Being Human 3.02 Adam’s Family

The episode title puns are coming hot and heavy, innit?

Someone involved with this show really likes the concept of an underaged vampire. Probably too early of an exposure to Annie Rice.

Two random criticisms of minutia: It’s interesting that Asian character tattoos were all the rage at the time of The Great War, also nurses aren’t generally allowed to wear Chucks with their scrubs.

There’s a lot of not thinking things through very well in this episode. Nina bringing home the stray, Mitchell expecting no repercussions for the whole killing rampage, Nina and George bumbling into allowing Adam to escape. The last, though, was a nice return of George being George.

I can’t tell if the change in color palette is a natural outgrowth of the change in scenery from Bristol to Wales or if it’s something more intentional happening with the tone of the show. Previous seasons were so grey and gloomy, dark, brooding. But the beach mural on the living room wall and the vibrant hues in the outdoor scene between Mitchell and Richard just pop. That particular scene is almost neon, bright grass and purple flowers, the robin egg’s blue of the Richard’s t-shirt and his ginger hair set against the backdrop of the lego stacks of the container boxes. Contrasted to this vibrancy is Mitchell in high-drama vampwear. Very well made scene.

The actor playing Adam really went for it in this role. Adam is so well-realized, vulnerable, bereaved, tormented, in many ways the authentically tragic vampire that Mitchell’s the subversion of. The scene in the arcade when he considers using his vamp-powers on the girl and shakes it off mumbling to himself was one of those moments that slip away from a viewer unless they’re riveted to the screen. Later, Adam’s delivery of the kiss off to Richard et al was amazing, eliciting an actual laugh at the finger motions from me. “Tell it to someone who gives a shit!” INDEED.

Of course the gimp stuff was both high comedy and disturbing at once, as this show does so well. The gimp graveyard churns up more of the profound concepts that lace through this show. Yes, vampires live off of humans, and essentially any human feeding a vampire is their pet. With a bump up the food chain, humans aren’t the top predator and are analogous to dogs. That is the premise of horror—that something is worse than us, scarier than us. The show is called Being Human for a reason, it’s not just a witty pun, it’s a constant reminder that George and Mitchell and Annie are at once metaphors for all the scary bits of being human (looming mortality, barely controlled dark impulses, the animalistic tendencies we all feel) and not metaphorical at all; they are literal monsters.

All that being said, the use of bondage gear as shorthand for depravity is tired and weak. Let’s just retire the stereotype of the bondage gear clad baddies who are so vile they omg have group sex. Please, you can’t think of worse things. Well, I certainly can.

The shot of the water as Annie and Mitchell walk along the quay is lovely. The directing in this episode is solid all the way through, the touch of focusing close up on Mitchell’s face after Annie hugged him was stunning.

Next week: something awful happens!