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Being Human: Season Five(TV) (2013)
A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost try their best to lead normal lives.
For more about Being Human: Season Five and the Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray release, see Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 30, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, Aidan Turner, Jason Watkins, Dylan Brown, Sinead Keenan
Director: Toby Whithouse
» See full cast & crew
Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray Review
For whom the bell tolls...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 30, 2013
And so we come to the end, at least in the UK. After five seasons, thirty-seven episodes, a cast reshuffling, and the birth of a successful American remake currently readying its fourth season, Being Human has come a long way. Not as far as creator Toby Whithouse originally envisioned, but enough to warrant some gratitude from fans who've been lingering by the series' deathbed for several seasons now. Unfortunately, with just six episodes to wrap an entire mythos and too many new(ish) characters to craft a truly gripping endgame, Whithouse and company continue to struggle and gasp for breath, right up to the bitter, bitter end. Season Five isn't disappointing per se, but it also isn't very satisfying, ending on a dull note that's only rendered remotely intriguing by one last maddening scene; a brief gotcha! of sorts that's not attached to the finale proper but merely included among the special features.
What do you get when you put a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost in a house-share in Barry? The return of Being Human! Ghost Alex (Kate Bracken) is adjusting to life after death with werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) but vampire Hal (Damien Molony) is in hell. Not because he's chained up like an animal, but because he's desperate to get his marigolds on the messy house. But when Tom and Alex decide to set him free, Hal's wracked by uncertainty. Can he control his bloodlust? Things get complicated with the return of Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson), the shady figure whose government department protects the world from supernaturals. Having been fired from the café, Hal and Tom find new employment at the Barry Grand Hotel, home to poisonous pensioner Captain Hatch (Phil Davis). Unknown to our trio, his decrepit exterior hides an ancient evil that threatens not only their friendship but also the entire world.
Alternatively: what do you get when you put yet another vampire, werewolf and ghost into yet another semi-amusingly confined space? The answer: a fairly fresh re-spin on what could have easily become a repetitive... scratch that... sheepishly rehashed gimmick after just two seasons, much less five. Being Human doesn't grasp at cheap sitcom laughs, though, nor does it sulk around South Wales as if brooding is the new black. With a near-patented blend of sparse comedy and heightened supernatural melodrama, the series' fifth season clips along -- or rather seems to clip along -- as if it's business as usual. But there, just beneath the surface, uncertainly stutters and sticks like a palpitating heart. You can almost feel the showrunners inching along, arc by arc, episode by episode, unsure of whether the series doors are about to be shuttered or a contract for a sixth season is being drafted. Bracken, Socha, Molony and the writers channel that nervous energy into the series' final stretch, at least in part, sweetening the stakes and making it clear that anything can and will happen; come hell or high water, Death or the Devil. And it's in that delicious little morsel of pressing peril that Season Five earns its stripes.
All of which would be cause for polite celebration if the final season's six episodes didn't get off to such a sluggish start, didn't mill about for so long, and didn't haphazardly hurry to aspire to something more as the series winds down. The opportunity to go big is there from the get-go, with beasties and things that go bump in the night aplenty. And yet it never quite plays out as if Whithouse and his team crafted the overarching story to function as a farewell should Season Five turn out to be the series' last. The best shows -- the Breaking Bads and Game of Thrones of the TV landscape -- write themselves into impossible corners at each season's end, and then spend the next season cleverly working their way out. Being Human's fifth season plays it much too safe, clinging to old habits and doubting itself when it should be striding confidently into the night. Worse, Tom and Hal aren't all that compelling. Upstaged by the werewolves and vampires featured in other supernatural shows, they flat-line, even as Socha and Molony give their all to make their characters matter. And with two-thirds of the not-so-human trio pouting, bristling stiffly, and working through a myriad of mundane personal crises, the domesticated threesome are perpetually overshadowed and minimized, with Tom and Hal failing to eclipse even their predecessors (God speed, George and Mitchell). In the end, Season Five proves to be a hit-or-miss six-episode cliff that all too suddenly takes a save-the-world dive off the edge. The devil-wrangling finale works wonders. Everything before it, not so much.
Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray, Video Quality
Being Human: Season Five arrives on Blu-ray with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation, comparable to its Season Four predecessor. For fans, that will come as very good news. For those just coming to the show, well... what are you doing starting with the fifth and final season? The series palette is intentionally drained of blood at times and flushed with warm hues at others, and yet skintones remain lifelike on the whole, with pleasing saturation that complements the atmosphere of any given sequence. Contrast is consistent from episode to episode as well, with smoky, at-times eerily effective black levels that suit the supernatural happenings nicely. (There's some intermittent muting, noise, and delineation mishaps, but none of it amounts to something more troubling.) Detail is excellent, with crisp edges and crisper textures, and only a handful of shots or scenes (most of which involve nightfall or heavy shadows) look anything other than their best. Yes, a bit of banding and crush appears. And yes, some of the season's visual effects are riddled with minor anomalies. However, that shouldn't deter anyone from sitting back and drinking up Season Five via BBC Home Entertainment's altogether proficient presentation.
Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Unlike the series' previous Blu-ray releases, Being Human: Season Five makes the leap into the lossless realm with a satisfying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. Atmosphere is priority one here, and the rear speakers rarely falter. There are a few strangely front-heavy scenes, but nothing too grievous. The LFE channel bears its teeth too, with notable low-end wherewithal and solid dynamics. Dialogue remains clear and nicely prioritized throughout, and very little underwhelms. Action and horror sequences naturally offer the most gripping and immersive sonics, sure. But that doesn't mean more reserved scenes aren't properly handled. Ultimately, this is a far cry from the disappointing lossy tracks that haunted past Being Human releases. Fans will be thrilled.
Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Being Human stutters at the start and fizzles out fast in its final six episodes, redeeming itself at the eleventh hour with a solid finale that hints at what Season Five could have been. It's still a good six-season farewell, just not a great one. BBC's Blu-ray release, on the other hand, is more reliable, thanks to an excellent AV presentation (finally with lossless audio!) and a decent (but limited) collection of extras. So come one, come all and bid a fond farewell to yet another supernatural series cut down before its time. It isn't a perfect final season, and it isn't all that thrilling, but fans will be appropriately sad to see it breathe its last breaths, which is just how the end of any show should leave its followers feeling.
Being Human: Other Seasons
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Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Being Human: Season Five Blu-ray - May 1, 2013
BBC Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of Being Human: Season Five, starring Damien Molony, Michael Socha and Kate Bracken as the series' vampire/werewolf/ghost trio. The fifth and final season features six episodes spread across two discs, and ...
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