Almost Human (ep 1) on FOX … Review
I was really surprised by Almost Human, the new sci-fi show on Fox starring Karl Urban. Yes, the guy from the Star Trek reboot does sound a little like Bones, especially at his most brooding, but the first episode has the action, pace, and dialogue to keep me entertained. I even liked the scenery. This buddy drama has disguised itself as a sci-fi show about the nature of androids and police investigations in the future.
Michael Ealy plays an antiquated android with issues and Karl Urban plays a sullen detective with even more issues. Both actors really sold their characters and sold the premiese of the show best of all. Their performances were great. I was really happy this show looks to have something entertaining and appealing for me, because I was not impressed by the ad campaign. My assumptions mistakenly led me to believe this show was a stupid Time Cop or Total Recall ripoff. It’s a buddy drama! The best part of the show is the interactions between the two leads.
Kennex, Karl Urban’s character, is searching for humanity as much as the androids are. He has all kinds of problems. His girlfriend died off-planet it seems like. He has a replacement leg that he doesn’t get along with as much as a new partner. He doesn’t seem to like people or androids very much and takes countless pills for pain, I believe. I was beginning to wonder if there was any joy left in this character. Maybe the only thing left that he enjoys is his job.
Dorian is an interesting character. Much like Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he is searching for some acceptance. I don’t think his wish is to be human, but instead an EQUAL member of law enforcement, as opposed to one of his toaster-like peers who are very disposable. These rule-driven androids are so disposable, Kennex tosses one out of his moving care just to stop it from annoying the crap out of him. Kinda hilarious.
Even though the villains are two dimensional as a piece of paper, I really didn’t mind. It was about the characters and the story. And it was fun to watch. I was surprised at the high-tech quality of the show. It must cost a lot to produce all those special effects!
It looks like Almost Human has a future as a cop drama and as the story of two men seeking approval. The show wasn’t drowned by techno-babble or exposition. For a pilot, the show excels at what it does and looks very promising.
Unfortunately, the show did not do the best in the ratings, possibly due to some of the same issues I had with it. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com reports that it earned 6.76 million viewers on Monday for its second ep after it was moved from Sunday at 8. It think it is better suited to Sunday because I’m ready to watch The Walking Dead at 9, so I guess I’d be primed to watch something at 8 too. You can watch the episodes online too at fox.com.