Being Human series 4 episode 3 review: The Graveyard Shift
Mark is really starting to enjoy the new series of Being Human, and he hopes you are too…
This review contains spoilers.
4.3 The Graveyard Shift
So this is the last time I’ll say this, I promise. If you aren’t watching Being Human: The Reboot, I urge you to reconsider. Sure, we’re all pining for Mitchell and George but the sooner we all accept that they’ve moved on to pastures new, the better.
The same could be said of Annie, whose devotion to her former housemates shone through in a wonderful exchange with Hal. It would have been silly for Anne to entirely forget about her friends, no matter how quickly the reboot wants to move forward. However, by acknowledging how much she misses her former life, and yet wants to move on with her new one with Tom and Hal, the show has wisely, and successfully, managed to tread that fine line.
This third episode is best viewed as the one in which the fourth series made clear its intentions. This series of Being Human, it seems, isn’t afraid to bring out the big laughs and bring back the character interplay that made us all fall in love with the premise in the first place. By dispensing of the, albeit excellent, periphery characters last week, we’re back to how things really ought to be. A ghost, a vampire and a werewolf, living together in a flat, just trying to get on with their lives.
This meant Hal having to get a job. Inconveniently for him said job was with Tom in the café. Conveniently for the show, here was the chance for the boys to bond, and bond they did. Tom threw away his stake and Hal decided not to let his vampire chums chop up their ‘doggie’ for dinner. Hurrahs all round, then.
Away from the bonding plotline, Annie was tasked with being literally the stupidest ghost on the block. Here’s a thought. You’re handed charge of a baby, whose importance in the grand scheme of things is deemed so important, she’s been gifted the unfortunate title of ‘War Child’. Time to keep her under wraps and safe inside then, no? Annie decides, instead, that it’s time to hang out at the park. Sure, this gave us a chance to see her newfound cloaking ability, but, really, Annie’s naivety at times is breathtakingly annoying.
Something picked up by Regus, in fact. Mark Williams’ turn was far more convincing than his rather ill-pitched appearance in the first episode, and his chance to fill Annie, and us, in on more of the backstory surrounding the war child was well handled, as was the revelation of Annie’s brand spanking new powers. I’m guessing that more will be revealed throughout the series, but it does appear that, finally, we might get to see Annie go all crazy poltergeist on us at some point. In fact, may I make a prediction? Annie will save someone’s life/kill some vampires towards the series’ end, much to the great surprise of her buddies.
The episode did introduce one new character, but it all fell rather flat. Laura Patch is a fine comic actress, perhaps best known for her turns in Star Stories, but her portrayal of a gothic-obsessed writer was played for some far too obvious, broad gags. She gave Regus a new purpose, and did raise some genuine chuckles from me, but I’m not sure the role really worked, beyond delivering some cheap gags.
The gags did come thick and fast in this episode, generally, which is always welcome. All three main leads have excellent comic timing, with Michael Socha looking his most comfortable yet. The scene in the café in which he and Hal tried to seduce Michaela was a thing of simple beauty, and in many ways defined for me what made this episode work as well as it did. Stripped down, devoid of any histrionics or huge set pieces, in brought back some of that ordinary, simply-pitched acting that I missed towards the end of the last series. I’m not knocking what’s gone before (I adored much of series three) but I really do like this new (or should that be old?) direction.
Weakest point of the episode? The rather obvious about-turn of Hal in the flat to begin the beatdown at Honolulu Heights (and we all spotted Annie’s knife-throwing trick, right?). I can forgive that, though, as this categorically achieved what I dare say Toby Whithouse wanted his show to all along. It entertained the heck out of me, and I really can’t ask for more than that.
And if you didn’t raise a smile when our new threesome huddled around the TV at the show’s denouement, then perhaps you’re trying too hard not to like Being Human MKII.