beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,


I finished watching Humans season one
It's intelligent, thoughtful science fiction
that made me miserable.

It doesn't help that I've got a headache that went from 'huh, maybe this is a headache' to actual out loud sweariness, and I only just took a painkiller for it, because I am not smart about pain.

But I'm pretty sure that the basic problem is that it is in fact about humans, and the things they already do to each other. Anything smart enough to do the tasks we need is smart enough to need asking if it wants to. Like I said in a previous review, it's not so much specifically about AI as it is about the many failure modes already in place in how we treat people who work for us, and some of the failures it explored were medical, like carers who have a very specific idea of who is boss. It's also about minds and what counts as having one, and whether things can happen that push you off the edge into not counting, ie waking up from a coma with enough synthetic parts that somehow your humanity fell out on the operating table. So it's about disability and mental illness, one character had a stroke and lost memory, another needs physical rehab after an accident, and it's all about treating people as things. So it's just a big depressing mess of problems that already are here, and by introducing the science fiction element, it basically says we can't invent our way out of this one, we're just going to visit it on the next generations.

So, miserable.

And it's also making me wonder what it is I really want from science fiction, because if it isn't this, is intelligent thoughtful character driven and deeply human what I'm really here for? Or am I in fact after losing myself in the whizz bang?

But. I have seen the same themes explored, the same questions asked, and answered with much more of hope in them.

I don't think bleak is particularly accurate.

And this one is pretty bleak, with deaths and slavery and noncon and... all sorts, really.

But also people being decent. So I don't know if the balance is as dark as it feels right now, from this brain, with this headache.

I own season two, but I am in absolutely no hurry to start watching it.

It's just one of those times where a serious and adult and thoughtful register means kind of wanting to scrub your brain and hide under a blanket after watching.

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Tags: television
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