Sometimes I wonder if I am too forgiving of a TV show. There are certain shows, like Almost Human, that I give a pass to. Things like, plot holes, poor dialogue or rushed story lines don't bother me because I am predisposed to liking them either because of their pedigree or their format.
I read a review of "Blood Brothers" the most recent offering from Almost Human, on io9 today authored by Rob Bricken. (You can read that review here.) To put it mildly, he hated it. Not just a little, but a lot. You know when the F-bombs start flying there is a problem.
I like Rob's work. He does a mailbag column for io9 where he answers a variety of questions mostly dealing with popular culture and science fiction in general.
Apparently he has been stuck with the assignment of reviewing Almost Human and God knows how long that will last given the tone of today's review.
I tried to leave some feedback for him, basically coaxing him back from the ledge. The site only accepted part of my comments and drew the line when I tried to link to my own blog.
Basically, I urged him to seek out the things Almost Human does well instead of fixating what they do poorly.
I had recently wondered aloud in these pages where Dorian sleeps. Answered!
He sleeps with all the Ken dolls! (Nope, I'm not going to post an image of that. Too creepy. Funny. But creepy.) The writers correctly assumed their viewing audience wondered the same things I did and answered it promptly. Nice.
Dorian complains to Kennex that he is "miserable" with that arrangement and appeals for help. This is where my personal antenna went up. Recently, I posted a review of the episode "Are You Receiving?" In it, I wondered about Dorian's state of mind and whether he was going to suffer from depression or not. (Read that post here.) Since he confesses to a state of misery in this episode I can only assume that his mental state is indeed vulnerable. I think this will happen incrementally so let's not get too excited but it worth watching for.
Here's what Michael Ealy went on to say about Dorian's state of mind in an interview with Buddy TV.
"We're gonna find out. Right now, the chemistry is so good now that we're starting to grow on each other. And he sees my value and I see his humanity which wasn't there in the pilot. I'm starting to see his humanity now. For Dorian, his range of emotions - depending on what they show — it can go from very, very emotional to pretty stoic. And that's been kinda fun to play, especially in the action sequences when he's just unstoppable."
I'm excited about the "range of emotions" Ealy speaks of. This is the type of thing Almost Human does well. I only wish Bricken and the other detractors of Almost Human could see this.
Dorian's humanity shone through when he spoke of family in the context of his relationship with Kennex and the rest of the police squad. He displayed tenderness when he reached out to comfort the wounded psychic, Maya, as she lay recovering from her wounds in the hospital. Another nice touch by the AH writers. It must of been difficult for Dorian to hear Maya say "We all know we are going to lose our parents some day." Not having parents must add to Dorian's state of "misery" but he handled it well.
Here's where Dorian makes a mistake.
Dorian chases down the van full of Ethan Avery's "brothers". In a fit of anger he catches the van and flips it over. Kennex and Stahl look on in amazement. "Why hasn't he done that before?" Kennex stammers.
I'll tell you why John, it's not something humans can do and this is the type of thing that separates Dorian from the rest of humanity.
It's a little depressing. Dorian acted out and proved he is not one of "us".
These are the types of things Almost Human does well. I'm guilty of pumping the show up but it is not nearly as bad as Bricken and the rest claim.
I think we can give the writers a pass here. After all, they're only human.