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Almost Human

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Mark Suszko
Almost Human
on Dec 2, 2013 at 3:52:09 pm

I didn't get around to watching this until Thanksgiving vacation, but I like it, even though it's on FOX.

As an Asimov fan, I get a very strong "Caves Of Steel" vibe from the show. It also feels a LOT like the old series "Alien Nation", a fave of mine. While the sets and effects for Almost Human are somewhat low-budget, they work okay, and the chemistry between the two leads is pretty good. Urban is the actor who plays Bones in the rebooted Star Trek movies, but he's a bit more nuanced here.

The writers or editors have some fun dropping little easter eggs or gimmicks here and there. In an episode about robotic love companions, the company that makes the fembots is called: "Are Friends Electric", which is not only a play on words, but a callback to 80's New Wave artist Gary Numan. You only see it for about 90 frames, as part of a graphics display, but someone is putting some love into the little details of the show, and I like that. Show also has a love for 80's synth-pop artists.

Tim, if you can stop squeeing over "Arrow" for a few minutes, give this a look-see on hulu, or set the DVR for monday nights, and in exchange, I'll watch the first three eps of "Arrow".


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Tim Wilson
Re: Almost Human
on Dec 2, 2013 at 6:45:34 pm

I'm A HUGE fan of this show, and mentioned it in other threads. I'll write some more about it soon (under some deadline pressure now), but Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are two of my favorite actors, and this goes way, way past the standard treatment you'd expect from a broadcast treatment of "cranky cop with artificial limb vs. sensitive adroid." This is really special stuff, starring two excellent actors working at the top of their game, with writing and production design of the caliber to support it.

In fact, I just watched the pilot again this past weekend, and plan to rewatch the second ep this week. Definitely worthy of repeat viewing.

I also have on my list of things to do to respond more fully to the Sleepy Hollow thread. This too is a really special show, and the back to back pairing of AH/SH is the best two hours on TV, period.

I have no idea why a comics fan like you doesn't already have a full-sized tattoo of Arrow across his back by now. You'll surely disagree because you know so much more about this genre than I do, but I really am officially out of the comics genre movie and TV business until somebody who is familiar with Arrow assures me that said other property is as good. My working assumption, based on the past 18 months of experience with Arrow and sitting through a pile of depressing Marvel and DC fizzles, is that it won't be.

Anyway, you're already on the hook for Arrow, so to speak. I'm already a big-time Almost Human fan, and I'm very much looking forward to writing about it as enthusiastically as I watch it.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Almost Human
on Dec 2, 2013 at 10:32:13 pm

I'm not a comics expert, I'm knowledgeable on one title, the main (original) Iron Man comic. Never cared for Green Arrow, felt the custom arrow tip for every most unlikely situation plus an inexhaustible quiver... was hard to take.


The Iron Man story has taken a bizarre twist: a robotic Rumplestilskin was going to steal the Stark's first child, so they hid that child... and ADOPTED TONY as a diversion. Died in a car crash while protecting the secret. He's only just now found out.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Almost Human
on Dec 2, 2013 at 10:39:51 pm

Wow, serious about the Iron Man story line? That is really clever. How closely has the movies been following the comics?

Stephen Smith

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Mark Suszko
Re: Almost Human
on Dec 2, 2013 at 11:03:41 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Dec 2, 2013 at 11:12:47 pm

Not very. But movies really can't "be" books too often. I thought they did a good enough job of capturing the essence of the books in the movies, though I was hoping for more concentration on the alcoholism and recovery story at the heart of Tony's character. IM 3 kind of shifted his history right past that chapter and probably won't be re-visiting it. But I LOVE Downey as Tony; he embodies the role.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Almost Human
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:20:15 pm

I stayed home sick with the flu today and watched the latest three episodes of "Arrow". It didn't light any fires for me. I found it rather more soap-like than I prefer, and the low-budget look is annoying. I did manage to pick up a lot of references to other comic characters and the like, but overall, it didn't make me want to keep watching.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Almost Human
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:24:17 pm

Well, FOX has cancelled "Almost Human". Like they did to "Firefly", they aired the episodes out of story order, but I thought the show and the two leads were strong enough to pull it off. What is it about FOX that they seem to go out of their way to sabotage their SF shows?


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Stephen Smith
Re: Almost Human
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:58:39 pm

I liked Almost Human and wished it got another season. However, Almost Human didn't seem to go anywhere. They set up the story with his girl friend and lost memories at the start, they introduced the Wall and Mr. Bad Guy from Night Court and then never did anything with those stories. It feels like you could watch any of the episodes (except the first) out of order and it wouldn't matter.

In Fox's defense on SF they did give Fringe 5 seasons and Sleepy Hollow will return. Did you like Sleepy Hollow?

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Tim Wilson
Re: Almost Human
on Apr 30, 2014 at 8:29:01 pm

[Stephen Smith] "In Fox's defense on SF they did give Fringe 5 seasons and Sleepy Hollow will return. Did you like Sleepy Hollow?
"


My favorite show of 2013-2014. I LOVE it. It's also a massive hit, so Fox doesn't get too too much credit for keeping it around. :-) But they certainly get all the credit in the world for their handling of it. I think they really stuck the landing as stewards.

I agree though. Because of Firefly in particular, Fox gets a bad rap they haven't entirely earned. (I said ENTIRELY.)

They appear to have kept Fringe around because they WANTED it to be on longer. Well-deserved, but not at all an obvious decision. They stuck with X-Files, and even retooled the opening credits to keep it around for longer if needed -- but 9 seasons is more than respectable.

The place where it gets weird is that they kept Dollhouse around for 2 seasons. What? That should never have gotten on the air imo, and it feels like it was a make-good for them realizing that they should have stuck with Firefly a little longer.

I liked Almost Human a lot though. It definitely had some loose ends, Stephen, and a couple of times they appear to have just bailed on some elements that weren't working. I LIKE seeing shows do that, but because they didn't get a chance to follow through with the new routes, I don't know if they were able to actually pull it off.

I was glad it gave Lilly Taylor some work, and I hope it leads to more for her. I'm a huge Karl Urban fan, and I think he added a lot of color to what could have been a one dimensional role. But I'm REALLY sorry about losing Michael Ealy. He was sooooo good, and has gotten bounced off two other really good shows that got axed too soon -- Common Law (a light crime thing on USA...admittedly, they have quite a few of those, but I thought this one was dang near perfect) and Flash Forward. That one started out pretty ragged, but by the end, it was popping. EVERYTHING was working.

We've talked here about Journeyman in much the same way. A ridiculous premise that started to make sense, then started to feel not just plausible but inevitable in the hands of exceptional performers.

Anyway, this doesn't feel like a tragedy the way that Firefly did...but it does seem premature at best, and certainly, to me as a fan, a shame.


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