31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2010
American buyers should be aware that this BluRay title is encoded at a 50hz refresh rate, which is INCOMPATIBLE with most American BluRay players and TV sets (yes, the PS3 is one of the players these won't work on).
You have to have one of the following two setups to play this (or any other) 1080/50hz disc:
1. a player that can output 50hz discs at their native 50hz rate, PLUS a TV that can accept a 50hz 1080i input signal
2. a player that can convert the 50hz refresh to the 60hz standard preferred by American sets. This is similar to a PAL-to-NTSC standards conversion
VERY FEW American players/HDTVs can cope with 50hz discs. The Oppo players (BDP-80 and BDP-83) are among the few that can both output 50hz native AND convert it to 60hz, depending on your needs.
MOST British television shows these days are shot in 1080/50hz, because the Eurpoean HDTV standard is still on the same 50hz refresh rate that the old PAL standard was on. Many (but not all) British BluRays are encoded at that same 50hz rate to keep the signal pure/as intended, although some are converted to 60hz to appeal to the import/export market, so it's always best to do your research on these things!
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! There will be a Region-A (American-compatible) release of this happening September 21st, so if you can wait a couple months, those of you without the 50hz technology will be able to finally see the episodes without possibly importing the British set which likely won't work on your equipment.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
In the wake of the cataclysm that ended the prior season, our werewolf, vampire, and ghost fight to maintain their shaky humanity. But George has infected his girlfriend Nina with the werewolf curse. Mitchell finds himself the unwilling leader of Bristol's volatile vampire tribe. And Annie must accept that, though she's still dead, everyone can see and hear her. Too bad a vengeful preacher won't leave them be.
The first several episodes take a different tack than last season, more of a regular episodic drama, as the characters struggle to find level footing in their newly transformed lives. Relationships take center stage: how can you love someone alive when you're dead? How can you love someone when your shared rage could kill you both? How closely do romance and violence dwell in the human heart?
Several near-perfect scenes stick with me: dozens of hungry vampires singing Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" couldn't be more spot-on. When George seeks a way to cage his wolf, he gets mistaken for an S&M practitioner, opening doors for gentle but uproarious comedy. If we read these episodes as metaphors for common human experience, TV hasn't shown such insightful scenes in many a long, quiet year.
Later episodes shift to a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" tone, as though the creative team thought their audience demanded a catastrophic fantasy conclusion. When two vampires bare fangs and hiss at each other like angry kittens, I feel laughter, not terror. Scenes of characters chasing each other up and down dim corridors get tedious. And the talky denouement lingers so long that I got bored waiting for it to resolve.
But on the whole, this is a worthy follow-up to the first season's harrowing epic. Despite the fantasy element, the characters' struggles are mostly relatable, based on the desire to live the kind of life most of us take for granted. You could imagine drinking at the corner pub with these characters, as long as you didn't go with them alone. TV produces too few shows of this artistic caliber.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2011
After catching this on BBC America, had to own it! This is the best TV series yet involving supernaturals, and the main reason is they are much more than that. They are humans, coping with human problems as well as their unique situations. The acting is excellent, but the writing is what makes this series shine. Jumping from comedy to drama in a single breath, much like life often does. Original and fun.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2010
I found the first season of Being Human to be kind of a mixed bag, no so with this season, it is great, different and interesting. Again we follow the lives of three supernatural creatures, Mitchell a vampire, Anna a ghost and George a werewolf, this time they are joined by a second werewolf, Nina who get accidentally scratched by George at the end of season 1. This time around there is allot more going on. I would say there are four main plot lines, one is Mitchell having to try to handle a vampire society now left leaderless after the events of season one, then we have George trying to deal with his relationship with Nina, then we have Anna being threatened by whatever lies beyond death which want her back, and then we have the main plot line of a organization of monster hunters who have their eye on the main characters.
Again this show is as much about the everyday life of the four main characters as it is about a fantasy storyline, the show very much deals with the difficulties of being different. In a way the supernatural elements of this show get even more there and in your face because of the mundane events which surrounds them. If you liked the first season, even if you only liked it a little bit, you will love the second season, and really I would recommend the whole of the Being Human series to anyone who like modern fantasy and the supernatural. The show is very original and everything good in the first season is amplified ten fold in the second one.
My only complaint about the season is the length. English TV series seasons tend to be short and I would have loved to see this story get more time to develop, and just see more of these wonderful characters. However the show do make good use of their time and it do not feel rushed. All in all I would say this is a very good series which drive the story onward in a satisfying way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Here's one for you. So a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire go into a pub. The bartender approaches the trio and says "What'll you have?" Come on--you know this isn't a real joke--but the wink, wink premise of "Being Human" is that the punchline to this bizarre scenario would have the three moving in together as best friends (no, that's not how it actually went--it was just used to illustrate the "jokey" nature of the set-up)! "Being Human" is a show that absolutely depends on its unique premise to intrigue and amuse its fan base. Season One, for me, was a lark--an uneven blend of comedy and horror. It capitalized on its greatest strength which was the camaraderie of the unusual and supernatural flatmates. And while that's largely what fervent viewers latched on to, the show lacked a cohesion or solid through-line to make it must-see TV. For my money, season one was most notable for the chemistry and banter between werewolf George (Russell Tovey) and vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner).
Season Two is a decidedly darker affair. I can see how viewers who appreciated the lightweight breeziness of the first season might be put off--but I, for one, embraced the growth in drama and characterization. The unifying storyline helped ground the various characters and brought them together for an emotional and bloody finale. Mitchell, who tries to unite the local vampires peaceably, is pushed to extremes when violence thwarts his plan. His back story is revealed (at times graphically) and a colder, more vicious, Mitchell emerges as the season progresses to seek retribution for various betrayals. George is struggling with his own demons--having turned his love Nina into a lycanthrope. Still hoping to cling to humanity, he eventually succumbs to a possible cure that may put everyone at risk. And Annie (Lenora Crichlow), the ghost, continues to figure out her place in the afterlife. I know everyone thinks Annie is charming (don't send me hate mail), but Crichlow continues to be the weakest side of this triangle.
Amidst the highs--George and Nina share the series most dramatic and believable moments--and the lows--Annie gets a job as a pub waitress (don't ask!), "Being Human" builds a quiet intensity in its sophomore season. The climax is a killer, even Annie is utilized effectively. A solid recommendation for fans of the genre. I do want to shout out to Russell Tovey. Tovey really becomes the star of this piece, steals every scene he's in, and with Sinead Keenan (as Nina--the season's MVP) light up the screen with the best acting the show has seen. Kudos. KGHarris, 10/10.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
Great series, fun but serious enough to hold the interest of adults. Well-done effects for a tv series and quite clever dialog.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
The BBC is so great at creating and producing shows that I am jealous of what they have for television series, compared to what we have in America.
This series is fantastic, I love vampire stories but this is way better than just a vampire story. The characters have depth, the dialogue is great, and there is actually a story that doesn't treat me like I am an idiot. I bought this based soley on reviews and I was not disappointed. If you like other BBC series (Sherlock & Merlin are 2 of my favs) you will enjoy this series. I will be going crazy while waiting for season 3 to come out here in the states.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2010
I mean, 'Being Human' started out as this...how do I put this? This 'little' show. With this small idea--to just live in this house, get along with the neighbors, blend in with these so called, low-key jobs and well...be human.
And in the first season, you see a lot of that. And it's a fun ride to be had by all.
Though by the second season, things have had a way of moving along--to the point, that maybe just 'being human' isn't quite the goal anymore.
It's more like just trying to keep your head above water now. If the powers that be could just allow that.
And from very early on in the new season's opener, we're introduced to these 'powers'.
They come in the form of two new characters: Daisy and her husband Ivan. These two figure a lot into Mitchell's life--and that's probably because they're vampires too.
I won't give too much away here, but I think it's because of the two of them, that you ultimately see an advancement in Mitchell's personality.
It's like Mitchell sorta steps up and assumes a more leadership role in the vampire community at large in the wake of Herrick's departure. (Or at least, he tries.) And through this role, Mitchell becomes a more darker figure.
And can I tell you how this really changes your perception of him?
Because from the first season, you're thinking that you sorta know this Mitchell character. I mean, I thought I did. It's like from last season, Mitchell always came off as this fun loving guy.
I mean, oh sure he was a vampire all right, but there was always this light-heartedness about him too, that always managed to shine its way through. (That's what I always loved about his character--he was a vampire that you could love and even cuddle up to.) This season though, maybe not so much. (Though there is a cute scene in episode four where George is jumping on top of Mitchell and Mitchell is telling George that he stinks--I think this is one of the FEW times in the season that you see Mitchell actually smile.) Boy, do I miss this. (Only because you got so much MORE of this in season one.) Oh well.
And maybe when I think about it, that's the evolution that Mitchell's character needed to make. You know, to advance the plot along.
There's an evolution that the George character makes too. He seems bolder this time around. And decisive too.
It's good that with (his girlfriend Nina's encouragement), that he gets on with things and gets himself a new job teaching English as a second language. This development really suits him I think, though...again, I won't give too much away, but some of my beefs about this season probably go to the writer(s).
It's like the writers will do something, like they'll take the story in one direction, then they'll do this 'take back'. (That's what ultimately happens with George.)
OK, so I'll give ONE thing away regarding a 'take back'.
Early on in this season, the ghost Annie can be seen. And she's so confident with this ability, that she even gets herself a job in a pub.
Only after the show progresses along, this ability of being seen (seemingly at random or maybe not?) is taken away from her. And when she can no longer be seen, I'll tell you it's heartbreaking. And kinda pointless too.
I mean, why give her this ability (to be seen) just to take it away? [Note to the writers: I think it would be a good idea to make Annie be able to control when she wants to be visible and when she doesn't want to be--like I think a 'real' ghost would be.] Then her character could have more of a life and you could do more things with her.
All in all though, I will give the writers of the show their 'props' for keeping 'Being Human' fresh and entertaining. The way the second season ends, you can hardly wait for the third. I know I can't!
(Also, how the show had these flashbacks--that was a nice touch too. I really liked the one with Mitchell and his girlfriend from the 60's.)
And something else with the Mitchell character that I feel I need to add: I really feel astonished with where the writers took him this time around.
It's like whenever I used to think of him, he was almost like the 'father' figure of the group. And it made so much sense. Because it was like he provided the balance and structure of how George and Annie got along.
Only in this season, he sorta crosses that line. (Or really abandons it!)
Because to hear Mitchell say (to Annie) 'I just think about your body...under those clothes. I think about your skin...' This is a NEW Mitchell indeed!
Because before all this commentary, I NEVER gleaned any kind of 'physical' attraction between Mitchell and Annie. (That is, it never crossed my mind that he could be attracted to her like that.) I mean, because he'd always seemed like this jovial 'big brother' type to me.
Now, not so much.
And so like I said in my title, the second season of 'Being Human' really DID turn the corner!
And maybe that's not such a bad thing after all.
Watch and ENJOY!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I had mixed feelings about the second season of the BBC's 'Being Human'. The first half was as good as it gets; Mitchell trying to get Britain's vampires to swear off blood (and killing) and George trying sleeping pills to make the monthly transition to werewolf a little less, well, traumatic. But, no good deed goes unpunished. And Annie, the ghost, finds a boyfriend of sorts, only to have a unique problem with him.
The thing I didn't like was the last two episodes. Mitchell has a terrible change of heart after a tragedy, and Annie gets swept up in the Anglican priest's experiments in dealing with those represented by the three housemates. Mitchell's change is especially terrible; you can no longer sympathize with this young hunkish misfit. He and his erstwhile girlfriend are reunited, and things are not well in Bristol. George maintains, but Annie has the rug pulled out from under her, and she's powerless to prevent her sudden change of scenery.
Mitchell must become more sympathetic for me to root for him. Ditch the old girlfriend, avoid the new girlfriend (well, that's not a problem) and get in good graces with the people in Bristol again.
Maybe season three will sort it all out. Let's hope!