Being Human Season 2
September 29, 2010

Out this month in the U.S. is the second season of Being Human, the BBC supernatural drama about a vampire (Aidan Turner), werewolf (Russell Tovey), and ghost (Lenora Crichlow) who live together. I know this is supposed to appeal to fans of The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and Twilight, but I got over my vampire fixation a long time ago, and to me, the premise sounds like a particularly odd take on Three’s Company.

Being Human Season 2 cover
Being Human Season 2
Buy this Blu-ray

The three just want to have normal lives, but some reviews have said the desire comes off as too emo. As the season opens, the vampire has taken over leadership of his kind; the werewolf has a nurse girlfriend he’s infected; and the ghost has a pub job. They’re also being pursued by “a religious organization committed to the destruction or conversion of supernatural freaks operated by the mysterious Professor Jaggat and the sinister, cold-hearted Kemp.” Sounds like Angel.

The three-disc set contains eight episodes, along with these behind-the-scenes featurettes:

  • Blood Bursting
  • The Caves
  • Unleashing the Beast
  • The Swinging Sixties
  • Behind the Makeup
  • Making the New Werewolf
  • Train Carnage

This season is also available on DVD. If you’re not familiar with the show, as I wasn’t, you may prefer to start with the previous season, which came out in July (yay for quick releases!), or just wait for the coming American revamp on Syfy. (The studio provided a review copy.)

Update: To clarify, this is not a review post, but a product announcement. I was intrigued by the BBC appearing to jump on the vamp bandwagon, and I was hoping that viewers of the show would tell me more about what they like and don’t like about it. I apologize that this wasn’t clearer. I should have included a more explicit statement to that extent.

10 Responses  
Grant writes:  

I really like “Being Human”. BBCAmerica released a few of these supernatural themed shows all around the same time and I thought they were all pretty awful, but BH stood out and caught my eye. I liked the comparison to Three’s Company as I think that’s actually a smart plot device that the writers have made good use of. That premise sort of inherently lends itself to some witty moments between the three principals.

If there’s anything that wears thin with me when it comes to these british shows is that sometimes they’re just too…um…Britishy? I’m a religious Dr. Who fanatic, have been for decades. But some of these BBCA shows are so british I have to turn on the close caption to understand what they’re saying. I’ve tried to get into their other shows like that new Robin Hood, Demons, Ashes to Ashes, but they just don’t do it for me.

The cast of BH is pretty endearing, especially the Ghost Woman who is my favorite character. Her story arc is a lot of fun and her as well as the other characters can be genuinly funny and poignant at times. Not every episode is a winner but over all, I think the show in general is.

Great review by the way.

Joe Garcia writes:  

But…did you LIKE it?

Jay Faerber writes:  

I’m with Joe. Johanna, your reviews are usually quite well-informed, but this just read like a press release for the show (which I think is great, by the way). I honestly couldn’t tell if you watched it, or it’s just something you received and intend to watch at some point.

Johanna writes:  

This is a product announcement, not a review, and I’ve updated the post to make that clear. I wasn’t able to find time to watch it before posting about it in a timely fashion. I apologize for the confusion.

Jay Faerber writes:  

Ah, gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. As a fan of the show, what I like is its emphasis on character over spectacle. Probably because of its small budget, they can’t really do much in the way of fight scenes or special effects, so they focus much more on the character interactions, which I always enjoy. Their “rules” tend to be a bit fuzzy (vampires walk around in sunlight and can exist without drinking blood), but I let that slide because I like the characters and the way they relate to each other.

Tortured Mitchell (the vampire), awkward George (the werewolf) and charming Annie (the ghost) are all good friends who, at the end of the day, care about and support one another. And it’s the strength of that friendship, and its portrayal, that keeps me coming back.

Adam Boorman writes:  

“I was intrigued by the BBC appearing to jump on the vamp bandwagon”

I havent actually seen the second series yet, but the bbc actually has a pretty long history of doing this kind of subject matter. The first season had more in common with Ultraviolet, also a bbc series about vampires (from 1998) than it does with twilight or true blood. Actualy, the first season pretty much had more in common with This Life or Queer as Folk than it did with Twilight… It’s much closer in tone to True Blood.

It also predates the screen versions of True Blood, Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.

Nick writes:  


while you’re correct about Being Human predating the American shows that Johanna seems to imply it’s copying, you’re wrong – or possibly misleading – about one thing: the shows you cite as being part of the BBC’s long history of ‘doing this kind of subject matter’ aren’t actually BBC shows. Ultraviolet was a Channel 4 show, as was Queer as Folk. This Life was indeed BBC, though.

I understand that BBC America show (and sell?) shows from other UK channels as well as their own shows, so I can understand how the confusion might arise.

I hope, though, that you understand that, being a Brit, I couldn’t help but pick these nits.

Adam Boorman writes:  

Oh, yes, right you are, Ultraviolet was channel 4. It was shown on ABC in australia, so id always assumed it was a BBC production.

So, better to say that British television has a long history etc.

Strange was on the bbc though. And Jekyll. So, the basic point remains, its not terribly odd for the BBC to have a show like Being Human.

Johanna writes:  

I wasn’t implying copying, but networks like to have entries in popular trends in the hope they’ll get more interest from new viewers. Thanks very much for the comparisons and history!

Hsifeng writes:  

“…But some of these BBCA shows are so british I have to turn on the close caption to understand what they’re saying…”

So do some people watching TV in Great Britain.


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