Entertainment Magazine

Review #3112: Bedlam 1.5: “Committed”

Posted on the 07 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Bronzethumb

“Bedlam” continues to circle the drain, clutching desperately at storytelling straws and trying to fulfill the promises it made in the premiere episode. The writers have no clue, and rather than realize that what they’re trying to accomplish is beyond them, they just keep plugging away with another mediocre episode that’s not scary or dramatic or at-all pleasurable to watch.

Review #3112: Bedlam 1.5: “Committed”

In this episode, the hauntee-of-the-week is Mark (“Outcasts”’ Ashley Walters), who thinks he’s just got a garden variety stalker when strange messages start appearing on the walls of an adjacent flat and on his answering machine. Things start getting weirder when photos disappear from his flat and reappear in strange places, so Jed steps in to help out. Meanwhile, Ryan and Molly track down information on Jed’s parents, and Kate does stuff that has nothing to do with anything.

In the space of five episodes, “Bedlam” has become so pathetically by-the-numbers that recounting the plot of an episode doesn’t require much more than plugging in the hauntee’s name. At this point, only some kind of drastic deviation from the formula could provide any actual suspense, and “Committed” does attempt this at the end, but it comes too late and plays out in such an awkward way that the tension is lost. The follow-up scene is the closest that Jed has come to seeming like a sympathetic, vulnerable character, but at every turn “Bedlam” seems to thwart itself with its terrible dialog and characterisation.

What’s really heartbreaking are the scenes where the actors are obviously trying to bring something emotional and dramatic to the action. There are moments where Will Young demonstrates that with a good script and some good direction, he could probably go the Billie Piper route and be successful as an actor, and even times when Theo James’ brooding growly performance almost works. Ashley Madekwe has been solid but unspectacular in the past as Molly, but she completely drops the ball in her sole dramatic scene of the episode and comes across as narmy and over-the-top instead (admittedly, she’s hardly the only one who dropped the ball). And Kate has been such a useless waste of a character that it’s impossible to tell where the writing ends and the performance begins, so what kind of actress Charlotte Salt will be in other roles is anyone’s guess.

Attempts at moving the overarching story along were only marginally more successful, and even if the scenes themselves weren’t worth the film they were shot on, they had some interesting little nuggets. Ryan and Molly’s visit to the nursing home yielded some information that, while not exactly surprising, was probably different to what most of the audience was expecting. And the only vaguely interesting thing that Kate did all episode was have confirmed for her the thing that the audience, and seemingly every other character, were already aware of: that Warren is not a particularly pleasant guy. Had this storyline been in the hands of other writers, it probably could’ve developed into something worthwhile, but instead “Bedlam” keeps taking the only interesting thing about itself and fumbling it into oblivion.

With only one episode to go, “Bedlam” has about as much chance of pulling its head out as Tim Minear does of getting a fourth season renewal. Terrible writing and flat, boring characters continue to suck away anything about the show that might’ve been worth watching in the first place. Honestly, at this point you’re gonna have a scarier, more entertaining time jumping in front of a mirror and shouting “boo” than you would’ve had watching this show.

Rating: 2/10

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