Perhaps you haven’t heard about this amazing new show, Almost Human, that airs on Fox, Monday nights at 8/7c. So Mel and I are here to educate you on why you should totally watch this amazing show and save it from the curse of cancellation. Because I will be really upset if it’s cancelled and then you will all have to suffer listening to me whine and complain for the unforeseeable future. And no one wants that. Let us begin at…the beginning.
The year is 2048. Meet Detective JOHN KENNEX (Urban), a cop who survived one of the most catastrophic attacks ever made against the police department. After waking up from a 17-month coma, he can’t remember much – except that his partner was killed, he lost one of his legs and he is now outfitted with a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage. Suffering from depression, mental atrophy, trauma-onset OCD, PTSD and the “psychological rejection of his synthetic body part,” John returns to work at the behest of longtime ally Captain SANDRA MALDONADO (Emmy Award nominee Lili Taylor, “Six Feet Under,” “Ransom”). By mandate, every cop must partner with a robot. And despite his passionate aversion to androids, John is paired up with a battle-ready MX-43. But he abruptly terminates his partnership after the robot discovers incriminating information about him. So technician RUDY LOM (Mackenzie Crook, “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise) introduces John to DORIAN (Ealy), a discontinued android with unexpected emotional responses. Although such responses were deemed flaws, it is in these “flaws” that John relates to Dorian most. After all, John is part-machine now, and Dorian is part-human. John and Dorian’s understanding of each other not only complements them, it connects them. As he adjusts to working with his new partner, John also must learn to get along with his new colleagues, including the sharp and insightful human intelligence analyst Detective VALERIE STAHL (Minka Kelly, “Friday Night Lights,” “(500) Days of Summer”) and the distrustful Detective RICHARD PAUL (Michael Irby, “Law Abiding Citizen,” “The Unit”), who does not welcome John back with open arms. ALMOST HUMAN will follow the week-to-week missions of John and Dorian, as they fight crime across this futuristic landscape, while the mysteries surrounding John’s attack and the larger mythology of this new world unfold.
BASICALLY what that snippet from the Almost Human site is saying is that this is a futuristic Cop show. It’s set in a time where there have been so many technological advancements it’s hard for police to keep up with the crime that is so wide spread. To help, the police force use androids paired with humans. The androids are very, I guess you could say, stiff and boring and…To throw in a Star Trek reference, they’re very Vulcan. Only worse, because they actually don’t have emotions as opposed to just keeping them in check/hidden. Our protagonist, John Kennex, hates the androids (and because I used a Star Trek ref earlier I’m totally thinking about Bones…sorry! I can’t help it!). He eventually gets paired up with an older version of ‘droid the force used. One that was made to feel and experience human emotions. The result is ~beautiful. Let’s break it down even further for you though, shall we? Point by point on why you really MUST watch this show.
- Karl Urban as John Kennex: Leaving aside the fact that Karl is very easy on the eyes (don’t lie, you love that Kiwi), Karl is just amazing to watch. He really gets into every role he gets. And he has this particular way of portraying the gritty, sarcastic, disenchanted character perfectly. He’s obviously gone through a lot if bad stuff and who could blame him for being pessimistic? Yet, even through all of that there’s this sense of humor and hidden hope that keeps everyone coming back for more.
- Michael Ealy as Dorian: Also, easy on the eyes, Michael has taken Dorian’s character and completely ran away with it. He’s totally brought Dorian to life and made him his own. It’s glorious to watch. He’s managed to make you see Dorian as human while still never forgetting he’s actually not. How does that work? I have no idea. But he does it. Dorian is hilarious. But he’s also very childlike and innocent in a lot of ways due to the fact he simply isn’t human. He’s almost human (har har). And where Kennex can be a bit dark and negative, Dorian is always there to shed some light and love on the situation. I LOVE DORIAN.
- Lili Taylor as Captain Sandra Maldonado: Okay, can I start this off by saying I love that the captain is female? Not only female but an everyday type of female. That may sound bad. Let me take a step back. What I mean is, she isn’t some over the top gorgeous bombshell that guys in the force are panting after. In fact, in one episode, there’s a bad guy who comments on how she is kind of average and doesn’t have men’s attention and blah blah blah, you get the idea. Where she is now she got through dedication, hard work and talent. And she is effing respected, dammit. Don’t mess with Captain Maldonado.
- Mackenzie Crook as Rudy Lom: Obviously, I loved this guy in Pirates. I never anticipated how much I’d love him as Rudy, though. I like his kind of awkward, super intelligent and weirdly charming manners. He relates to Dorian and sees him as more than another android. He even gets to go undercover in one glorious episode, where he is so fixated on using a hat as a disguise and…he’s adorable.
- The technology: Sometimes I look back at old shows/cartoons that depict what the future is going to be like and totally laugh (or lament. Seriously, where are the machines that do our hair like in The Jetsons? Or any of the advancements in Star Trek?). But with Almost Human there are a lot of weapons/computers/medicines I can see being developed. Obviously, there are those that are over the top (what kind of futuristic cop show would it be without those?) but for the most part it seems as though Almost Human takes the things we use now as a starting point for many of the advancements in the show.
- The Kennex/Dorian relationship: I don’t want to call it a bromance (though if you go on tumblr you are going to see it tagged with Almost Humans and…well…). I just want to call it a friendship. Which is saying a lot for Kennex who keeps so many people at a distance (for good reason). He especially doesn’t want to be bothered with any androids. But Dorian is special, it’s clear to see from the very beginning, and watching their relationship blossom into one of trust and mutual respect and just, actually liking each other is so, so great. I could write a thousand more words about how funny these two are, about the great dynamic they bring to the show, how well they work together and make me want to watch it all the time, but then you’d get sick of this post in a hurry.
- Plot: The stories they weave are are generally never what they seem. I find myself thinking of what I’d do in anyone of the given situations. I like shows that have me constantly reevaluate my morals and force me to look at things differently.
- Comedy: Don’t let the dark topics fool you. There is something the best timed humor I’ve seen since Buffy. (High praise from Mel indeed.) From Ken doll androids to the fact Dorian can “human” better than John in 50% of the situations they’re given. (Why do they keep putting groups of kids around John? Really!) It really helps make it a well rounded show.
To me it has all of the elements needed to make a really great show. So let’s help keep it on the air!!