Almost Human, Pilot – Review
What happens when you take parts: RoboCop, Blade Runner, Total Recall, and I, Robot. Mix vigorously, and slap a J.J. Abrams credentials on it? You get I, Robo Total Runner Cop. Or, Almost Human.
I’m not going to deadpan Almost Human straight out of the gate, though FOX does have a bit of a bad track record with Sci-Fi type of shows. Alcatraz and Terra Nova both didn’t go anywhere, and from what I Remember, Fringe was a show that stuck around because people where having full on mental breakdowns that it was going to get canceled. How long Almost Human will be able to thrive? That’s to be determined.
You can’t honestly call a whole series on the pilot episode. My theory is that I’ll give a show till it’s first 4 episodes to when I decide if it’s something worth investing my precious time into. The basic premise is this: In 2048, Los Angelas has been flooded with unknown weapons, drugs and crime has risen 400 percent. The LAPD is overwhelmed, and every human officer has an MX-43 combat android for a partner. How it’s cheaper to have androids instead of more human’s I don’t know. Karl Urban is John Kennex a police detective that was in a coma for a long time because his team got ambushed during a raid of some crime organization called The Insyndicate. Kennex lost a leg, has a synthetic one (at least it wasn’t an arm like in I, Robot) replaced that apparently doesn’t operate correctly since it keeps yacking away at times about how there is a failure. (Olive Oil is the fix)
Kennex, back on the force after some Total Recall like memory chair sequences done in a black market shop is trying to piece together what the hell went wrong during the raid. When his new MX-43 is threatening to start reporting his odd behaviors, Kennex tosses his android out the door while they are driving. Que up new androids in a giant toy like sealed plastic hanging from the ceiling! It’s like Christmas for people who wants a new android. Regardless, Kennex has to get an older model, a DRN by the name of Dorian, androids that are emotional and outfitted with a synthetic soul. Yes, THAT will go over well with our overly Atheist staff.
Most of the pilot is essentially the setup. Kennex and Dorian are now buddy cop team; fighting crime, hanging out at eating establishments and saving the day. The dystopian future has a very Blade Runner look for me, except it has none of the polish that made Blade Runner, well, Blade Runner The tech is cool, but it’s not anything that blows your mind. It’s like the next upgrade of touch the air technology in Minority Report. You know what frustrates me about this show? I want to like it; I really do. I love this kind of show; I want more of it, the only way to do that is to support stuff like this. My problem is that while watching the episode and now writing about my thoughts, I’m only finding all of these parallels to other great sci-fi movies that we’ve all seen before. Yes, the basic concept is original, but the pilot just takes hold of too many things that have familiarity to it. Maybe that was intentional, I hope it was just a way to draw people in and make them connect.
Perhaps I’m just over analyzing.
I’ll give Almost Human a fair shake though; the basic setup is over. Lets see what the writers have in store for us to take this show a bit further. Damn it Fox, don’t screw this up!