I had never watched an episode of “Being Human” before popping in Disc One of this “Complete Second Season” set. I knew it was going to be a struggle when I was driven to distraction by the fact that the opening credits take five full minutes to play out, flashing up one credit at a time in the lower left corner as a lengthy conversation unfolds. Five minutes of an episode chewed up by credits? I don’t watch enough TV today to know if that’s normal, but I found it excruciating. Of course I also stopped watching network television once stations started permanently emblazoning their logos on the screen; at least you don’t get that on these Blu-ray transfers.
That has precisely nothing to do with the quality of the show, however, and since I bailed ten minutes later (maybe just before they started to crank up the closing credits) I can say nothing other than tha “Being Human” is another in a long line of recent supernatural melodramas that holds no interest for me. I would not presume to evaluate it with such limited exposure, so please just consider an informational review only.
“Being Human” launched on BBC in 2009. Series creator and writer Toby Whithouse quickly hooked viewers on a story about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost sharing a flat in Bristol and trying to live among the “normal” people. It only took a few years for the show to get a North American version that debuted on Syfy in 2011 and instantly became the network’s biggest winter season launch in a long time.
Aidan (Sam Witwer) is a vampire, Josh (Sam Huntington) is a werewolf, and they both work at a hospital, which entails all sorts of temptations for a vampire, but Aidan appears to have things mostly under control. The two of them share an apartment in Boston with Sally (Meaghan Rath) who has recently become a ghost after an unpleasant breakup with her fiance. The series splits its time between the comedy that springs up among three unlikely apartment mates and the political intrigue of the fractious vampire community, as well as the romantic entanglements of its highly photogenic cast of twenty-somethings.
Season Two opens right after Aidan has killed off a major Season One adversary and deals with the immediate ramifications both to him and his vampire buddies. Josh also has a new girlfriend who knows all about his werewolf thing and doesn’t seem to mind one bit, at least until it becomes a bit more personal to her. Poor Sally still can’t be seen by most “normal” people, but tries to make friends among the undead.
The Blu-ray set consists of four discs with all thirteen episodes (approx. 43 min. each) of the show’s second season:
Turn This Mother Out
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
All Out of Blood
(I Loathe You) For Sentimental Reasons
Addicted To Love
Mama Said There’d Be Decades Like These
The Ties That Blind
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
When I Think About You I Shred Myself
Don’t Fear The Scott
Partial Eclipse Of The Heart
It’s My Party And I’ll Die If I Want To
plus bonus material
The episodes are presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The 1080p transfers look almost antiseptically clean to my eye after spot-checking parts of four episodes, one on each disc. I’m sure that’s because the series is shot in HD with lots of green-screen.
Listeners can choose either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. Obviously, the lossless option offers the superior audio, though the difference isn’t major. Optional English subtitles support the English audio.
All of the extras are included on Disc Four.
The Making-of “Featurette” is almost a feature, clocking in at 61 minutes. Many science-fiction/horror TV shows pack their making-ofs with technical production details, but this feature primarily concerns the writing, acting, and the various character arcs. It includes interviews with the cast as well as the writers, directors, and producers. A brief extra called “Being Human Problems” (5 min.) summarizes the major obstacles facing each of the central characters in Season Two; warning, there may be spoilers here.
Disc Four also included a video of the show’s 2012 San Diego Comic Con Panel (48 min.) There are a lot of women in the audience; I guess Witwer and Huntington are major draws.
The inside sleeve of the package includes an episode guide with brief capsule summaries. No other printed material is included.
Ignore my rating for this one, and consider this an informational review only. This set only features a few extras, all of which are one Disc Four, but you get all thirteen episodes of Season Two in clean high-def transfers.
“Being Human” has been a hit for Syfy and Season Three is scheduled to debut on Jan 14, 2013.