Magazine article Variety

Fox's Futuristic Procedural Feels like Roboslop

Magazine article Variety

Fox's Futuristic Procedural Feels like Roboslop

Article excerpt

Fox's Futuristic Procedural Feels Like Roboslop

Almost Human" is barely watchable - a grunged-up vision of a dystopian, crime-ridden future, with actors portraying humanoid robots, including the one played by Michael Ealy, who weaves awkward slang into his speech. It's a quirky addition to a Fox lineup that already has scored a modest success with the fantasy-infused "Sleepy Hollow," but the network seems unlikely to enjoy such good fortune twice.

The year is 2048 (one can only imagine how many Bushes and Clintons have been president in the intervening decades), but this is less "Blade Runner" than "Alien Nation," or perhaps "Law & Order: Cyborg Cop Unit" - using the futuristic backdrop strictly as a means of creating a different venue for a mismatched copshow.

Karl Urban plays John Kennex, the hard-bitten cop who has experienced a major loss - as in former colleagues and his leg, blown off in an explosive attack and replaced by a geewhiz prosthetic device. As a consequence, John isn't prone to trust people - or machines. Because as it happens, when Kennex returns to the force, in an attempt to level the playing field against the average heavily armed criminal, each cop must be paired with a humanoid mechanical partner.

Still, Kennex quickly jettisons the state-of-the-art "combat-ready" android initially assigned to him, before his captain (Lili Thylor) saddles him with a decommissioned older model that tends to mimic humans. The new sidekick is named Dorian, played by "Sleeper Cell's" Ealy. "I'm running my colloquialism routine, so I express most data conversationally, man," he explains. …

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