A review of the Almost Human episodes “Pilot” and “Skin.”
I’d be more interested in Almost Human if it’s about the Dorian android living with the day-to-day tedium of police work. Yes, Michael Ealy’s natural blue eyes help Dorian’s other-worldliness, but Ealy also charms and has me thinking less of the police procedural stuff.
What would happen if he and Karl Urban’s Detective John Kennex would drop the procedural stuff and shoot the breeze in a bar?
In the pilot episode, Dorian states that what he wants to be is a cop. Surely, the android has bigger aspirations than putting up with a sometimes grumpy human partner. The pilot sets up Kennex’s backstory and potentially sets up a feud between the police and a mysterious group known as the Syndicate. One grimy street is very suggestive of Blade Runner, but Almost Human is more of a mish-mash of futuristic set design overall.
Also, Judge Hershey…er, Captain Malonado approved of Kennex’s new partnership a bit too easily at the end.
The second episode, “Skin,” has the dynamic duo investigating the kidnappings of several women whose DNA are the basis for the skin of sexbots. Dorian learns about how humans cope with death from the worldly Kennex. The human detective, not being a philosophical type, gives Dorian an explanation basically saying that people, while not knowing about their afterlife, still want to make each others feel better.
I’m just not fully engaged with Almost Human’s obligatory detective work that must litter primetime broadcast TV. Kennex and his mandatory android partner go through evidence and witnesses. Kennex tries to recover his humanity after a two-year coma. Dorian. though old tech, shows no weaknesses or limitations. He’s cool with Kennex because he’s less nosy. Blah, blah, book ’em Dano, et cetera.
Almost Human would be better if it explored the leads more. As you may know, Kennex has a bionic right leg and tends to go to some memory-retrieval machine one too many times. Wouldn’t this suggest that Kennex will eventually lose his humanity while Dorian gains his humanity?
In “Skin,” Dorian has a character beat in which he attempts to understand love. He supposedly find Kennex’s online dating profile and teases him about his potential date. That’s actually a fine display of Urban and Ealy’s chemistry. On the other hand, there’s Dorian’s visit with the soon-to-be deactivated sexbot Vanessa. I know the purpose is to show Dorian’s experience consoling the “dying” Vanessa, but it looks like he sees something more in her.
If Almost Human invests more time in what Kennex and Dorian want in their lives, then my esteem of it would upgrade to “almost great.”