The Netflix Sci-Fi Political Thriller Series About AI Is The Hidden Gem Binge You Need To Discover

By Brian Myers | Published

better than us

As Netflix continues to expand its offerings to subscribers, one limited series that might slip by some audiences is an imported show that is a must-see for science fiction fans. Better Than Us might not have received the fanfare or attention of the platform’s Stranger Things or Russian Doll, but the show delivers a solid and believable set of future scenarios that we almost seemed doomed to experience.

Better Than Us

Better Than Us takes place in the near future. The world of 2029 is a place where humans have androids at their disposal for a variety of services, replacing a great amount of unskilled labor and serving the day-to-day wants and needs of the population.

The intelligent cyber-beings are created by a mega-corporation named CRONOS, headed by Viktor Toropov.

The Androids Are Evolving

Though the androids in Better Than Us are proficient, it becomes quickly apparent that they are evolving at a much faster rate than CRONOS was anticipating. When one android is smuggled into Russia from China, the stage is set for chaos. This particular robot is completely lifelike and shows signs of understanding and perhaps even possessing human empathy.

The advanced android breaks the previous rules for robots, particularly the cardinal one where they are not supposed to do harm to humans. This goes almost immediately out the window when it kills a man that is trying to use it as a sex doll.

The lifelike android, named Arisa, finds her way to a Russian family that it appears to have adopted.

Two Seasons And Intense Storylines

better than us

Over the course of two seasons and 16 episodes, Better Than Us zigs and zags across three intense storylines that all intertwine to make for a seemingly endless ride through a futuristic world crafted by its creator Andrey Junkovsky.

As the series moves forward with Arisa in the home of Georgy Safronov and his two children Egor and Sonya, it’s revealed that the purpose behind the creation of Arisa is the result of a Draconian Chinese policy.

First Russian Netflix Original

better than us

Better Than Us serves as the first Russian series that has been given the distinction of being a Netflix original. The streaming giant first made the show available in its ever-growing library in 2019, where it has slowly built a solid following of fans. Released in Russia as a single-season series in 2018, Netflix divided the show into two eight-episode installments.

The series combines elements of the Ridley Scott cult classic Blade Runner with the robots right out of the pages of an Isaac Asimov novel.

The Better Than Us storyline that follows the anti-droid group the Liquidators is definitely drawing from the former, while the functions and much of the behaviors of the robots are parallel to the latter’s science fiction genius.

Complicated Moral Arguments

better than us

Viewers become quickly absorbed by the intricate story arcs that eventually converge in Better Than Us. But there are also complicated moral arguments that arise throughout the series, ranging from the ethics of using intelligent androids for slave labor to the social and moral ramifications of China’s “one child” policy.

The show does a brilliant job combining all the necessary elements of a great science fiction tale and successfully incorporates classical forms of literary conflict.

Better Than Us On Streaming

better than us

Better Than Us can be streamed with a Netflix subscription. The series stars Paulina Andreeva as Arisa, Kirill Karo as Georgy, and Aleksandr Ustyugov as CRONOS Director Viktor Toropov.

Better Than Us received four award nominations in Russia, including Best Actress in a TV Series and Best Television Mini-series. It also won for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects.