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Fall TV: Almost Human

Emily and Mandy C. continue their Fall TV series with a look at the premiere episodes of Almost Human. SPOILER ALERT: Androids can be pretty, y’all.

Fall TV: Almost Human

Welcome back to our series on fall’s best new shows! (You thought we were done, didn’t you.) We’re here again to discuss what you need to add to your “record this series” list, what you can watch on the weekends via On Demand, or what you shouldn’t even bother with. Won’t you join in the fun?

(Warning! Possible spoilers ahead.)

Almost Human

Premiered: Nov. 17 and 18 on Fox (Watch online.)

Elevator Pitch

A studio executive lies in bed late one night, trying to get to sleep after yet another grisly episode of Criminal Minds. Why do I continue to watch that show, she thinks to herself. It gives me nightmares every week. It’s so brutal. But I really enjoy the camaraderie between the members of the team. And I like cop shows, but there are only so many cities in which they can stick another CSI.

She shoots up in bed, startling her cat and dumping him onto the floor. He looks up at her with serious stink eye. A buddy cop show! That’s what I need. Something like Turner & Hooch, but sexy and futuristic with hot men in place of both Tom Hanks and the slobbery dog. She lies back down and stares at the Star Trek poster on her bedroom ceiling. I wonder what Karl Urban’s up to these days.

Familiar Faces

Karl Urban as Detective John Kennex

Hiro Kanagawa as The Recollectionist

Lili Taylor as Captain Sandra Maldonado

Minka Kelly as Detective Valerie Stahl

Michael Irby as Detective Richard Paul

Leanne Adachi as Officer Patel

Mackenzie Crook as Rudy Lom

Michael Ealy as Dorian

Tim Kelleher as Reinhardt

Ian Butcher as Cortez

Faces That Might Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)

Anthony Konechny as MX-43 “1”

Mekia Cox as Anna

Darren E. Scott as MX-43 “785”

Garfield Wilson as MX-43 “4”

Teach Grant as Trevor Janns

Redeeming Qualities

Emily: It's set in the future ... and this future reminds me a lot of Iron Man's everyday life. Who doesn't want to live in a world where you basically touch the air and your iPad screen comes up in front of you? The cast is also super solid, I feel like it's a long list of "oh, I loved that person in that one role they did" (ie. Minka Kelly as Lyla Garrity, Karl Urban as Bones, Lili Taylor as Lisa Kimmel, and Mackenzie Cook as Gareth Keenan AND Ragetti just to name a few). Plus, JJ Abrams has his name on it. You know that's got to mean something special.

Mandy: As a huge fan of scifi TV shows, and someone who’s been hoping for a show to fill the hole left by Fringe, I was totally excited by the possibility of this show. Happily, it does not disappoint. Karl Urban is wonderful as a crabby police detective with heart, and Michael Ealy’s android with emotions is sweet and understated, yet surprisingly snarky. The two of them have amazing chemistry that makes the show feel real, and that is a nice contrast to the futuristic city and gadgets (which I enjoy as well, but might be a harder sell for some people.)

It's Not Me, It's You

Emily: In the same way the future is cool, there's nothing all that different about this future. We've got machines replacing humans, and now we're having to face those consequences and see why it might not be the best decision. What I'm hoping is that there are more levels to it than just that, and Dorian represents a more blurred line between right and wrong, as opposed to a fluke that he is brought back into duty when the rest of his "kind" have been retired. I just didn't receive any indication in the pilot that that's the case. It seemed to be wanting us to take things at face value, which is my biggest issue with most procedurals: lack of character/plot layers.

Mandy: There were very few things I didn’t like about either of the premiere episodes. I do have a slight worry that the show might too much into Fringe territory, i.e. bizarre scifi themes/issues that don’t connect with today’s TV viewers, which would mean that the show was constantly under the threat of being cancelled. (That often seems to happen with shows I love. I’m an outlier.)

Let's Do This Again

Emily: Since I have yet to find that new show that I just love, my dance card isn't completely full, yet. I'm going to give this a few more whirls. While I'm a fan of the cast as individuals, they haven't sparked for me, yet, as an ensemble, so that will need to happen first for me to become truly devoted. And while the future setting isn't anything to make me stop and gawk, I'm OK to stick around as long as Dorian doesn't become the poster child for a "Just because they're different, doesn't mean they aren't just like us" PSA. I think he and Kennex have the potential for a fun, turmoil-filled, good guy/bad guy bantering but in the end have each other's back buddy cop duo that I love. Now let's see if the writers will help them get there.

Mandy: I plan on watching Almost Human as close to live as I can each week. I really, truly enjoyed the first two episodes. They had a great mix of action and a surprising amount of humor. (I mean—SPOILER ALERT—the whole John/Dorian testicles conversation? So great.) I hope it only gets better from here!

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.