BLOGGERS’ WEEK Blogger Laura McConnell looks at why she adores Being Human , despite an historic lack of interest in the whole vampire mythology thing
It’s no secret that I love Being Human , but to those that know me, it does often come as somewhat of a surprise. You see, I don’t do the vampire thing. Never really have. I haven’t seen (or read) Interview With The Vampire , and I certainly don’t carry on about this Edward Cullen character. And werewolves? Ghosts? Meh. Historically, I could take them or leave them. I mean, I like Nearly-Headless Nick and Remus Lupin in Harry Potter , but they’ve never really been my thing.
So why do I love Being Human so very much?
Well, that’s easy. It’s the zombies.
Yep. You heard me. The zombies. Or rather, the zombie. Singular.
Now, before you start thinking that I’m not into vamps but am clambering onto the latest of trendy bandwagon with the zombies, let me explain. See, zombies aren’t usually my thing, either. Sure, I enjoyed Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead , and SLiTHER makes me laugh, but I have no desire to see 28 Days Later . I do funny horror only. Real horror? No thank you. I am so not interested. I don’t enjoy being scared and it took me ages to even watch Shaun for that reason. Once I did, I eased into the other movies I mentioned, but I’m never going to go running to a zombie flick any more than a vampire show.
So why did I love Type 4, the Being Human episode with the zombie?
Because it was amazing, that’s why.
What made it brilliant were the following:
One, the big three’s initial problem with Sasha was that she was drunk and shouting in their front lawn. She was going to bring attention to the house and cause problems for them. This is so, well, un-zombie-like! I loved it! I laughed and laughed. It was fun to see people dealing with a “real world” issue in regards to a fine example of the living dead. Oh, and speaking of real world issues, the smell factor was also brilliant! And George wondering if she was going to eat their brains? Wonderful! (No, George, she isn’t, because your problem with her has already been established as drunk and disorderly conduct! Who would ever have expected that from a zombie? It’s priceless!)
Two, the practical way in which George addressed Sasha’s return to hospital. Pointing out that Annie can’t be seen by normals and Mitchell can’t be seen on CCTV just can’t be argued! Of course they can “manage to sneak one zombie back into hospital!” It’s this practical application of what they are that makes the characters of Being Human so different from your every day garden-variety vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. It’s just so very fresh, and I can’t get enough of it!
Three, Sasha’s journey. Sure, it’s visually disturbing in parts, but at its heart, Sasha’s story is terribly heart-wrenching. Yes, some of it is played for comedic effect, like her makeover, but this tale is really about a young woman who endures the realisation of her own death (and current horrifically putrifying state) and then dies without the comfort of those she knew in life. She has her last hurrah, which turns out to be a nightmare after all, and then she passes away with only her newfound fellow freaks for company. This is both a comment on friends being family and the sad, sad plight of this poor woman. When you add Annie’s angst to that, this episode becomes nearly more than one can be expected to take. It’s heavy, man.
Four, the additional plotlines, which seem to always underlie the monster of the week on Being Human , are astounding in this one. Mitchell’s little hero-worship problem and its consequences opened yet another door into the psyche of John Mitchell for us viewers, but that even story took a back seat to the real showstopper scene in this episode: the fight between George and Nina regarding the baby, which was perfectly executed on the parts of Russell Tovey and Sinead Keenan. I can’t say ever enough about the wonder that is George, but Nina nearly broke my heart here.
And there you have it. Four major points seen in “Type 4” that exemplify what Being Human has done since its inception and, to me, the reason for its success. It is completely different from anything we’ve seen vamps and company do in the recent past, it’s supremely well-written and packed with dialogue that sizzles, and it somehow manages to truly put its finger on the pulse of the human experience despite the characters not being actual humans. I mean, let’s face it, if a show about monsters trying to fit in manages to have us feeling sorry for the zombie, it’s done it’s job pretty well, don’t you think? I do. Like The X-Files before it, Being Human has managed to transcend its genre. It’s drama first and comedy second and horror show last, in my humble opinion, and that’s why it works.
Blogger’s note: To the readers of the SFX website, I send my gratitude. Thanks for reading my ramblings, both today and for the past two years. I really appreciate it! Now, if I might ask a favor? Please remember that I’m in America, and the last episode of Being Human series three has not aired here, and I’ve been a good little blogger and not obtained them elsewhere. Please don’t spoil me in the comments just yet, okay? Thanks!