From the creative team behind “Pillars of the Earth,” “The Mentalist” and “Heroes”, ”Being Human” is Syfy’s re-imagining of the acclaimed UK series created by Toby Whithouse (now in its fifth season overseas). Starring Sam Witwer (“Smallville”, “Battlestar Galactica”), Meaghan Rath (“The Assistants”) and Sam Huntington (Superman Returns), “Being Human” follows three paranormal, 20-something roommates living in a Boston brownstone – vampire “Aidan” (Witwer), werewolf “Josh” (Huntington) and ghost “Sally” (Rath) – as they struggle to resist the temptations of their true natures. Watching the characters hide their dark secrets from the world, while helping each other navigate the complexities of living double lives and trying to be human has made the series a supernatural smash.
“Being Human” is the story of vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer), and werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington). Aidan and Josh are roommates who reside with a third supernatural being, Sally (Meaghan Rath) who is a ghost. Aidan and Josh are able to see and talk to Sally because they are not human. Those who don’t want me to spoil season one are lucky – I haven’t seen it and don’t know how it differs from season two.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of season two is Sally. Sally has missed her door, missed the chance to move on. She is stuck in the stretch pants and sweater she died in. She can’t easily manipulate the world around her and believes she can only talk to other non-humans. At the hospital where Aidan and Josh work, Sally meets a nurse who helps ghosts become reincarnated. She works with sick babies and helps them accept the ghost so they can become one. Sally wants to be reincarnated but is afraid of a darkness following her. It’s her past that makes the nurse unwilling to help. Much of this season is devoted to that darkness and it’s origins.
The part of the show I’m really lost on is Aidan. He’s tasked with caring for a returning vampire known as Suren because the “mother” (head vampire lady) said so and there’s lots of flashbacks to a significant and lengthy history between Aidan and Suren. Aidan tries not to drink fresh human blood, but he ends up going off the wagon and even ends up in a relationship with Josh’s ex fiancée.
Josh has quite a story going on himself. He is a werewolf, and has inadvertently turned his new girlfriend, Nora into one too. Josh wants to be cured and to become human again but Nora doesn’t always seem to share that desire. Things really get complicated when they meet a pair of siblings that are pure-bread, they were born werewolves (not turned) and want to get rid of their human side.
Any of these characters could easily be the focus of their own show, so it does get a little complicated to follow it all. Although Aidan is very cute, I wasn’t interested in his back story. Maybe if I’d watched season one I would have understood more and perhaps been more interested in his arc. As it is, I prefer it when they stick to Aidan’s adventures in the current time. What surprises me is how little time the show spends dealing with what it’s like to be so unique. They barely scratch the surface of how hard it is for a vampire to work in a hospital. The show also doesn’t spend enough time making the viewer contemplate what it would be like to live in that house, which has to be a unique experience.
While confusing, the show is worth watching. Having never seen the BBC version, I also wonder how similar the stories are. Despite not having seen the first season I saw enough to make me want to start over and watch the first season and continue for a while and see where it goes. There are many shows where you can jump in at any point and know almost everything that’s going on. I often rely on the “previously on…” section to tell me what I need to know. ”Being Human” is definitely NOT one of those shows to jump into. But that’s exactly what I did, starting with season two.
“Being Human” season two is presented on Blu- ray with a wide-screen 1.78:1 ratio and an AVC-encoded transfer that does not disappoint. The computer generated effects aren’t too obviously fake and all the non-humans are believable. The show looks good in the darkest and lightest of shots and the varying degrees of red are most noticeable in the multi-dimensional blood.
While the video impressed, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio helped lend a lot of believability to the show. Dialogue is clear and consistent and monster sounds aren’t overwhelming. Even Sally’s “Exorcist” moments with accompanying demon-like voice come across well.
The Blu- ray disc contains the following features:
- Making of featurette – Over an hour in length, you can find a lot of background on the show here. Each main character is discussed but there is a lot less behind the scenes footage than I expected.
- Being Human Comic Con Panel – From the 2012 Comic Con, this is a panel I didn’t see in person. The cast and co-executive producer answer questions in the usual lighthearted Comic Con style.
- Being Human Problems – A five minute featurette further discussing the issues each character faces.
This season of “Being Human” would certainly be more enjoyable if I had seen season one. That was my mistake. The show is well acted and interesting enough to make me want to go back and see the first season and to keep me watching future seasons. My hopes were high, loving vampires, werewolves and ghosts so much since you don’t often get to see all three together, and I do admit I hoped for more than this show delivered. I’d still recommend this series, cautioning the perspective viewer that it’s good but not great. Not yet anyway….I wouldn’t bet that it won’t improve and I hope it does.
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