Proving once again that TV is now a viable option for the Hollywood movie star, Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd) joins the ranks that's seen the likes of Kevin Bacon, Vera Farmiga, Kevin Spacey and Don Cheadle doing their own thing, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson's new cop show to air in January 2014. I can remember when such a thing was frowned upon and seen a sign of defeat, but no more is TV the place for the "has been," or "nearly ran."
Almost Human, is a futuristic buddy cop show, where each human cop must partner with a synthetic cop, in a future that's seen crime spiral out of control; set in Los Angeles in the year 2048, Detective Kennex (Urban) leads a failed raid on a group of underworld figures, that sees his squad killed and his leg blown off. During the raid, Kennex orders an MX (a modern synthetic cop) to help evacuate his dying partner, but the MX refuses based on carefully calculated expected chance of survival. Now Kennex has a dislike of MX's, as we see when his boss, Captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor), persuades him to finally return to the precinct and tells him his new MX partner is now mandatory.
Having been in a long coma, and sporting a synthetic replacement leg, Kennex is ordered to take his MX partner to a crime scene that may have a connection to the action that saw his team die, but when he arrives he suffers a flashback, that gets closely noticed by the MX. On the way back from the crime scene the MX warns Kennex he needs to report this matter, and in response, Kennex throws him from the vehicle where the MX gets crushed under another car.
This allows Kennex to get his new synthetic partner; an old obsolete model; a DNR, known as Dorian (Michael Ealy); a model that can think for itself but was discontinued for being too emotional. As it turns out, this is precisely the type of partner Kennex needs in his life.
Together, the pair investigate a group of criminals who have developed a toxic spray that only kills cops, but they also find out the gang has a game plan which involves something within the precinct itself. After the dust settles, Kennex and Dorian have their work cut out for them as they now must hunt through the archived evidence, but they don't yet know what they're looking for. They also gain a mutual respect and finally get on first name terms in time for the next episode.
With Star Trek and the latest Star Wars' director, J.J. Abrams, serving as one of the executive producers, it's no wonder the look of Almost Human is beautifully high-tech, mixed with enough grit and grime to give it some future, real-world appearance. I loved the look of Looper, which, to my mind, is probably a more realistic and likely look of what our future will hold, but this show is more about escapism than realism.
Karl Urban's Kennex, isn't what you would call an original character, or his predicament, however, coupled with Michael Ealy's great take on Dorian, makes for some good and interesting entertainment. The gorgeios Minka Kelly, plays Detective Stahle, and provides sufficient eye-candy for us males, and offers smiles and assistance to our two heroes when needed.
Almost Human, is a show I instantly took to, thanks to many things, like the look of the sets and CG; the appealing characters; the story possibilities; the writing thus far, and a great cast. Did I mention Minka Kelly co-starred?
TV Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment WriterShare: