Tuesday, July 7, 2015

THE MR. J TEST: HUMANS




From AMC.com:

"HUMANS is set in a parallel present, where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a Synth – a highly-developed robotic servant, eerily similar to its live counterpart."


Episodes watched by me:

"Episode 1" and "Episode 2"


Does the series pass the Bechdel Test? (Two female character speak to each other about something other than a man.)

Yes. Anita, Laura, Mattie, and Sophie--who are all female characters--all speak to each other about each other at some point in time during the first two episodes.


Does the series pass The Mr. J Test? (Two nonwhite characters speak to each other about something other than a white person.)

So far, no. Each of the nonwhite characters--Anita, Max, Fred, Harun, Niska's madam, the scientist on the TV, and the government lady whose name I don't know--only speak to white characters. Additionally, the characters with the most agency in their lives and plotlines are all white men: Leo, Joe, even Dr. Millican--who is being bossed around by his new government-issued synth--has more control over his body than Niska, the able-bodied female synth forced into abusive prostitution.


Does the series pass the Unicorn Bonus Round? (Two nonwhite female characters speak to each other something other than a man or a white person.)

Not even. For that to happen, using the characters that we have now, Anita would have to talk with Niska's madam about maybe the government lady. Right now, Anita's trying not to get molested by her boss's sexual predator son.

Every story is so reliant on the choices that the white male characters have made. I wonder what led Humans creators (and white males with hairSam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley to create such goal-oriented white male characters, while many of the female characters are portrayed as sexual objects, assault victims, likely adulterers, jealous shrews, domineering harpies, bad mothers, or some combination thereof. Hmm...

BTdubs, the two black male characters on the show currently fill the role of Bagger Vance (Max) and dead slave (Fred). So there's that...


Will I keep watching?

For now.


Would I recommend this series?

Considering that I can name characters on fellow AMC series Mad Men that had more insight into human nature, less misogynistic views, and greater respect for colorful people--including serial cheater, xenophobe, and blackface enthusiast Roger Sterling--no.


Final judgments?

Instead of Humans, watch a holiday marathon of the original Twilight Zone on Syfy. This classic created by Rod Serling (another white male with hair) presented more progressive ideas in 1959 than this modern day series does in 2015.

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