Oh god. Here it comes again. Almost Human, a show that had a fantastic premise but a deeply flawed implementation, has been cancelled. Since the show was on the Fox network, it is yet another data point proving that Fox has some sort of strange vendetta agaisnt the genre of Science Fiction.
Look. I enjoyed Firefly, too. And I understand that it was disappointing that Fox aired a few episodes out of order and then cancelled it halfway into its initial 13 episode order. That sucked. However, the Fox network is not intentionally and maliciously ordering new science fiction productions just so they can cancel them and laugh evil laughs as all the fans on the internet cry our little fan tears.
First off, I'd say that this notion that Fox doesn't give science fiction a fair shake has been on shaky ground lately. More often than not, they've given shows that extra chance to prove themselves. Dollhouse got a second season. So did Sarah Connor Chronicles. Neither were setting the ratings world on fire. Hell, chronically about-to-be-cancelled Fringe wrapped up its run on Fox with five seasons and 100 episodes to its glory.
But Fox canceled Almost Human, therefore the network hates science fiction.
Alright, I understand that they aired the episodes out of order. And hey, don't I realize they did the same thing to Firefly? Let's look at the production order of the show. You Are Here was meant to be episode two. That was the one about the self-guiding bullets. Instead we got the episode about sex bots. I'd argue that was a far better episode two for holding the fan interest. But, yes, Fox messed with the creative vision of the show and pushed the episodes around in a seemingly random order.
However, starting with Skin they showed four intended-to-be sequential episodes. Episodes five through eight of the production order. They weren't pulling episodes out of a bag and throwing them out there, they were playing the heart of the order and still the show wasn't hitting on all cylinders.
In the end, the problem wasn't Fox. The problem was Almost Human. Look, I loved the show, I thought it had a lot of potential, I watched all 13 episodes. And, at the end of the season, I was hoping for a season two where they would reboot everything. That isn't a healthy notion at the end of a season of a television show.
The show failed at one of its core tasks: world building. It did this by giving us little hints of Blade Runner (glowing umbrella rods anyone), which made it feel like they wanted the audience to fill in that world. But it wasn't that world. They told stand alone episodes that hinted at broader pieces of the world, but staunchly refused to show them to us. They should have introduced John Laroquette's character far earlier (like in the pilot) we should have seen the other side of the wall by no later than mid season, and we should have gotten some kind of resolution of an arcing plotline by the end of the season.
Instead, Laroquette disappears over the wall, along with any hopes of the show improving, and at the end of the season we're supposed to pretend the whole thing was about Kennex seeking some vindication for his father?
I'd almost argue the show could be required viewing on how to take a premise and completely fail to deliver. It should be studied by future show runners and head writers, right up there with the Bionic Woman reboot (don't get me started). But...yes, let's blame Fox instead. Those bastards.