I know, I know--it's hot, you're tired, you're cranky, you want to just kick back with the AC on and get lost in a tv series that won't tax your brain too much.
There's not a lot of choice right now, but thankfully AMC is there to fill the void with its series (made in partnership with British television station, Channel 4), HUMANS.
Cue the synopsis!
Your Saturday afternoon errands could result in purchasing a fully functional robotic domestic helper that will get your kids ready for school or take care of an ailing parent. Whether that’s a good or bad decision is the question HUMANS sets out to explore. It’s not about what this technology is capable of; it’s about the impact that this advanced technology will have on the human population. Will this new way of navigating life be detrimental or beneficial to us as a human race? And who will we become when this technology arrives?
Set in suburban London, HUMANS takes place in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a “Synth” – a highly developed, artificially intelligent servant eerily similar to its living counterpart. At the center of the four concurrent story lines explored throughout the series is the flawed but loving Hawkins family.
Nobody is this happy to be cleaning. Something ain't right, y'all.
HUMANS is expertly plotted with multiple story lines that connect in surprising ways. I was gratified that it doesn't take too long for characters from seemingly disparate plots to begin interacting with one another. Each episode teases out more information about the underlying mysteries--some about the overall plot and some about the characters themselves. Why does Laura, the mother in the Hawkins family, keep her kids at arms length and doesn't trust herself around them? Why is Leo tracking down four synths that have developed personalities and what is his connection to them? What is Dr. George Millican's (William Hurt!!) connection to the synths and why is he hiding his old original model?
Another point in HUMANS favor: the actors. Much like the similarly atmospheric sci-fi series, Orphan Black, HUMANS is anchored by an amazing performance from its lead actress, Gemma Chan. You might recognize her from Sherlock (but probably not). She absolutely nails the role of a synth...who's not quite right and frankly kinda creepy. The other performances are excellent too, especially Katherine Parkinson as Laura Hawkins, the mother with a secret.
In short, HUMANS is a perfect summer series. It covers familiar territory but is tightly plotted, well-acted, and addictive. And you don't need to worry about getting drawn into a series that will get cancelled--it's already been renewed for a second season.
You took her out of the original packaging? YOU FOOL.
HUMANS airs Sundays at 9PM EST on AMC.