Almost Human Catch-Up

I have a hard time writing about Almost Human.  I like the show, but find I don’t have much to say about it.  It has humor, but it’s not laugh-out-loud funny.  It has interesting mid-21st century technology, but it’s kind of hit-or-miss.  It also tends to have a few plot holes.

The Bends (104)

Rudy goes undercover a drug syndicate.

Rudy undercover (in more ways than one)

When an undercover cop killed is killed in a drug deal, he’s assumed to be dirty.  There’s no record of the cop having been on an undercover assignment, but he’s an old friend of John Kennex, so he must be ok.  Right?  Recordings of the meeting/murder tell Kennex and Dorian (we already know) a particularly nasty drug lord known as The Bishop is looking for a “cook” to make the latest highly-addictive designer drug.  (See episode title for its name.)  Kennex has the brilliant idea of using science nerd Rudy to go undercover for a “job interview.”

There’s the requisite fish-out-of-water “humor,” but it’s not particularly funny.  Well, except when the cops go through a great deal of trouble making an alter-identity for Rudy, who immediately blows it  by telling the drug minions his real name.  I guess Richard Paul’s warning of “Nothing’s perfect under cover,” is true.

Dorian cracks lots of jokes, but they’re not really chuckle-worthy.  The same goes for Rudy’s talking head.  Yes, a literal a talking head.  It’s like the writers are trying too hard to make us laugh.  Ok, Rudy forgetting the iodine in his first batch of the drug, which causes the test tube to ricochet around the room, taking out an MX’s eye, was rather funny.  Maybe they should just leave all the comedy to Mackenzie Crook.

Dorian is grabbed by another android.

A little droid-on-droid violence

Along the way there’s the obligatory bar fight, deal-making, fighting and chasing bad guys.  Lots of action, but very little story.

Some of the futuristic stuff is fun.  Rudy drinks a potion that turns his entire body into a GPS (complete with flatulence, again, not really funny).  Electronic bugs look like insect bugs.  But seriously, would you have something implanted in your hand if it provided a video phone?

When Stahl said the counter-GPS potion was newly developed for the police department, I knew the big bad was Benito Martinez.  Or maybe it was when the bald guy said he wasn’t The Bishop.  Whichever came first.  (Actually, I suspected him from the very beginning, but then Benito and I have history with Supernatural.)

Oh, did I mention when the episode’s not lol funny, it’s kind of gross.  Like eating the snail.

Blood Brothers (105)

Nowhere are the flaws of this show more obvious than this episode.  First there’s the inappropriate humor.  I don’t mean Dorian showing how he’s built differently that the MXs.  I mean his wisecrack about John’s intelligence while interviewing a murder witness.

The villain smirks during the trial, especially when the first witness is killed.  Then he endless baits Captain Maldonado about how she’s unimportant and unloved.  It’s so black and white, it’s annoying.  And it’s predictable.  I picked up on the clone angle almost immediately.  Well, maybe not immediately, but definitely when Rudy was talking about the voice not being a recording.  (Don’t get me started on the use of voice recognition or “voice prints” in legal matters.  It brings out the old audiologist in me.)

Detective Stahl is kidnapped by clones.

Kidnapped by clones!

Then there are the inconsistencies.  The legal system allows badgering and no cross-examination; police cars don’t have bullet-proof glass; and while the difference between clones and the original person can be detected, they can’t tell it’s a hologram.  Wha??

It’s not all bad, though.  I do like the way they use Stahl in the series.  Well, not as a kidnap victim, but how she uses the  “soft sciences” to shed light on the investigations.  Here, she’s the one who asks about the connection between the murderer and the victim.  Which, golly, seems to be yet another inconsistency.  Sheesh.

[I know this isn’t much of a review or a recap.  My mind isn’t focused right now, and I’m too blue to thoroughly proofread.]

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5 responses to “Almost Human Catch-Up

  1. I’m sorry you’re blue. 😦

    I’m enjoying this show a lot more than you are. I think my tolerance level is lower and my expectations are lower, and the one thing I want done well is, IMO, done wonderfully.

    Tolerance: I used to care a lot more about tightness in TV. Now it’s just entertainment. Even though it’s also supposed to help me with my own characterization, plotting, and so on, I really just want to enjoy myself. So I’ve let go a lot in recent years. I will point out ridiculous things when I can’t take it, but then I let them go and forget about them.

    Expectations: It’s a crime show. Crime shows suck. I only watch crime shows when they have a) great chemistry between the actors (Castle, Hawaii Five-O), and b) an entertaining gimmick (Numb3rs, Agents of SHIELD). I think Urban and Ealy do have great chemistry, and their banter makes me giggle. I look at Dorian’s sometimes inappropriate timing/lack of filter as part of the “flaw” that sidelined his model.

    Definitely, there’s a distinct lack of characterization around those two, and a lot of superficiality in the storytelling, but I think that’s often standard. The first few weeks we watched Castle, we said “love the main couple, the rest of them are bland and uninteresting and the storylines are standard.” But that changed (mostly) and I have high hopes it will develop over time here, too. In the meantime, the technology allows them to explore things that other shows haven’t done a million times, which is enough to hold my interest.

    • I love your take on everything. You’re right to let the little things go, sit back, and just be entertained. Perhaps it was just the wrong time for me to have watched the episode. 😦

  2. Despite the crazy set-ups the plots are straight from the dullest police procedurals. Also, the technology seems to change so drastically from episode to episode that it becomes incredibly illogical — at least in a police procedural the range of potential ways to solve the case are more limited. What this creates is the “technology of the week syndrome” vs “the one dimensional bad-guy doing what bad-guys always did but with some cool technology.” I wish they would create arcs, I wish they wouldn’t abandon potentially cool plot lines, I wish everything wasn’t so neatly resolved in one short episode…

    • Sorry for the late approval. I didn’t see your comment immediately. D’oh! Maybe the producers will read your comments and go that route. 🙂 That’d be fine by me!

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