Better Than Us

Better Than Us Review- Beliciousmuse

I truly enjoyed this series, but before I get into why, I feel I should point out the bad things because they are pretty blatant and could deter viewers from sticking with it. This show was filmed in Russian. If you don’t mind reading sub-titles constantly, I’d recommend doing so. It is dubbed in English, but poorly. It’s as though they hired voice actors who had never heard Russian spoken properly. For example, the main character is named Georgy, properly pronounced with two hard g’s, and in three syllables. Throughout the English dub, it is pronounced with soft g’s, in two syllables. That grated on my ears every time it was said. The performances of the voice actors were deplorable, often seriously lacking in emotion, and several characters were voiced by the same person. Arg!

Now…the good…

All that being said, it is actually a good show. The premise is that robots, referred to as bots, are ubiquitous, and while most people accept them, there is an extremist group that violently objects to their existence. As usual, the bots are governed by Asimov’s three laws, but before the first episode is over, a newly purchased sex-bot makes her first kill. Granted, the jerk deserved it, but still, that one bot didn’t belong with the others.

After managing to escape the building she was originally delivered to, the bot briefly meets a young girl, Sonya, and registers her as a first level user. Sonya’s father, Giorgy, calls her away, and they drive off. The bot searches out Sonya’s home. She tells Sonya that her name is Arisa, and Sonya asks her to accept her brother, Egor, whom she registers as a secondary user. Before Georgy even meets Arisa, while he is asleep on his couch, she takes his hand and declares him to be her primary user. We have no explanation for this behavior until near the end of the season, when one learns that it all makes perfect sense.

Arisa has no idea at first that she has joined a highly dysfunctional family, aside from the fact that the mother doesn’t live with Georgy. She assumes that she will be accepted as a member of the family, and attempts to act as a wife and mother.

Better than Us | Drama Quarterly

During all of this are several plots, including the investigation of Arisa’s first kill, a custody battle between Georgy and his ex-wife, and their son’s involvement in the anti-bot terrorist group. There are plenty of plot twists to keep the audience on its toes.

In summary

I enjoyed the show for may reasons, not the least of which was – Robots! I’ve been reading robot fiction since I was in grade school, and have encountered many different themes and tropes. This show managed to surprise me, but when it did, I had an, ‘Of course!” moment. I love it when a show manages to surprise me while being perfectly logical, instead of making a questionable leap. To find out how it did that, you’ll just have to watch it yourself. And if you have already, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

About Deirdre 22 Articles
Some people are born to money, some to fame, some to athleticism. Deirdre was born to Sci-Fi fandom, her ancestors having been avid fans since the late 1800's. She has witnessed Science Fiction going from a fringe genre, to mainstream, and takes comfort in knowing that her ancestors would heartily approve. Aside from SF, Deirdre is a tree hugging, gardening, amateur herbalist recluse who is in general unafraid to share her opinions, even when she knows they are unpopular. And how better to geek out than to discuss fandoms with people you barely know?

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