FOX, Mondays 8/7 Central
Nov 15, 2013
That Almost Human's first episode is so engrossing and fun in its second half is a welcome surprise considering how wooden and banal its first 15 minutes feels. A rushed cookie-cutter introduction to the status quo of the year 2048 (complete with impassive female voiceover, natch) combined with a half-dozen visual tropes lazily plucked from icons like Blade Runner does not bode well and, in fact, wears on the nascent story. Science fiction, especially the serialized kind, depends on signature details that are unique to the world in question. It's hard to fall in love with a world that feels...borrowed.
Fortunately, Karl Urban as Detective John Kennex charms us through a few clunky establishing scenes, seemingly convinced by this near-future world we barely understand. As a police officer in 2048, he's forced to ride along with a humanoid cyborg known as an MX unit. He's paired with Dorian (Michael Ealy), a decommissioned model of MX that is more human-like in manner and judgment. The pairing of these two is the most humanizing and enjoyable aspect of this show. Their chemistry maintains the show's tentative momentum until the plot points of its central mystery are established—that's when it gets sincerely fun. Is it worth the wait? Yes, mostly. And it's likely the show's creators will be breathlessly judicious with our time from here on out. It's just a shame they didn't see fit to cut their story its own suit. (www.fox.com/almost-human/)
Author rating: 5.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10