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Reviewed by Ross Ruediger
ow that’s more like it. I’m referring, of course, to the sophomore season of “Being Human.” Of its freshman season I wrote, “It doesn’t always reach as far it feels it potentially could” and “it’d probably be best to cut ‘Being Human’ a little slack at this early stage of the game.” With its setup out of the way, the series is now taking long, deep breaths, and exhaling a fantastically entertaining combination of humor, horror and drama. This is where the series really begins.
With vampire leader Herrick dispatched (thank you, George), it has fallen on Mitchell (Aidan Turner) to begrudgingly lead the vampires, and so he chooses to do so with leading by example: No blood-sucking; he even manages to bring a sort of AA model to the group. He also finds himself smitten with a doctor from the hospital, Lucy (Lyndsey Marshall). George (Russell Tovey) has accidentally turned his girlfriend, Nina (Sinead Keenan), into a werewolf as well, which doesn’t exactly bode well for their blossoming relationship. And Annie (Lenora Crichlow) has found a way to go corporeal, and as a result takes a job at a pub and finds a romance (or two) that can’t possibly end well.
As it turns out, though, these are the least of the unholy trinity’s problems. Lurking on the sidelines is a driven, calculating ex-priest and religious zealot named Kemp (Donald Sumpter) who’s got a pretty serious axe to grind with Creatures Supernaturale. Kemp works for CenSSA (the Center for the Study of Supernatural Activity), although studying doesn’t exactly seem to be his goal – eradication is far closer the aim. And who is this Professor Jaggat that we’ve been hearing about since the final episode of Season One? The answer to that question is one of Season Two’s most jarring moments, although nothing will prepare you for the weirdness of the last the 20 minutes of the Season Two finale, which makes way for the upcoming third. What happens in those moments sets up a third season that will either be brilliant or a disaster, but I’m pulling for the former, because creator Toby Whithouse appears to have found quite the groove at this stage.
Season Two unveils nearly a dozen new characters; some are important to the overall storyline, while others only make their mark for an episode or two. None of them would matter to us if the show hadn’t firmly established its mission by this point, which it clearly has. The idea of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost trying desperately to retain their humanity is still front and center, and more effectively and imaginatively explored on this go-round. It’s hilarious to watch Mitchell go through all manner of hell and then come home at the end of the day and plop down on the couch with his roommates. Perhaps things have gotten too comfortable for this trio. As with life, breakdowns in communication begin to wreak havoc.
Releasing Season Two a mere two months after Season One was a smart move, as it would have been all too easy for this little import to get lost in the shuffle had they waited six months or a year. There is, you may have noticed, quite a bit of competition in this genre. Two months ago I was bemoaning all the vampire and/or werewolf fare there was out there for people to partake in, and at the time, “Being Human” wasn’t an easy sell. But the third season of “True Blood” is now over with, and there isn’t currently a “Twilight” movie playing at the cinema, although the second season of “Vampire Diaries” is well under way. Regardless, now is the perfect time to find out all there is to know of this supernatural series that not nearly enough people are watching, but really should be.
Special Features: There are seven behind the scenes featurettes spread across Discs Two and Three entitled “Blood Bursting,” “The Caves,” “Unleashing the Beast,” “The Swinging Sixties,” “Behind the Makeup,” “Making the New Werewolf,” and “Train Carnage.” Further, on Disc One, let the main menu cycle through two or three times and you’ll be taken to a hidden menu featuring two Easter Eggs: A pseudo-documentary entitled “The CenSSA Story” which runs around 25 minutes, and a guided tour of the CenSSA facility, which is about five minutes. Not a bad showing, but it sure would be nice to get some commentary tracks at some point. This is a BBC series after all.