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I Love Television™

Robot-Paper-Scissors

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LOOK. I GET IT. Robots are going to steal our jobs, ultimately overthrow humanity, turn us into slaves, and eventually squash our noggins beneath their clanking metallic feet. I've accepted this fact, and I can live with it. BUT! While I still have a few years left of relative freedom from our robotic overlords, can I make one teensy-weensy request? Can we PUH-LEEZE stop inventing robots that can beat us at "rock-paper-scissors"?

According to a report from the BBC, "a robot developed by Japanese scientists is so fast it can 'win' the rock-paper-scissors game against a human every single time." Apparently it uses "high-speed recognition and reaction" rather than predicting your moves—or in other words, IT CHEATS!!! Watch a video of this cheating bastard robot right here (bit.ly/1fforAj), and then try to tell me that Japanese scientists aren't trying to murder us all! Oh, surrrrre. They're playing rock-paper-scissors NOW. But guess what they'll be doing with their super-fast fingers next? Outdrawing us in gun duels, snatching knives out of the air (that were expertly thrown at their servo panels), and eventually? Finger-banging our significant others before we can get our digits up in there! (Actually, that might save us a lot of work.)

REGARDLESS! The last thing I need right now is a goddamn robot destroying my self-confidence (AKA "megalomaniacal tendencies," according to my quack shrink). That being said, I'm still looking forward to Fox's new robot show debuting this week, Almost Human (Sun Nov 17, 8 pm; time slot debut, Mon Nov 18, 8 pm).

Set in crime-ridden LA circa 2048, Almost Human tells the story of a gruff cop, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban, best known as Bones from the Star Trek reboot), who's teamed up with plastic-looking androids to help him bust bad guys. HOWEVER! When an arrest goes particularly bad, Kennex is nearly killed and loses a leg—so he's in no hurry to rejoin the force. And when he does return, he's partnered with a total a-hole robot who, like, only wants to follow rules and stuff! So an "accident" happens (heh, heh, hehhhh), and until Kennex can be provided with a brand-new robot, he's stuck with an older model: one with actual feelings!

The decommissioned droid named Dorian (played by an extremely likeable Michael Ealy), actually looks and acts human—which is a real problem for a police department that would prefer if its cops killed and tortured criminals without remorse. After a bumpy start, Kennex and Dorian hit it off, and futuristic buddy cop hijinks and action-sequences ensue! But don't get it twisted: Almost Human isn't just a robot Lethal Weapon—the premiere episode has some impressive Blade Runner-esque special effects, exciting shoot-'em-ups, snappy banter, and a terrific performance from Ealy, who might be the most likeable robot since Next Generation's Data. (Plus he's so cute, I almost wouldn't mind if he squashed my skull beneath his clanking foot.)

Almost Human comes courtesy of Lost's J.J. Abrams and Fringe's Joel Wyman, so the pedigree is there to produce a fun, long-running sci-fi show—as long as the words "rock-paper-scissors" are never uttered! (Seriously, if we're gonna have speedy-fingered robots? Forget playing these baby games and let's get right to the finger-banging!)

This Week on Television

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13

10:00 FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN

Could be wrong, but Zoe and Queenie may regret contacting a trapped spirit named "the Axeman."

10:00 PBS SECRETS OF THE DEAD

Season premiere! George Clooney narrates this doc about how the media covered the JFK assassination.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14

8:30 NBC PARKS AND RECREATION

Leslie faces a recall vote, while Tom asks for Ron's help in fixing the ailing "Rent-a-Swag."

9:00 SUN THE RETURNED

A creeeepy new show about children who die in a bus accident—and then mysteriously return to life a year later!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15

9:00 FOX

RAISING HOPE

Season premiere! A stranger keeps hanging around who may have a mysterious bond with Maw Maw!

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16

8:00 HBO MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH

The boxer's one-man theatrical show in which he describes his life. THIS LOOKS SOOOO BAD.

11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Host and musical guest: Lady Gaga, who lives for the applause-plause, lives for the applause-plause.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17

10:00 HBO

EASTBOUND & DOWN

Series finale! In the last episode ever, sycophantic Stevie does the unthinkable—and revises Kenny's life story.

10:00 SHO MASTERS OF SEX

Masters and Johnson decide to film their subjects having sex—now if they only had an internet where they could post them!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18

8:00 FOX ALMOST HUMAN

John and Dorian investigate a murder involving a sexbot. (Future? You can't get here soon enough!)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19

9:00 FOX NEW GIRL

Jess tries to keep Schmidt from going IN-SANE when Coach and Cece go out on a date.

9:30 ABC DAVID BLAINE: REAL OR MAGIC

The street magician fools celebrities such as Will Smith, Woody Allen, and Stephen Hawking. (Now that's just mean.)

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