BLU-RAY REVIEW: Being Human Season Three
Supernatural housemates face incredible challenges...
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Life has never been easy for the three Being Human roommates, and the end of Season 2 certainly proved that. With the religious-inspired experimentation forcibly ended and the bloody conclusion of Mitchell’s tenure as leader of the vampires, the rag-tag group of supernatural beings flees to a small house in an out of the way village. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be far enough from the influence of the beyond, and in the finale poor Annie is sucked into what we can only imagine is hell. All caught up? If not, let’s take a quick step back.
Being Human is the tale of roommates who just happen to be a vampire (Aidan Turner as Mitchell), a pair of werewolves (Russell Tovey as George and Sinead Keenan as Nina), and a ghost (Lenora Crichlow as Annie). Sharing their lives in an attempt to feel human and “normal,” the four must face challenges both internal and external. Can one overcome nature? Can the supernatural live side by side with humanity? Where can they find love and do they deserve it? What does the afterlife hold? All of these are more and dealt with in the BBC show that’s been shown on BBC America here in the States (not to mention an American version on the Syfy Channel). And now all three seasons are available on DVD and Blu-ray! Today we’ll be taking a look at the latest Blu-ray release.
Being Human Season Three on Blu-ray comes in packaging similar to the first two. It has an outer cardboard sleeve, the front of which shows the main characters while the back has info, a breakdown of the contents, and a few more photos. Inside the outer container is a two-panel disc holder that unfolds to reveal the three discs. The primary image for season three is a striking one, a slightly “off” vignette of shoppers in a grocery store. George looks scared and ready to flee, Nina’s basket of meat is dripping blood on the floor, Mitchell is in full vampire mode, and Annie fades from view over a dropped jar of ketchup. The inside of the disc holder has a background image of the crew in the Honolulu Heights attic, and the discs focus on the main characters: one for Mitchell, one for Annie, and one for the pair of werewolves.
While previous seasons have focused mainly on the three original roommates trying to live in harmony with the humans around them, this one was a little different. In the first episode Mitchell, George, and Nina move into the “Honolulu Heights,” a closed down bed and breakfast in Wales. Almost immediately, and consistently throughout the season’s eight episodes, the weirdness comes to them. Annie’s spirit appears on television screens, leading Mitchell to attempt a daring rescue attempt in purgatory. While he’s successful in bringing her back, the vampire learns from his guide Lia that he will soon be killed by a werewolf. This looming doom will influence almost everything Mitchell does for the rest of the story.
With the whole gang back together it seems as though things might settle down into some semblance of normalcy, but that’s not in the cards for this bunch. Local “civilized” vampires want Mitchell to get out of town, afraid that authorities might catch up to him after his role in the “Box Tunnel 20” slaughter back in Bristol. During their full moon preparations George and Nina meet vagabond werewolf vampire-hunting team McNair and Tom, also picking up a perpetually-teenaged vampire and a vain decomposing zombie along the way. For the first time since the beginning of the show, it is George who is able to reach out to many of these characters and help them get on with their lives. Where once he would have cowered and given up, he’s now in a position to look out for others, not least of which comes from his growing responsibility as the soon to be father of Nina’s unique (werewolf?) baby. Best of all, season three sees the return of former top vampire Herrick, somehow come back from the dead (you’ll remember that at the end of season one George tore him to pieces).
Being Human Season Three has tons of great character development for all parties, and by the emotional ending you really identify with the group, which is all the more impressive considering what and who they are. There’s also plenty of action, suspense, and not just a little gore; the zombie Sasha is a real horror show, and by the end of the finale there’s quite a pile of bodies. As before, Being Human is very much an adult show, combining that violence with sexuality and language. Like our homegrown True Blood, kids shouldn’t be watching this.
Being Human looks absolutely great on Blu-ray, and that’s especially true for those of us who are stuck watching it regularly on standard definition BBC America. The menus look nice (the main intro featuring a sweeping shot of the Honolulu Heights), and they’re easy to navigate. The first two discs have three episodes apiece, while the third has two and the special features. There aren’t a lot, but what’s included is worth watching. The deleted scenes are surprisingly entertaining, and then there are interviews with the main actors and a set tour hosted by Sinead. With the entire Honolulu Heights taking up a sizeable soundstage, it’s a very interesting behind the scenes look.
Being Human is a really good show, and season three is perhaps the best yet. The characters are really well-rounded, the mythology is tight, and it’s full of interesting and funny guest appearances. You won’t be able to guess how it’s going to end, and the finale will stun you in more ways than one. As I noted above, even if you watched the show on air, you owe it to yourself to catch it on Blu-ray. Season three is available in stores and online now. Go watch!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of BBC America