Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pilot Review: Humans

Humans (AMC)
Premiered June 28 at 9pm

In the past decade, AMC has premiered some intense and unforgettable shows, and now the once movie-focused network is expanding like its cable partners to coproduce shows with broadcasters in other countries. “Humans” is a joint production between AMC and Channel 4 in the UK, with each episode airing in the United States two weeks after premiering in the UK. This may be the network’s most ambitious offering, presenting an alternate present with considerably more technological developments instead of a series set in the past with lavish costumes. The premise is definitely intriguing, creating a modern-day universe in which personal androids, known as Synths, are sold to provide household assistance to the everyday person. The spotlight is on one family, where the useless overwhelmed husband purchases one such unit because his wife is always away due to her legal work. Their three children react differently, with the youngest daughter latching on, the son hopelessly attracted to his new nanny, and the older daughter pointing a gun at her to test her programmed instincts. The big twist is that Anita, the Synth, is actually one of a select group of Synths who are considerably more sentient than they are supposed to be. This show has a futuristic and dark tone to it that I think should prove productive, and I’m legitimately interested to see where it goes. I like science fiction, and the way that this feels all too current is definitely a positive. I’m not fully hoked yet, but I’m definitely coming back to see where it goes.

How will it work as a series? There are a few plotlines going on here that should intersect nicely, with the Hawkins family and Anita serving as the central characters and William Hurt’s engineer keeping up his friendship with the Synth he created. It’s not too ambitious considering the subject matter, and it should prove enthralling.
How long will it last? The headline for The Guardian was that this show became Channel 4’s biggest drama hit in 20 years, which all but guarantees that it will be renewed overseas. AMC’s viewership wasn’t as transcendent, but it’s probably good enough for the network to continue its partnership and broadcast future seasons.

Pilot grade: B

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