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2014’s Best Sci-Fi TV: Brent’s Picks

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AlmostHumanAlmost Human

We can add Almost Human, the robot buddy cop drama from J.J. Abrams and Fringe mastermind J.H. Wyman, to the list of sci-fi shows that were cancelled well before their time. It’s one of those situations that are hard as a fan. Do we lament the fact that the show is gone or celebrate that we got to see it at all in the first place, even if it was only for one short season? While it sucks that Fox gave it the axe, we’re going to go with the latter option because it was a fun ride while it lasted.

Almost Human takes the police procedural trope of a grizzled, loner cop hiding his secret pain and trauma, paired with a new, mismatched partner, and gives it a sci-fi twist. Not happy with his officially mandated robotic partner, the department scrapes the bottom of the barrel for Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) latest ride along, Dorian (Michael Ealy), the last remnant of a line of synthetics most remembered for malfunctioning and being wildly emotional and unstable. As you probably guessed, Dorian’s unusual blend of neurosis and personality quirks make him a perfect foil for Kennex, and the uneasy relationship, trust, and even friendship they form, as unlikely as it may be, is the true emotional core of the show. It also works pretty damn well as a hard-boiled sci-fi detective story, with hints of Blade Runner and other influences, as the pair tries to unravel a sprawling conspiracy that goes so far we’ll never see the end.

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Comments

  1. Stan says:

    I watched the first episode of the 100 and never watched again,but if it finally got it’s act together as you say I will give it another shot.

    • Brent McKnight says:

      It admittedly takes three or four episodes to really figure out what it’s doing, but after that it’s been a pleasant surprise.

      • Stan says:

        I am into episode 6(I get it on Netflix) and am begining to warm to it.

        • Brent McKnight says:

          Nice. I’m curious what you think when you finish the season.

          • Stan says:

            I’m a binge watcher,so it won’t be to long.

          • Stan says:

            I’m done with the final episode of the first season and I have to agree with you it’s much better than I thought it would be., I think the level of writing is above the normal fare we see in most sci-fi on network tv ,a bit weak in the first few episodes but someone is making a damn good effort put it all together..I’m sorry now I dismissed it after the first episode because of the young adult look only to discover now we have a story that cover alll ages.It keeps surprising you with new directions and the characters are developing nicely. Also, .. I like the grittyness of it and that being a pretty young thing is no guarantee that your going to survive to the next episode. The final episode was a treat and the ending has me looking forward to the second season for the answers.

          • Brent McKnight says:

            I’m glad you wound up enjoying it. I had a similar experience. I started watching it because I’ll give any new sci-fi show at least a chance, but for the first few episodes it was just kind of on in the background. They end episodes really well, and that’s what kept me coming back until one episode I realized that it wasn’t just on in the background anymore and I was ignoring everything else. Season 2 continues to go in unexpected directions. They do things that I initially thought would ruin what they’d built, but they do them well and really expand the scope of the show in unusual ways.

  2. Cito Kurrukan says:

    Never got to see The 100. I think Firefly tops a lot of favorite lists, though.