Real Humans

Thank FSM for region free DVD players. I’m watching a region 2 copy of Real Humans which just happened to be profiled this week by io9, here. It is a great great great great Swedish tv show not yet available in the US. The series follows a number of interwoven stories in a world where personal androids have become like TVs in the early 1960s: still something of a luxury, but nearing ubiquity. These story lines explore the myriad roles androids are expected to play: child, caregiver, lover, etc. However, the viewer is also treated to the universal fear that the robots will gain sentience and rise up against humans, as well as the requisite conspiracy theorist who want to destroy all robots. There are scenes of fascinating subtlety, such as when the android Anita finds an ingeniously diplomatic solution to being accused of larceny, which ends up still relying on the propensity of humans to do the right thing when given no other choice. There are also scenes which drive home the image of the proverbial wheels turning inside these little robot heads, like such as (the Iraq) when the rebel bots discuss the need to find a power source. I don’t think I’ve seen the mechanical decision making process driven home better than here.

The show draws on themes explored less comprehensively in so many other movies and tv series. So many, in fact, that I now believe Blade Runner, Cherry 2000, the Electric Grandmother,Stepford Wives, and iRobot all take place in the same universe as Real Humans.

Here’s the full video of The Electric Grandmother in all its wonderful creepiness (incidentally, we used to have this on VHS and never got through the first few depressing minutes):

Here are some clips from the show:

And finally, Cherry 2000:

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