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Almost Human


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#41 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:22 PM

I don't think I could do that. Without commercials that's something like 48 hours of video.

 

Been doing it since the middle '80s.  Nothing new for us.

 

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#42 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:41 PM

We're doing the Breaking Bad marathon thing right now, but just 2-3 hours at a sitting. After that it gets to be overkill. These new D* drives sucked up every single ep during the finale marathon without breaking a sweat.

 

Tom, I agree, some of these new running gags between the partners that surfaced in ep 2 are kinda fun, the thing about kids and the testicle analysis and the Minka attraction gag. I swear they got new and much better writers after the pilot, something that is likely anyways, pilots are written way early in the game.

 

Still, I wish they had less of these idiotic Quinn Martin-style gunfights. They were lame in 1961!



#43 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:21 PM

THAT'S where he came from. . . Been wondering where I had seen him before. I actually liked that show and it was the again the relationship between the characters that made it work.

 

Don "probably makes this one doomed too" Bolton

If you really want to see Micheal Ealy, try to find Sleeper Cell, that was a great Showtime series form a few years ago.



#44 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:24 PM

"Just don't scan my balls again"



#45 OFFLINE   TXD16

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:04 PM

Finally had a chance to watch the pilot and it somewhat struck me as a semi-futuristic "Walker, Texas Ranger," which (in addition to being one great pun) is a good thing. It's been added to my Series Link list.


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#46 ONLINE   Supramom2000

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:17 PM

If you really want to see Micheal Ealy, try to find Sleeper Cell, that was a great Showtime series form a few years ago.


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#47 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:48 AM

Right back to a real dud tonight. Science fiction must have at its core premise a science-related plot dynamic. Or it isn't science fiction. Tonight could have been literally any cop show from the last 40 years with a couple of tech gee-gaws tossed in for chuckles. But there was nothing "sci-fi" about the core plot. Old as the hills. And just as worn down.

 

The producers seem to think that all you have to do to recycle every old cop show plot successfully is stick a robot in for the human partner and put us in a poor man's Bladerunner set, complete with quasi-Vangelis score. Instant fresh and entertaining buddy pic. Bzzt. Wrong. The audience ain't that dumb. Quinn Martin wrote this plotline in 1959, and regurgitated it over and over ad nauseam across TV's blandest and least inspired era on blurry little black & white screens. I only hope they sent a royalty check to his estate.


Edited by Maruuk, 26 November 2013 - 03:57 AM.


#48 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:55 PM

It did sort of seem like we were watching the guys climb 25 flights of stairs for the whole ep. And every single hostage situation on (every ep of) Flashpoint was handled more compellingly, and with added layers. This was just a straight hostage sitch. NBC has already proven how hanging your hat on just that might not be the best premise.

 

I kind of like the score, actually. It seems fresh to me.

 

Both leads are good but Michael Ealy seems to be a standout. He is really nailing that "almost-human" aspect of being a robot programmed that way. Sure, you need good writing for that, but ME seems to be bringing it home pretty skillfully.

 

I would cut them a break on originality; I think we recently had that discussion here anyway and the consensus was that originality is rare. After all, Star Trek (which came out before the TV and movie world had rehashed everything a million times) was mostly fistfights and running gun battles, and women being regarded primarily as sex objects. Granted, it was the vision, and the relationship between the three main characters that made it a classic, but the milieu they were in was pretty stale and derivative, even for an early stab at sci-fi.

 

I think AH has an actual opportunity to be a real iconic top-shelf show, like X-Files, or BuffyTVS, but so far they have not come even close to that level, although I really like the show and am probably all in unless it fades creatively.


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#49 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:21 AM

Agree on Ealy, he's doing a good job with what he's been handed. But couldn't disagree more about STOS. It was steeped in the classic 50's TV moral message premise which always elevated the silly fistfights with lizards and backlot trips to Hitlerville. Twilight Zone had it, even Outer Limits. The Big Message always shook out like a toy in a cereal box. The Kirk/Spock wrapup had it, Serling's VO had it, and even the Outer Limits VO guy delivered it. You always had to have a higher level meaning working all the time.

 

But not in shows like AH. The moral is...we killed the bad guys. Cut to 14 commercials. Cheapshot snark about testicles is not a higher level. What's next, the robot-doesn't-poop jokes? Inter-racial-inter-mechanical sex with Minka? Will she pop out Teddy Ruxpin 9 mos. later?


Edited by Maruuk, 28 November 2013 - 02:24 AM.


#50 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:21 PM

FIrst, this is a big net prime show, so it has fewer commercials than most shows on TV, and certainly not any more than any other big net prime show.

 

SInce it is 60 years later (not to mention the extra 35 years tacked on by AH) I'm not sure we need a moral to be entertained. X-Files and BuffyTVS did not have them, and they ran 13 years between the two of them. Tribbles were about as far from "higher-level" as you could get (still the worst ep because everyone was out of character), and lines like "I am not a merry man!" from STNG (as amusing as that was) weren't exactly Materpiece Theatre.

 

While I find your nod to the fact that 50's TV was somewhat curiously hamstrung by moral messages, something we forget, let's hold AH to the standards of today, not the day of our grandparents.

 

Is it at the level of The Black List, or Scandal, or Justified? Not hardly. Is it better than 80% of all shows on the air today? Absolutely.


It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#51 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 04:18 AM

Agree on Ealy, he's doing a good job with what he's been handed. But couldn't disagree more about STOS. It was steeped in the classic 50's TV moral message premise which always elevated the silly fistfights with lizards and backlot trips to Hitlerville. Twilight Zone had it, even Outer Limits. The Big Message always shook out like a toy in a cereal box. The Kirk/Spock wrapup had it, Serling's VO had it, and even the Outer Limits VO guy delivered it. You always had to have a higher level meaning working all the time.

 

But not in shows like AH. The moral is...we killed the bad guys. Cut to 14 commercials. Cheapshot snark about testicles is not a higher level. What's next, the robot-doesn't-poop jokes? Inter-racial-inter-mechanical sex with Minka? Will she pop out Teddy Ruxpin 9 mos. later?

If you're looking for shows with a big moral message you're watching the wrong channel. If that's what you need and want you'll be best suited watching the Hallmark Channel.


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#52 ONLINE   Supramom2000

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:01 PM

Now now!  I love the Hallmark Channel!!  :) And I can watch it with my daughter, unlike on most mainstream channels.  Even those on at 8:00.


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#53 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:10 PM

Heck it's been the place to see Catherine Bell in the "Good Witch" series of "movie" specials. That's almost must see TV.

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#54 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:25 AM

Now now!  I love the Hallmark Channel!!  :) And I can watch it with my daughter, unlike on most mainstream channels.  Even those on at 8:00.

 

We've been having problems with a lot of programming when our granddaughter is in the room.  Have to look into Hallmark.  She knows she's not allowed to say "those words", but it bothers me that she has to hear them here.  

 

Rich 



#55 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:00 PM

If you're looking for shows with a big moral message you're watching the wrong channel. If that's what you need and want you'll be best suited watching the Hallmark Channel.

You couldn't be more off-base. "Breaking Bad", "Game of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire", "House of Cards", all the most popular quality series on TV have powerful moral messages and grapple with issues of morality all the time. Why do you suppose we keep hearing Walter White repeat the Ozymandias poem over and over again? It's the moral underpinning for the entire show. I can hear Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock or the Outer Limits Voice recounting that very moral message poem at the end of one of their shows over 50 years ago.

 

Network pablum like AH simply doesn't bother because it's too much trouble. They give you white hats and black hats, and figure their audience of simpletons has enough trouble figuring out who's wearing which hat. Cop = Good. Kidnapper = Bad. Infantile cartoon lizard and duck sell insurance. The moral is: Broadcast networks continually pander to the lowest possible common denominator, and they bet their ad budgets that the concept of morality is far too "artsy" and "complicated" for the walking dead they assume their audience to be.



#56 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

Hmmm. I'm a little unclear about the grand moral message of Ozymandias other than "in the end we all die and the living move on without us while the memory of our having been here fades." In fact, "Almost Human" just dealt with that subject through an exploration of the meaning of death whether you are human or almost human. As Ealy commented:
 

I think, for me, one of the things I like the most about Dorian is his sincerity. We’ve had some episodes where he’s kind of come to this conclusion that there’s an automatic protocol. When, for lack of a better term, the sh*t hits the fan, he has like an automatic protocol that takes over and he has to do things that are … he has to sacrifice himself in a lot ways. That’s something I didn’t see coming when I signed for the role.

 

It’s been kind of interesting to watch that unfold. And at the same time his humanity and what he can learn from Kennex, it’s just interesting to see somebody learn about friendship or learn about death from another human being. The themes of the show are defining what humanity is for us in this world.

 

Now I think the writing of this show so far is more than a bit derivative. But if they replaced the images of live actors with cartoon characters being voiced-over by the actors and moved the show to Sunday, I'm sure that Fox would not be getting so much criticism.

 

You have to begin with the fact that much of what News Corp subsidiaries do aims at the "least sophisticated" among us. Here's from the Fox corporate page (emphasis added):
 

Just over two decades ago, the Fox Broadcasting Company began with a single late-night series and a goal to diversify American television by providing a previously unimaginable fourth major TV network. Today, as FOX celebrates a quarter century in the business, it is the nation’s most popular programming network among its target audience of Adults 18-49 (having won eight consecutive seasons in the demo – an industry record), and has consistently ranked No. 1 among Adults 18-34 and Teens, the next generation of 18-to-49-year-olds.

 

I sometimes forget that. My grumbling about them moving "Bones" to make room for "Almost Human" is really a waste of typeface as "Bones" is one of their strongest programs among the 50+ audience. We of that older audience simply don't exist for Fox.

 

So I can't expect that the showrunner of "Almost Human" will care whether I may have seen the same plot 78 times in the past 10 years and 780 times in my lifetime. A 16-year-old person does not have that background to become so jaded.

 

So when "a little bit robotic" human Det.John Kennex and "almost human" robot Dorian interact philosophically about death midst a bloody action picture... well, I have to recognize that this show won't exist on Fox if it doesn't have a high rating among 16-year-old boys. Unfortunately for the writers, it does not appear they are watching in droves.


Edited by phrelin, 30 November 2013 - 07:32 PM.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

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#57 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:12 PM

I wonder how many years Popular Science has spent predicting flying cars.  Does PS still exist?  Would you be able to text and fly at the same time?  I guess you'd get a FUI if you drank while flying.    

 

Rich

 

The only thing preventing flying auto today is the knowledge that human will be flying 'em.  We need to wait for when autopilot will be able to do everything.

 

BTW, there was a flying auto on the news the other day.


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#58 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:17 AM

You couldn't be more off-base. "Breaking Bad", "Game of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire", "House of Cards", all the most popular quality series on TV have powerful moral messages and grapple with issues of morality all the time. Why do you suppose we keep hearing Walter White repeat the Ozymandias poem over and over again? It's the moral underpinning for the entire show. I can hear Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock or the Outer Limits Voice recounting that very moral message poem at the end of one of their shows over 50 years ago.

 

Network pablum like AH simply doesn't bother because it's too much trouble. They give you white hats and black hats, and figure their audience of simpletons has enough trouble figuring out who's wearing which hat. Cop = Good. Kidnapper = Bad. Infantile cartoon lizard and duck sell insurance. The moral is: Broadcast networks continually pander to the lowest possible common denominator, and they bet their ad budgets that the concept of morality is far too "artsy" and "complicated" for the walking dead they assume their audience to be.

Almost Human is about a anti hero (one who lacks traditional heroic qualities like altruism, idealism, nobility, fortitude, and "moral" goodness). Given that one can see why delivering a big moral message isn't high on the writer's list. Television is a part of the entertainment business. It serves a vast audience with different tastes. Not everyone in that vast audience is expecting a big moral message. They simply want to be entertained. Almost Human isn't for everyone. But neither are Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and House of Cards. Hence the saying "One man's candy can be another man's poison". The real moral is: If you simply want entertainment turn on your TV. If you always want and need a big moral message attend a church service.      


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#59 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

The only thing preventing flying auto today is the knowledge that human will be flying 'em.  We need to wait for when autopilot will be able to do everything.

 

BTW, there was a flying auto on the news the other day.

 

That's what always scared me about them.  I know a lot of people that shouldn't be driving a land based car, never mind a flying car.

 

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#60 OFFLINE   longrider

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Leaving the driver discussion out of it, I dont see it as being practical unless/until we develop some kind of antigravity technology.  As long as we depend on aerodynamic lift the minimum speed of fixed wing or the downdraft of rotary wing will make it impractical for mass use.


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