First Look: Almost Human

Disclaimer: I was pre-disposed to like this for four reasons:

  • I like procedurals with a heavy emphasis on character and relationships
  • I like scifi
  • I loved Fringe
  • I’ve been a huge fangirl of Karl Urban since The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. (I even went to see Doom for him, and there’s just no explaining what a bizarre choice that was for me.)

So having seen the pilot, here’s what I took away from it:

  • I enjoyed John’s relationship with his boss, Sandra, very much. There are no romantic vibes here, and I hope they leave it that way. I’m not opposed to romance, but I like the idea that love and deep friendship can exist without being sexual.
  • I like Dorian. Specifically, I like his wit, his willingness to stand up to John, as well as seeing him struggle with his differences from the other robots.
  • I like John, very much. Granted, I was way predisposed to, because …Karl. But his appreciation for old-style tech (which completely cracks me up), his way of dealing with the first robot (I can think of a few people I wouldn’t mind doing that to), even his interrogation methods when a cop’s life is at stake, all struck chords in me.
  • The atmosphere here felt very Fringe-like to me. When they entered the room where the cop was being held in the box, I was waiting for them to call for Walter, Olivia, and Peter. And you know, I don’t mind returning to a world that feels that familiar.
  • Overall, the plot worked for me, too: a nice transition for John and Dorian from forced partners to real ones, introduction to several mysteries, success in one area, with lots of questions to explore later. The one thing that left me going ‘meh’ is the cop with the grudge against John, but that’s almost expected, I guess.

So, will definitely be watching tomorrow night.

Bonus quote:

“Sometimes newer technology isn’t better.” (Dorian)

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2 thoughts on “First Look: Almost Human

  1. I liked the pilot too. I actually thought Urban was the weakest in the cast…kind of wooden and (ironically) robotic. Hopefully that evens out a little bit. I think they were going for gruff and grizzled, but there was a LOT of him posturing in his voice and stance. Then again, pilots are that way, so unless something is terrible (and even sometimes when it’s not), it’s good to let people sort of become comfortable in roles. At the same time, if it doesn’t change, I’m not sure I’ll watch a lot more.

    I haven’t watched the second ep yet, but it’s on the DVR. I saw someone tweet the other day that the vibe of the city felt like the “In Death” series, which I know you like also, and I can see that. ‘normal’ people, but set in the future.

    I really thought Michael Ealy was something special as Dorian in this pilot. I kept reminding myself that he was a human playing an android robot with human attributes, and I thought he was so, so good. An interesting commentary on that whole “synthetic” thing as basically considered a slur, and it will be interesting if that continues on the show—not in a racial way for the actors but a societal way in the series—i.e. the androids vs. humans. I wonder if there will be more of Dorian’s kind (not comfortable with how that came out, but…) that show up as well. Appreciated the subtlety of Dorian’s face when Kennex said something like “Thanks, man” and walked away. Clearly it was a moment where Kennex saw him as an equal (vs. “synthetic”) but it wasn’t drawn out, aka “Wow, you said, “man”. I know you respect me now. thanks”, etc. it just happened and everyone moved on.

    Like you, I like the boss a lot!
    I wouldn’t consider myself a sci-fi fan, but I like technology, so in that way, so far the pilot worked for me. It had a Star Trek vibe (the new movies) which of course makes sense, or an iRobot or other Asimov/Bradbury story type feel.

    • It’s interesting to me that I didn’t immediately make the In Death connection, despite them being set at about the same time period. For me, it was more a Fringe feel, never mind that most of Fringe was set in our time.

      Yes on Dorian! FWIW, I liked the pilot, but I really loved the Monday ep. Another friend commented on how predictable it was, and yeah, she’s right. But I don’t mind some predictability in plot, when it allows us to see different characters reacting to those tropes. And I loved Michael Ealy as Dorian in that respect; I thought he was brilliant.

      Your comments about Karl are interesting. Thinking back on it, my focus was really more on Dorian, because while they were giving us back story on John, I think the emphases in the first two eps were establishing Dorian, the relationship, and the mysteries rather than any nuances to John. So while I enjoyed seeing Karl on screen, beyond noting that I don’t really see any of the other characters he’s played in John, I didn’t pay that much attention to him.

      We’ll see if it continues to interest me, but what I saw the other night had the right mix for me. 🙂

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