tek's rating: ½

Almost Human, on FOX
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A sci-fi cop show set in 2048 (which premiered in 2013). After 17 months in a coma following a disastrous mission in which his whole team was killed, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) returns to work. All police have android partners; most of them currently are assigned purely logical MX models, but Kennex... gets rid of the one that was assigned to him. So he's assigned a new partner, an older DRN model. That model had been decommissioned, after people started thinking of them as "crazy," for some reason. Unlike the MX models, DRNs were designed to be able to feel emotions, and think in potentially unexpected ways, just like humans. After a little while, Kennex begins to accept his new partner, "Dorian" (Michael Ealy), at least more than he would an MX. The two even become friendly, though they continue to (jokingly) nettle each other. Anyway, I must say, the idea of human detectives working with android partners isn't exactly novel... off the top of my head, I can think of Asimov's "Robot" novels, as well as a short-lived 1992 series called Mann & Machine. But this show's done fairly well.

Other characters include police captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor), intelligence analyst Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly), Detective Richard Paul, and a tech guy named Rudy Lom. Rudy's probably my favorite character, a socially awkward and nervous guy who's always funny, usually unintentionally, because he often can't stop himself from saying embarrassingly awkward things that aren't quite what he's trying to say. But he's friendly with Kennex and Dorian. Meanwhile, Detective Paul has a somewhat antagonistic relationship with Kennex. They really don't like each other, but in spite of often seeming like a jerk, Paul can be a good cop and a good guy. Sometimes. Detective Stahl is a genetically engineered person called a "Chrome," and apparently it's unusual for Chromes to become cops. Anyway, she's friendly with Kennex, and there are hints that a romantic relationship could potentially develop between them. Maybe.

The show is both episodic and serial in nature, with some slowly developing plotlines and over-arching mysteries and character development. Apparently the first season's episodes aired out of order, somewhat, which messed with the serial nature a bit. But it's not too disconcerting. Aside from that, the individual episodes featured reasonably interesting cases and interesting new technologies. So I think the show works fairly well as both science fiction and a cop show. The actors all do a good job, and there's good character interaction, and a nice mix of drama and humor. By the end of the season, it didn't seem like any of the major mysteries had been resolved, so I really hoped it would get a second season. But it didn't, and that's a damn shame.

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