Blu-Ray Review: BBC’s ‘Being Human’ Deserves Your Attention

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – The drawback of the amazing onslaught of quality television outside of the broadcast networks and the pay channels has been that some great programs have gone relatively unnoticed. Every single one of you that fell in love with “Lost,” quoted “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” or obsessively watched “True Blood” owes it to yourself to check out the second season Blu-ray release of one of the best genre programs on television, BBC America’s ridiculously enjoyable “Being Human,” now available. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

Life is not easy for flatmates Mitchell (Aidan Turner), George (Russell Tovey), and Annie (Leonard Crichlow) because, well, they’re not really alive like you and me. Mitchell is a vampire, George is a werewolf, and Annie is a ghost. While it may sound like the set-up for a bad joke — “A vampire, werewolf, and ghost walk into a bar…” — “Being Human” is deep drama even if you’re weary of all things “True Blood” or “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Photo credit: Touchpaper Television and BBC

The first season of “Being Human,” also available on Blu-ray and DVD from WB/BBC Home Video, essentially stands alone as a mini-series. At the end of that season, creator Toby Whithouse basically shattered his character’s perceptions of themselves, turning George into a murderer, freeing Annie from her exile, and forcing the vampire to realize that he has a light side to go with his dark.

Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Photo credit: BBC/Warner Home Video

The opening of season two features the characters back at a crossroads. George is caught between fear and aggression because he’s realized his power under a full moon but can still get his ass kicked over the rest of the month. And he’s realizing he kind of enjoyed his taste of the dark side. Annie has become so outgoing that she can be seen enough to get a job at a local pub and she meets a man with a dark, dark secret and an inevitable connection to our gorgeous ghost that you simply won’t see coming.

Finally, Mitchell meets a fascinating new woman who will have a connection to a nefarious group of researchers that have been capturing creatures of the night and performing devasting experiments on them. Oh, and don’t forget poor Nina (Sinead Keenan), scratched by George at the end of season one and now turned into a hairy creature herself. Her first transformation is a riveting one.

“Being Human” is so expertly written and conceived that you could easily underappreciate the quality while you’re simply enjoying the action and dramatic twists and turns. The dialogue is a finely-tuned balance of wit, humor, and melodrama not unlike “Buffy” at its best. It is one of the most well-written and well-performed programs on television. The principal actors — Turner, Tovey, and Crichlow — are more comfortable in these character’s shoes after getting a season under their belts. Crichlow has a spectacular balance of confidence still fighting for space with her desperate need to be loved. Turner has mellowed and stopped a little of the brooding that marred season one. And Tovey is spectacular at playing both side of George.

I love shows that defy genre expectations. “The X-Files,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Lost,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood” — they all became so much more than their genre descriptions could capture. “Being Human” deserves mention in the same breath for the same accomplishment.

“Being Human returns for a gripping second season as vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner), werewolf George (Russell Tovey), and ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) encounter new enemies in their fight to lead something close to normal lives. It’s tough being supernatural. Mitchell’s romance with a feisty doctor is disrupted by a vampire community in disarray. George’s relationship with a new girlfriend is undermined by an uncontrollable twist in his werewolf existence. Annie has a brutal reminder that life as a spirit is full of challenges. All three are threatened by CenSSA, a religious organization committed to the destruction or conversion of supernatural freaks, operated by the mysterious Professor Jaggat and the sinister, cold-hearted Kemp. Just when your inner demons might be conquered, it’s the outer demons who won’t go away.”

Special Features:
o Blood Bursting
o The Caves
o Unleashing the Beast
o The Swinging Sixties
o Behind the Makeup
o Making the New Werewolf
o Train Carnage
o CenSSA Hidden Menus
o The CenSSA Song and Guided Tour of the Facility

‘Being Human: Season Two’ stars Leonora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, Sinead Keenan, Donald Sumpter, and Lyndsey Marshal. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010. It is not rated and runs approximately 460 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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