It's almost Thanksgiving and the broadcast networks are STILL releasing new shows? Well, given some of the stinkers we've seen this season, we can't complain about fresh meat—and the slab we're about to sample has the potential to turn out like a nice, juicy ribeye. Wanna know why? Because it's about ROBOTS, and robots are always cool. I'm referring, of course, to Fox's much-hyped Almost Human, and since I've already seen the pilot, I'm here to help you decide whether it's for you in another edition of "So What's This Show Like, TV.com?"
Almost Human, so this is a show about January Jones?
I guess she was pretty bad in that X-Men movie, but no. This sci-fi drama is set in the near-ish future, like during a time you could live to see if you put down the Pizza Rolls and eat a salad for a once. John Kennex is a cop in Los Angeles in 2048, and in 2048, all cops are partnered up with an android. But John doesn't really like robot people, especially because their probability-oriented logic once got some of his friends killed. Eventually he's paired up with Dorian, an outdated model that focuses on mimicking human emotions. BAM! There's your Odd Couple buddy cop drama!
Who came up with the idea in the first place, and who plays who?
Almost Human is the brainchild of former Fringe boss J.H. Wyman, who created the series and will serve as showrunner. Karl Urban, the friendly Kiwi star of Star Trek, plays the gruff human Kennex, and Michael Ealy, who starred in Sleeper Cell, Common Law, and FlashForward, plays friendly android Dorian. Almost Human's LAPD is also home to plenty of other familiar faces, with the prettiest one belonging to Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights). Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, and Michael Irby round out the cast.
When does Almost Human come off the factory line?
Fox will unbox the series with a two-night, two-episode series premiere: The pilot will air this Sunday, November 17 at 8pm, and Episode 2 will air the following night, on Monday, November 18 at 8pm. Almost Human was originally scheduled to premiere on November 4, but Fox postponed the show's debut to give it a boost from football (and probably so it could use Almost Human robots instead of Cletus, its football mascot, in sports promos). The show's regular time slot will be Mondays at 8pm; with Bones moving to Fridays, it will form an all-new Monday-night programming block with Sleepy Hollow.
What types of humans will like Almost Human?
This show is for sci-fi buffs, definitely. But there's also a police procedural aspect to it that could appease those who are less-inclined to embrace geekdom. If you liked Fringe—and you better have liked Fringe—then absolutely check it out.
What's to like about Almost Human?
I love the future world the series has created, which is impressive for a television show. It's all Blade Runner-y, and it looks way better than any network sci-fi series deserves to look. You can expect Fringe-style philosophical questions to make an appearance, as Almost Human is all about the human experience as perceived through the eyes of a grumpy man and a robot. Urban is good as Kennex, but so far I'm more interested in seeing what Ealy can do with Dorian; this role is a huge opportunity to elevate himself beyond "that guy from Barbershop 2."
What does not compute?
Sci-fi pilots tend to be pretty weighed down; with their complicated premises and unfamiliar futures, they face the rough task of introducing a new world while getting viewers up to speed, and that means exposition up the wazoo. Yep, that happens in the pilot for Almost Human. In fact, most of the pilot feels brushed over with one coat while everything is established, and that trickles down to the characters. BUT! That's pretty normal, especially in this genre, and the show's characters and storylines will (hopefully) develop and thicken as the show matures. Basically, Almost Human has some bad pilotitis.
So, should I watch it?
Yeah! Even with a bumpy start, I've got a good feeling about the future of the series. All the pieces are there, they just need some time figure out how they all fit together.
Let's take a look at a trailer!
Almost Human premieres Sunday, November 17 at 8pm on Fox.
AIRED ON 3/3/2014
Season 1 : Episode 13