"You're right. The
disembodied spirit of a dead woman is getting a job in the service
what could possibly go wrong?"
The first season of Being Human was
very enjoyable and showed a lot of promise,
even if it was only 6 episodes long. I
was excited to see the second set of shows arrive on these shores so
and eagerly popped the discs into my player.
After watching them, I was a little disappointed that the show
wasn't able to improve the
second time around and the same weaknesses that were evident in season
still present. Events seem to happen at
random, there are still no solid rules for what certain creatures can
cannot do and with the season being so short there's not a lot of time
really explore the characters. On the
plus side, the episodes are a lot of fun and the overall story arc is
interesting in this season. It's a good
show that just needs to sand off a few rough edges.
Over 90 years ago Mitchell (Aidan Turner) was turned into a
vampire on the battlefields of WWI.
Today he finds himself sharing a flat with George (Russell
was bitten by a werewolf two year ago, and the apartment itself is
haunted by Annie
(Lenora Crichlow) who fell down a flight of stairs a little while back
up to find herself dead, invisible, and unable to communicate with
anyone. Being supernatural creatures,
George can see and hear Annie, which is a great relief to her, and the
become the best of friends.
Annie eventually becomes visible and solid (mostly
unexplained) and this as the season starts she decides that she wants
to get a
job in a pub. George has a girlfriend
now, one that he accidently turned into a werewolf though he doesn't
and Mitchell is interested in a doctor at the hospital where he works,
is getting a bit lonely. Working at a
pub is just the thing to get her to make some new friends.
The problem is that not everyone is happy that Annie is
still on Earth. There's some power that's
trying to get her to pass on to the afterlife, making doors appear and
the recently dead to attack her. That's
disconcerting to say the least, but it isn't a problem that her
really help her with.
There's also a shady organization that has taken notice of
Mitchell and George. They're intrigued
that a werewolf and vampire would live together, and they want to study
pair. But they also want to kill them,
the question is just when.
This season had a lot of neat plot turns and some
interesting concepts. The humans that
are watching Mitchell and George were much worse than the undead
pair had to deal with in the first season.
The organization, convincing themselves that they were doing
much more cruel, calculating, and evil than any of the 'monsters' in
are. That was a nice comment on the
nature of fanaticism and was one of the most interesting aspects of the
season. I was also happy to see that the
had a fair amount of humor, even though this season is a bit darker
first. They strike a nice balance that
The show is still hampered by deus ex machina-like plot
twists and a break-neck pace. [spoiler
warning] In these eight episodes
up with his girlfriend, meets another girl, starts dating her, moves in
her, becomes engaged, and then breaks up.
Even if George was on the rebound, it didn't make sense that the
woman, with a kid no less, would want to move that quickly. If they had time to develop that relationship
over the course of 20 episodes, it would have seemed more natural.
What's worse is the sloppy writing. Don't
get me wrong, when the show is good, it's
great, but there are a lot of weak elements in the scripts and if they
the show would be a classic. A lot of
the events that happen in the show don't evolve from what's happened
but are just random elements that propel the plot.
Annie is visible to regular people and solid,
and then suddenly she's invisible again.
Forces are trying to make her cross over, and then they decide
her alone (as if the writers got tired of that sub-plot.)
There was a neat story involving George that unfortunately
didn't pan out. He decides to sedate and
lock himself in a cage just before he turns into a werewolf one month. It works, but the anger and violence that
defines the werewolf starts to creep into his regular life. He becomes angry and violent, until that plot
isn't needed anymore and it's totally dropped.
That's not to mention the end of the final episode which has
not one but two pull-it-out-of-your-hat plot twists that serve as a
to get people to tune into next season's run.
These were both really lame and made the show seem a bit silly. [end spoilers]
Having said all that, I did enjoy the show. If
you think about it too much the program
does tend to fall apart. If you can just
get lost in the moment however, Being Human is a lot of fun.
The Blu-ray Discs:
The 8-episdoe second season arrives on three Blu-ray
Being a recent series, this show was recorded in HD and the
1080i (why not 1080p?) VC-1 encode looks very good but isn't a
disc. There is a lot of detail in both
the foreground and background, and the flesh tones and colors come
on the screen. The image 'pops' a good
deal, especially in the exterior scenes, but there is some loss of
low light scenes or areas where black predominates.
There image is a bit soft at times, and there
was just a tad of digital noise in a few places (the sky, large areas
bright color is present) but this was very minor. Overall
a nice looking show.
Viewers only get a stereo mix, which is fine for this type
of show. Though there's three
supernatural being as leads, there aren't many action sequences and the
a subwoofer channel isn't a big deal at all.
The show makes some use of the front soundstage but the dialog
centered on the screen, which is too bad.
Aside from that the show sounds about average.
There are optional English subtitles.
There are several light-weight extras included in the set, which
rounds out the collection nicely. On the
second discs there's Blood Bursting
(8:51) that shows how the scene with the werewolf in the pressure
created, The Caves (6:28) a look at
the red sandstone caves where the Inquisition scene took place, Unleashing the Beast (7:02) a talk with
the cast and crew about the subplot with George becoming violent when
sedated himself. They explain that it's
the wolf in him coming out, just in case you didn't get that from the
itself, and The Swinging Sixties (8:52)
a look at the flashback that took place in the 60's.
Disc three contains Behind
the Makeup (7:16) which introduces the makeup design team and takes
on what they do and how they come up with the look of the show, Making the New Werewolf (11:05) a
discussion of how they changed the werewolf costume for the second
season and Train
Carnage (7:30) a look at the very bloody train scene in the
final (or was it
the penultimate) episode.
While I enjoyed this season a lot, I was disappointed to see
that the problems that cropped up in the first season weren't addressed. The show travels a bit too quickly, a side
effect of the very short 8-episode season, and with a longer run each
could be fleshed out to something really great.
As it is, this is an entertaining show that comes recommended.
images in this review are not from the Blu-ray disc and do not
represent the image quality on the disc.