Sunday, January 23, 2011

TV: Being Human (Series 3, Episode 1)

bh3 
four star
Being Human returned to our screens last night after much hype  - and for the first time, in HD too!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Series 1, in my view had been really, really good – in spite of the weird premise of a ghost, vampire and a werewolf living together in a bedsit in Bristol. The show was buried away on BBC3 (after an early pilot) without any hype at all – and I loved every episode. Word got around, and a second series was commissioned and its fan-base grew.

When series 2 came out, I was eagerly looking forward to it – only to be seriously disappointed by the overly complex story-lines and too many characters and sub-plots.

So, what to make of last night’s opener? It was in my view, excellent. in spite of vampire and werewolves being part of the obligatory offering on TV and in cinemas from across the pond these days, this quaint UK original held its own brilliantly well. In fact, it was almost like a completely different production crew had taken over from previous series.

BH had always had humour, sadness, horror and action in equal measure - and the new series was no exception – it’s just that it was all delivered with more ‘oomph’. The plot was a lot simpler – just the one - and a sub-plot involving a couple of new werewolves (a great performance by Robson Green), showed there’s plenty more to come from that storyline, by the looks of it. 

It struck the perfect balance between keeping existing fans engrossed whilst doing the same, I think, for new ones.

Disappointments? A few. I’m not sure Stacey, sorry, Lacey Turner (ex-Eastenders) was a good decision from a casting point of view. As the temptress, Lia, she’s so associated with her EastEnders character, Stacey, that it was hard for me to see beyond that – good acting, but looking and sounding just the same as she always did in the soap – just in a prettier dress! OK, just one more moan – the hype leading up to series 3 had mostly been around Annie, being trapped in Purgatory and how she was going to get out. Without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it yet, I thought the resolution was a bit tame.

Onwards and upwards then – episode 2 is next Sunday at 9pm and the the excerpts look great!