Almost Human

Common Sense Media says

Futuristic cop show has familiar feel, creepy imagery.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Law and order is the business of the main characters, who work hard and care about the people they're protecting. However, officers often use violence and gunplay to do their jobs in a rather grim world.

Positive role models

Kennex is eternally gruff but respectful to his cyborg partner, even though he dislikes what he calls "synthetics." The cast boasts racial and ethnic diversity, but a hero we're supposed to identify with beats a suspect to get him to talk.

Violence

Frequent battles with futuristic weaponry: lasers, computerized bombs, a box that horrifically gases an officer to death. The viewer sees mutilated dead bodies, a man shot in the face, and creepy imagery such as android bodies in body bags hanging on rails like dry cleaning.

Sex

Main characters are single and may flirt and date.

Language

Some cursing, often in anger: "I don't give a damn!" "The hell I will!"

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Almost Human is a science-fiction show about human and cyborg officers investigating a shadowy criminal syndicate. Almost Human features an intense level of violence: battles with guns and bombs, futuristic weaponry such as laser weapons, injuries, shootings, and dead bodies. Creepy imagery may prove too much for younger viewers, such as human-looking androids with dead eyes hanging in body bags or androids shown with their heads or faces removed. Characters are frequently in mortal jeopardy and may be suddenly killed. There is some mild cursing, and many of the characters are single and may flirt and date.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Created by sci-fi giant J.J. Abrams and Fringe showrunner Joel Wyman, ALMOST HUMAN looks into the near-future of 2048, when crime rates have reached the point where human police officers are assigned cyborg partners. John Kennex (Karl Urban), former LAPD hotshot, has recently returned to duty after an on-the-job ambush that left him in a coma, with an artificial leg and a host of psychological disorders. He also grieves his fiancee, who's been mysteriously missing for several years. Kennex comes from a crimefighting family, and the order to take on a nonhuman partner doesn't sit right with him. But Dorian (Michael Ealy) isn't just any cyborg. From a generation of "MX units" that were created to be as like humans as possible, Dorian feels emotion and learns from his mistakes. Kennex soon learns to respect his new partner. But with shadowy criminals the Syndicate out to get him, it's going to take a lot more than respect to keep Kennex alive.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

From its very first frames, Almost Human feels familiar. Say, don't we recognize that opening-scene voiceover from RoboCop? Is John Kennex living in the same dark-and-gloomy city seen in Blade Runner? Aren't those the taxis from Total Recall? Even effective scenes, like one in which headless androids are being worked on in an ominous police back room, seem cribbed from other dramas like Dollhouse. Adding to the stale feel: mismatched police buddy cliches and beats cribbed from police procedurals.

All this wouldn't matter if the characters were more finely drawn. But, though it's marvelous to see Lili Taylor onscreen again and Michael Ealy is always wonderful, these fine actors are given rather trope-ish roles without much depth to them. There's a Big Bad enemy, an intrepid-but-troubled cop, a partner who doesn't get enough respect...seen it. And better done elsewhere. This is no Fringe.

Families can talk about...

  • Almost Human has gotten a lot of attention because it was created by J.J. Abrams, a writer/producer/director known for creating science-fiction shows and movies. Have you seen any of Abrams' other movies or TV shows? Did they make you want to see this one? 

  • Why are so many shows and movies set in the future? What is attractive about this setting? Why do people want to watch these movies?

  • What elements of Almost Human are familiar to you from other science-fiction movies or television shows? The setting? The characters? The plot points? The costumes?

TV details

Cast:Karl Urban, Lili Taylor, Michael Ealy
Network:Fox
Genre:Drama
TV rating:NR

This review of Almost Human was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 12, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

A pretty good show

This show has great action, and is not disappointing, but is really violent, and too violent for kids. The plot is very well thought of. Profanity isn't such an issue, and neither is sex, but violence is. So don't let young kids watch this!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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