Why Season 4 Of BBC's Being Human Killed the Show-WARNING SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT
I'm really not joking about the spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Because I moved last year and had trouble with cable, I missed season 4 of Being Human. I got hooked early and so much so that I actually got two of my friends hooked as well through my enthusiasm. Finally, season 4 became available of Netflix. Since I was feeling quite ill this week, it seemed to be the perfect time to curl up with some tea and catch up on the series.
Big. Big. Mistake.
Part of what made Being Human so genius is that it focused on 3
characters, none of whom were human, but used their “conditions” as
supernatural entities to explore general themes of human existence much
like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Annie’s ghostly nature became a metaphor
for the invisibility of domestic abuse, Mitchell’s blood lust-an
addiction, and George’s werewolf transformations parallel the stigma of
mental illness (at one point particularly tourette’s) as well as how a person who develops a disability later in life has to reconcile his past sense of self with his new reality.
Season 4 is a huge departure from this theme. Mitchell, George, and Nina
are all dead, and they are replaced by Hal and Tom. One of the first
problems is that Mitchell and George, complex characters, are replaced
by simpler unconflicted characters.
Part of what makes Mitchell so immediately attractive as a character not
only manages to eschew the brood-y romantic vampire mold so popular of
late, but, instead, he encompasses a dynamic range. Mitchell is capable
of childish glee when ripping into sweets with a young boy, but also the
sadistic blood lust that results in the box tunnel murders. He also
isn’t thrown up as a viable romantic interest for anyone except
incorporeal Annie. His conquests more often end up dead, and Annie only
manages to love Mitchell successfully because she’s dead already.
Hal is a far older vampire than Mitchell. He is, in fact, one of the
legendary Old Ones who, apparently, are just like regular vampires but
are immune to the cross and have a stronger pull over younger vampires.
Season Four features quite a few Old Ones, which you would think would
be impressive. Unlike on True Blood or even Kindred: The Masquerade, the
Old Ones don’t have any form of organized government or hierarchy. The
just... ARE. In season four they basically show up and demand tribute,
but they don’t have anything like...A PLAN. They are, basically, all
hype and interesting costuming. They make the Vultari from Twilight look a model of order and planning and that's never good.
Hal’s cruelty and blood lust, like Mitchell’s, are legendary. Like
Mitchell, Hal fights, with far more success, his addiction. Hal uses OCD
like rituals to achieve this goal. The OCD rituals could possibly be
linked to the myths of vampires having to count grains of rice if
spilled before them or untie all the knots in front of them, thus the
habit of draping fishing nets over doorways. Sadly, this possibility is
never acknowledged. It’s more likely that this is just a quirk of Hal’s
personality. Unfortunately, his quirk comes nowhere near the dynamic
character of Mitchell as Hal basically hides behind his milquetoast
rituals and emotional distance. Furthermore, he’s more akin to the broody
vampires Angel and Edward from which Mitchell was a stark departure so
Hal is actually a regression rather than a progression.
Speaking of steps backward, never have I been so disappointed in a
female character’s arc as I was in Annie’s. In season 1, when Annie
figures out that she was murdered by her cheating jerk of a fiance,
Owen, and then manages to literally scare him into police custody, I was
thrilled. Here Annie went from abused doormat to woman in control of
her own destiny.This is concretely manifested by the fact she became visible.
But then she got involved Saul, an alcoholic who attempted to first rape
her and then drag her into purgatory with him. She doesn't even manage to escape from Saul, at the last minute, HE lets her go. Nor does she save herself from purgatory when she gets sent there, Mitchell saves her. So Annie's gone from being a force to reckoned with to being the standard damsel in distress. Then she falls for Mitchell, her savior, which was the healthiest
of her relationships but that’s not saying much-ironically he’s also the
most seasoned and vicious of all the murderers she gets involved with,
and then Kirby. Essentially Annie inevitably falls for killers. When
she bewails that she has the “worst taste in men” in S4 after Kirby
reveals his true nature and intentions, she ignores the fact that she
rejected the two men in her life who have proven their care and loyalty
to her and Eve for Kirby, a man who just arrived and she barely knows
anything about. Kirby actually taunts her with how easily she believed
him and WELL HE SHOULD. Essentially, she’s not just easily duped, she
rejects the honest, but complicated relationships she developed with Hal
and Tom for Kirby’s simple and “perfect” facade. After all this time,
Annie has learned nothing about the nature of real human relationships
and continues to make the same mistake she did with Owen.
Annie, basically, has at best regressed to being the victim she was at the hands of Owen and at worst is now an active
participant in her own victimization, which also opens others, like Eve,
up to harm.
Which brings us to Tom, who replaces George the most neurotic werewolf
ever. Much like Mitchell, part of George’s charm is his complexity as a
character. While powerful as a wolf, as a man he’s bumbling neurotic
mess, terrified of basic human interactions-like telling a woman he
likes her or picking a decent shirt for a date. That’s part of the
appeal of the character-the ironic tension between his powerful nature and
his fearful personality. When George “sacrifices” himself to kill
Herrick at the end of season 1 to save Mitchell, he correctly says that
this act makes him MORE human not less. His sacrifice, becoming a
werewolf to kill Herrick to save his friend, is truly a human act of
love even though it means giving into his bestial nature. It’s this type
of complexity that make both him and the show so thoroughly enjoyable
Right up until season 4. While George’s character is consistent through
the previous seasons, in S4 character consistency is no longer a
concern. George sacrifices his own life to save his daughter. Yet after
his death he blithely says he has to be with Nina....who is dead and
therefore not in danger. George, who
moments ago died to ensure the safety of his daughter, then suddenly
decides to go to be with Nina without a second of hesitation. It makes
not one lick of sense nor does it even pretend to.
And just a brief aside about Nina-did she really not deserve an on
screen death? The last we see of Nina is her standing with George and
Annie defiantly, then she’s suddenly missing. George informs us of her
death, briefly, at the hands of vengeful vampires, about ten minutes
into S4. Mainly it is used as a way to introduce the new information
that werewolf blood is actually toxic to vampires. Say WHAT?! Yes, you
would think that information MIGHT have come up sometime in the first
three seasons what with a werewolf LIVING with a vampire and all, and
vampires consistently attacking werewolves, but nope not a peep until
Unlike George, Tom became a werewolf as a small child. As such, he has
none of the conflicted emotions that George did about being a werewolf.
George had to struggle with integrating the werewolf nature into his sense of self. The closest Tom comes to being conflicted is when he meets Allison, a
teenage girl recently turned werewolf (the circumstances of which are
never revealed). When she becomes seriously sexually aroused in about
the creepiest most bizarre way possible by killing a vamp, Tom at first
rejects her advances and then breaks up with her so she can go back to
her old life despite the fact that she is now a werewolf and Tom is the
first person to accept her as such. His conflict isn’t with her as a
werewolf, but rather a vampire slayer. Tom’s hatred of vampires is the
focus of his character that season and the closest thing that comes to
conflict. Tom lies to Annie about hunting vampires (although why she is
opposed to it is never discussed) and distrusts Hal for quite sometime.
To call this “conflict” is a stretch. Essentially, Tom thinks in purely
black and white terms.
The only depth to Tom’s character is he’s actually quite romantic. He
talks about courting a girl (as Hal points out an archaic term-oh the
hilarity) and has essentially a dream wall filled with images of
“normal” human life (birthday parties, father’s day) events that he
wishes to experience. Deprived of even the normal life George had prior
to infection, Tom seems strangely clueless about what an average life
is. As such, in some ways, he’s emotionally stunted, but in others it
means has very little clue what modern dating is like. But none of it
is particularly compelling. Mainly I just want to wax his eyebrows.
This brings us to the finale of S4. Yes I’m going to spoil the hell out
of this. So S4 revolves around a new prophecy. Unlike the prophecy from
the previous season about the wolf-shaped bullet (and man did that
phrase ever get on my damn nerves), the current prophecy is about the
doom of all the vampires. Yup, ALL OF THEM. Turns out baby Eve, the
human child of Nina and George, is the savior of all humankind from
vampires. The trick? SHE HAS TO DIE. So the basically the entire season
is Annie and company protecting baby Eve and then realizing that they
have to kill her, a little baby, to save the world.
Um yeah. So the show has firmly left the ground of the more empathic
emotional turmoil of the previous season when Mitchell’s fretting about
the box tunnel investigation and George is terrified of killing his best
friend and now entered firmly into intense melodrama of the worst kind.
Mitchell’s fear of discovery and George’s fear of his own power are
emotions that most viewers can connect to-a baby saving the world, not
so much. And in the end? Baby Eve gets it. But here’s the kicker-THERE
ARE STILL VAMPIRES. Remember that whole she’s the savior bit? Well, not
so much. Apparently her death saves us from an alternative history in
which we are enslaved by the vampires (Why they would pull this trick
now, no one, including the Old Ones, ever says. ) So, yeah. Baby blows
up, and vampires are still around. A whole bunch of hand wringing for
the status quo to be maintained.
But also who the hell blows up a damn baby?! Plus all this about her
being the savior and she doesn’t even make it to her first birthday?
It’s far too anti-climatic to be satisfying. And immediately after the
remaining characters seem TOTALLY FINE. PEOPLE YOU JUST EXPLODED A BABY
TO SAVE HUMANITY, you would think that would be worth one late night
tearful drinking session wishing about what could have been. Thinking
about trips to zoo never taken, school plays never attended, first words
never spoken. Nope, not even one shot of Jame-o and a “This one’s for
you, Evie, you beautiful blowed up baby!” After all, the death of baby
Eve signals the departure of every last vestige of the original cast.
Yup, Annie takes the plunge and goes to the other side after spending
much of the season bitching about how things with Hal and Tom aren’t the
same as with Mitchell and George. I feel her pain. I'm also pretty happy to be free of the whine fest that was becoming her only dialogue.
So basically, S4 sets up a reboot of the series, which, if you think I’m
going to watch that I’ve got an exploding baby to sell you....cheap.
Labels: bbc, being human, horror, reviews, supernatural, TV series, vampires
Bad Bunni posted at 11/30/2012 04:12:00 PM
Data and Dating: Why You Shouldn't Insult Romantic Prospects
I suspect this is more an outgrowth of online culture, and yet the last two experiences where a man has insulted me, it was in person. Both times it was a potential romantic prospect who, begin to behave in a way I found questionable, decided it was OK then to call me a fat cunt or a pathetic cynical twat. Now part of this may be the difference between how men and women are conditioned growing up and social norms in terms of rejection. The guy who I dated for three years and broke up with me by text message, yup I called him an asshole and I pretty much stand by that statement. On the other hand, that guy with no social iq? Even after how insulting he was to me the worst thing I did was imply he was a creep and say he had a fragile ego. Not the same as calling a woman a cunt.
The reason I bring this up is more than once after such an insult a man has actually tried to ask me out again. THIS WILL NEVER WORK. I don't care where you want to take me, it's not happening. Ever. Not just because of self esteem, but because your behavior set off warning bells. Here's how it works.
If you insult me early on (in both recent cases it was after a first date), I don't have much other data about you. Let's put it like this: I have maybe 5 points of data about you, and one of those points is very negative. I know you're thinking "Well that means you should get to know me better."
No, it doesn't.
As a woman, one thing I think about to the point of it being reflex is "Is this person dangerous?" or put another way, are you Shrodinger's Rapist?
After all, date rape being so prevalent (far more common than "stranger danger"), I am on the look out for warning signs. The big warning signs include inability to respect boundaries and impulse control issues (including temper). Even if those behaviors don't mean the person is a rapist, it certainly indicates there are some other huge potentially dangerous issues. After all, when we first meet someone to establish a relationship, even if it is only a friendship, we are often on our best behavior. If, very early on, a person demonstrates very low social iq as well as anger management problems, he might not be a rapist. He might JUST be abusive or severely emotionally stunted. Either way, the behavior signals to me that the probability of this person being at the very least an emotionally unhealthy partner and the very worst a physically violent rapist is significantly higher than average. Therefore, I'm not going to waste more time getting to know him. I'm going to chuck him into the reject pile and keep going.
Basically, here's the short short version. If a woman (or man) rejects you early on, insulting them to their face only confirms that he/she is correct to reject you. You're confirming his/her suspicion that you are not a wise romantic choice. If you do make the mistake of letting your anger get the best of you, you can't turn back the clock especially with some kinds of insults. Once you call me a fat cunt, there is no chance, none, I will ever go out with you. Ever. So if you're angry in the moment, find some other way to express it because if you try to ask me out after insulting me like that, all you're doing is showing me why you're still single: namely you don't have a clue about how to talk to women and I'm not going to take the time to teach you.
Labels: advice, asshats, cyber dating, dating, insults, online dating
Bad Bunni posted at 11/25/2012 01:15:00 PM
A Pledge for One Random Act of Kindness by the End of 2012
You don't even have to use your own name! Just click the link or cut and paste, enter my email, misslapinAtgmailDOTcom, in the referrer field and DONE.
Labels: charity, hurricane sandy, random act of kindness
Bad Bunni posted at 11/04/2012 01:30:00 PM
I Survived The Storm of the Century
Just a quick post to let you know that I'm totally safe and sound. I didn't even lose power. I'm using my time, right now, to clean and later to grade. Yesterday was mainly spent sitting at my computer refreshing emergency info waiting for the power to go out and cooking decadent food with my perishable items lest I lose them. So now I have spiced red lentils with eggs and yogurt and potatoes in cream sauce in addition to apples and protein bars.
It hurts me that David did not bother to see if I was alright. After being such a dick, one text message asking if I was ok so out of the question? ( I suppose it is.) People I've never met on FB showed more concern. And this is something I've never understood. How can someone go from telling you that they care about you, that they will always care about you to this? For me, it's not possible. I always wonder about them. Even if I don't call. I wonder about them. I check in, from time to time, on their FB pages to see if they are ok. Nothing more. But I've never mastered being able to go from caring for someone to not in minutes, days, weeks. Even my students. I care about them, even after they leave my class and never think of me again. I think about them. Wonder what happens to them. Some stay in touch.
But I'm still here. Cleaning and, soon, grading as I wait to hear when the MTA might run again.
Labels: dave, david, heartbreak loss, hurricane sandy, survival
Bad Bunni posted at 10/30/2012 01:03:00 PM
eHarmony Doesn't Know How to Manage Your Break Up on Facebook Like I Do
The following is text from an email sent to me by eHarmony. Now, let me ask you something, do you want break up advice from the people who do things like support Focus on Families or do you want break up advice from a woman who has dated roughly half the male population of NYC? Yeah, if there is anything I know how to do it's deal with a break up. My commentary is in italics. Enjoy.
1. Facebook is not your diary. Just because you’re
on an emotional roller coaster doesn’t mean that those ups and downs
should be available for public consumption. Journal in private. Cry with
close friends. Just stay away from your computer when you’re tempted to
chronicle every stage of the breakup. This is good general advice,
but yeah if you're sad and need company, put it on your fb. It's more
important your needs are met than you sit in your room alone crying because heaven forfend SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET SHOULD KNOW.
2. Don’t post sappy breakup songs. Put them on your iPod and go for a jog instead.Who the fuck jogs to sappy songs? Fuck that. GO TO KARAOKE. Put on I Will Survive. If you're thinking ahead, bring a boa. I'll bring the tambourine. Come to think it, if you can, rustle up some gay friends and have a total "break up" themed karaoke night. Sing Cry Me a River and Pink's So What and whatever the hell else makes you feel fabulous and fun. Because you are.
3. Avoid denial. Take down that profile pic with you
as a couple. Don’t post a message on his wall as if you’re still
friends. Remove your relationship status (with as little fanfare as
possible). That's not avoiding denial. You can do all those things
and still hope you will get back together. You shouldn't, but you might. This is more "Deal with the
breakup in a business like fashion." Dissolve your public association. In addition to this I suggest the Big Box of Sad. Put everything he gave you, pictures of you together, whatever things you associate with him into a box. Maybe put it in storage, maybe stow it under your bed. Maybe throw it in the East River. Your choice. I've stowed stuff until I was OK with it and then took it out, I've stowed stuff until I worked through my grief and THEN threw it out, and I've thrown stuff out immediately. Each break up is different and you need to weigh that, but definitely cutting down on remembrances in the immediate aftermath is a good idea. Make the decision quickly, and act swiftly.
4. Resist the Facebook rebound. Don’t post photos of
you with cute members of the opposite sex. Don’t message other exes or
cute single “friends” out of discomfort for your new singleness. If you
catch yourself posting anything that you hope will make your ex jealous,
don’t do it. It’s a transparent move that will only make you look bad. FUCK THAT. Post what you want. If you're out with a hot guy having the
time of your life or you stumble over Aaron Eckhardt and he agrees to
have a pic with you in his lap, POST THE HELL OUT OF IT. When one of my
exes dumped me, three days later I had 2 dates in one day and I posted
it on fb. Not because of him because I was like "Woooooooooooo go me. I forgot I was a hot mama."
And you know what? It drove him nuts. Later that night he was on his
knees in my apartment crying. Didn't make me look bad at all.
5. Don’t post cryptic notes about your ex or your emotional state.
In fact, as a general note, don’t post cryptic notes on Facebook ever.
If you don’t want people to know why you’re sad, don’t insinuate that
you’re blue. I dunno. I tend to think a little mystery is fun. Pretend your life is the Da
Vinci Code if that distracts you for a bit. Plant clues as to which of
your friends is actually the descendent of Jesus.
6. Don’t get friends involved. Don’t comment on wall
posts by any of his/her friends. Don’t force mutual friends to defriend
him in order to stay in your good books. If you have to hide statuses
for a time, do so. Look, here's the thing. Friends are going to be
involved if this was a long term relationship. They are going to feel like they have to choose sides no
matter what. Don't take this to FB but with close mutual friends, sit
down and have a talk about what this means. If you would prefer not to
see your ex for a time at parties etc let them know. In short, be an
7. Don’t betray your ex’s trust. Keep it classy. Repeat this motto: No slander, no revenge posts — ever. Oh
fuck that, fuck that, fuck that. Slander is not the same as betraying
someone's trust especially if they betrayed yours first. Don't slander
or libel people because that's the against the law. Also don't harass or
stalk them for similar reasons. However, if your ex betrayed your trust
by, say, telling secrets of yours to a gossipy friend and now the whole
world knows (Not that I've had that experience *cough*david*cough*),
you have no obligation to keep his/hers. For example if something comes
up in a fb thread and it's relevant for you to disclose that your ex
used to visit hookers while he was married. Have at it. Again, I ONLY
advise this in the case 1 he's already betrayed your trust 2.there is a
natural context for you to make such a disclosure. And by natural context, I mean absolutely every opportunity you can remotely twist into being appropriate for you to mention it.
8. Don’t try to convince him to return, or publicly beg for forgiveness. Of course not. He's the one who should be apologizing while crying and rending his garments.
9. Don’t use statuses and photos to announce that you’re having the best or worst time ever.
Don’t try to make your ex miserable. (Nor should you be assuming that
she/he’s reading your Facebook wall. You shouldn’t be reading his/hers.)
Again, screw that. If you're having a bad day, sometimes you need
commiseration. If you're on a date with David Tennant (which is weird
because he's married, but he played a Time Lord so maybe it's all good)
please tell your friends about your best day ever. Basically, post on
fb like your ex doesn't exist. Because to you he no longer does. Break ups are basically a very personal death. This person has died TO YOU. So hey, post what you want. This is about you and what you want and need to heal.
10. Never admit to Facebook stalking. If you find
yourself checking out his Facebook page, never comment that you’ve been
there. Better yet, don’t check his page. Don’t write a status about the
picture he just posted or the life he’s leading without you. Well
this seems incredibly obvious to me. You should probably block him, if not permanently at least for a short time to give yourself space to heal. If you don't, don't get thrown by what he posts immediately post break up.
I once had a boyfriend tell me in the aftermath of a break up (the first serious relationship I ended) that he was actually ok with it because he wasn't that into me anymore. It hurt, but you know what? It was like 8 years before he got another serious girlfriend so you know don't believe the hype. Give it time. Eventually he'll get his epic karmic bitchslap and by
that time you'll be canoodling with some other hot twit. That's the great thing about people. No matter how many you date, there are still more out there for you find.
Labels: break up, breaking up, date, dating, dave, david, eHarmony, facebook, heartbreak, heartbreak loss, online dating
Bad Bunni posted at 10/24/2012 11:55:00 PM
Please Forgive Our Appearance
So a few weeks ago when I was trying to add a hits counter back to the blog, I accidentally screwed up the template. I was heartbroken as my good friend Blogmonkey made this template especially for me. It's true that I want to change my template (and I know what I want and just have to actually, you know, contact certain friends of minions of other assorted demons to GET ON IT ALREADY), but I didn't mean to change it THEN.
Well, I just now figured out how to change it back and as I was looking at the sidebar...well, to say it's out of date is kind. So over the next few weeks I'll be updating sections (like where you can find my spanky new horror film reviews) and reconfiguring old ones (like the blogroll, which I'm sure needs a massive overhaul.) As a result, the posts themselves may be light but rest assured soon there will be some truly hawt Halloween pics to distract you.
Oh yes, there will be blood. (wink)
Bad Bunni posted at 10/20/2012 06:16:00 PM
Because Tomorrow May Rain But I'll Follow the Sun
The last two weeks have been an epic shitshow. The type of shitshow where if I had to pick between having my spine removed without novocaine and living through the last two weeks, I'd be spineless right now.
So this week didn't exactly inspire me with hope. Except.
Yesterday I didn't want to wake up. I could sleep late with my cat. We snuggled, her purring loudly, despite the work men literally feet from my sleeping body until around 10:30. Even with the loudest of drills inches from my head, I didn't want to get up, but finally I roused myself. I made it, barely, to therapy. Afterwards, now awake and hungry, I decided to venture into Eric Kayser the new authentic French bakery. I fell in love the moment I walked in. CHOUQUETTE! THEY HAVE CHOUQUETTE. Chouquette are a mad obsession of mine because I believed that no place in NYC would ever make chouquette.
I stand, happily, corrected.
And Paris-Brest that tastes like divinity itself. Despite my fatassery, I bought both managing to resist the financiers and madeleines.
I'm sure Proust would be proud.
I walked down the sunny street, happily munching on buttery, sugary, airy chouquettes until I got to the park.
I sat down and just enjoyed the sun and the people. It's not often I think nothing.
I thought nothing.
I watched a bit, but mainly I just felt the sun on my shoulders.
It's not often I don't feel lonely.
But I felt completely happy. Sitting. Alone. Not checking my phone. Not grading. Not talking. Not having to be anywhere.
I kept telling myself I should go. I had papers to grade. Handouts to write. An apartment to tidy. But I just sat watching the turbulent water. Enjoying the sun. Listening here and there to dogs yipping and children playing but mainly just being detached from everything, achieving that rare nirvana like state that only french confections on a perfect fall day can instill.
I was perfectly happily.
For a moment, I thought of David. Of what he was missing. This perfect happy day. I wasn't missing him. No. He was missing it, wherever he was.
And whether he knew it or not meant nothing to me.
It's a little known fact that Optimism was actually a philosophical system based on the idea that if God is all knowing and beneficent this must be the best of all possible world for he could create no other. Most days I find that the most ridiculous, insulting belief.
Yesterday, I thought it was possible.
Labels: david, french pastry, happy, optimism
Bad Bunni posted at 10/18/2012 09:00:00 PM