Review: Human Discoveries “And Then They Had a Funeral”

 

 

Overview:

A fatal new virus is spreading around the camp, and unfortunately for Gary, he is the next to catch it. Insecure that he will be forgotten after he is gone, he wants to make his passing dramatic. Gary begins to make some requests for his passing, including how his body is treated, and a ceremony to celebrate his life. But, when they discover that Gary is going to be okay, everyone is upset by the effort that he put them through.

Meanwhile, the elk are settling into their new home, but are struggling to fit in. Making their new friends aware of the threat that the humans present, the animal sanctuary declares war. To leave the season off on a cliffhanger, the animal army arrives at the camp and prepares for the humans’ slaughter.

 

Our Take:

And, that’s a wrap on the first season of Human Discoveries. This little show with the big premise and all-star cast has been a hit. You could call this show a sleeper because it deserves so much more popularity than it has received thus far. But, that has less to do with the production and execution of the series and more to do with the growing platform it calls home, Facebook Watch. Surprisingly the numbers on the show that has only been airing for a couple of months are approaching the 1 million mark, with the premiere going quite higher than that. However, despite the impressive numbers that many shows would dream of, nobody is really talking about the series outside of the social media platform. So, maybe it is less of a sleeper and more that the show is underappreciated for whatever reasons.

This final episode was well thought out and a brilliant way to top off the season. From our first introduction to these characters, we have become attached to their growth. We have seen this struggling tribe go from a group of hunters and gatherers to a full-out working economy.  Which, alone is a significant accomplishment for a ten-episode season. But, then to wrap things up with a funeral takes things to the next step. Often shows will conclude their series with death not only to add some finality but to touch on topics such as grief to help the audience move on. Human Discoveries did this in the finale of the first season with the uncertainty that the show will return, yet masterfully kept the doors open should they be renewed.

The other impressive thing that this season finale accomplished was completing the arc for the background characters, the elk. From the beginning, the elk have been involved in the show, and it wasn’t entirely clear what their purpose was. Sure, they offered some great comedy relief, and a b-plot when another one wasn’t present. However, they too, have been developing their own story in the back. Most of the season they have been searching for a new leader to help them survive the dangerous and brutal humans. As the conclusion neared, the elk moved on and found sanctuary. When they could have settled and been okay, it is much more exciting than they initiate a war and bring the animal kingdom to the doorstep of the human’s colony. If this show does not return, I think we can all be satisfied with the idea that the animals brutally murdered the humans, which is actually a brilliant arch for the elk who gain revenge for their multiple fallen leaders.

This was a show that continued to surpass expectations and deliver fun and original content. The conclusion is no different. Managing to maintain and conclude many character arcs is a delicate balance. Further, the series itself managed to give a satisfying ending while leaving us wanting more. Looking back at where we started and the uncertainty that went along with this show, this was one hell of a way to leave things off. Maybe on its own, this was not the strongest episode, but as a bookend to the season, or possible series, it was a thoughtful plot. With the talent and passion that goes into the show as a whole, it would be nothing short of a disappointment if a second season does not go into production soon. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one, and be sure to check back on Bubbleblabber as we share the news as it happens.  And our full season review should be coming in the next week.

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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