By accident I tuned into Fox just as Almost Human was premiering, expecting to watch The Simpsons, and actually got sucked in, almost against my will, since I had zero initial interest in a cop/robot buddy series.
But what what the show is actually doing is broadcast American TV’s first serious attempt to rip-off Blade Runner and much of the entire cyberpunk canon for a cop show, and it actually does (considering the constraints of the form) a halfway decent job of it. The cop/robot interaction is (thus far) only a subplot to the main story of an injured cop returning to the force just as the powerful criminal syndicate that killed his partner and blew off his leg has returned to the scene. Surprisingly, none of the science fiction elements struck me as egregiously stupid, and they actually seem to have put some thought into the near-future setting of the show. Michael Ealy (Dorian the robot partner) hits the underplayed robot cop part very well, Mackenzie Crook brings brings some Whovian British Geek charm to the department’s robot specialist, and Karl Urban is pretty good as the lead; he needs to dial back his Gruff Stoic setting about 15%, but is otherwise fine. I could do without the “look, here’s a flying whatsit at the edge of the scene-bump just to say it’s SF” trope, but it’s not annoying.
Actually, the most problematic bits are on the police procedural end rather than the SF end. The building they work in looks entirely too clean, sparse and modern to be a real police office (like everything else, Blade Runner did it better with a real lived-in look); it’s too clean even for the already too clean CSI look. Ditto the “look at my spacious, open city apartment on a cop’s salary.” And you can already tell which characters (“Hi there, I’m the love interest!”) are going to be doing which buddy cop cliches. You have bits of The Dark Knight and (I’m guessing) Saw in the “over-complicated villain plotting” device. And it has the “lots of shoot-outs” modern cop/action show trope going on, which may or may not be a problem, depending on the direction they take.
I’m actually planning on watching this, which may be my first regular non-animated US broadcast series since, geeze, maybe Homicide: Life on the Streets. (I’m not much of a TV watcher, what with all the writing and book buying and Internetting and the Glavin!)
But despite that, it blends the cyberpunk and police procedural bits pretty (plus obvious dollops of The Caves of Steel and Starsky & Hutch). It’s obviously got money behind the production, which goes pretty far in TV. J.J. Abrams is the executive producer, so it’s possible the characters will turn into idiots further down the line. And it’s not as a good a cyberpunk police procedural as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. But for now I actually think it may be worth your attention.