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Featured TV on DVD Review: Being Human: Season Two

April 20th, 2013

Being Human: Season Two - Buy from Amazon

Right from the start there were people who hated this show. And by right from the start, I mean right from the first time it was announced. You see, Being Human is a remake of a British show. There have been a number of British shows that have been remade for American TV, many of them are terrible. This is especially true for Genre shows. (Whoever tried to remake Red Dwarf clearly had no idea what made that show great.) This show had an uphill battle just to get people to give it a chance. However, people did give it a chance and it earned great reviews. Is it as good as the early reviews? And is season two just as strong as season one?

The Show

It is impossible to review this show in any real depth without hitting unacceptable spoiler territory. The three main characters all have season long arcs, so it is best just to introduce them as we knew them in season one, plus give hints at where their story is going in season two. This will involve spoilers for season one and season two.

Samuel Witwer plays Aidan Waite, who is a Revolutionary War era vampire now living in Boston. The vampire who sired him, Bishop is the leader of the Boston area vampires. Aidan is a "vegetarian" vampire, which is to say, he doesn't eat live prey. Unfortunately, at the beginning he falls off the wagon and has to get help from Bishop and the rest when he accidentally kills a woman, Rebecca (Sarah Allen). However, we soon learn the woman wasn't actually dead and Bishop turned her into a vampire, as a way of getting Aidan back into the fold. We also learn that Bishop is planning to take over the Eastern Seaboard and is raising an illegal army of vampires to do so. He expects Aidan to side with him in the conflict. Both of these plans turn out to be mistakes. Not only is Aidan horrified about Bishop turning Rebecca into a vampire, but Aidan wants freedom from the politics of being a vampire and certainly doesn't want to lead a revolution. By the end of the season, Aidan turns on Bishop and destroys his chances of become the lead vampire and the pair have a battle to the death.

Sam Huntington plays Josh Levison, a werewolf. About two years before the show started, he met Aidan, after Aidan defended Josh from a couple of vampires. Aidan even got Josh a job as an orderly where Aidan works as a nurse. During the season, he meets Ray, a fellow werewolf. He also meets Nora, a nurse, and they begin a relationship. Of course the relationship is difficult, because he has to hide who he truly is and near the end of the season, his worst fear comes true and he accidentally scratches Nora. At the time, he doesn't know and she's unsure if she's infected.

Finally there's Meaghan Rath as Sally Malik. Six months before the show began, she died after she accidentally fell down the stairs. She's stuck in the house and until Aidan and Josh rent the place, she's been all alone. Aidan and Josh, being a vampire and a werewolf, can see ghosts. Since she has been at this the least amount of time, she has the most to learn about being who she is. Some of what she learns is helpful. She gets help from an older ghost and learns how to move with her mind and escape the house. She also learns some things she wishes she didn't know. For instance, she learns her death wasn't an accident and her fiancee murdered her. In the end, she has her epiphany moment and her door to the next world shows up. Unfortunately, that's when Bishop first attacks Aidan and while trying to save his live, she misses her chance to move beyond.

In season two, Aidan has taken over for Bishop, at least until "Mother" (Deena Aziz) arrives to choose a new leader for Boston. Aidan is the most likely choice, but she chooses Suren (Dichen Lachman), her daughter. Her daughter has been buried alive for more than 80 years after an incident that took place in Boston, and many of the vampires on the council worry she's not fit to lead. Mother's not worried, because she's making Aidan Suren's second in command. If Suren succeeds as leader, Aidan will finally be free. Unfortunately, Aidan and Suren's relationship is complicated, while Aidan's supply of blood is cut off after new security is installed in the hospital.

Josh's arc is a little bit of good news and a little bit of bad news. Nora learned what he was and didn't freak out; in fact, she has moved in with him. She is even a really good roommate to Sally, even though she can't see Sally. That changes when she becomes a werewolf. Josh accidentally scratches her at the end of season one, but she doesn't transform for the first time till season two. Sally becomes friends with a few ghosts, including Stevie, a kid she went to school with who killed himself. He teaches her how to dream, but when she tries, she unleashes some dark force into the world. Sally later meets Zoe Gonzalez (Susanna Fournier), a nurse who has the ability to see ghosts and helps them reincarnate into newborns. Zoe knows more about ghosts than most people and tries to help Sally learn about what she saw in her dream. She also learns about how ghosts can possess people, but this turns out to be addictive.

The Canadian version of Being Human is amazing. It is one of the best genre shows on TV at the moment and if anything, season two is better than season one. The main characters are great. Not only is the writing good, but so is the acting. They are interesting characters and they have compelling storyarcs. They avoid the Freak-of-the-week syndrome, as nearly all plot points add something to the continuing storylines. The special effects are really well done, especially for TV, and there's a great balance between the drama, the action, and the humor. Not everything is perfect. For instance, perhaps a little more humor would be in order. Also, at one point Josh explains to Nora how he became a werewolf. He and his friend were attacked in the woods. His friend was killed, he was scratched. "Scratched" He wasn't scratched, he was mauled. However, he had to say scratched, because he has accidentally scratched Nora, so she had to worry about being turned into a werewolf. If he had described the incident as a mauling, which is was, then Nora could have had less reason to worry about her becoming a werewolf. I admit, this complaint is minor, but it bugged me.

The Extras

Like the first season, there are no audio commentary tracks on season two. There is a making of featurette, which is just a hair over one hour in length. Up next is the Comic Com Q&A panel, which is nearly 50 minutes long. There is also a short 5-minute featurette. Nearly two hours of featurettes is a great amount for a TV on DVD release.

The Verdict

If you have seen the original British series and scoffed at the idea of a remake, you should give the Canadian remake of Being Human a chance. Season Two doesn't have any audio commentary tracks, but there are two lengthy featurettes, and a much shorter one, which is enough to make it worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Andreas Apergis, Kristen Hager, Sam Huntington, Mark Pellegrino