'Almost Human' Is Almost Worth Getting Exciting About
The latest series from JH Wyman has won some critical acclaim already, but some still need convincing
Almost Human is the latest series from Fringe creator JH Wyman, working under JJ Abrams' Bad Robot banner and airing on Fox last night (17 Nov.). Set 35 years in the future, in a world where police officers are partnered with human-like androids, the show stars Karl Urban and Michael Ealy as they combat a crime-filled Los Angeles in a show that has already shown some early promise, a handful of critics agree.
Karl Urban stars alongside Michael Ealy on Almost Human
Urban and Ealy, starring as Detective John Kennex and the DRN model android Dorian respectively, are the show's odd couple and central characters and despite their differences, by the end of the series premiere alone it becomes pretty clear that they make a formidable pair. They are just two parts of a pretty wicked ensemble cast that also includes Joe Smith, Mackenzie Crook, Lili Taylor and Minka Kelly, but in spite of all the big names, Almost Human is still struggling to win everyone over with its first episode.
"This late entry in the fall season is one of the best," was a sentiment shared by People Weekly's TV critic Tom Gilatto, but his appraisal was not routinely matched by other critics.
Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post said the series premiere was "laced with humor" and "a visual" feast, whilst Sara Smith of the Kansas City Star said the show was ambitious and "worthwhile," but criticism soon arose from this praise.
"It's hard to fall in love with a world that feels...borrowed," said Alee Karim of Under the Radar, a critic who isn't alone in thinking that Almost Human appears as though it is based on a concept used countless times before. Hank Stuever was even less forgiving, writing for the Washington Post, "another dull example of the manufacturing of sci-fi factory goods with the (increasingly devalued) J.J. Abrams label slapped on."
A review from The A.V. Club's Todd Van Der Werff summed up the middle of the road attitude to the show's first episode, writing in his review, "Generic cop heroes aren’t always a problem if the show around them boasts other interesting characters or an intriguing premise. Almost Human has both, but, sadly, everything else in the show’s universe takes more after the Urban side of things than the Ealy."
Whether you choose to stay with the show is up to you, but we have a suspicion that when Almost Human returns for episode two, viewer numbers won't be on the rise.
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