(Hy)Lights #19 – ALMOST HUMAN


You know I feel like I’ve been neglecting what’s on TV as of recently and usually find entertainment mostly on the internet or just catch up on my shows that I’ve missed. But most of the time, some of the stuff that plays on TV really don’t caught my eye, especially most broadcast networks like NBC, FOX, ABC & CBS. While their sitcoms can vary to either hit or miss (the miss obviously being the majority of CBS sitcoms), their dramas aren’t exactly better. Not all of them are lousy, but they are either your standard police procedural show, the medical show although I think that breed of show might be dead, and some show that tries to be the next LOST but ends up being cancelled or just lousy as it goes along. Even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I give good points earlier is starting to feel like a procedural and most of the dramatic shows I watch is either on basic cable. Hell, I think what we learned from that experience is shows like Breaking Bad & The Walking Dead can make it more numbers than whatever’s on those networks.

However, there is something of a show that I didn’t have interest at first but I considered to be a decent effort from them and this show is airing on FOX. That may be a joke to you, but FOX has been putting out some good new shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and interesting ones like Sleepy Hollow and also once again, this show is executive produced by J.J. Abrams, who pretty much produces anything for any network willing to work with him.

And that show is Almost Human. Now you may ask….what is Almost Human?

In 2048, the uncontrollable evolution of science and technology has caused crime rates to rise an astounding 400%. To combat this, the overwhelmed police force has implemented a new policy: every human police officer is paired up with a lifelike combat-model android.

John Kennex (Karl Urban), a troubled detective, has a reason to hate these new robot partners. Almost two years previously, Kennex and his squad were raiding the hideout of a violent gang known as the Insyndicate, but ended up being ambushed and outgunned. Kennex tried to save his badly injured partner, but the accompanying android officer abandoned them both because their chances of survival were low. An explosion then took out Kennex’s leg and killed his partner.

After waking up from a 17-month coma, Kennex has to deal with a cybernetic prosthetic leg and huge gaps in his memory, which he tries to recover through visits to a Recollectionist in the city slums. Besides trying to remember as much as he can about the raid and the Insyndicate, he is also coming to terms with being abandoned by his girlfriend Anna.

Kennex is then recalled to the force by Captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor), and partnered with a standard-issue MX-43 android, which he promptly throws from a moving vehicle because it was a nuisance to him. He is assigned a replacement android, an older DRN model originally destined for the scrap heap. Created to be as close to human as possible, the DRN androids have trouble dealing with some emotional responses, which was the reason they were replaced by the logic-based MX units. Kennex’s unit, known as Dorian (Michael Ealy), immediately proves himself unique, with a clear dislike of being referred to as a “synthetic”.

And you know what?

This show is actually good from what I saw of the past 5 episodes.

Maybe at first, I had this feel of either I, Robot or Dredd (heh heh, get it? Because Karl Urban is Dredd), but that was mostly during the first episode and gladly, it didn’t feel like a carbon copy of that. It is definitely a good mix of the police procedural and the sci-fi genre that manages to not completely disappoint itself although I do kind of wish that it wasn’t always episodic but I do got a feeling that somewhere near the end, there is going to be some plotline that can be tied to something, especially since I think it could involve his ex-girlfriend and maybe the Syndicate group.

I’m guessing like J.H. Wyman’s past show, Fringe, it does have this procedural feel to the show but later on, it did move on to a something of a serialized series format and even though I never saw Fringe (and I probably should), I have some good feelings about this show.

I mean, hell, who knows? The show is still very watchable to me.

Also, Karl Urban and Michael Ealy do have some great chemistry together on-screen, both on the dramatic side whenever shit goes down or either when it’s comedic. The supporting cast also did a decent effort although I think the most noticeable for me is MacKenzie Crook playing Gareth, the robo-mechanic for Dorian and Lili Taylor is just as fine as the commanding officer.

FINAL VERDICT: I have some good faith for this show. It managed to be a somewhat interesting show, even though it is a police procedural title but I wouldn’t turn it away because of that and it could lead up to something good in the end. The main 2 leads have great chemistry as the show and them evolve and once again, FOX aired something worth watching this season.

And Almost Human was almost about to get an A- but it’s more of a B+

8/10 – Solid B.

(Yep, I’m using the Planet Tyro ratings on TV Shows now.)

And until then, this has been another (Hy)Light. I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.

ALMOST HUMAN – courtesy of BAD ROBOT / WARNER BROS. TELEVISION

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