Why Fox Got it Right with Almost Human

almost humanHow long has it been since the world has been blessed with a cop show featuring two male partners? A true buddy show? Not counting TV series such as The Wire or The Shield (these sort of fall in a different genre for me)… I can think of White Collar… and that’s about the only recent example–until now.

There are multiple reasons I’m enjoying Almost Human: I’m a sucker for sci-fi, I enjoy crime mysteries, etc. The feeling of the show lands somewhere between Dollhouse and Castle (two shows I love). But the biggest reason is the pairing of the physiologically broken human with the physiologically broken android, both of them dudes.

I’m tired of all the chicks. Even Sherlock’s Watson has to be a hottie now? Of course Almost Human features a hot chick in a supporting role and the department head is a chick (played by the talented Lili Taylor). But the witty banter and dynamic that drives the show is between the two male partners.

And so far, I think it has been done masterfully. The best comparison I can think of was the relationship between James Spader’s and William Shatner’s characters on Boston Legal. While Almost Human hasn’t reached this level of intelligence, I’m enjoying the sparks. With mixed gender partners you simply don’t get lines about scanning your partner’s genitalia to discover they are “at full capacity.” Of course this leads to come backs like, “Don’t scan my testicles. Ever again.”

As with Spader and Shatner, Almost Human partners two individuals, who despite being flawed, are somehow good for each other. Rather than teaming the straight-laced with the shades-of-grey, these guys are both from the island of misfit toys. They’re busted. They’re bitter. They’ve got something to prove and demons to slay.

And it is this loose cannon element combined with some quality male bonding that has me hooked. Now I just have to hope Fox doesn’t cancel the show by the end of the season.

About David Mark Brown

Writer. Novelist. Redneck. Granola. Raised on a Texas cattle ranch and schooled at the U of Montana (Berkeley of the Rockies), I am the world’s most self-proclaimed redneck granola and author of optimistic-dystopian dieselpunk, sci-fi thrillers and young adult literature.

Comments

  1. Joseph Norris says:

    I would have to agree Mark. Almost Human is one of the few Science Fiction shows that grips me and compels me to watch another episode, especially when I have to wait for another one to air. What I like most is that the idea of Dorian as an android who has emotions, which makes him humanlike, is simple and classic. Androids with emotions is nothing new to the realm of SyFy and yet, the show sells it like it’s candy. Another aspect of the show that I’m particularly fond of is its philosophical undertones. It could just be me but Dorian, having the Synthetic Soul program, has a sense of self and can recognize concepts that the newer androids of 2048 cannot. It’s clear that Dorian is special. There are so many ideas and questions that swam in my mind when I watch the show. For example, Dorian, from the beginning, has understood that the newer androids can’t do or possess certain things. One of the things that Dorian mentions is free will. Dorian says “MX units are logic-based, and rule oriented. They have no true free will, and they are designed to feel nothing. I’m not like them.” It makes you wonder if Dorian has “true” free will. Can Dorian genuinely choose to do otherwise without external forces? This is one of the main reasons I really like Almost Human; it engages my mind as well as my senses. Hopefully, the show continues because I can’t get enough of it.

    • Well said, Joseph. I agree on all points. Dorian is more intriguing on many levels than his human counterpart. It is definitely fun to think about the “rule breaking” android hooked up with the rule breaking human. It makes me anxious to see what sort of trouble they cook up. Even their boss seems to be permissive with the idea of the duo working outside of the regular course of things. All of this sort of sets Almost Human up as a cop show/anti-hero showcase. I always love scenarios where bad cops are actually the good cops…

  2. I like this show as well, but Fox (almost) always screws up the shows I like and then drops them, so I’m not that optimistic about its chances.

    My girlfriend likes it too though, so maybe it will be able to garner an audience. It has a pretty good time slot for now.

    Michael Ealy was also really good in Sleeper Cell, if you haven’t seen that series (from Showtime).

    • Yeah. I’m a bit worried they will cancel it or screw it up. But it is just a cop/crime show in the near future. So maybe the appeal is there. Several years ago, the wife and I got into “Drive.” Then I was starting to like Terra Nova some. Twice bitten, thrice shy, I suppose.

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