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Willow

'Being Human: Season Two'
(Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, Sinead Keenan, Lyndsey Marshal, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BBC Home Video)

Overview: Being Human returns for a gripping second season as vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner), werewolf George (Russell Tovey), and ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) encounter new enemies in their fight to lead something close to normal lives. So, trust me, its still tough being supernatural!

Blu ray Verdict: Here's one for you. So a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire go into a pub. The bartender approaches the trio and says "What'll you have?" Come on, you know this isn't a real joke, but the wink-wink premise of 'Being Human' is that the punchline to this bizarre scenario would have the three moving in together as best friends! And, as much as that isn't exactly how it played out, it does go to illustrate just how stupid a plot this could have been - and yet, thankfully, wasn't!

'Being Human' is a show that absolutely depends on its unique premise to intrigue and amuse its fan base. Season One, for me, was a lark. An uneven blend of comedy and horror. It capitalized on its greatest strength which was the camaraderie of the unusual and supernatural flatmates. And while that's largely what fervent viewers latched on to, the show lacked a cohesion or solid through-line to make it must-see TV. For my money, season one was most notable for the chemistry and banter between werewolf George (Russell Tovey) and vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner).

Season Two is a decidedly darker affair. Oh boy, is it! I can see how viewers who appreciated the lightweight breeziness of the first season might be put off, but I, for one, embraced the growth in drama and characterization. The unifying storyline helped ground the various characters and brought them together for an emotional and bloody finale. Mitchell, who tries to unite the local vampires peaceably, is pushed to extremes when violence thwarts his plan.

His back story is revealed (at times graphically) and a colder, more vicious, Mitchell emerges as the season progresses to seek retribution for various betrayals. George is struggling with his own demons - having turned his love Nina into a lycanthrope. And yes, there is one scene where she changes into a she-wolf ... and boy, is that a corker of an episode! Still hoping to cling to humanity, he eventually succumbs to a possible cure that may put everyone at risk.

And the lovely, happy, smiling Annie (Lenora Crichlow), the ghost, continues to figure out her place in the afterlife. She knows she wants nothing to do with the door, even makes a new friend in Sykes (an old soldier who died too soon) who stops her being dragged beyond one time, but feels lonely, episode after episode. Especially when she helps a psychic rediscover his knack for communicating with the dead, and her own mother shows up for a turn to talk to her daughter!

For Annie, well, Crichlow continues to be the weakest side of this triangle - until the final scenes where she steps up to the plate and takes control of the situation at hand like NEVER before!

Amidst the highs - George and Nina share the series most dramatic and believable moments - and the lows - Annie gets a job as a pub waitress (don't ask!), 'Being Human' builds a quiet intensity in its sophomore season. The climax is a killer - literally!

A solid recommendation for fans of the genre. I do want to shout out to Russell Tovey. Tovey really becomes the star of this piece, steals every scene he's in, and with Sinead Keenan (as Nina - the season's MVP) light up the screen with the best acting the show has seen. [KH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Blood Bursting
The Caves
Unleashing The Beast
The Swinging Sixties
Behind The Makeup
Making The New Werewolf
Train Carnage
Easter Eggs: Censsa Hidden Menus and Additional Featurettes (Disc 1)

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