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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Horror > Vampire > Live Action > British TV > Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 8 Motion Comic/Being Human – Seasons Two & Three (2010/11/Fox Blu-ray + DVD Combo/BBC Blu-ray Disc Sets)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 8 Motion Comic/Being Human – Seasons Two & Three (2010/11/Fox Blu-ray + DVD Combo/BBC Blu-ray Disc Sets)


Picture: C+/B-/B-     Sound: C+/B-/B-     Extras: C/B/B-     Episodes: C/B-/C+



After first getting canceled on Fox, then being picked up by the then-WB network for two more seasons, the television run of Buffy The Vampire Slayer finally gave up the ghost in 2003 after seven seasons on air.  However, much like other shows created by Joss Whedon, the fandom lived on.  As a result of this continued popularity, Dark Horse published what would be known as Season 8 for a 40 issue run, before the current Season 9 took over in mid-2011.  The artwork and dialog of the first half of the Season 8 issues serve as the basis for this motion comic, and while there's nothing wrong with the story itself, some problems have arisen from it being shoehorned onto the small screen.


Back on the Buffy TV series, there was a certain manner of speaking used that lent believability to often absurd situations.  Whether formed organically by the right combination of actors, or just a product of Whedon's influence is hard to say, but both sides likely did their part in making this chemistry work so well.  With the motion comic, there's an entirely new cast providing the voice-overs, and of course this means some changes to the way things work.


Some of these new talents struggle with delivering those one-liners and snappy comebacks (the actress doing the voice work for Buffy is particularly bad), but there are still some that capture the essence of the characters better than the rest.  Unfortunately, those who aren't as good give the dialog no natural flow and leave it sounding more forced and stilted than it ought to be.  Poor performances like this are what will end up pushing away those looking to find these characters represented as they were before.


To some extent there's also been a change to the tone of the writing, as without having to worry about the limitations of the television format any longer, Whedon and the other writers have been able to make things bigger than they were before.  This means bigger monsters, bigger fights, and way more characters.


The Blu-ray and double sided DVD each hold the same content, but only cover the first 19 issues of Season 8, leaving over half of the material cut out.  Perhaps a second volume is a future possibility, though no mention is made of this being the first volume in a set.


In the second season of Being Human, we continue to follow Mitchell, George and Annie... respectively a vampire, werewolf and ghost that live together in a flat in Bristol.  Things start picking up with the plot in this season, but it can be a bit much to process, as new characters come and go quite frequently for what is only an 8 episode series.  Season 3 sees the show headed to Wales, with the core group remaining intact, but with even bigger hurdles to overcome.  This will be the last season to feature the complete cast, however, as Aidan Turner has already left, and it seems Russell Tovey will be parting ways as well sometime in the fourth season.


Extra features for Buffy are slim, but for the uninitiated, the first issue is included here in its entirety as a mini-sized comic.  Each of these seasons of Being Human has a good chunk of extra content, featuring cast interviews, deleted scenes and some other behind the scenes stuff.  Season Two also features a couple of hidden Easter Eggs, accessed by leaving the first disc's title screen open for a few minutes before it gives you the option of opening a submenu.  From there, there's a guided tour of the CenSSA facility, as well as the half-hour “CenSSA Story”.  Both are fun enough that fans of the show will want to check them out, but casual viewers won't be missing much.


Both Buffy and these seasons of Being Human are presented in 1080i on the Blu-ray discs, with 1.78:1 aspect ratios.  Obviously, Blu-ray does offer better picture quality for these sets, though I didn't really find it all that substantial of an upgrade, and not worth getting excited over.  The audio on both formats of Buffy is in 5.1, with the Blu-ray presenting it in DTS-HD and the DVD in Dolby.  Being Human has only lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo on both the DVDs as well as the Blu-rays.  The lack of a lossless option is a careless oversight, as this would have been one more reason upgrade to the better format.


Overall, I'd say that while the motion comic idea is intriguing on Buffy, it also stifles the imagination and makes accepting this expansion of the Buffy-verse more difficult to pick up on.  Casual fans might be better served by reading the actual comics instead, but if you're a Buffy completist, go ahead and pick it up - though I wouldn't expect to be going back to it very often.  Being Human, however, is a good place for vampire and werewolf fanatics to turn to, and though opinions are bound to differ, I'd give this BBC original a recommendation over the unnecessary U.S. adaptation any day.



For more on the first U.K. debut season of Human, try this link:





-   David Milchick


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