Being Human Gets a Bit More Monstrous

Posted on January 12, 2010

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Being Human ended on a high last year. It was probably the BBC’s biggest hit for the year, telling the story of a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire, living together in a rented house. (Sounds like 2nd Year of college to me…)

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There’s always this fear attached to second series of shows. The wow factor has gone so now it needs something else. Where Being Human succeeds is that along with the wow factor in series 1, it already had what it needed to assure longevity.

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The main fear I had for this second series was the presence of a villainous character. Series 1 had a magnificent villain in Herrick (the brilliant Jason Watkins) with ridiculous facial similarities to Ricky Gervais and a lovely edginess that made him superb.

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We caught a glimpse of the presumed Series 2 villain at the end of series 1 and he’s creepy – that’s probably the first thing to mention. He’s much creepier than Herrick, who in retrospect almost looks like a panto villain in comparison to Kemp (Donald Sumpter)

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The first episode of the new series is solid – setting the premise up again nicely both for new viewers and returning ones. The series pretty much picks up where it left off, a couple of weeks later in fact. The first thing we notice is George (Russell Tovey). He has been getting a hard time from the vampires since Herrick’s death, and is clearly a much darker, more intense character than he was in Series 1.

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George’s girlfriend Nina (Sinead Keenan) has moved in but it’s no bed of roses – more like War of the Roses in fact. Then again, it must be a killer in a relationship, trying to figure out how to tell your boyfriend he may have turned you into a werewolf.

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Series 2 sees the introduction of two new characters Ivan (Paul Rhys) and Daisy (Amy Manson), whose presence seems unclear yet except for to torment George. There’s not much else to say about these characters yet, suffice to say that Daisy will obviously play a big role in how George deals with his moral dilemmas. Ivan so far is unremarkable, which in itself sets alarm bells ringing. His lack of activity now only suggests that he’s going to do something crazy in the future.

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Mitchell (Aidan Turner) meanwhile is a bit down. Perhaps worried that the vampire uprising is still on course, or as Nina accuses, perhaps he’s feeling guilty for his role in furthering George and Nina’s relationship, which subsequently leads to Nina’s predicament. His interactions with Lucy at the hospital show his reaching out to try accepting humanity again after his loss of faith in Series 1. It is ultimately though, just a sense of what he wants, something he can’t have.

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Annie ventures into the world of work and particularly bar-tending. Overly enthusiastic, it’s the kind of TV that would normally make me cringe were it not for Lenora Crichlow’s infectious giddiness. Her befriending of the stranger in the pub can only end badly though.

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All in all, a solid first episode for the new series – picking up nicely from where it left off and setting up some nice plotlines for the rest of this series. It’s certainly darker – werewolf experiments and bible quoting Kemp will definitely make the spine shiver.

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But amid the darkness and foreboding tone of the first episode, writer Toby Whithouse makes room for an utterly charming scene in the street outside the house where our three protagonists bring tea to the neighbours to the soundtrack of The Accidental’s Time and Space. And though it may be just a sense of what he wants, Mitchell’s uttering of “Finally” shows a man suddenly very content with his existence.

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We’ve got seven more episodes to see if it lasts.

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