that makes us root for her to get justice for what happened. I'll be very interested to see how Annie develops in S2 when the focus is a little different and Owen is (presumably) no longer in the picture.

Date: 2012-03-05 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belantana.livejournal.com
I have a bit of hard time buying Mitchell as the century old reformed badass - ohhh, yes yes yes. This is a problem I've had with all vampires in everything, pretty much. I love what Being Human does with the new vampires - how they get all excited and overdramatic and freak out a lot - but I'm still unable to look at any of the 'old' vampires and see them as anything other than the actor's age. I'd like if there was some sort of explanation, maybe because they're dead they can't actually learn new things which is also why it's so hard to break out of the cycle of addiction? The closest they got I think was Herrick, who was so obviously playing a part that the little glimpses of his evil side really were ageless & not-human evil. Then again, maybe that was just because the actor was a bit older.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Annie now you're in series 2!

Date: 2012-03-08 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceloty.livejournal.com
Thoughts on series 2 coming soonish? I'm about 1.5 episodes in.

Now that you mention it, I agree that the Being Human vampires generally seem very young, even the ones who were supposedly around for a while. It occurred to me that Mitchell's old friends from 2x01 were almost adolescent in their world views.

The maturity does seem to correlate with the actors's ages. I hate to say it, but maybe that's performer dependent? In thinking of vampires on other shows, I did buy a lot of the Buffy and Angel vampires as truly old, but they also had some much more impressive period flashbacks and storylines. Well, the show probably had a lot more money to do that kind of stuff.

While the addiction metaphor works (for me) for Mitchell and the girl he turned, I don't know if I it's that strong it for the rest of the Being Human vampires, because (unlike Mitchell) their lives don't seem messed up. Hmm.

I didn't talk enough about Herrick in series 1. The actor was fantastic, and I really liked the show's approach to his character. Megalomaniac and evil, but in a kind of banal, policeman next door kind of way.


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