Sunday, 1 April 2012

Humanity Passing By

Pause asked me today what I thought about the season finale of Being Human. As I've mentioned before, the lack of a post on something I've regularly posted on before is usually a comment in and of itself - I didn't either love or hate the episode enough to be inspired to write about it. 

Still, if anyone wants a more specific judgement, here it is: Season 4 came up with the most obvious storyline possible, and saw it through to its conclusion in the most obvious way possible.  The resulting experience was in no way unpleasant, but it wasn't really very arresting, either.  Reasonable people can disagree on the debate over whether season arcs really work or not (and they do, at great length), but an abundance of stand-alone episodes is one thing, and an abundance of filler something else. 

The off-screen shake-ups can't have helped, admittedly, but that's a reason to understand why things went wrong, not to pretend that everything is fine.  Had Season proved the final hurrah for the series (which was a distinct possibility), I suspect it would have been viewed as a distinctly sub-par coda.  Now that we know there will indeed be a Season 5, this year feels like an incredibly drawn-out explanation for the new status quo, which is so similar to how the show began in its first season, the whole enterprise seems distinctly unnecessary.  I remember a friend of mind once complaining about how cheated he felt when he first watched Episode 1 of Red Dwarf III, as a unreadably fast block of scrolling text explained all the things that had happened off-screen.  This is the exact opposite - eight episodes devoted to setting up changes that could be explained in three paragraphs and some clever exposition come Season 5.

Oh, and two more spoiler-filled points:
  1. If you're going to have one of your heroes deliberately kill a baby, you need to set up the necessity of the act an awful lot fucking better than "The War Child" managed.  The argument that Eve needed to die to prevent humanity sitting on their arses was always, well, arse, but the implicit alternative idea that Eve had to die in order to kill all the Old Ones was an awful lot better.  Of course, since Annie could just walk out, hand Eve over to Tom, and Rentaghost back in and detonate the bomb, there's no way to get around the glaringly obvious truth that Whithouse killed off Eve out of convenience, which doesn't exactly help as regards judging the series as a whole;
  2. This is something Pause pointed out: how are we supposed to take the Men in Grey seriously when their stated goal to keep vampires and werewolves secret for all time just brought humanity to within six inches of being dominated forever by supernatural overlords.  It's entirely possible this will be dealt with next year, but it's a damn fine point.

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