Humans Season 1 Review

TV:
Mitchel Broussard

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2.5
On June 25, 2015
Last modified:June 25, 2015

Summary:

Slickly produced and featuring a head-turning lead performance in Gemma Chan's Anita, it's in the minute-to-minute dialogue and tediously overused sci-fi themes that Humans begins to disassemble.

Humans Season 1 Review

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Weirdest of all is the casting of Dr. George Millican (William Hurt). He’s a disgraced scientist and widower who has an unnatural bond with synth Odi, whose outdated model is looked upon like an iPhone 3GS would be in 2015. There’s some interesting father/son dynamics at play — and Hurt is solid — but the simple fact that he’s the only well-known cast member American audiences will recognize creates an immediate discrepancy with the script’s bullheaded decision to keep his backstory a mystery. His contribution to the show’s world is so obvious that the eventual trickling out of information regarding his past scientific history is rote and dull.

Really, the best thing here is the search for Anita by resistance fighter Leo (Colin Morgan) and his army of sentient, human-emoting synths. It’s yet another lame cliche — robots gaining sentience — but it’s the best-presented and most well-dressed of Humans‘ cliches, with Leo’s followers attempting to act as the humans expect them to in public and loosening up in private, so it comes out on top.

Chan’s performance as Anita should be mentioned as one of the show’s high points as well, her head tilts and straight-faced pleasantries showcasing the sea of turmoil bubbling beneath the surface. Her connection with the moon is the show’s simplest, barest grasp of deep emotions, and one it should have aimed for in other areas, too.

Teenager Mattie also introduces a cool ripple to the show’s ideas, worrying about her future if the proliferation of synths continues at the rate it’s going and eats into the job market for young and hungry grads. “So we’ll all have to be poets or something?” she questions at once to no one and everyone sitting in the family living room. But, like the show’s other positives, its far too cursory to outweigh the big problems here.

Really, your enjoyment of Humans will directly depend on your patience for this kind of slow-burn. There’s some truly interesting ideas wading around in the first few hours of the show, but co-creators Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley consistently misstep in presenting them in entertaining, enjoyable-to-view ways. From commonplace themes to dialogue as subtle as dropping a storage container from a rooftop to hammer in a nail — “I know you need time alone, after you lost your mom and dad so young,” Joe says languidly to an upset Laura — Humans feels consistently incomplete. It has the right parts, despite how banal some appear, but its production and assembly line could have used some tweaking before launch.

Humans Season 1 Review
Middling

Slickly produced and featuring a head-turning lead performance in Gemma Chan's Anita, it's in the minute-to-minute dialogue and tediously overused sci-fi themes that Humans begins to disassemble.