Who: “Almost Human,” aired on network TV, specifically on FOX, fall/winter Mondays at 8:00 PM.
What: “Almost Human,” a science fiction action/crime drama set in a future where police forces are partially staffed by androids in cities where crime runs rampant, and a police officer named John Kennex (Karl Urban, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek), who loses his partner in an ambush after an android statistically determines that the partner is too badly hurt and too beyond help, must reconcile with returning to work following his own coma, the addition of a “synthetic” prosthetic leg, and the partnering with the androids he comes to dangerously resent.
John Kennex (Urban) finds his life forever altered after a crime syndicate ambush, to which he mistakenly led officers under his charge, results in their deaths. When one of the force’s requisite androids abandons John’s mortally wounded partner during the siege, categorizing him as an unacceptable risk, John’s partner loses his life, and John loses his leg. He is then comatose for seventeen months, until he is revived with a synthetic prosthesis to replace his missing limb. Though he attempts to undergo black market treatments to recover some of the memories of that fateful day, his superior (Lili Taylor) recalls him to work and assigns John his mandatory android partner – which he promptly shoves out of a moving vehicle while investigating a robbery. He is then assigned to work with Dorian (Michael Ealy), an early generation android prototype programmed to have actual feelings and to interact, emotional responses in tact, with his human counterparts. John must set aside his deep seated prejudice, while Dorian reminds John of what it is to be human in a world populated by a growing number of artificial copies, as they investigate and work in a city ravaged by crime and “unregulated technology.”
When: The series finale aired on FOX, Monday, March 3, 2014, at 8:00 PM.
Where: The show is set in an unknown metropolis, though it strikes this viewer as being Los Angeles, California, in the year 2048. Update: I think it’s actually supposed to be New York City.
Why: It’s science fiction, it features Eomer/the new Dr. McCoy (Mr. Urban), and it was created and is executive produced by J.J. Abrams and one of his cohorts from Fringe. As I am in the Cult of J.J., I must sample everything that man touches.
How – as in How’s It Going? (Thoughts)
In a stunningly well timed bit of prescience on this blogger’s part, it was announced by most entertainment outlets this hour that Fox canceled Almost Human, the first and only season of which I just reviewed on this blog here. Ultimately, this program was flawed in its execution, despite its innovative premise and stunning visual pastiche, and these flaws, and possibly the expense of its production, undoubtedly led to its demise.
Sadly, I called it in my recap. The writers squandered the potential of this show and did a disservice to its cast. Hopefully, the key players, particularly Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, can find other projects soon. I have to believe a third Star Trek film is in the works, at least, though Mr. Urban could lead another vehicle if given the chance with aplomb.
As noted in the previous recap, Almost Human traveled a road to nowhere where story was concerned, even if there were a few laughs generated by the two lead characters and their buddy cop rapport. Chalk this one up to good idea, less-than-stellar follow-through. Sorry, fans of the show – blame it on the writing. I certainly do.
Despite impressive visual effects and competent performances, the unfocused writing (and likely the expense) of Almost Human no doubt contributed to a less-than-satisfying now series conclusion and its cancellation. Also, this viewer still believes it would have worked better as a movie.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Canceled! RIP Almost Human. It was an admirable attempt at good science fiction, but in the TV world, as Yoda said, it’s “do or do not; there is no try.”