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Almost Human (2013)
This is a very sentimental show, a throwback to days when the lead character had a unique compassion for all things good and people admired their purity, courage, and resourcefulness.
What's the common complaint about this show? Not enough information.
Why? Because unlike these old shows that just existed for entertainment sake, and we lived in a world where it was enough to know the good guy was going to win at the end and save the day, today people want to live their lives through these characters on t.v.
They want to know as much about them as possible, they want to obsess over them. And God forbid they should get bored for lack of suspense and the threat of death, their like ghouls waiting for the possibility that someone will die soon(These people should watch episode 7, it's about you).
We've all become live in nerds and the fulfillment people used to get from everyday human interaction is now gone. We could never handle the time and dedication it would take to get to know a real detective Kennex because we're only interested in people AS AN AUDIENCE.
So what is good about this show? For me, it's about main characters who follow their heart and trust their instincts. It's a human show that features robots and its sentimental about being old school. Dorian, the most obvious personification of this is the too human cop they couldn't control and threw out for the MX politically correct, sterile machine that reminds me so much of so MANY procedurals out there. Cops have been trained to think like lawyers with no empathy or moral imagination and the MX is hardly an exaggeration of this. If anyone thinks this is a good thing, you're missing the more subtle argument here, one I can't fit in a simple review.
And so finally, 9 of 10 for being DIFFERENT, and if some of you all don't like that, there's plenty of the JUNK you do like on air to fill the gaps in your lives.
The Event (2010)
Another Sci-fi Turned Political Commentary(spoilers)
To the point, I think this show smothers us with melodrama and engages us with little else than curiosity about what comes next given the extremely provocative plot.
Blair Underwood plays a president who seems a man armed with his convictions, and little else. While this displays the human side of the presidential role in tough moments, it makes him POOR as an intellectual citadel against such machiavellian characters like Sophia in this semi-soap that masquerades as a political thriller.
Like other central characters, his decision-making sways from one extreme to another. This is intentionally done to show the human angle but is offensive in that it is completely unrealistic in comparison to trained professionals, who make decisions based on science, values, and far more resources. The xenophobia for example, rampant throughout the show, displays humans as fearful reactionaries whose animal instincts don't recognize another sentient being as having the same value of life unless we insert another nauseating, heartfelt anecdote or act of devotion. This emotional decision-making is another sickening liberal commentary on how we're all racist or sexist at our core and have to undergo "diversity" training to become more "evolved" and "open-minded." This portrayal of the human race cheapens it, historically and as a whole it simplifies us vastly, to say that this would be our one reaction were aliens to come here.
The never-ending melodrama of the show stands in for suspense with characters speaking in riddles, and half-finished explanations that seem to characterize them more as ineloquent idiots who don't comprehend the cost of their obtuseness rather than mysterious martyrs.
The action characters of the show have their own soap as well for between almost every fight and sometimes in the middle of a confrontation, they stop to share their feelings about what's going on or why their doing this, which by the way may have changed since last week. The writers of the show depict this as being something deep born of harsh circumstances, but outside of the convoluted surreal existentialism of Hollywood and in the REAL world, there are people who make value-based decisions, and temper their judgment with knowledge. They have for example the president moving from a man concerned with the rights of these people and seeing them as individuals to a Hollywood archetype of Bush on a crusade against them all. Sophia moves from a skilled diplomat to a simple-minded economist who uses words like reshuffling and reduction to rationalize mass-murder.
I could go into the redeeming aspects but I'm sure many others have done that, I just wanted to put out my perspective, on specifics I found nauseating, especially the soap that's sodding up Hollywood that's been re-characterized as self-expression. This could have been SO much more provocative, instead they filled screen time with close-ups.
Btw, Laura Innes as Sophia was one of the only convincing portrayals on the show, she was great.
silly, a single episode review, and yet...
There's no question there has been and always will be many different interpretations of the greatest detective in fictional history. Until recently, thanks to the BBC, no one had any idea of what a 21st century Sherlock Holmes should look like. If you can appreciate the hypocrisy of that statement please keep reading. Now most have been comparing Miller's interpretation to the distinguished profile of Cumberbatch. And while I think people have the capacity to argue apples and oranges all day there is something about this newest embodiment of Holmes but first let me say this. The supporting cast is superb. The show is aesthetically beautiful, tastefully original. The script contains brilliant manipulations and clever criminal conspiracies without resorting to crude derivatives from Conan Doyle's work. Most importantly, Johnny Lee Miller has done the best he can with what he's BEEN GIVEN. But the interpretation of Holmes has not been the charismatic, commanding presence of a genius who emanates authority. He's a withdrawn, awkward, even apologetic character whose emotions interfere with his logical purity. The religion known as psychology in Hollywood consistently misinterprets Holmes-based characters as being obsessive/compulsive instead of being brilliant and in control. When I think of Miller's character smashing that porsche without any mental cultivation and then of Cumberbatch pretending to grieve and crying to a witness to gain information, then arbitrarily dropping out of character to leave the scene I can see how people will be disappointed in Elementary. Because they're disappointed in Holmes. Hollywood has pulled its punch on the Holmes character to soap us up with the human element but he has been incapacitated from leading what is otherwise an elegant show. Nine out of Ten because nothing else is on.