Some notes and dialogue on first watching.
We see a big green eye open-one.
A warehouse. The robots are all lined up in their pants.
One of them stares at the moon.
So the robots are wheeled along in a white casket type holder. Which unzips.
“There she blows then, your new synthetic human!”
“Hello Joe,, I’m now securely bonded to you as a Primary Use Robot”.
(they have already exchanged DNA-oops I mean Anita has sort of ingested Joe’s DNA)
So Humans is looking good.
Then it’s Mrs Chapman from ( the British soap-opera series) EastEnders. Ha ha. Here she is smilingly evil too. Accompanied by a Nurse Ratchet (from the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) type Healthcare Synth.
“Detective Inspector Karen Ross, Special Technologies Task Force..”
“I’m Detective Sergeant Drummond..”
I like Detective Drummond. (with a bit of a corny accent)
My favourite parts are William Hurt and Odi, his Synth.
Laura to Anita:
“You’re just a stupid machine, aren’t you?”
I also like the side story of Jonas and Max.
The Synth hunter: to posh speaking Head of Synth Technologies.
“Have you heard about The Singularity?”
Review of Episode One.
So Humans is a little bit hammy. As in over-acted. I felt. Particularly the husband and wife and two kids scenario. Plus the Synth hunting guy: everyone really. Except William Hurt, Odi and Max.
I couldn’t help wondering if the makers/creators of the Synths had not considered the well known fact: that Nannies should never be good looking. It always causes trouble. I was definitely getting shades of The Hand That Rocked The Cradle and all other films of a similar nature.
I was also strongly reminded of the film Robert and Frank. Which I recently watched. Thinking it was a lightweight comedy. It was not.
Still, Humans holds together-As an interesting story so far. More correctly: a set of stories.
I realise at one point how unusual it is to be watching a hearing a subtitled English drama. Subtitled only because I like them. You could say this a way of comparison with foreign language dramas. Humans stood up well.
Half the trouble for me maybe is that Anita just looks too lifelike. She looks like she’s smirking all the time: that’s it for me so far. I guess I don’t really believe that Anita is a Synth. That could be the point.
I did get a few preachy-teachy wonderings at some points. Please don’t tell me that there are themes. Is an English Channel Four Production vulnerable to such educative memes? I wonder. This may by why foreign language series appear more invulnerable to such factors. Mostly.
Humans Episode Two
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.
Humans contains some violence..
“These Synths are physically no different than normal Synths but Elster gave them consciousness..”
Laura wakes up. She doesn’t trust Anita. Round her child. Laura looks at the window as she leaves her daughter’s room. She sees rain water on the window outside. Then she understands..
Synth Hunter guy and Assistant (in laboratory)
Who is he?”
“The Mona Lisa, Penicillin, the Atomic bomb..”
Max is the brother of the human Jonas. well Synth brother I guess.
Laura to Anita:
“I’m watching you“..
“I’m watching you too Laura,
“You’re right in front of me..”
So it’s the mad West Ham fan from the series Lillehammer.
The daughter-Matilda’s boyfriend to her:
“You’re like a… sexy terrorist..”
Peter to Detective Drummond:
(who has an overdone Cockney accent)
Dr. Millican: (William Hurt)
“I’d like to replace my assigned Synth”.
“Well she’d better suited guarding a Siberian chain gang at the Gulag!”
Detective Drummond’s equally Cockney partner has a mysterious burn or scar on the left side of her neck.
At the Brothel place.
“You, number seven, disinfect!”
“Number seven, next one in six minutes!”
The beautiful blond girl/ Synth screams-but no noise comes out.
Review Of Episodes One and Two.
So Humans had me hooked around half-way to two thirds through this second episode. Yet there is still something strangely un-engaging about Humans. I don’t know why. The drama is just a bit lacking in depth perhaps.
However the story is still in the early stages. Things, or an overall feel of the drama: may come together( more) later. Like it did already part-way through episode two. I am hopeful.
There are aspects of Humans which I really like. The outside scenes, the solo struggle of Jonas and Max through a dystopian world of warehouses (as always) and old school chop-shops that recycle robots as spare parts.
The story of Odi and Dr. MacMillan- I could watch all day. William Hurt of course being a completely sizzling performance. Just by doing the most everyday things. Or just sitting in silence. An electrifying screen presence I felt.
The story of Odi too is a shimmering performance. He twangs our heart strings terribly. Well-mine. Especially when he gets a runny nose.
Then there is the inimitable Max. With his aquiline nose and sea green eyes. Stolid, stalwart and indefatigable. He performs an amazing resuscitation. It’s like Lazarus came back to life. Odd and actually moving. (I think music may even have played. Orchestral) Whilst being icky at the same time.
So Max performs the equivalent of his own creation on his friend/ Synth brother (not sure) Jonas. All very deep and meaningful I’m sure. There have been a few of those deep and meaningful moments possibly so far.
There is a preachy-teachy feeling to Humans sometimes. For me. Questionably. Like in: what is this / Humans really about? Still, I am putting possible questionably preachy-teachy themes aside . And concentrating just on the drama.
Maybe the lack of back-story generally, except for the family with the children makes for a slightly distracted, lightweight feel. So far. Giving me time to conjecture on such things.
Is there a name for the dramatic device of having the officially bad guys come into the good guys’ lives-who are not really that good (but struggling below the surface- it is all for show etc.)
The newcomers/ bad guys though they are considered socially (or by the Police) are actually dramatically speaking the good guys. Because they solve and sort all the problems of the officially good but really bad guys. Are you following me.
This happens, for example, in the series Hostages/ Bei Aruba. Lillehammer even. In a way.
The Synths are not officially bad of course. One could call them the outsiders. But they are officially programmed to please. Except for the Syth children of the mysterious Professor presumably, I am thinking, Estler.
Well not the Nurse Ratchett-like Healthcare robot/ Synth. From Doctor McMillans’s point of view. She is programmed for another purpose. And we are starting to wonder about her too..
There is something a little soulless and empty about Humans. Maybe that’s the point. Not that, it could be argued, the Synths are really that unusual in apparition. There in that dystopian futuristic parallel universe.
Whereas in our one/ ours people wonder around outside with eyes fixed at a far-off point in space: talking aloud to an earpiece. Blank-faced.
Anyone could stand a ways in front of them likewise. Asking quietly: Why don’t you share?
The Humans, as mentioned: seem shouty, even hammy-next to the Synths. (except for the incomparable William Hurt) Could that be because the Synths actually appear to our own future dystopian eyes-more normal than the humans. Now.
Perhaps this is what the drama is showing us: that there is soulessness and there is not. Or here is soulessness: here is not.
Then, everything is mixed up. With the two conditions melted into each other. Once that happens soulessness and soulful (the condition of not) become one and can never be distinguished, one from the other, for sure. Any more.
Theoretically speaking, and it would have to happen with many cases or simple association with those who have changed: other Synths not yet conscious could be learning by copying. In a subconscious Synth way.
Plus even if they could be identified separately-due to that one collision: the two original conditions of soulessness and not (soulful) could be said to be irretrievably changed. Forthwith.