Better Than Us (TV Series 2018–2019) Poster

(2018–2019)

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9/10
Do you expect to see actors without expression and even worse wooden robots ...? Let it surprise you !!!
mildiner17 August 2019
We have seen many stories of FemBots. This a different product, really well achieved. With small creative special effects, credible performances and with which, surprisingly, you can even empathize. They are not glacial cold Russians, there is a story of a family and the most surprising of all is that it will catch you. I usually enjoy the Nordic series, because you can appreciate different cultural elements and at the same time the equalizing effects of globalization. Give yourself a chance to enjoy a Russian product made by Russians. Look at it without prejudice. It will surprise you
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Bravo Netflix!
Top_Dawg_Critic29 August 2019
Wow, great move on Netflix to pick up this Russian series gem!

There are many factors why I really enjoyed this series. The directing by Russian TV show director Andrey Dzhunkovskiy is near perfection, and in line with top seasoned Hollywood directors. Every camera shot is well thought out and captures the scene perfectly, creating the amazing tension and drama. I'm not sure if his use of "less is more" in most of the sets was intentional or budget restricted, but it worked perfectly. Who would've thought that a simple bunch of drones flying around would be enough to set the stage for a futuristic sci-fi?! Open unfilled spaces in vacant buildings or the main lobby of a corporation with just a long counter and one sofa - all worked perfectly! I also enjoyed seeing some of the Russian landscapes.

The cinematography was exceptional and really set the tone of the entire series. The score was outstanding and perfect for this sci-fi film, especially that specific set of tones. The Russian actors (we've never heard of) were all cast and performed perfectly. Every characters look and style fit their role, especially Paulina Andreeva as Arisa.

The just under 1 hour run-time per episode was great, although the 2nd half of the series needed better pacing and much better editing.

My only complaint was the writing that had many obvious plot and technical issues, especially the 2nd half of the series. As well, the dubbing was clearly an issue, and lagged most of the time, but after the 2nd or 3rd episode, I got used to it.

Otherwise, an outstanding series that left me wanting more, of which I hope the producers will capitalize on. Mad props to the entire Russian producers and film-makers for creating this little gem, and bravo to Netflix for picking this up. A well deserved 9/10 from me!
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8/10
Very good show
soarer-866-76840817 August 2019
I stumbled to this on Netflix was pleasantly surprised. I haven't seen any advertising for this show. If you like a science fiction this is the perfect show.
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8/10
Actually very entertaining (check your Netflix settings)
funkstar18627 August 2019
Before I add my review it's worth mentioning that you never HAVE to endure the terrible dubbing applied by default to many shows. Check your settings and there are two language based settings. One for the subtitles and another for the voice acting. If you choose "native" for the main language it's as it was filmed, then the language of your choosing for the subtitles. I passed on so many great shows until I realised this as I can't stand dubbing, regardless of how good it may be. It takes so much away from the overall effort of the acting and actors.

Anyway, as for the show it's really quite good. It doesn't set new boundaries and it's not massively original, but it's filmed well, the special effects are very good and the acting (although sometimes a bit cheesy) is generally very good, especially from the young daughter, considering her age.

As others have said, it has similarities to the likes of Humans, so if you were a fan of that show, or sci-fi in general, it's well worth a watch.
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9/10
Really good!
alexeyzolotukhin19 August 2019
This was surprisingly good! I watched it in Russian so I don't know how good the dubbed versions are, but I really enjoyed the first season. As it often is with Russian productions it's a bit long and not as fast-paced as similar western-made movies and TV shows, but give it a chance. You won't be disappointed! It is a solid Sci-Fi TV show that deserves to be seen.
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8/10
Much better than I expected
Erlik_Han18 August 2019
EDIT: I've seen the entire season now and I am incredibly impressed. The show is very entertaining, the acting is good for the most part. The visual effects etc are very good. And the writing/story is also great. It's slightly soapy in some moments but well worth it in the end. Many times I found myself furious, frustrated, angry, happy or otherwise emotionally involved with the characters which goes to show the writers did a great job. Aside from a few minor plotholes, irrational things done by some of the characters (people in real life do irrational stuff all the time) it is absolutely an fantastic show that I would recommend to anyone that likes sci fi or just a good intrigue / drama show. The music is very lacking which is unfortunate, they even managed to butcher the wonderful "Scarborough fair".

It's kinda funny that the most advanced robot in the show is actually Chinese made. In the show the big corporations making the robots havent even come close to the creation of this mysterious Chinese scientist that made this robot. I understand why the other robots are so "robotic" but my biggest complaint aside from the music would be that this one super advanced robot should have been more fluid and humanlike on her movements and emotions (as I said previously, more like the robots from "humans")

I am genuinely excited to see the second season and how the story will progress.

Original review

As someone that loves sci fi and dystopian movies and shows it's much better than I expected. Admittedly I've only seen 2 episodes. I dont think I've ever seen any Russian show or movie aside from the original Solaris and Stalker. I expected it to be more "B" quality but it's a great and entertaining show. It's not as good as "humans" (which unfortunately had a terrible ending last season) but it's better than most generic sci fi shows.

The acting is pretty good although that's hard to judge when the language is foreign to me. The acting of the robots is not that great though, it's an artistic choice I'm guessing but it's sorta stupid. They act too "robotic". I mean they should be slightly robotic, maybe a bit cold but there is no reason for them to have such stiff movements.

So far my biggest annoyance is that there is this really pretty pregnant lady in the show. She is like a solid 8.5 or 9/10. Shes short, pregnant but super "cute". Imagine pam from the office, now imagine if pam was super pretty haha. Anyway her fiance, which is this ugly guy, acts like she is worthless and is drooling over these robots that arent even as pretty as his fiance. She also seems to be completely obsessed with this guy and seems to genuinely love him. Meanwhile he seems extraordinary uninterested complaining about how she keeps calling him and saying stuff like I wish I could move to another city where she couldn't find me (she's pregnant with his child).

I guess the point is to make him a very unsympathetic character, but it just doesn't come over as realistic. Also the fact that she seems to be completely oblivious to this guy disliking her so much makes little sense.

Despite this being set in the future I thought it was funny that the corporate bosses act like they are mobsters, they treat male staff like crap while treating girls nice. And corruption seems to be super normal. People bribe others like it's the most normal thing to do Haha. It's very Russian in that sense, at least so far.

Anyway, I'm pleasantly surprised with the first two episodes. Enjoyed the story so far and the acting. My only wish is that the robots were more like the ones in the brilliant British show "Humans". These robots, even the most advanced model with "free will" seem to be incredibly "robotic/stiff" in their movement.

Overall, if you lile sci fi and the subject of synthetic humanoid robots / androids etc I would definitely recommend it. But if you havent seen "Humans" yes I would recommend that show over this. (Small edit: although I still think Humans is better, I will definitely recommend also watching this show, and compared to the absolutely nonsensical and terrible ending of the last season from Humans thos show had a very satisfying ending that also left room for a second season)
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9/10
Binge it. Great show: Dramatic, Scientific, Cool Tech, & Storytelling
sarafinata26 September 2019
Really enjoyed the tech in this show. It's about bots, like the show "humans" so reminiscent but very different. Technology ceo is out of control, the government is involved, the police are corrupt, and the innocent get caught up in the middle. Lots of conflict. The tech is clean and cool--we should be using it already but for some reason are still waiting for it. My recommendation is to watch it in the original russian with english subtitles rather than dubbed english. Otherwise you miss some of the great acting--you can hear the emotion better in the russian language even if you can't understand it. Note: I think some of the bad reviews are based on the dubbed versions. The acting was actually very good--not lame as others have said. I dumped the dubbed version on the 2nd episode as it got worse. Maybe people don't realize that Netflix is defaulting to English dubbed versions (which in my opinion is a mistake).
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10/10
Russian version of Äkta människor/Humans
asmhacker17 August 2019
Only seen the first episode so far but the story is definitely inspired by the swedish original "Äkta människor" and / or the BBC remake "Humans". It will be interesting to see what paths this version takes.
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10/10
Finally something that isn't trash
grimreaperrr2 September 2019
Netflix you have made my jaw drop. This is an amazing show couldn't keep my eyes off it. Love the characters, plot and the whole feel of the show is surrealistic it's borderline artsy. Plus it explores deeper into family issues too
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8/10
will keep most viewers, more than I could imagine
m-guam8 August 2019
I watched all of Season 1 and I really recommend this one 100% you will be entertained. This is a highly entertaining and engrossing film, Well-written script. I rated it a 8/10.
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9/10
Don't be swayed by the Negative reviews, This is great binge TV.
mcfrsn21 August 2019
The only downside is my lack of Russian, and having to read subs. So far I like this better than the British " Humans". Most Americans view Russia as a cold backward country, but the tech and film industry is changing those old viewpoints, especially now with the U.S.'s downward spiraling political system, leaning toward more dumbing down of it's citizens.
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7/10
Tough going but rewarding.
GiraffeDoor13 May 2021
Firstly: I have never seen those other two shows that people keep saying this is reminiscent of.

OK, so the second thing I want to say is, as someone who watches a ton of shows that are marketed to small children: this is such a grown ups' show.

By this I mean a few things. I wouldn't say this was slow paced, certainly not like Tarkovsky, but they are definitely not rushing here. This was not made for the mile a minute media consumers (like me); this story unfolds with an elegant dignity as problems quietly smolder into much bigger problems.

Each notable character is developed with due care and attention until I felt I could have met any of them but they were never tedious people. If there is one element of the story line that was lacking it was Georgy and that girl he liked but I could still take it seriously.

There is no obvious interpretation of what it is trying to say philosophically. Maybe there is no message but just a nihilistic narrative which I can totally respect. Watching, I must say that their vision of a not-quite-so-distant future seems strangely feasible. There are tons of details in the technology and design both the gadgetry and in the media that so feel like they could be where we're headed and the tone is neither dystopian nor utoptian but just candid speculation.

There is a pervasive, yet not preachy, feeling of a world gradually giving itself over to simulacra to make up for losing touch with itself in which the synthesized human contact strives (with varying degrees of success) to be "human". You know the tropes: machine does a bunch of machine stuff, the machine tries tries to imitate people, the machine fails in some ways but in some ways is "the most human among us". Dare I say: better than...I forget where I was going with this...

I know it sounds a bit familiar but the handling is fresh and restrained and never feels smug about the ideas it's playing with. It's following a trend in science-fiction of the past decade in that its depiction of Artificial Intelligence is not the Wall-E/Short Circuit kind in which a sentient toaster basically becomes a way for us to represent the alienation we ourselves feel (did I mention I'm kind of pretentious?). Rather than the robot being an expression of technophilia, it has evolved to be a simulacrum of the human. Not unlike Her or Ex Machina.

On that note, Arisa is amazing. They convey her robotness entirely through acting (the way she talks and moves) and one can so buy that this is a desperate attempt to simulate a human convincingly but just can't make it. I must male a note of the actor's name and put in another draft of this review to give proper praise, not that the rest of the cast isn't superb to including the little girl who is just...as adorable as a bunny cuddling with a kitten.

Arisa is a fascinating character for the way she hovers between feeling like a person and an object; where she exists to follow codefiable rules but that ironically allows her to fulfil certain human virtues like loyalty and honesty much better than...well, me for one.

It's as much Asimovianess as anyone could ask for.

The tone in the series is pretty serious when we aren't having fun with Arisa or Sonya (the little girl) but they manage to be impacting without being austere and some of the sheer bizarity of what we see keeps it all very interesting for the most part.

I will confess that after about episode 12 I was about ready to see things resolve. The show doesn't loose any quality in its writing but I cannot stress enough that this is not a casual watch. It demands patience and an attention span.

Overall I am impressed with this and encourage any fan of science-fiction to give it a try and even if you'r into into science fiction, the essence of this show is a story of a family members struggling to hold their own is a complex world.

If you're wondering how good the dub is: I don't know! Ha ha ha! Worship me!

I eagerly await season 2.
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10/10
Russian Robots. Dull moments? Nyet!
awake-7645819 April 2021
Futuristic sci-fi, engaging story, characters and actors. Watch in Russian, read the subs. Each episode fast-paced, new info led the plot forward. Asimov robot laws, too. Really liked it!
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8/10
Series where you get hooked to each episode
gabriel_kh21 August 2019
Me and my wife are in the middle of watching these series and so far we've been hooked to each episode. Compared to British "Humans" I would say that these series have a spark missing in the British one. The actors' play is great and the story line involves you immediately into this show. I wish Netflix does more quality shows like this one.
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9/10
What a great show
taichihan20 October 2019
I will never regret the days I spent watching the series. Honestly it is a great execution of robotic sci fi. Great plot great acting, for Arisa too.

All in all the show was worth it 100%
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10/10
Gr8 SciFi Drama
xygris15 October 2019
Well written, lots of plot twists to peak your interest.
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9/10
** Totally * Addictive **
irishwolfie587 September 2019
What a total surprise! I watched every episode nonstop, & can't wait till the next episodes are made!! LOVED IT!!
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9/10
Modern Russian sci-fi
tiinamalm29 November 2019
Many probably don.t remember the Russian Tarkovsky,s movie Solaris, so much more beautiful than the later filmed western version of the same story. This seems to be modern Russian sci-fi, and I loved it! Probably some humor is lost for US watchers, and maybe can be understood only by those living closer by...The story is good even if somewhat too complicated in the end. I agree it could have been a little bit shorter -but this show was different and so enjoyable. And very Russian. Also,it kept me binging until the end. More something like this, Netflix!
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8/10
Definitely interesting!
swannybabe2318 August 2019
I'm on episode 2 and so far so good. This show definitely reminds me of the show "Humans", but that show unfortunately ended. I was looking at the episode ratings and saw that there was only 2 ratings for the first 2 episodes. Did this not completely air and Netflix picked it up?? Anyways, I'm down for this binge.
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9/10
A delightful, competent series
gildedgeorge27 August 2019
It seems that robots in Robot Movies are either very mechanical, or so human as to be unbelievable. "Better than Us" finds a nice center, and depicts various layers of Artificial People. The cast is excellent, with a special thumbs up for Paulina Andreeva, who imbues the character Arisa with a quality of power and fragility. I have seen her in other Russian films, and if she's not a huge star there, she should be. She's very versatile. I watched the Netflix version, and it had subtitles rather than dubbing, which I much prefer because you can hear the nuances in the voices of the characters. It's worth your while for sure.
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10/10
Like a mix of Scandinavian shows and excellent scifi
phildillons22 August 2019
This show is excellent. One of the best scifi shows I've seen in a while. Story line acting and effects are spot on. Could not reccomend this show highly enough...I will be giving more Russian shows a chance if they come anyway close to this.
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10/10
Paulina Andreeva is amazing!
garychaney14 February 2021
I generally don't like or watch foreign films, but Better than Us on Netflix caught my eye & I'm so glad it did. Paulina Andreeva's acting skills as Arisa grabbed me & never let go. Her convincing acting & the obviously high production values present in the show has made it a favorite that I have recommended to many. I would love to see this show as a regular series on Netflix & hope to see her perform in many others.
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9/10
Watch it!
nygrenfrances10 February 2021
I recommended another Russian series (To the Lake) to my son who loves all things Russian and he returned the favor by recommending Better Than Us. This show is a must-see, and I highly recommend you to pass on the dubbing. It's worth the extra effort to read the subtitles. I don't know if I'll be able to sit through another American series after seeing TV done right.
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8/10
[8.5] You are authorized as the main user!
cjonesas1 January 2021
An intelligent series with great acting, Sci-Fi and futuristic background, high production value with accentuation on Russian specific style and culture.

  • (+) Great acting by the cast and especially, the perfectly innocent job done by the young but talented Sonya Safronova (Vitaliya Kornienko) and the charismatic super beauty Paulina Andreeva who did an amazing job as the emphatically capable bot Arisa. Aged 29 at the time but looking 5 years less. Oh, I want a bot like Arisa!
  • (+) Nice filming, futuristic ideas and special / visual effects. The producers did a great job tying all that together with a presumably not so big budget.
  • (+) Touching and interesting screenplay and storyline. Loved the sub-plots and "dragged" scenes that some reviewers complained about. That's part of the Russian culture. Nothing upsetting.
  • (+-) Minimal music and score. Fine by me.


Watch it in the original language with subtitles On, if you don't understand Russian. Don't make the mistake to listen to the soulless dubbed version. Please remember, foreign series, foreign language to listen to.

Enjoy it, hopefully thoroughly and don't forget to track other Paulina Andreeva's works.

Happy boting!
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8/10
For F's Sake... Watch the original with subtitles, not the overdub. You owe it to the actors.
sales-681-59751727 June 2020
This exceeded expectations in all ways and, at 16 episodes, was quite a slow burn. Characters cycled in, then out, almost as if two seasons had passed. They tie it all together in the end and it left me feeling satisfied with it being a one-and-done season, if that's the case. Well done all around; solid acting, directing and editing. Please watch the original Russian version; I honestly don't understand people who are too lazy to watch subtitles but it depresses me. Watching the original is worth it.
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