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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Humans 2.1: Westworld Meets Nashville

Humans was back with its second season this week, with an episode that was every bit as good as the first season, which is to say, good indeed!

Comparisons inevitably arise with Westworld, since both series are about androids or human-like robots who want to be human, but otherwise the two are very different.  In Humans the androids are out in the world, all over the world, and although there's some significant philosophic musing about the nature of human cognitive intelligence, there's much more focus in Humans on relationships, and what psychologists call emotional intelligence.

The set-up in the second season is a bold departure from the first.  Niska has released a code world-wide which jump-starts some of the androids into human sentience.   The "some" is, at this point, apparently very few, and the other sentient androids - our main characters - don't know why the code worked, and, for that matter, how the code worked.   (Possibly/presumably Niska does.)  This is a big leap from last year, in which the emergence of sentience was much more organic (in the figurative sense).

But as was the case last year, the best part of Humans are the specific androids and their personalities. Max, always ready to smile and see the best in people - and androids - is still among my favorites.   His optimism is a tonic.   Mia, wanting more than any other sentient android to be not only humanly sentient but fully human, and the aforementioned Niska, the most dangerous of the androids in all kinds of ways, and now exploring her sexuality, are back in good form as well.

Some newcomers are in the mix, too, such as Sam Palladio as the human Ed (Gunnar from Nashville!) - would be great to hear him sing "Borrow My Heart" to Mia - and Carrie-Anne Moss has the makings of an intriguing AI scientist.   Not much yet with the Hawkins family, who were the centerpiece of the first season, but they seem suitably simmering for significant interaction with the androids, and Niska's showing up unannounced at their door in the last scene should set that in motion.

And I'll be back here next week with another field report.

See also Humans: In Ascending Order ... Humans 1.7: "I Think You're Dead, George"

a different kind of humans
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