AlmostHuman1

Holygrenade tackles the first episode of Fox’s new sci-fi series, “Almost Human”.

With the new Star Wars trilogy and Star Trek films under his belt, J.J. Abrams is a nerd god. His sci-fi credentials grow this TV season, with two shows on top: Believe, airing on NBC, and Almost Human, a near-future show set in Los Angeles where cops have android partners.

The year is 2048. John Kennex (Karl Urban) is a human-android hybrid cop back on the job after two years. The only survivor of a police ambush, he’s responsible for planning a raid that cost his team their lives. He walked away, and now must wrestle with an android partner. His first android partner, an MX-43, follows protocol instead of instruction and Kennex throws him out of a moving car. His replacement, part of a trashed generation of androids named Dorian (Michael Ealy), were seen as having an “android soul”, which would let them feel emotions.

Initially, the pilot shows Kennex’s distrust for androids, or whom he refers to as “Synthetics”. Upon meeting Dorian, Kennex clearly feels uncomfortable with the arrangement–so much so that he tells Dorian to shut up within the first five minutes. I guess that’s better than being thrown on to the highway and getting trampled under traffic. As is expected, the two bat heads on several occasions. But what began as a rocky relationship quickly erodes as the two bond over the pilot’s “twist”, which is easy to see coming.

The trouble is Almost Human feels familiar. Like many of Fox’s recent forays into sci-fi programming, praising the show for its uniqueness is difficult. Many of the human-robot pairings in recent pop culture (Will Smith in i, Robot comes to mind) show that weird jostling that happens as the two adjust. It may take a few episodes for the show’s full concept to pull through; if so, I can’t say I will stick around.

Episode two, airing tomorrow, will need to convince otherwise.

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