John Kennex at the crime scene in 'Straw Man'

Almost Human review: Straw Man, the season finale.

Previously on Almost Human: Beholder.

Even as this episode sets itself up for what could have been a glorious exploration of how Dorian or DRNs in general feel, all it achieves is over-accentuating the other guy’s man pain. This could have been such a great episode about Dorian and John fighting to keep Dorian in the field, it could have been such a great opportunity to actually show us the way Dorian has been dealing with things, it could have been a story full of interpretation and debate on the concept of free will in DRNs and the Synthetic Soul, in the case of one such character being portrayed by the fantastic Michael Ealy.

Instead, what we got is the glorious story about the redemption and absolution of another pair of white guys. We get a case story line that makes no sense whatsoever, seems cobbled together on account of us never having heard of that particular shade of John’s terrible, terrible pain before, and that only serves to illustrate how great of a cop John’s dad was. Continue reading →

Almost Human review: Beholder.

Previously on Almost Human: Disrupt.

It’s a long story.

And I want to hear that story. Stop underwriting Stahl! Seriously, it’s such a shame. This show is wasting numerous opportunities. It’s all well and good to tease at a character’s backstory, and to reveal it slowly, but it’s a bad idea when it could replace an otherwise mediocre and lacklustre storyline. Or, more importantly, John’s manpain. Continue reading →

Valerie Stahl and John Kennex

Almost Human review: Perception.

Previously on Almost Human: Unbound.

The trouble about FOX continuing to mess with the broadcasting order of TV shows is that I can’t trust the narrative and characterisation. These things have to happen in sequence and in contextual order — but the network’s bozos screwing with the plan without a care for writers’ carefully crafted plans is damaging the series. Characters will seem inconsistent, storylines get broken up and make no sense. Continue reading →

Dorian meets the man who created him.

Meet Your Maker — Almost Human: Unbound.

Previously on Almost Human: You Are Here.

Pinocchio meets Gepetto — but Gepetto isn’t the kind old man from a fairy tale anymore; and not for the first time it’s Dorian who’s doubting his humanity — while none other than John Kennex keeps the faith. Meanwhile, I’m having some issues with how this show treats ideas. Continue reading →

Almost Human: Simon Says

Almost Human review: Simon Says

Previously on Almost Human: Arrhythmia.

“Why don’t you slip into something more comfortable? Like a coma?”

Dorian’s cranky because his power levels are low. So, when Dorian’s cranky and someone like Det. Paul insults his partner, on top of giving MXs charging priority, then there’s one certain subroutine that kicks in. You know the one. Talk shit, get hit. Continue reading →

Almost Human review: Arrhythmia.

Previously on Almost Human: Blood Brothers.

Oh good, there’s two of them.

This episode of Almost Human gives us many things: a Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? reference in the form of the Luger test, designed to detect faulty DRNs, an organ harvesting crime story, and the issue of government property and god, destiny, and free human will all up in the machine. Continue reading →

Interview round-up: FOX’s Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human

“Frankly, I’m stunned and elated,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman tells “Our jaws were on the floor. We kind of can’t believe it. The whole energy surrounding Sleepy Hollow from the fans is just extraordinary and the thing you dream of.”

In an interview with, Sleepy Hollow‘s exec talks about the show’s rousing success with the media and its fandom — and what that’s down to, most notably Nicole Beharie and co-star Tom Mison, whose chemistry, Kurtzman notes, is ‘totally real,’ because of the close friendship the two actors have struck up over the course of shooting the new series.

Read the whole interview on 

I don’t normally blog extensively about interviews, but this one with A. Kurtzman I like because, one, I’m a sucker for fandom-positive pieces, and the cast and creators of Sleepy Hollow are so incredibly game for all the stuff fandom comes up with that I couldn’t let this one pass me by. The other reason is that Sleepy Hollow as a show is a bit of a phenomenon. I have speculated before that it may have stolen some of Dracula’s thunder in the horror/Gothic fiction corner this season, coming so fresh out of the gate — and taking itself far less seriously than its NBC counterpart.

Another funny detail, just on the side, is that Kurtzman alludes to the parallels drawn between Abbie and Ichabod, and Scully and Mulder. While he’s right in that Abbie was, at the beginning, a very different kind of skeptic from Scully, it’s just funny in light of the fact that the fandom has recently concluded that ‘Leftenaaaaaaant!’ might easily becomes the new ‘Scullaaaaaaay!’…

Meanwhile, Almost Human‘s executive producer and co-creator J.J. Abrams has talked to about the making of FOX’s new SciFi drama, its procedural format, and the show’s resemblance (or lack thereof) to another of his brain children, Fringe:

I think that they’re incredibly different shows. I think that the overlap, the Venn diagram of these two, might be that they’re sort of pushing the edge of technology and what might be possible in that regard but I think the series themselves are completely different types of shows.

Read the whole interview on →

Disclaimer: I must profess that I am not a Fringe expert — I think I’ve seen half an episode once. While its premise intrigues me, you know how it is, the stars just haven’t aligned and the right moment to dive into it hasn’t yet come. One thing I am a bit of an expert on: procedural shows. Most of serialised TV fiction comes in the form of a procedural — that’s what genre fiction means. Without format, no genre, at least not on TV, and most literary works follow those narrative guidelines, too; they have to, otherwise we wouldn’t know what was what.

The point being: procedurals can tire an audience out. Add to the fact that Almost Human is, simplistically speaking, a buddy cop show, the range gets a little narrower. But — yes, there’s a but — what I think Almost Human has got going for itself is the way it incorporates this into the SciFi part. As’s Cory Barker said in their review of Are You Receiving?, Almost Human doesn’t give us much exposition on the technology used by everyone. Be it the weaponry, the MXs and DRNs themselves, most of the time, or the communication unit that is now used to transport a phone to the hostage takers: they’re just there, and we as an audience will figure out sooner or later how they work, what they do… Dorian hasn’t revealed until this episode whether he consumes food. He expects John to know that he doesn’t, as one would. It’s 2048, these folks have lived with that sort of tech for ages, they don’t expect to have to explain to anyone how anything works, so they don’t. Same as on Star Trek, for instance. Whereas shows like Doctor Who have human contemporary companions to introduce the audience to this strange world, Almost Human does entirely without such explanations, and they do great. On Doctor Who, it makes sense for the Doctor to explain because the show’s premise is different (and it’s more fun because it’s all alien stuff that doesn’t have to make sense, though offten enough it does), on a show like Almost Human, it might become info dump, lines that are wasted on information that the audience doesn’t need because, if it becomes relevant, we’re bound to see what happens. I have no idea what kind of military grade tech the hostage takers were pretending to want yesterday, and since nothing happened with it, I don’t need to. “Military grade” and “Holy Reclamation Army” pretty much already tells me enough of what I need to know about its potential uses, should it actually fall into those hands.

But I digress. What I was going for was that Almost Human seems to be walking a good path there, in keeping not only the characters and their story, but their world-building interesting. Top that off with SciFi cases that dig deeper into what SciFi does, namely commenting on our own society and humanity, and building on the great chemistry between the leads, I think the show’s set for success.

Almost Human review: Are You Receiving?

Previously on Almost Human: Skin.

“You know how I take my coffee?”
“Yes, I, unlike you, I pay attention to details, like what time it is. And what time you’re supposed to pick up your partner for shift.”
“Oh, I pay attention to details, like you just stuck your finger in my coffee!”
“If you like, I could stick it somewhere else.”

And the fanfic just writes itself.

Continue reading →