Being Human

Channel Guide - Large

Sy-Fy‘s Being Human made its second season debut last week, recussetating the nerd tv quotient in my life exponentially. Yes, I watch True Blood, and as you now know all-too-well, if it’s on PBS or BBC America, I’m on board. But there isn’t much I watch that I’m wholeheartedly embarassed to admit to, with the exception of Being Human. Well, FSR readers, I’m coming clean. Yep, I’m a SyFy watcher, and semi-proud. Being Human, for those of you not in the know, is the story of three unlikely roommates, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. I mean, totally believable, right? Of course not, but if you’re looking for believable TV, then stick to the Law and Order franchise. It’s across-the-pond counterpart appealed to me after popping up in my “recommended for you” Netflix queue so often that I finally succumbed, plowing through a couple of discs in a matter of days. So you can imagine my delight when SyFy’s incessant bus shelter/subway stop/public transportation domination campaign alerted me to an American reboot. With Jungle 2 Jungle‘s Mimisiku!

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This Week in Blu-ray

It’s been a long time since the world has held gaze upon This Week in Blu-ray, that much is true. But it’s back for a Saturday run in a big way — tons of Blu-rays, many of which are worth a rent or better, and a guest appearance by Rob Hunter. Since we’ve been away for the last two weeks, I’m including a few of the notable releases from both weeks. So prepare yourself (and your wallet) for an onslaught of awesome. Get through it this week, as next week appears to be just as good. And that’s where we’ll meet again, but on Tuesday this time. I Saw the Devil A South Korean government agent (Lee Byung-hun) is devastated when his fiance is murdered and dismembered by a madman (Choi Min-sik), but after a brief mourning period he sets out for a twisted and very unorthodox revenge. As in he catches the killer, hurts him severely, then lets him go… only to repeat the cycle over and over again. It’s a brutal game that sees the supposed hero bypass catharsis in favor of the dangerously unthinkable. Director Kim Jee-woon’s latest is easily the darkest, saddest, and most violent of his career but still every bit as fantastic as The Good the Bad the Weird and A Tale Of Two Sisters. Scenes of heart-pumping thrills exist side by side with stretches of excruciating dread. Magnet’s Blu-ray offers a crisp and beautiful transfer as well as an audio track that does […]

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This Week in DVD

It’s a light week on the DVD front but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good being released today. One of our festival favorites (A Somewhat Gentle Man) from last year’s Fantastic Fest is finally getting a release, and it’s well worth a blind buy for fans of strong acting, humorous Fargo-esque stories, and Stellan Skarsgard. The somewhat maligned Green Hornet is also hitting shelves, and if you missed it in theaters it’s worth a rental as a lightweight but fun action romp. But they’re not all winners this week… Ron Howard’s tone-deaf comedy(?) The Dilemma comes out too. Identity This new series from the UK follows a specialized police unit in London that handles cases involving identity thieves and their unhappy (or occasionally dead) victims. Once again the UK comes through with another cop/criminal series that manages to be both entertaining and interesting as well as featuring an engaging, charismatic, and extremely troubled lead. Aidan Gillen’s DI John Bloom is an “ends justify the means” kind of cop (the best kind), and his past life working undercover with the Turkish mob offers an equally fascinating side storyline. Great stuff.

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees an abundance of TV shows hitting DVD in preparation for the new Fall season including Modern Family, Spartacus Blood and Sand, Community, Castle, and more.

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A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost share a flat. If we weren’t living in a post-Twilight era, the premise of BBC America’s Being Human would sound insanely stupid. And maybe it still does sound stupid, but series 1 of Being Human proved that the show is not only wittier than any of the homegrown supernatural fare currently airing in America, but it’s also one of the most engaging programs on TV—it would be impossible for me to count the number of times that I’ve had an actual, visceral reaction to this amazing show.

I worship at the altar of Alan Ball and applaud any program that incorporates James Frain into its cast, but True Blood tends to err on the side of confusing vampire sex. Being Human, on the other hand, grapples with real issues like guilt, self-loathing, isolation, and the desire to belong in a relatable way. The show’s creator, Toby Whithouse, is able to use the supernatural elements as a metaphor for what it means to “be human” without sacrificing any of the excitement you’d expect from a show about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost.

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. Several of this week’s new titles seem to be coming in pairs including… Bong Joon-ho’s first film as well as his latest, a pair of Roger Corman’s Cult Classics, the BBC’s Being Human and Look Around You, A Couple of Dicks from Kevin Smith, and more. See all of this week’s relevant DVD releases after the jump…

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