‘Almost Human’ Reviews: Critics Split Over Fox’s Latest Sci-Fi Drama

Mon, November 18, 2013 10:29am EST by 17 Comments
Almost Human Series Premiere
Courtesy of Fox

Are you loving J. J. Abrams’ new action-thriller? See what the critics are saying, then chime in with your review.

We’re officially halfway through the two-night series premiere of Fox’s next big sci-fi drama, Almost Human, and the reviews are almost even. The futuristic tale of detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) and his android sidekick Dorian (Michael Ealy) — which continues tonight in its regular time slot, Mondays at 8 p.m. — is getting equal parts positive and negative attention from critics.

‘Almost Human’ What The Critics Love

Many outlets, including HollywoodLife.com‘s sister site TVLine, are intrigued by the pilot, eager to have their every lingering question answered:

Now that Almost Human has established its characters and its slick, tech-filled world, we’re looking forward to seeing Dorian and Kennex’s work relationship — and dare we suggest friendship? — evolve. And what the heck is the deal with Kennex’s missing ex?

‘Almost Human’ What The Critics Don’t Love

Of course, not every critic is buying what executive producer J. J. Abrams is selling. Another one of our sister publications, Variety, takes issue with pretty much every aspect of the series:

Urban is perfectly fine as this futuristic Dirty Harry, but Ealy never hits anything approximating a rhythm as his eager-to-please partner. Then again, neither is helped much by the tin-eared dialogue. … Nor does the series have as much fun as it should with the near-future visions, avoiding Jetsons-like flights of fancy as it dives right into gritty crime terrain.

The pilot isn’t imaginative or compelling enough to arouse much interest. In that regard, Almost Human’s premise is apt in one unintended way. Because these characters and situations feel very much like something that just came off an assembly line, the kind of bad robot that probably should have been recalled for a tune-up.


HollywoodLifers, which critique do you agree with? Will you be giving Almost Human a season pass, or are you planning to — well — just pass? Drop a comment with your personal review below!

WATCH: ‘Almost Human’ Trailer

— Andy Swift

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Posted at 11:30 PM on February 3, 2014  

This show is becoming more disappointing with each new episode. Seriously, synthetic souls? Sigh.

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Posted at 10:26 PM on November 21, 2013  

Bad writing, wooden acting, poor plot and very derivative -Blade Runner, Total Recall, Robocop and Minority Report combined.
The two leads have no chemistry together.
I was expecting something much better.

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Posted at 8:24 PM on December 25, 2013  

Agree! I give it a year before it gets canceled. I was expecting more from the writers and the actors. It don’t hold your attention for the whole hour. It should be a 30 minute show at most.

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Vladimir Popovac

Posted at 6:15 AM on November 20, 2013  

Amidst all the futuristic, high tech paraphenalia, the proper focus is maintained, which resides
eternally at the center of all good story-telling: do the charcaters find a way to connect with each other, a way to appreciate what the person next to them has to offer? This is a tough, usually impossible, task for all of us “almost humans” to handle. The principal characters of this show are making endearing strides. Also, the show rakes in recent advances in psychological technology, such as treating post traumatic stress victims with revisitations to the scene of the trauma via
visual, aural, and olfactory re-creations. For the sake of the troops, those we blasted out of their mentally stable skulls in our glory wars, this is important for us to pick up on. By watching this
show we may become a little more human ourselves.

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Posted at 6:08 PM on November 19, 2013  

I like it a lot so far. It’s not spectacular, but good enough to hold your interest for the hour, and the chemistry between the two leads is developing nicely. The pilot was good and episode 2 even better, as I found myself chuckling out loud at some of the humorous banter between Kennex and Dorian, while also finding some moments quite touching. I just hope they develop the Syndicate more, and especially come up with a nasty, colorful baddie at the top of it. As good as the two leads are, I think every crime drama needs a worthy bad guy (or gal) in charge with whom to do battle. The jury’s out for now, but if those behind the show do it right this could be a real winner.

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Steve Curless

Posted at 11:46 AM on November 19, 2013  

I was fairly impressed by the first episode and look forward to watching the second tonight. Does it look to be the best sci-fi show ever? Not by a long shot. But it’s not bad, and I don’t understand how any reviewer worthy of being heard could say otherwise. It’s kind of like the outstanding “Century City” legal sci-fi series of a decade ago. It should have received universal praise to the hilt, and, instead, it got panned by many clueless reviewers and was cancelled soon after. I hope that doesn’t happen this time around.

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Toby Pawlack

Posted at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2013  

Absolutely loved it!!!

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Craig Jones

Posted at 7:55 AM on November 19, 2013  

More Ghost in the Shell type I’m Hooked forever !!!

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Posted at 12:19 AM on November 19, 2013  

LOVE IT!! The best sci-fi show on TV. ^.^

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Posted at 10:05 PM on November 18, 2013  

I LOVE Almost Human! Just watched 2nd episode too. Karl Urban is great in anything and being that my favorite genre is Sci-Fi, I’m glad to see a new, cool, GREAT Sci-Fi show on a non-premium channel! Finally!

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Posted at 9:40 PM on November 18, 2013  

This show is quite good, Like the cast. They seem to enjoy working with each other. The writers dialog is real. Just enough “human” banter to give a good reality feeling. Both episodes have shown to be very cohesive. Hope they continue to be. Just not enough good sci-fi around since Firefly.

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Bill Collins

Posted at 9:36 PM on November 18, 2013  

I think it is blatant plagiarism for J.J. Abrams to take Isaac Asimov’s “Caves of Steel” and just throw it on the screen without giving credit. Asimov had a cop and robot partner more than 40 years ago.

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Blazer0x (@Blazer0x)

Posted at 11:24 PM on November 18, 2013  

A similar thing was also done with “Alien Nation”, where the sidekick cop was an alien.

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AllstarCrowley (@AllstarCrowley)

Posted at 4:08 PM on November 19, 2013  

This has been done so many times, it’s hardly worth screaming “ripoff” for fear of going hoarse. Anyone remember Total Recall 2070? Is it possible that Asimov is responsible for the creation of a genre rather being the victim of plagiarism?

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Vladimir Popovac

Posted at 8:44 AM on November 20, 2013  

So what? Shakespeare took nearly every plotline and many other lines as well from earlier
sources. Does this make him a lousy or shameful playwright?

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Posted at 10:38 AM on November 23, 2013  

I understand why you think it is plagiarism. It is not just that it is a cop/robot pairing, but that the cop doesn’t want a robot partner and has to be “wooed” into it by the “special robot.” It is a pretty blatant harvesting from Caves of Steel in the same way that Ray Parker, Jr. harvested from Huey Lewis & the News (there’s a reference for you!) Anyone who doesn’t see that this is more than just in the same genre as Asimov’s R. Daneel Olivaw books is seriously failing in cultural literacy. I am enjoying the series and will watch it, but shame on the creators if they even remotely pretend they have been creative.

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AllstarCrowley (@AllstarCrowley)

Posted at 11:54 AM on November 18, 2013  

The second one isn’t a critique so much as it’s an attempt to write the pithiest and most gasp-worthy soundbite. It takes two paragraphs to say “This is dumb because I don’t like it.”

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