Being Human: Series 2 review (DVD)

Perhaps, as the first series of Being Human ended, you wondered where the show could go next – even if you really loved it. Because while that six-episode run was funny and gripping and brilliant and moreish, would the premise – a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire sharing a house – run out of steam? But then, in the last moment of the last episode, came a three-word cliffhanger that made it quite clear the next series would be going somewhere new: “We’ve found them.”

Being Human really hits its stride this series. It takes the ideas it fleshed out last time around and goes a step further. Mitchell the vampire is desperately trying to stay on the wagon (blood, not booze) and keep the other vampires under control, only for things to go spectacularly wrong. Werewolf George tries to find a way to cope with his attacks, only to discover that if he doesn’t let the wolf out, it will start sneaking its way into his mind at other times, like some kind of werewolf Tourette syndrome. Nina’s back too, trying to persuade George that there may be a cure for the curse he so kindly passed onto her.

As for Annie, she’s... well, dead. Hers is the weakest of the three strands, maybe because having worked out why she’s not at rest, what does she have left to do other than envy humanity, listen to George and Mitchell’s banter, and avoid being dragged through other people’s doors of death? Try to be human again, that’s what. Starting with a job in a pub.

And then the banter and the more humorous side of the show gives way to a finale that’s much more dark and brutal. There’s drama, violence, unkindness, betrayal – but we’re not going to spoil it here. Suffice it to say that Being Human has proved itself to be far more than a houseshare-in-Bristol-with-a-twist. It’s managed to mine the issue of what it is to be human, and alive, and not evil, and find new places to take it. What’s not clear is where the show has left to go, but judging by this series, it’s going to be worth following.

EXTRAS ★★ Seven featurettes about vampires, werewolves, George, Mitchell, werewolves, vampires, and the make-up artists on the show. Er, hello, what about Annie? And all the other content floating about, e.g. on the BBC’s Being Human blog? What about the fantastic Being Human Unearthed documentary that shouldn’t have been left off the first DVD release, never mind the second, which loses a star.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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