The 13-episode long series takes place in the not-too-distant future where technology has advanced at such a rate that old crimes are getting committed in new ways. By the time the series starts, every police officer is partnered with an android that is not only used as a partner in tight situations, but also a quick go-to for regulations, rap-sheet lookups, data-scanning and, well pretty much everything else you think a cop might want a computer for. Heck, I think there was even a joke about the synthetic partner quickly helping with paperwork.
Karl Urban (Dredd, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness) is Detective John Kennex, a rough-around-the-edges cop who is recovering from a long-term coma. The coma is the result of a particularly brutal ambush by an organized crime syndicate that left his whole team dead. Finally back on the force, Kennex is forced to partner with an android that was part of an apparently flawed line. While most police have the newer MX models riding shotgun, Kennex has to learn to deal with a DRN model. Why were these particular androids taken off the force? Apparently their "digital soul," a component unique to their line, made them very human, and much like a human, they too can have mental breakdowns.
At first Kennex and Dorian's (Michael Ealy, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Seven Pounds, About Last Night) partnership is awkward as the android tries to make Kennex feel comfortable with being assigned to a synthetic, but Kennex's dislike for change makes this a hard barrier for Dorian to get through. It isn't long at all though before the pair fall into their buddy-cop roles and the banter takes on a much lighter tone.
Joining Kennex and Dorian on the police force is Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly, TV's Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), Detective Richard Paul (Michael Irby), Captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor, The Haunting, The Conjuring) and the department's technician/go-to-geek, Rudy Lom (Mackenzie Crook, The Pirates of the Caribbean films). Each of these characters play important roles in the show's development. Where Det. Paul acts as a kind of rival to Kennex, Det. Stahl is an obvious romantic interest to the reinstated-cop. Capt. Maldonado isn't the typical "yelling at her subordinates" boss that may be stereotypical of that role, and instead the relationship between her and Kennex is more like siblings working together. As for Lom, he is not only the person that keeps Dorian up and running, but he acts as a good bit of comedic relief (especially when he has to awkwardly deal with people outside of his comfort zone), and often is the source of exposition when some technical bit of information needs to be conveyed.
The show starts with a raid being performed by the same crime syndicate that put Kennex in the hospital, only this time, the organization is hitting the police department. While Kennex and Dorian are able to suppress the attack, it is obvious that whatever the enemy force was after is supposed to be the major plot point of the season. Oddly enough, this episode is then followed by many one-off mysteries and the attack on the police department is all but forgotten until about halfway through the season when it is suddenly remembered and becomes the focus of several episodes before the season (and series) finale. Obviously, the unexpected cancellation of the show means that viewers shouldn't expect too much resolution. It is made clear that there is something big on the horizon and a lot of dominos start to be set up, but unfortunately, the anticipation of watching them start to fall just never happens.
That being said, the one-off episodes are great in this light because they don't lend themselves to the never-resolved overarching plot. Instead, each one ends up being a unique twist on what would otherwise be seen as common crimes. What appears to be the death of a prostitute's john ends up diving into the sexbot trade of the series. A mystery surrounding what appears to be a crooked, undercover cop selling the drugs he is trying to get off of the streets ends up involving some pretty high tech surveillance techniques given the technology available in the Almost Human universe.
A lot of the show's themes are discussed in the included 2013 Comic-Con panel featuring many of the actors, as well as show creator J. H. Wyman (also known for creating Fringe). Wyman talks a lot about the idea of exploring the standard crimes found in most procedural cop dramas and putting a unique twist to them because of the futuristic setting of the show. Almost Human: The Complete Series also contains a gag reel and several deleted scenes sprinkled across the shows 13 episodes.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed Almost Human. It had good chemistry between its actors and I got an almost Blade Runner TV-series feel from it, something that I now wish would be produced. While it would have been nice to see how the overarching plot played out, there are enough one-off episodes to make the show still appealing to those looking for a little sci-fi in their crime drama. Just remember that this is another offering from the Warner Archives on-demand program, so if you want to buy it, check out the link below to get your copy made just for you.