Life -- and occasionally undeath -- just keep getting more complicated for the three supernatural roommates of "Being Human." The second season is a much darker affair than the one before it, and while there are occasional patches of lighthearted fun ("Clowns... so many... clowns!"), the real focus here is on the dangers both to AND from the supernatural world.
About a month after Herrick's death, things have gotten complex for everybody. Annie has decided to get a job at the local pub, leading her to meet a man who is being manipulated by the spirits of the dead. George's strained relationship with Nina takes a new turn when it's discovered that he accidentally infected her. And with Herrick gone, Mitchell is struggling to keep the vampires from being discovered -- and may have to do some morally repulsive things to succeed.
Along the way, they have to deal with Annie's matchmaking efforts, vampire attacks, Mitchell's mentor falling off the wagon, George's efforts to quell his lycanthropy (and how THAT backfires), a senseless psychic, and Mitchell falling for a pretty doctor.
Unfortunately, the little gang has become an object of interest to the mysterious Kemp and his organization, who are determined to wipe out the supernatural population ("Beasts should be kept in cages"). And though the gang are not aware of them, Kemp's group is drawing closer and uncovering more and more of their secrets, until disaster strikes.
The first season of "Being Human" was a pretty even mix of horror, comedy and drama, but the second season is a lot darker and more painful. More blood, more angst, more glimpses of the horror of being a werewolf/vampire/ghost/whatever -- and Kemp's cold-blooded approach is a pretty horrible one (example: the scene where a werewolf is prevented from shifting).
But fortunately, the series has retained its3 wit (a werewolf afraid of clowns, a vampire who throws a tantrum when he misses his favorite TV show) and delicious dialogue ("This can't be happening to me! I teach language!" "You could teach BAD language"). And the writers tighten up the storylines with new problems for each supernatural group, which get progressively worse as the season goes on.
The downside: a vein of anti-religious sentiment running through the season. Yeah, of course ONLY religious fanatics would hate werewolves, vampires and ghosts, and the ONLY possible response to the supernatural would be... you guessed it: religious fanaticism. How cliche.
The three lead actors are still doing brilliant jobs as three very eccentric roommates: Lenora Crichlow's Annie is charming and sweet as a good-natured ghost, who is just trying to live her own life; Russell Tovey's George goes through some painful patches as he continues to struggle with life as a nerdy werewolf (although he's a complete jerk in Episode 1). And Aidan Turner does a truly brilliant job as a "clean" vampire who is slowly slipping down the moral slope.
"Being Human Season Two" is a darker, grimmer affair than the first season, but it's still pretty good TV with loads of supernatural drama. And it leaves you waiting for more.
on 15 April 2010
Forget the negative rubbish in previous reviews, this series will go on to become BBC 3's finest product and become even more successful than Gavin & Stacey! Some reviewers compare Being Human to absolute garbage such as Blood Ties, True Blood and Vampire Diaries! This series is a million light years ahead of that lot!. The difference is in the writing. Being Human writing is intelligent. The main characters are now fully developed. The new characters in each episode bring out more from the main characters.
Herricks death at the end of Series 1 allowed the introduction of Ivan and Daisey in Series 2, a masterstroke. The added furtherence and introduction of (Reverend) Kemp and Professor Jaggart provided intriging conflictions between religion and science. The acting, production and direction in Series 2 surpassed the first series. And the twist at the end of Series 2 opens up limitless possibilities for Series 3.
Buy and enjoy!
And get your teeth into this fantastic series!
Second season of the BBC show Being Human comes to dvd. With all eight one hour long episodes in a single box, spread over three dvd's.
The show is about a Werewolf, a Vampire, and a ghost, all living in a house in Bristol and trying to lead normal lives.
The start of the season isn't really a great jumping on point, as it does have a fair bit of back story from the first season, so new viewers should start with that instead.
If you've seen it, read on.
Those who saw this season on original broadcast may wish to be aware that some of the original music has been altered for dvd due to 'contractural reasons.' Not having seen it at the time I can't say what the alterations are, but some sources do say most of it is the same.
Following the end of season one, new problems await the three main characters as they continue to try and live their lives. George has romance with Nina to keep him going. But the latter has a lot of adjustment to do.
Now that Annie hasn't moved on to the next life when she should have, what will she do next? And what will happen as a result of her still being on Earth?
Mitchell finds romance as well, with a lady Doctor. But with the resulting power vacuum in the Vampire ranks following the end of season one, something must be done to keep the status quo going.
Then there's the mysterious man glimpsed in the last scene of season one, who took an interest in Annie and her two friends. He might have an agenda of his own...
Following on from the format of the first season, this does what that did with character story arcs that span the course of the season. And some storylines complete in a single episode. Many of the latter go to Annie, but they do all serve a purpose in developing her.
There are shocks and surprises to be had, some very brutal and graphic moments that will make you gasp. Donald Sumpter makes an excellent villain in the shape of the cold hearted Kemp. One surprise guest star makes a small but very memorable appearance. Plus there are moments that might just break your heart, as our heroes find just how hard it can be simply to be human.
The season finale is stunningly good for the first fifty minutes, then doesn't quite know how to end for the last few. But a lot of that exists to set up season three, so it's only a minor complaint.
Some second seasons are better than the opening ones, and that's the case here. Superb and very memorable tv.
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options;
Discs two and three have seven featurettes between them, all running from six to eleven minutes, and all about a particular little aspect of the season. All these are very good.
On disc one are two extras which give greater detail about the shadowy organisation glimpsed at the end of season one, and whom the aforementioned Kemp works for. These are dvd easter eggs, but are quite simple to find. Just switch the disc on and leave it on the main menu screen for a few minutes, and a different menu will suddenly appear which will let you access them.
The first of these runs for twenty five minutes, and is an essential watch. As it looks at the events from before and during this season from a different perspective. With some very telling nods to certain things throughout.
The second is a four minute long tour of one particular location, but it's well worth a watch.
on 11 March 2010
Vampire TV shows have been very en vogue in the last few years, with US programmes like True Blood,The Vampire Diaries and Blood Ties doing the rounds. But Being Human was different. It was low-key and gritty; it didn't have the flashy special effects or multi-million dollar budgets of these American shows. It was primarily a character drama about extraordinary people trying to live ordinary lives. And it was brilliant.
Series 2 picks up just a matter of weeks after the close of the first series. George and Nina are still together after the dramatic events at the end of the first series, although their relationship is becoming increasingly strained and George is acting more and more aggressively and wolf-like (remember Tully?). Nina is trying to remain distant to him while she gets her head around what has happened, and keep secret from George that mid-transformation he scratched her too.
Things are askew for the vampire factions in Bristol, now disparate and lawless without their leader Herrick. Mitchell realises that they need a strong leader and structure else they will run amok and destroy all order and the uneasy truce with the authorities, all the while trying to curb his bloodlust and convince others to do the same. A potential love interest is introduced in Lucy, a lonely doctor who Mitchell befriends and grows increasingly close to over the series. Meanwhile, an 'Old One' named Ivan and his insatiable wife Daisy come to town, to revel in the chaos and see how events pan out in the wake of Herrick's death - but are they allies or enemies to the increasingly burdened Mitchell?
As ever, Annie is the ray of light in the series, and Lenora Critchlow plays her part to wonderful effect, with a beautiful mixture of joy and sadness. Having refused her invitation to 'cross over', Annie is now hunted by Death and its agents, and must learn to combat this lest she be gone forever. Along the way she meets other ghosts and some psychics, and begins to question whether she really wants an indefinite life without really living.
A major plot arc this series concerns a mysterious and fanatical institute headed by a former reverend named Kemp and his colleague, Professor Jaggat. They seek to destroy vampires and cure werewolves by any means necessary and don't care who gets in the way, and it's not long before they set their sights on our trio who are caught unawares and unsure how to deal with what may or may not be a threat to them.
Overall, it's an excellent return for the programme, if perhaps not quite as tight as the first series. In particular, it felt like too many plot lines or characters are dropped before being fully explored (such as Hugh, or George's 'Tourettes'), and the last episode was a little anticlimactic and low-key considering the build-up. It's a lot darker and busier than the first series, and by the end everything has changed and we're looking at a very different format for a highly anticipated series 3. It's excellently directed with a great soundtrack and very stylish all around, showing that programmes don't need a monster budget or CGI to remain compelling viewing. If Being Human continues to ride this wave, it will easily be one of the best British TV shows ever. Essential viewing.
The second series of the outstanding BBC Three drama "Being Human" dramatically intensifies from the first series, yet continues to provide excellent entertainment with high quality and excellently made drama.
As with the first series, the show's premise is that of three main central characters- a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire- trying to live sensible, quiet, normal suburban lives. Despite being a fantasy, the show is incredibly human- hence the title, and the characters are warming, familiar and loveable, wonderfully played by Aidan Turner, Leonora Crichlow and the ever fantastic Russell Tovey- and the characters are excellently developed and the story wonderfully progressed in this season- bringing with it a highly emotive series with a good dose of tension and suspense chucked in for exciting measure. The whole show is wonderfully written and brilliantly produced, and this series' special effects are improved greatly.
The show has everything you would expect from a supernatural drama- lots of blood, guts and gore; animorphis and slipping through doorways- and it has everything you'd expect from a decent drama series- ambition, desire, love and struggles- creating an endearing and powerful set of characters. The entire cast play their parts wonderfully and with excellent conviction, and particular kudos goes to Russell Tovey to stands out with his huge range of abilities during this series- managing to bring the audience to tears or laughter, as well as having the power to keep us on the edge of our seats.
The programme continues to have something for everyone, not just limiting itself to those who enjoy the fantasy genre, and it really makes for excellent viewing. I highly recommend this excellently made BBC drama; it really is completely brilliant, and the extras on this DVD boxset are really enjoyable and definitely worth a watch!
on 7 March 2010
In a nutshell this is Being Human at it's best! Toby Whithouse has created something that has captured the hearts and minds of so many people that this could be the strat of a British horror revolution.
Anyway, the character story arcs are well rounded and not a moment is lost in getting to the climax of the series. It has made me laugh, cry and scream at my tv as I've watch Annie, George, Nina and Mitchell get from one end of the series to another.
All I can say is that I can't wait for series 3 and have a feeling that it won't disappoint.
on 5 July 2010
After the excellent series one of this vampire/ghost/werewolf drama, series 2 has a hard act to follow. Fortunately it maintains the terrific pace and excellent characterisations of the first series, while even managing to become more intriguing despite the loss of one of the best characters.
Arguably darker and more intense than the original series, here we see the hapless trio step things up a gear in their quest to find normality despite their respective issues. However, as you'd expect things get a little out of hand, and as the series progresses we're left wondering whether our heroes will survive for a third outing...
With the departure of one of the series's key characters at the end of Season One, viewers may have feared that this original blend of horror and comedy would run out of ideas for Season Two. While the comedy is toned down, however, the horror is dialled up almost from the start, and the journeys of our three key characters - the ghost, the vampire and werewolf - should keep you engrossed until the strong final episode. There is some very nasty stuff in here, showing that although True Blood may seem the hipper and more sophisticated vampire series, the imagination of creator Toby Whithouse gives this British rival a definite edge.
Of course, there are some drawbacks in all this. The werewolf special effects are still weak, and the new order of the vampires is a little too familiar. Also, the central characters seem too separated at times and you may feel your interest flagging during some of the generous dialogues. Entire episodes can digress into fascinating little short stories, as when the ghost meets a medium who has lost his powers.
That said, this is a genuine cult classic in the making ... a sinister treat whose final scenes will leave you eager for season three.
8 episodes. While still uneven at times, with it's goofy moments of humor not always meshing smoothly with it's darker and
more emotional sides, the series has grown a bit in it's 2nd season. While still not (for me) up with the all time great series
like The Wire or Mad Men or Breaking Bad, at it's best, it's an amazingly potent mix of heartrending drama, dark, off-beat
humor and some effective horror as well. But this is horror with all the rules reversed, with the `monsters' being the human
race, and the heroes -- our vampire, werewolf and ghost who simply want to live like other people.
At times, in an odd way it reminded me of "Dexter", the outsider with scary possibilities, who wants to fit in. But whereas Dexter
is all about emotions repressed, here the emotions are on the sleeve (occasionally a bit too much, and there are a few soapy
Much like the first season this starts strong, seems to lose its way a bit in the middle, with some forced humor, and repetitive
moments but finishes with such a kick that its easy to forgive any lapses. The acting is on a very high level, the writing is witty
and human, and the direction and camerawork can be very effective at creating mood and scares on a TV budget. Not perfect
perhaps, but it's a rare TV show that can make me think, laugh, cry, and send a shiver down my spine all in one episode. Some
great and inventive use of rock tunes to set the mood tops it off.
on 2 August 2012
Slightly difficult to start, this series or season finally finds its rhythm and its pace in the chase of the bigot priest. Is it the chase of the bigot priest by the monsters, or is it the chase of the monsters by the bigot priest? Both probably. But once this chase is started it gets speed and strength frame after frame. Speedy Gonzalez is playing the road runner.
The three friends of ours, plus the brand new female werewolf, and a few occasional acquaintances, are confronted to strong and powerful choices to make. To abstain from drinking blood, hence killing, for the vampires, or to go on with the blood festival. For the werewolves to transform inside a cage or to go on transforming in nature. For the ghost to go on being a spirit invisible to everyone or to go on and proceed to the other side of the door.
And in-between the werewolfish changes what about having a normal; creative and fully productive life? And in-between the drinking episodes or the Bloodoholics Anonymous meetings what about having a job and a social life in your neighbourhood and in your community, if you are a member of any community. For the ghost it is more difficult because a ghost is a ghost all the time and there is no in-between episodes. The ghost can just satisfy him/herself by making cups of tea she/he will never drink.
All that would be simple if the normal people around them in society were a little more empathetic and supportive. But alas there are on both sides some fundamentalists. Either the fundamentalists of monstrousness for whom there is no possible change of the monsters who have to just follow their ways, their genes. On the normal human side there are also some fundamentalist Christian (in this series) who consider it their duty to kill as many monsters as possible in order to save them, which means to get them away from normal society. That has a name: ethnic cleansing or eugenics.
The worst part in this confrontation is that there will always be a scientist who will justify the eugenic ethnic cleansing on the human side, and some ancestor who will always say that things have always been the way they will always be, or vice versa, on the monster side. In other words there is no possible escape from these various dilemmas.
But please do not use this very serious discussion as a metaphor of any kind of ethnic confrontation. The people of the other ethnic groups than yours are not vampires, werewolves or ghosts. They are just as human as you, so it does not work. But what about meeting some extraterrestrials tomorrow? The only point that can be generalized is that there will always be fundamentalists on any side of any divide, even when the divide is phantasmagorical. Unluckily we can say fundamentalism is a basic dimension of the human mind and behaviour. God help the poor, the rich, the weak, the meek or the powerful all alike.
The series becomes then interesting though maybe slightly too dense in the peripeteias inhabiting the underbrush of the story and we get fearful because there might be some werewolf or vampire behind some heather or ferns. But I do like the various views we get of Bristol now and then.
The end of this series is so full of twists we cannot even start summarizing it. Sorry folks no spoilers, for once, I am not a party pooper. I generally go poop in some private place with highly selected company.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU