This review contains spoilers.
4.6 Puppy Love
Jason Statham comes in for a fair amount of praise on this site, and rightly so. It was with a huge grin, then, that I welcomed a Statham-inspired thug to the Being Human universe. Said vampire thug was obsessed with action movies and with his Stath-like physique and genuinely laugh-out-loud put downs and pre-kill lines, he was a comedic gem.
In any other episode, his brand of comedy might have sat awkwardly but it fit in perfectly here, given that the order of the week was big laughs all round. It’s been noted several times how this series has increasingly leaned towards comedy in lieu of the dark stuff, but this week’s was an out-an-out gag fest.
I loved it. I absolutely loved it.
My previously stated worries for Annie’s plotline were unfounded as she was handed a lovely little side story surrounding her accidental offing of a decidedly grumpy neighbour. Perhaps this was all just an excuse for the revelation that not all unfinished business has to be a good thing, but it was well played by all concerned. Lenora Critchlow has somehow managed to find another dimension to a character we all feel we know inside-out, and that’s a real achievement. She has handled the lighter moments well, as well as the impending sense of drama that permanently hangs over her. I’ve enjoyed watching her in this series more than any other.
Tom and Hal are now firmly established characters in their own right, and Puppy Love saw the culmination of a relationship that has turned from rocky at best to bosom buddies. It’s been a believable journey, some of the credit for which has to be handed to the actors. The opening scenes in the café were a perfect example of how these two have slowly but surely managed to find a way into fans’ hearts, without sullying the memory of what’s gone before.
Perhaps the humour has something to do with that, but that humour can only shine through if the plotlines allow. In returning to its roots about the daily human dramas in our supernatural trios lives, the series has steadily led us to root for each one of them. I love the new direction and I hope Whithouse is satisfied with his work. He should be.
Tom’s evolution perhaps best represents the show’s new focus. As the series began, he was a rather dark, seemingly uncomplicated character out for nothing other than revenge and a roof over his head. Now, we know he’s a sensitive pup, and one looking for a bit of direction in his life. The introduction of fellow werewolf Allison was always going to turn his world upside down and bringing her in as a one-shot character brought out the best in Socha’s portrayal of the hairy fella.
I adored Allison. She was beautifully played by Ellie Hendrick, presenting a loveable geek and the romance was believable. I found myself rooting for them, and feeling a little sad when she said goodbye. Perhaps she’ll be back next series, but if not we’ll always have that glorious Puppy Love montage.
Hal had a romance of his own to deal with, although Alex felt slightly underwritten. With temptation placed in front of him, Hal did his best to stick to his ever-more inventive routines (I’m not bored of them, yet) which led to some of the flat-out funniest moments of all – Hal on relationships: “It’s all so brutish these days.” Hal on social networking: “We’re more Ceefax, here.” Throw is some singing and you have the makings of a comedy god. It looks like dark Hal could be making a reappearance next week, but I enjoyed the boyish charms of the lighter version this week.
The funniest line of the week actually fell to Cutler “Look, you can’t exactly go to Ofcom” and his dalliances with Golda were gripping. Talk of the old ones raised its head again and Cutler’s allegiances became rather muddy. Does he just want to run the show, or does he genuinely have a soft spot for Tom?
With next week’s teaser suggesting a blacker tone, I relished the performances and the plot of this altogether lighter Being Human. If the last couple of weeks have seen the new guys become comfortable in their roles, this cemented the deal. And any show that gleefully references the Stath and Blue Peter deserves high praise indeed.
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