After five years and a full cast change, Toby Whithouse’ Being Human has come to an end, having combined elements of comedy, horror and melodrama to create a devoted following.
Series 5 finally settled into its new line-up following the separate departures of Aiden Turner, Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow. The gradual break-up meant that the last series felt a bit incomplete and, once fully installed, Bracken, Molony and Socha made it their own, carrying the show during its weaker episodes and helping it excel when it was at its best.
Vampire Hal (Molony) and werewolf Tom (Socha) are forced to take jobs at the dreary Barry Grand Hotel. Meanwhile Hal’s struggling to stay on the wagon, Tom’s yearning to prove himself, Alex (Bracken) is struggling to adjust to ethereality, and misanthropic pensioner Captain Hatch (Davis) isn’t just a mean old man.
Although the cast click instantly, it frequently feels like the writers are treading water, confronting the trio with overly-familiar situations (Bad mentor! Bad house guests!). It also continued the lean towards comedy over horror, using nerdy vampire Crumb (Steven Robertson) for unsatisfying comic relief, although the government spending cuts sub-plot was effective and guests like Julian Barratt and Amanda Hale are good value.
But Being Human lived and died by its leading trio and Molony, Socha and Bracken become the show’s beating heart, playing Hal’s guilt-derived OCD, Tom’s childish naivete and Alex’s blunt open-heartedness beautifully. But it’s not until the last two episodes that things finally kick into gear for an emotionally rewarding climax.
It would have been nice to have more time with Alex, Tom and Hal but this feel like a natural place for Being Human to close. There’s a fine line between frustratingly predictable and comfortingly familiar and, although this series came close to ending up on the wrong side of it, it provides the characters and the show with a fitting farewell.