Why You Should Watch “Humans”
No matter the point during the year, I at least have one or two British shows that I follow religiously. One that has never let me down up to this point is Humans. I mean god damn, Humans just breaks my heart. Why do the British know how to do drama better than Americans? A friend of mine once responded “Because they taught it to us?“, but that is just the base of what makes shows like Humans stand out. This is just one of many shows where they show us that the well is never dry when coming up with concepts that engage us on different levels.
Humans is a sci-fi drama series written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, and based on the Swedish award-winning drama `Real Humans’. Not something I’ve seen myself, but just an interesting fact to throw out there for those wondering where the inspiration was drawn from. The story is set in a parallel universe where technology is highly advanced and life-like humanoids called Synths are the must-have machines for any household. Now some might say that this is nothing new, but in most cases those who try this story go straight for the cliche. Machines gone wild, end of the world catastrophe’s, someone in particular who is out to destroy the machines because they took something precious from them. The list goes on, but never anything of real substance. The aim was always to create a flashy spectacle.
With Humans, the most noticeable feature for any of these Synhs is the color of their eyes, and the color of their blood. Aside from that, they look just like anyone else and can do the same things, excluding the obvious strength difference. What makes this show so captivating, is that it’s not just about how Synths come to awaken or be more than their programming. They are a direct representation of what it means to be different, in a world where different is to be feared and attacked. Anyone who felt this was is represented through the lives of these Synths in their previous lives and their new. Now I will say that the human perspective was a bit troublesome at first. There were obvious bumps they had to get through for the sake of development, but it was perfect after that how a normal family could be changed by being able to see that there is more to being alive than having a heartbeat or “soul”.
They drive the message home, and they pull no punches either. These Synths look human, they bleed, and the ones who are awake have the capability to fear. How do you beat and abuse something that only differentiates on the inside? It would have been simple to say that a Synth could be saved if their brain is intact, but I appreciated that at the same time they made it clear that dead is dead for them once they go offline. They take everything irrational about the world that we live in and magnify it through inhumanity shown to machines. Machines could be seen as an exception depending on the scenario, but not when they are practically built to imitate their creators. As a British show, the one thing that keeps you as the viewer at the edge of your seat is the way they take chances. Shows like Humans does not care about the way you feel about losing a main character, or the things that could happen to any character in general. Using machines made it so much easier to show the barbaric nature of humans without losing people to a glorification of it.
When it comes to Max, Niska, Mia, and Leo, the show only benefited from their drastic outlooks on life. One who walks the line between being man and machine, one who despises humanity for thinking of them as lesser beings, one who is able to see the good in most people and situations, then you have one who struggles with finding purpose. They redefine the meaning of family, and even do so without needing to consistently be in the presence of the other. The lengths they were all willing to go in order to save each other, save the people they came in contact with, and save Synths overall was exciting. It was this family against the world and they were always cutting it pretty close. Especially when seeing things that would haunt them.
So, why should you watch Humans? Because in a world like ours, there is no better wake-up call than a series which leaves no stone unturned to show us what injustice looks like. To show us what it means to fight for family is a plus as well, whether from the human or Synth perspective.