Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Almost Human 1x01 Pilot

Original air date: Nov. 17, 2013

When I first saw the trailer for Almost Human I was super excited.  From what I could tell it was going to be an I, Robot x Common Law mash-up and I was up for it (it helped that it had Michael Ealy).  Having watched the pilot, I can say that is basically what you are going to get when you watch this show.  It’s a show that knows what it needs to do and say to get the audience it wants.  Fans of police procedural? Check. Science fiction fans? Check. Bromance fangirls? Present.  I see nothing wrong with this, to be quite honest.  Just as long as it can deliver on what it promises.  

The year is 2048, due to the rapid advances in technology, crazy weapons and new drugs are plaguing the streets.  The police force unable to keep up begin requiring an android partner for every human police officer.

John Kennex, as played by Karl Urban, is a police officer who’s been out of the game for awhile, 17 months to be exact.  He was in an ambush which resulted in the death every single man on his team.  He blames the death of his partner on the MX that was supposed to protect them, but instead abandoned them stating statistics.  He doesn't trust the MX’s and he’s having trouble coping with his synthetic body parts (he lost his leg in the attack).  Honestly, Kennex, is the last guy who should be returning to duty.  He’s addicted to black market pain killers, and he’s suffering pretty badly from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Yet, Captain Maldonado (Lili Taylor) needs him to come in.

There are signs that Insyndicate, those behind the ambush 17 months ago, are working on something big.  The Insyndicate are targeting Cops and it is discovered that there's something hidden in the Police evidence vault that they want back.  This is most likely season one's story arc.

Both Maldonado and Kennex, want justice for their fallen comrades, but there's more.  There is a suspected leak in the department and John is the only one she feels she can trust.  This is a relationship I look forward to exploring.  Pilots are difficult because there’s only around 45 to not only explore the new world, but to also introduce all of the characters and their relationships.  Maldonado and Kennex have a history of mutual respect and trust.  We’ll get no shortage of John and Dorian bonding, but I hope the writers don’t forget how important Maldonado is in the grand scheme of things.

Then there's Dorian (Ealy), he’s an older model android and nothing like the new MX units that have replaced him.  He was part of a project called “living soul” which strove to make more human-like androids.  They were given the ability to feel human emotions.  Now considering on which way you look at it, they were either a success or an epic failure.  The emotions of the DRN units were so strong that sometimes their emotions would get the better of them and cause a break, seems very human to me.  It was because they weren't considered stable enough that they have since been replaced with the more rule and logic based MX units. 

By Maldonado's hand these two are partnered up.  John, a man who most would have preferred never returned to service, and Dorian, an android decommissioned four years ago about to be shipped off to NASA.  No one thinks they can do this job, together they have to prove everyone wrong.  John wants to bring down the Insyndicate and Dorian wants to be a cop, it’s only with each other that they can reach their goals.  Also, don't think the fact that John woke Dorian up was lost on me.  It was pretty fairy tale if you ask me (or maybe I've just been watching too much Once Upon a Time).  Oh, and don't get me started on John calling Dorian "man" or asking him to call him John.  Oh budding bromance, I can see it blooming already.

The success of the show basically rests on the chemistry of Karl Urban and Michael Ealy. Though it is still too early to tell, I can say that so far so good.  I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the season.  It has most of what I look for in a show and I'm ready to give it an hour out of my week to see if it can deliver on the bro-tastic action/adventure it promises us. 

My verdict? Recommend.  Check out the show and decide for yourself, but as for me? I'm along for the ride, because I have a feeling its going to be a fun one. 

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