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'Almost Human' premiere review: The Fox show is entertaining and intriguing

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(Read caption) 'Almost Human' stars Michael Ealy (l.) and Karl Urban (r.).

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It’s taken a while for J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman’s Almost Human to make it to air, thanks to FOX’s post-season baseball obligations, but as the pilot arrives with the confidence and competence of a fully-formed product, the sci-fi buddy cop series side-steps a lot of the obvious growing pains that plague high-concept shows like this on their way out of the starting gate.

Starring Karl Urban (Dredd, Star Trek) and Michael Ealy (Think Like a Man), as a cop and his android partner in 2048, the show’s shorthand synopsis sounds like an I, Robot clone – Urban’s Detective John Kennex is as robot-weary and haunted by his past as Will Smith’s Del Spooner was – but the comparison fades as Dorian (Ealy) comes onto the screen to join with the occasionally wooden Urban, providing enough chemistry to power the show.

It’s heartening to see that, despite a slight breaking-in period, Detective Kennex and Dorian won’t have to spend a large chunk of this season establishing their relationship and dealing with Kennex’s distrust of “synthetics.” Surely, the pair will have their differences – at the end of the day, this show’s “hook” is that it’s about a cop and his android partner, fighting crime in the future – but letting Dorian prove himself to Kennex early on as an android that is programmed to rise above his programming allows Almost Human to put its best foot forward.

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