Criminal minds past and future

Criminal minds past and future
Karl Urban (above) and Michael Ealy team up in Almost Human, while Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch are bandits in Bonnie & Clyde.

In futuristic 2048, with crime at a violent high due to advanced weapons and technology, human cops are partnered with androids with enhanced police skills in Almost Human.

Detective John Kennex (New Zealand actor Karl Urban of The Lord Of The Rings), recovering from a long coma, does not like or trust the cold, emotionless automaton he has been paired with.

He is haunted by a disastrous video game-like ambush which left him badly injured and his human partner killed, and he blames the incident on the callousness of an android cop.

Since the nosy synthetic being assigned to him keeps questioning and annoying him in the way countless lawmen paired with robots, aliens and whatnot in other dystopian shows have been similarly irritated, he pushes the thing nonchalantly out of his moving car to be crushed into spare parts in a funny moment in the opening episode.

Instead, he chooses Dorian (Common Law's Michael Ealy) who is slated for the scrap heap because he - from a discontinued batch dubbed "the crazy ones" which was infused with "synthetic soul" - is actually too human and hence considered a liability in police operations.

It means, of course, that this is where the juice of Almost Human lies.

I hear you, you have seen this idea in many variations from RoboCop to Judge Dredd (Urban himself played 2012's Dredd) to a 1989 TV series called Alien Nation where human cops were coupled with alien ones.

True, but hold on. Almost Human, as it turns out, is wholly not bad.

First, the human guy here is not all that human while the android is most keen and curious to be one. Kennex, propped up by a mechanical leg (his real one was blown off in that earlier attack), is grumpy, weary and terse like a sullen rock in a bad mood (the man gets edgy flashbacks of his gorgeous but dubious ex-girlfriend who appears to have betrayed him).

Meanwhile, Dorian, assembled as a walking crime lab that can scan, access and process criminal stuff like a computer, is eager to function as a, well, really real person.

Second, since this is primarily a buddy cop series, the chemistry between both dudes is so happily instantaneous I actually think the show went too fast in milking it.

I believe it could have made at least five slamming episodes of both fellas trying to kill each other in man-versus-machine showdowns before embarking on their funny, chummy bromance.

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