Being Human: Season 2
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Being Human returns for a gripping second season as vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner), werewolf George (Russell Tovey), and ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) encounter new enemies in their fight to lead something close to normal lives. It’s tough being supernatural. Mitchell’s romance with a feisty doctor is disrupted by a vampire community in disarray. George’s relationship with a new girlfriend is undermined by an uncontrollable twist in his werewolf existence. Annie has a brutal reminder that life as a spirit is full of challenges. All three are threatened by CenSSA, a religious organization committed to the destruction or conversion of supernatural freaks, operated by the mysterious Professor Jaggat and the sinister, cold-hearted Kemp. Just when your inner demons might be conquered, it’s the outer demons who won’t go away.
Fans will pounce on the second season of Being Human, the beloved series about a trio of supernatural beings--a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost--who just want to lead normal lives. In the first episode, George (the lycanthrope, played by Russell Tovey) is trying to make his relationship with Nina (Sinead Keenan) work, only he doesn't know that he's passed his curse on to her; rakishly handsome Mitchell (the bloodsucker, Adrian Turner) meets a new doctor at the hospital and feels an immediate attraction; and ever-chipper Annie (the specter, Lenora Crichlow) sets out to get a job. Unfortunately for them, a gaunt fanatic named Kemp wants to destroy them and all their kind. The series seeks to juggle domestic story lines about relationships and family with grand conspiracies and bloody murders. The result never meshes--in one scene, Mitchell conspires with a police chief to cover up vampire murders, and in another he, George, and Annie are flopped on the couch, chatting like college freshmen about having sex. Either sequence could be enjoyable, but trying to slam them together undercuts both. It doesn't help that the characters squeal and whine like sullen teenagers half the time. Fortunately, the cast manages to rise above the writing to exude genuine charm and the production values are strong--the designers clearly relish every opportunity for gruesomeness. Being Human: Season Two has only a small handful of extras, but there are eight episodes instead of the first season's six. --Bret Fetzer
Unleashing the Beast
The Swinging Sixties
Behind the Makeup
Making the New Werewolf
Easter eggs: CenSSA hidden menus, additional featurettes
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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.
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.
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 simplywant 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 moments).
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.
Mitchell is an agonized vampire, with a sense of humor and real feelings for his flatmates. George is so sweet and sensitive, you'de never believe he is a werewolf unless you saw him change. Annie is my favorite! She is sweet, sensitive, agonized and quite fun!
I watched the american verison and it is CORNY with a capital "C". The BBC version is light years ahead.
I downloaded the first 2 seasons on Amazon Video on Demand and plan to do the same for the third.
What a great show....Bravo BBC!!!
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