I went to see a sneak preview screening last night of the first episode for Almost Human, a J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot television production. There was a big turnout at the theatre that included a local Fox News anchor and cameraperson for interviews. (I was not ready for this and, of course, was interviewed along with a friend who accompanied me.)
Now, Almost Human is slick looking with filmic special effects and a considerable dose of violence. It’s actually too good-looking of a network TV show and its cinematic proportions could hold its own as the first half of a full-length feature film. I was pulled in by not only this but the chemistry between lead actors Karl Urban and Michael Ealy. Their back and forth banter between android (Ealy) and PTSD-affected cop (Urban) is poignant, yet there are some wonderful humorous scenes where the audience could not stop laughing. I love this new turn in Urban’s career. It was not long ago that my friend who saw this screening with me and I were discussing his IMDB page. (Yes, we are entertainment/pop culture geeks!) Dredd was not the big success that it could have been, but we always saw potential in Urban. He’s a fine actor and Almost Human will garner him more fans and accolades. The same goes for Ealy. I think that a jump to television at this stage in their acting careers and in the roles they were given for Almost Human was a smart move.
I was also pleased to see Lili Taylor (who could forget her character “Jojo” in Mystic Pizza?), Minka Kelly, and Mackenzie Crook (“Skins UK”, “The Office UK”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”) in this new series. I’ll always support the Friday Night Lights fam and Taylor and Crook are just two lovely performers. They are always so grounded and natural in whichever characters they portray onscreen.
As for the plot? Well, consider a world where human cops and androids partner up to fight crime, which, is up 400%. Oh yeah, and it’s the year 2048. Tasty. It’s a plot that’s ripe for engrossing storylines week by week. I didn’t want the show to end when the end credits began to roll. If this show doesn’t get cancelled, it could be one of the breakout hits of this year’s Fall season.