Views from the Stalls and Views from the Sofa - My reviews and thoughts on all things theatre and television. Follow me on Twitter @LikeTheMonth_

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Being Human - Series 4 Episode 6 - Puppy Love

What’s the Story?

Honolulu Heights has another new visitor this week in the form of young werewolf Allison (Ellie Kendrick) who has been trying to track Tom down after watching a certain viral Youtube video… With Tom instantly smitten their relationship blossoms while Hal’s attempts to ‘court’ Scottish holidaymaker Alex (Kate Bracken) go less smoothly. Meanwhile, alone at the B&B Annie’s actions prove fatal, literally, for one Barry resident.

What’s the Verdict?

If there is anyone left out there who doesn’t love Michael Socha’s adorable Tom McNair, if this episode did not convert you then surely nothing will. Frequently hilarious and often genuinely touching, ‘Puppy Love’ was another strong stand-alone episode of Being Human with Tom’s blossoming romance with Allison (that’s with two ‘L’s) providing a pairing I felt I could immediately root for. The opening montage immediately illustrated how different the two were, I particularly loved the shots of Tom sharpening his stake as Allison sharpened her pencil, both preparing their particular weapons of choice.

It could be argued that Allison was again written quite stereotypically, a Geek with a capital G much in the way that Michaela was a capital G Goth earlier in the series. However, I couldn’t help but warm to Debating Champion Allison, I suspect because those of us fond of sitting behind a computer writing about television shows are perhaps more predisposed to find Allison’s quirks charming. Socha has done a great job throughout the series of showing the vulnerabilities in Tom’s character and though he is strong and up for a fight, there is far more to him than simply ‘slaying’. Consequently, despite their differences, Tom and Allison’s relationship felt believable and sweet. Like their precursors George and Nina, Tom and Allison were two polar opposites who somehow seemed to make each other stronger. Of course, this is Being Human and so nothing could stay rosy for too long but I we could see more of Allison in the future. It says a lot for the guest stars this series that whenever one departs, it never particularly feels like the last you’re going to see of them.

Hal’s attempts at ‘courting’ Alex (Kate Bracken), did not go so smoothly however as he is still so terrified by his own desires and impulses. On one hand, you wonder if Hal does not give himself as much credit as he should, after all he has resisted temptation for so long now. However, despite Hal’s quests for order and organisation, the possibility of everything crashing down around him never feels far away, keeping the tension up nicely. We didn’t get to see as much of Alex, but from what we did see, I liked her. Regular readers will know I loved Nina’s straight talking and Alex could well provide some of that no nonsense attitude again, though she is of course also far more out of her depth than she realises.

Last week Annie admitted that since killing Kirby, she felt she wanted to kill again. Well, kill again she did, only probably not quite how she thought. Has the death of grumpy but ultimately harmless pensioner Emrys, quashed her urge to kill for good? Lenora Critchlow did a great job of showing Annie’s horror at her own actions and her guilt but also the humour of being stuck with an unexpected companion. Ultimately it was a nice enough B-story, with both laughs and drama, but I feel this storyline was there for one thing. To show Annie that unfinished business does not necessarily have to be good. Surely this foreshadows a difficult decision for Annie in the not-too-distant future.

In terms of the vampire threat this week, I have to admit I expected more to be set in motion by Cutler’s werewolf video. Vampires Golda and Kane were entertaining enough (especially Kane’s obsession with action movies), but by the end of the episode, Cutler’s storyline didn’t seem to have progressed much. Tom perhaps trusts him even more now, but then, he seemed to already.

Last series, many episodes featured a game-changing final ten minutes that meant I could not wait for the following Sunday. This hasn’t been particularly apparent this series. Until now that is. The Future Woman’s appearance at the door was surprising, intriguing and compelling. Revealing herself to be Eve and addressing Annie as Mum, it would be easy to forget the threat she poses. However two episodes ago she was willing to let Kirby kill ‘Mum’ Annie and by asking Annie to go with her, things seem to taking a more dramatic turn. Though I have been enjoying this generally lighter Series 4, I feel ready for the drama and am genuinely excited for what the final two episodes will bring.

Best Scene
In a moment reminiscent of last years ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ montage, the use of ‘Puppy Love’ was another genius scene, where the writing, performances and music all came together perfectly. Yes, the song choice is obvious, cheesy and slightly cringe worthy, but those are all of the things that made it so brilliant, with Being Human playfully making a joke at its own expense and managing to be both hilarious and yet really quite sweet all at the same time. The soundtrack has always been a huge part of the show and I am certain that this will be one of the most memorable scenes of the series to look back on. Being Human arguably does montages like this better than any other drama on television, all the while staying true to the characters and the tone of the show.

Best Lines
Hal - ‘Hairy Balls LOL’

Allison - ‘Don’t tell me you’re still on Myspace.’
Hal - ‘We’re more Ceefax people’.

Tom - ‘School Debating Champion’
Allison - ‘And I had to argue pro fossil fuels’.

Cutler - ‘Well you can’t exactly go to Ofcom’

Alex- ‘I’ll have a shot of whatever you’re on too’.
Hal - ‘No drugs. No Kia-Ora. Just good old fashioned hard work and routine’.

Alex- ‘Ah you’re religious. Hence your weird blend of happiness and sexual repression’.

Hal - ‘You must declare your intentions. First, write her a poem. Then speak to her father’
Tom - ‘Annie said I should just get drunk and try and snog her’.
Hal - ‘It’s all so brutish these days. I preferred the dowry system’.

Emrys - ‘Annie? Annie? Is this how it’s supposed to be? *Annie opens door* ‘Why are you putting me in a cupboard?’

Tom - ‘Hal, I found these matches and some of them are the wrong way round!’
Hal - ‘We’ll soon see about that!’.

Golda - ‘No they will not be happy in a Travelodge! What part of four stars or more don’t you understand?’

Alex - ‘When they say housemates, they do have separate bedrooms don’t they?’

Allison - ‘Everybody loves Bruce Willis but he’s got a script, you’re just making it up!’

Kane - ‘Something about heartburn…heartbreak….no that doesn’t work does it? Shit.’

Allison - ‘Imagine I’m a vampire, and you’re a stake’

Emrys - *to Annie* When you’re time comes remember. It might not be a good thing you have to do.

Emrys - I’m sorry we didn’t get to smooch.
Annie - Me too…
Emrys - Fancy one for the road?
Annie - Piss off.
Emrys - That’s more like it!

Annie - ‘I have a baby, Eve. I have to look after her’
Future Woman - ‘Annie, I am the baby. It’s me Annie. Mum. I’m Eve.’
Annie seems to still be waiting to complete her unfinished business and cross over. I thought confronting Owen was her unfinished business and she had turned her door down in Series 1? It is looking increasingly likely however that Annie is going to have to make a difficult decision regarding Eve and if that is her unfinished business, will she choose to cross over this time? Could we soon be looking for a new ghost? Again, after last week, could Hal be Cutler’s maker? Will Hal give in to temptation? When will the Old Ones arrive? My guess would be the last ten minutes of next weeks penultimate episode, just in time for the finale!
Tune in Sunday nights, 9pm on BBC3 to find out, check out the Being Human blog at for chat and and behind the scenes videos and follow @bbcbeinghuman and myself @LikeTheMonth_ on Twitter. Comments and Rts always welcome and appreciated.

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