Review: Being Human: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

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Title: Being Human: The Complete Third Season
Format: Blu-ray / DVD
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Studio: Entertainment One
Original MSRP: $49.98 (Blu-ray) / $39.98 (DVD)
Number of Discs: 4
Language: English
Subtitles: English
MPAA Rating: NR
Being Human: The Complete Third Season is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
The Blu-ray version was used for this review.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this disc is available on Episode 353 of the podcast.

Story:
It sounds like the start of a bad joke, “A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost get an apartment together…”, but in fact, there’s much more to it than that. Being Human, airing weekly on the SyFy Channel in the US and Space in Canada, is a remake of a BBC series of the same name, which itself just wrapped up in early 2013 after five successful seasons (or Series, for the UK folks). While the two share the same premise, they differ in both execution and storylines.

Set in modern day Boston, vampire Aiden (Sam Witwer) and werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) come together in their struggles to fight against their natural urges and attempt to lead ordinary lives. They work at a hospital where Aiden is a nurse and Josh, an orderly who’s trying to find a cure to being a werewolf. When they move in together, they find that their new apartment is haunted by a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath), the dead girlfriend of their landlord who pushed her down the stairs during a fight, killing her.

While the series leans heavily towards drama, it’s punctuated with dark and dry humor throughout. The third season picks up a year after the Season 2 cliffhanger with Sally lost in Limbo (the place, not the game) and Aiden buried alive for going against the vampire community and losing. This leaves Josh and his girlfriend (and now series regular) Nora (Kristen Hager), who’s also a werewolf, desperately searching for Aiden and for a way to bring Sally back. The consequences of both of these actions will have far reaching repercussions over the course of the season once the roommates are finally reunited.

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The nice thing about the series is that it’s not too dense that you can’t just jump in from here and understand what’s going on. A healthy dose of flashbacks helps remind regular viewers and guide newcomers alike, so don’t feel as though you’ll be completely lost if you start with Season 3. I would recommend going back and starting from the beginning however if you find you’re interested as you’ll get a lot more out of it.

The acting is great and the scripts very strong throughout the series. The effects tend to be somewhere between low to mid budget in their execution but it’s never anything that detracts from the show. Without spoiling anything, the third season has a really interesting arc and some great character development for everyone involved leading up to another excellent cliffhanger.

Video:
Shot in HD for television, the series looks great on Blu-ray with an obvious upgrade to the visuals since they’re not compressed for cable. The show tends to lean towards a more drab palette overall but they use that to their advantage with oversaturation and other effects punctuating particularly dramatic flashbacks. Limbo even has a special quality to it, mainly in soft focus black and white with hints of color to accentuate characters. It really gives the show a unique look overall.

Audio:
Presented in DTS-HD, the audio is crisp and clean with dialogue focused in the center channel. There’s not a whole lot in the way of surround effects, but when they do come up, they’re used to great effect. Don’t expect your speakers to get a real workout here.

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Bonus Features:
Along with a thorough Behind-the-Scenes video, Entertainment One continues their strong showing in genre season sets with the Being Human Panel from last year’s San Diego Comic Con. I really hope that more companies take this up as a standard extra on Blu-ray and DVD where available. There’s always so much great stuff that comes out of these Panels.

The other two pieces, the Bloopers and Cliffhangers discussion are a little more lacking and don’t add a whole lot to the overall package.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (47:34) – A comprehensive look at the production of the third season with actor interviews, on set insights, special effects and more
  • Being Human Panel at San Diego Comic Con 2013 (49:22) – The full Panel from San Diego Comic Con 2013 with Executive Producer, Show Runner and Writer Anna Fricke and actors Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington and Kristen Hager
  • Season 3 Bloopers (9:05) – A handful of bloopers broken down by episode
  • The Cast on Cliffhangers (1:32) – A quick discussion of the Season 3 finale

Conclusion:
When I hear “American remake of a British show” I tend to shy away, expecting (and usually getting) an inferior product. The US version of Being Human however excels in that it takes an already interesting premise and characters from an established show and really moves them off in a new direction.

The third season is suitably dark and morally ambiguous but still permeated with exceedingly dry humor making it stand out from the ever increasing crowd of supernatural shows on television today. Give this one a look, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Score:
9.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the movie using the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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  • tomhlord

    Cool stuff Josh, until hearing your thoughts on the podcast I never even knew that there was a US version of the show! Now I see that it’s decent too, I might have to track this down.

    • Nice! It’s definitely worth a look.