TV Review: Keeping Up with the Monsters


When writer/creator Toby Whithouse promised that Series 2 of Being Human would be dark, I thought he was just talking about content. Apparently, he was also talking about the lighting. I just watched Episode 2 and couldn’t see a thing. There were times I had to guess who was speaking because the whole show is so bloody dim. I know it’s about the lives and loves of all the things that go bump in the night, but does it always have to be night? Even in the day? I was thrilled to find the image above, because, frankly, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the actors properly.

My quickly deteriorating eyesight aside, the story is also dark as heck, with no levity in sight. I suppose that’s the tried-and-true model for such things. You always go dark in the sequel. Look at Empire, The Dark Night, Sex and the City 2. All hopelessly bleak. Is it a bad sign, though, if I’m reaching for the razor blades and Sylvia Plath and it’s only the second episode? Everyone else on the planet has already seen Series 2, but because I’m so very bad at piracy, I’m watching the BBC America broadcast. I would like to be better at downloading, but let’s face it: it’s a miracle I manage to post here successfully on a regular basis, let alone find and download British TV shows. So, if you’ve seen the whole series, please let me know if things get a bit cheerier as we go along, or at least at the end. Go ahead, spoil me.

However, if you’re like me (and why not?), and you’re watching along on BBC America, here’s a brief recap. George killed Herrick and unleashed a little more of his inner wolf (but still cries a lot). Nina‘s got the curse, but instead of being angry, she’s just really passive-aggressive about it. Frankly, I’d be thrilled for the opportunity to live with Russell Tovey, but the garden gnome wallpaper in his bedroom has got to go. Vampires, werewolves and ghosts I can deal with, but those gnomes are just creepy. Speaking of ghosts, Annie somehow lost her hard-earned badassery from the end of last season and is all goofiness and giggles and working at a local pub, which is always desserted, so they never have to pay any extras. The great beyond, however, is not too happy she’s living life to the fullest, so they’re sending cute guys to try to drag her into the great void. Oh, honey, we’ve all been there. Mitchell sees how horrific his flatmates’ love lives are, so he decides to try one for himself, making clumsy advances towards Cleopatra. Well, I call her Cleopatra, because the character is played by the actress who played Cleo in Rome. Meanwhile, the vamp world is in chaos, with no leader, and their human allies deserting them, while some religious wacko named Kemp is spying on our monstrous trio and euthanizing werewolves. Only, “euthanizing” sounds so peaceful. He’s blowing them up.

Oo! I forgot to mention the best part! There’s a new vampire duo in town, Ivan and Daisy, who are fabulous and provide what little comic relief there is to be had. I’m especially keen on Ivan after the second episode, because he delivers this awesome speech to counteract Mitchell’s whining. Check it out:

“What, are you imagining some kind of peaceful co-existence? It’d be chaos! Worldwide panic. Good news for religion, mind, especially Christianity. There’d be standing room only in the churches all of a sudden. And as soon as they knew about vampires, they’d know about werewolves. They’d know about ghosts. They’d be next. And when humanity had finally finished with us, it would turn on itself. First, the other religions, massively in the minority now, then the homosexuals, the disabled. Do you want to know what the future looks like? Enforced worship in churches a mile high and every country surrounded by a coral reef of bones. But fuck it, maybe it should happen. There’s nothing on TV at the moment.”
-Ivan, Being Human

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, whenever Christians get all orgasmic about the Rapture, I say bring it. My morning commute would be a lot easier if all the Christians were spirited off to Candyland.

So, to sum up. Series 2? Dark. Ivan? Awesome. Russell Tovey’s butt? Inviting. 

Being Human airs on BBC America in the US, Saturdays at 9/8c.

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