This review contains spoilers.
3.3 Type 4
Last year, the eight-episode second season of Being Human suffered from one or two lacklustre, throwaway outings that offered nothing of significance to the wider series universe. It would have benefited from being a six-parter, in my eyes, weeding out the duff and concentrating on the core, fruitful plotlines.
On the evidence of tonight’s effort, this third season is in danger of repeating the same mistake.
Last time round, it was the fake psychic storyline that was offered up as a naff attempt to give Annie something to do. It was the weakest of that series by some distance, and seemed out of step with the rest of the show.
This year, the writers have decided on the appearance of an annoying, and frankly rather stupid, zombie, intended to let Annie appreciate what she’s got and encourage her to ‘live’ a little. Despite a few well-timed gags here and there, the storyline as a whole was eminently forgettable. Crucially, it served as a lengthy means to getting the Mitchell and Annie romance on the road, something which could have been handled far quicker and far better.
Problems with the zombie plotline are manifold. Does anyone really believe that Sasha was quite so thick as to not accept the fact that she was, indeed, dead? Can any viewer tell me, honestly, that they felt any emotional connection with her whatsoever? Unlikely, given that she was such an utterly pathetic, unlikeable character.
Sure, she was quite amusing, but given that the writers were asking us, and Annie, for that matter, to connect with her on an emotional level, she needed to have a much greater story than the one she had.
She’s spoiled by her boyfriend, and a bit of a party girl. These were the two things we gleaned about her. Beyond that, very little, other than she wished she had done more with her life.
Cue Annie throwing herself into Mitchell’s welcoming arms and furrowed brow.
Which leads me nicely onto the romance I touched upon in last week’s review. I stated then that I was very nervous about where this was going, and I remain so. Problem is, I don’t want to see Mitchell chatting with George about how best to go about the whole love thing. Equally, I have little interest in watching Lenora Critchlow play the ditzy, kooky one. If I wanted to watch such things, I’d tune into endless repeats of Friends on E4.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that the writers have given up on Annie’s character, relegating her to playing Mitchell’s squeeze. As I stated last week, I have little doubt that she’ll be handed a cracking episode later in the series. Until then, we’re stuck with this substandard plotting.
In truth, I could have handled Annie’s kooky shtick a little easier if George and Mitchell had been given juicy plots themselves, but alas, that’s not the case. Instead, George finds out he’s going to be a dad to a little furry monster, and Mitchell finds himself the victim of a stalker.
George and Nina first. Why, oh why did Nina have to be given what feels like an afterthought of a backstory? No suggestion of it until now, but we learned that she used to be beaten up by her mom and that this was the real reason she was scared to have a baby of her own, rather than the things that would freak all of us out. (Will he have big pointy ears and be the hairiest baby in the ward?)
I don’t really mind the fact that George and Nina’s romance is developing, although I wonder if a pregnancy was really the way forward for what was a very rushed, rather unbelievable relationship in the first place. It does mean that anyone bored of Russell Tovey’s squealing was going to be disappointed, however, for he did it in spades, here. Whether trying to go to the toilet, deal with the zombie putrefaction, or handle the thought of having a baby of his own, he squealed like never before. Me, I don’t mind it too much, but it does seem that he has little else to do these days beyond playing the fool.
Then, to Mitchell. Having a stalker had the potential to be an interesting diversion to what else was happening around him, but bringing that to a swift, neat resolution in the space of an hour felt like a cheat to me. Far more interesting to see some copycat train killings occurring, surely, rather than stopping the chap before he had a chance. And I presume that there will be no more copycats around?
As with other self-contained episodes last series, by failing to move things along and by concentrating on the mundane side of the daily lives of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost, rather than throwing in the odd darker side of things too, we were handed a dull, occasionally funny, but ultimately disappointing episode.
In a word, pointless. Hopefully, the show will be back on form next week.
Read our review of episode 2, Adam’s Family, here.
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