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Being Human: Season Two(TV) (2010)
Being Human centers around the seemingly ordinary premise of three young people sharing an apartment – only they are a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost.
For more about Being Human: Season Two and the Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray release, see Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on September 28, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 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 Two Blu-ray Review
To be human, or not to be human.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, September 28, 2010
I want you to promise me you'll start to live your life now.
Give "Being Human" props for originality, or at least partial originality. Werewolves and Vampires have been done to death, but add a ghost into the mix and suddenly an old and somewhat stale routine is given a breath of fresh air. "Being Human" doesn't glamorize the lives of its trio of supernatural characters but instead aims to humanize them, to show them not reveling in their extraordinary states but instead longing to lead more normal lives. They coexist with the normal, living, everyday people; they hold down jobs; make human friends; and fall in and out of romantic relationships not with one another but with everyday human beings. Where the show works is in its ability to place its lead characters in a unique middle ground whereby they must fear both others of their kind and a potentially prejudiced or ignorant human populace who may very well fail to accept them for who and what they are, even if they've done all they can to hide or otherwise mask their non-human traits. Where the show doesn't quite work is in its failure to put forth a more cohesive, tightly-woven plot structure. Much of "Being Human" feels haphazard and forced; the show either seems partially constructed of inconsequential plot developments or it gives off a vibe that it's simply trying too hard to be both "cool" and "relevant," with it sometimes not quite achieving the first and rarely enjoying the fruits of the second. It's well-cast and nicely-produced, but "Being Human" is an exercise in missed potential, but it's still just good enough to be worth a watch.
The Vampire underworld is in a state of disarray following the deadly confrontation that concluded the first season of "Being Human." Mitchell (Aidan Turner) finds himself practically alone in the belief that Vampires should maintain a low profile, and he's finding his pleas to maintain the peace with humanity and avoid the inevitable bloodshed and persecution that would come with increased feeding attacks falling on deaf ears. At work, Mitchell finds solace in the company of Lucy (Lyndsey Marshal), a physician with whom he begins a serious relationship. George's (Russell Tovey) relationship with Nina (Sinead Keenan) is on the skids now that her life has inalterably changed, but he strikes up a new romance with Sam (Lucy Gaskell), a woman he meets after taking a job teaching English as a second language. Meanwhile, Annie (Lenora Crichlow) takes a job at a local pub and continues to work towards coming to terms with the fact that she's a ghost while learning more about the spirit world from other spirits, psychics, and those who would have her cross over to the land of the dead. The crew's various endeavors are closely followed by the devious Kemp (Donald Sumpter) and the mysterious Professor Jaggat, a tandem with sinister plans in store for all three of the unusual pairing who strive only to be more human.
"Being Human" ventures into some darker territory for its characters, and the result is a show with a little more bite but one that could still use some work. The show's greatest strength lies in its idea, and its greatest weakness stems from the series' failure to capitalize on it with every episode. Its cast is fine and its writing decent enough, but "Being Human" never seems to achieve all it should considering its somewhat unique premise and interesting characters. Most of the major developments seem forced and too quick to take shape, and they're offset by plenty of petty side stories that accomplish little more than adding a few episodes worth of runtime to the season. While this season's primary arc proves suitably fleshed out and mostly entertaining, it lacks much in the way of real import outside the bubble in which it exists. No doubt "Being Human" is best enjoyed at a base level where expectations for something beyond basic entertainment must be put in check; there's very little that exists beyond the nuts-and-bolts of the story lines themselves, and audiences won't leave the season any better for having watched. There's something to be said for a show that entertains but offers nothing else; unfortunately, parts of "Being Human" fail to yield even a basic entertainment value. Several episodes do little to advance the plot or develop the characters with any real, lasting effect. Season two of "Being Human" would have benefited had it shed some excess weight and focused more on the primary story arcs rather than creating scenarios that play out for an episode but bear little or no fruit in the greater scope of the series.
Though it might lack any emotional resonance and fails to capture a continuously well-paced and arc-crucial construct, season two of "Being Human" does plenty of other things right that help offset, but not quite negate, it shortcomings. The season's primary story elements all serve the show well, developing the characters while also delivering plenty of entertainment bang for the buck (or the Pound or Euro, as the case may be). Although Annie's arc seems a bit stale (already, not a good sign), Mitchell and George delve deeper than ever before into their conditions, working fervently but sometimes with no gain or even obvious regression in their search to lead more normal, everyday "human" lives and cast aside their darker personas that can only, it would seem, bring them more pain and hardship than pleasures and benefits. The characters are very well acted and, when the script's on and they're given some obvious depth and thematically challenging material to work with, Tovey, Turner, and Crichlow all deliver amazing performances as obviously troubled souls who need to not just maintain balances in their personal lives and in their relationships with one another, but in the way they interact with others of their kind and, far more important, with unaware or unsympathetic humans. George, Mitchell, and Annie all go through their own personal hells in season two, and the show is better off for capturing a far darker side than anything seen in season one. Of course, the season's darker elements are offset by some welcome humor; whether George's bout with a Tourette's-like ailment or Annie's bumbling efforts on her first day of work at a local pub, the season find several laughs that lighten the mood and, better yet, show another side of the characters while setting them up for or stemming as a result of the season's more complex and challenging story arcs.
Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray, Video Quality
"Being Human: Season 2" arrives on Blu-ray with a steady but somewhat underwhelming 1080i transfer. Other than some light background noise, poor color gradations in select shots, and slight blocking, BBC's "Being Human" looks fine for what it is, even if it does appear a bit flat and visually uninteresting throughout the season's run. The image sports a glossy, mid-grade video-like texture that doesn't do the show any favors; it delivers adequate detailing and color, both of which can spike to a higher and more stable level at times, but the general feel is that of a highly mediocre high definition presentation. When the image manages to impress in its detailing, it really impresses with several close-ups that border on the extraordinary. Daytime scenes obviously fare better in both detailing and coloring than do the many darkened interior and blackened nighttime segments. Blacks are mostly stable if not slightly too absorbing, and flesh tones appear naturally rendered. This isn't an eye-catching transfer by any means, but it gets the job and done and delivers an image that's obviously several notches better than a standard definition presentation.
Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray, Audio Quality
"Being Human: Season 2" features a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that's about as routine as they come. The track delivers both instrumental score and popular music well enough, though it comes up well short of the mark in terms of offering listeners the spacing, clarity, and seamlessness of better soundtracks. Light atmospherics and more obvious effects alike hover around the front and do little more than establish an environment or support the visuals. Unfortunately, many effects play as crunchy and lacking precise definition. Dialogue -- the season's most critical audible element -- is crisp and accurate. They don't get much more indistinct than this; the soundtrack is fine at a very base level, but it comes up well short of format standards.
Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
"Being Human: Season 2" contains bonus materials on discs two and three. Disc two begins with Blood Bursting (480p, 8:51), a piece featuring series Creator Toby Whithouse and others discussing one of the first episode's most gruesome scenes -- featuring the decompression chamber -- and speak of its place in the series, set design, and the makeup effects that supported the scene. The Caves (480p, 6:28) looks at shooting at the Bristol Catacombs. Unleashing the Beast (480p, 7:02) looks at one of George's character arcs that partially defines his place in the season. Finally, The Swinging Sixties (480p, 8:52) focuses on the season's episode that flashes back to the 1960s. Disc three contains three more featurettes. Behind the Makeup (480p, 7:16) introduces audiences to the people behind creating the series' makeup. Making the New Werewolf (480p, 11:05) more closely examines the changes made between the werewolves seen in season one versus season two. Rounding out this collection of extras is Train Carnage (480p, 7:31), a piece that features a glimpse into one of the season's most horrific moments.
Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
"Being Human: Season 2" nicely advances its characters' arcs and delivers several intriguing dynamics, but the season never really proves immediately or wholly gripping, instead playing out as somewhat piecemeal and, at times, laborious. Make no mistake, this is a fun series with intriguing characters, but it never approaches the upper echelons of televised entertainment and certainly never quite achieves the potential that seems always within grasp but never fully realized. BBC's Blu-ray release sports a midrange 1080i transfer, a workmanlike Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, and a few extras. Recommended as a rental in conjunction with the first season.
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Being Human: Season Two Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Being Human Season 2 Blu-ray Announced - July 29, 2010
Warner Home Video, in conjunction with BBC Video, has announced Being Human: Season 2 for Blu-ray release on September 21. In this second season, vampire Mitchell, werewolf George, and ghost Annie encounter new enemies in their fight to lead something close to ...
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