Saturday, January 11, 2014

5-paragraph review of 'Almost Human: Simon Says'

SEASON 1, EPISODE 1: "Simon Says" | ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Jan. 6, 2014

1.) Rolling blackouts force the police to ration power to charge their robot friends, which causes personality quirks in DORIAN (). DETECTIVE KENEX () must find a murderer who knocks people out with gas and bolts a bomb around their neck. The killer forces his victims to do his bidding -- everything from robbing a bank to dancing in a gazebo -- while he broadcasts the terror on something called the "dark net."

2.) The concept of a dark net, an Internet not monitor by police and the government, strikes me as absurd yet oddly believable. Within the fiction of "," people go on the dark net to do awful things like watch people be murdered and say truly awful things about the police or people they don't even know through anonymous comments. In 2014, we call that simply the Internet. But in the future, this kind of thing is apparently scooted to the fringes of society where only the true jerks dwell. It sounds both oppressive, from a free speech perspective, and pleasant from the perspective of any human who wants to use the Web and not be caked in the fecal matter left behind by the parade of horrible behavior displayed with such glee by so many online.

3.) As for the story, well, Dorian and Kennex save the day at the last possible moment, of course. This is a network police procedural. This isn't the savagery of basic cable, where someone might take a chance with storytelling and let something interesting happen. This is TV vetted by metrics experts, accountants and actuaries. It's perfectly designed to be appealing to the largest possible audience given the series' timeslot and socioeconomic demographic. You can't have people getting killed or good guys losing. That bums people out. People who are bummed out will not by Axe body spray and Monster energy drinks.

4.) I am cynical. That's true. But cynicism is a natural response the mediocrity of products produced to offend no one, challenge nothing and thus create something utterly forgettable. This isn't a bad show. In fact, it's perfect for Fox, which should adopt the motto: "Don't think. It can only hurt the entertainment."

5.) Also, is still on this show. She doesn't really any do anything, but once in a while the camera focuses on her and you sort of go, "Holy shit, that is a beautiful woman. What the hell was thinking?" Then you go back to the monotony of a cop and his favorite robot.

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