Blu-Ray Review: Excellent Supernatural Hit ‘Being Human’ From BBC

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – It’s not often that a program in the U.K. is being produced and airing on BBC America at the same time as an American remake version of the same concept. But it’s not often that you have a hook as strong as the one on “Being Human” — the remake airs on SyFy and the third season of the original was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD by BBC America and Warner Bros. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

On paper, “Being Human” probably sounds ridiculous. But so did “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Lost.” And, yes, at its best, this show deserves comparisons with those modern classics. It sounds like the set-up for a bad joke — a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost move into a flat. Trust me. It’s not joke. This is intense, smart, well-acted, great stuff with some of the best writing in genre television of the last few years. Don’t miss it.

Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Being Human: Season Two was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st, 2010
Photo credit: BBC/Warner Home Video

The first season of “Being Human,” also available on Blu-ray and DVD from WB/BBC Home Video, essentially stands alone as a mini-series. At the end of that season, creator Toby Whithouse basically shattered his character’s perceptions of themselves, turning werewolf George (Russell Tovey) into a murderer and a, freeing Annie the ghost (Leonora Crichloww) from her exile, and forcing the Mitchell the vampire (Aidan Turner) to realize that he has a light side to go with his dark.

The second season featured the characters dealing with a more-unpredictable world. With the loss of the leader of the vampires, Mitchell was lost. George had to deal with the fact that killing felt good while also ushering Nina (Sinead Keenan) into her new existence. And Annie continued to struggle with the loss of her humanity.

While some elements of “Being Human” are certainly cheesy, this is not “True Blood” and it couldn’t be further from “The Twilight Saga.” These characters feel more genuine and their plights resonate more effectively that HBO’s gothic soap opera. It helps to have four strong principals (Keenan became a regular after the first season). Watching these talented actors develop into these increasingly-complex characters has been one of the greatest joys of “Being Human.”

I love shows that defy genre expectations. “The X-Files,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Lost,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood” — they all became so much more than their genre descriptions could capture. “Being Human” deserves mention in the same breath for the same accomplishment.

“Hot on the heels of the SyFy Channel’s American remake, the original UK Being Human returns to DVD and Blu-ray for a third gripping season. Leaving the memories of their much-loved former house behind, George, Nina, and Mitchell settle into their new home - a kitschy B&B named Honolulu Heights that boasts many benefits for supernatural types…a large basement providing safe haven on a full moon, for starters. Season three boasts an impressive array of guest-stars, including Lacey Turner (EastEnders) as Lia, who Mitchell meets in Purgatory, Robson Green (Wire In The Blood) as primitive werewolf McNair, Michael Socha (This Is England ‘86) as McNair’s son Tom, Paul Kaye (It’s All Gone Pete Tong) as twisted vampire Vincent, Craig Roberts (Young Dracula) as teenage vampire Adam; Nicola Walker (MI-5) as social worker Wendy, James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley) as George’s father; and Jason Watkins making an eventful return as vampire leader Herrick.”

Special Features:
o Extended Cast Interviews
o Deleted Scenes
o Sinead’s Set Tour

‘Being Human: Season Three’ stars Leonora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, Sinead Keenan, Donald Sumpter, and Lyndsey Marshal. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 3rd, 2011. It is not rated and runs approximately 460 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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