Last night, FOX’s ALMOST HUMAN likely met its merciful end, its 13th episode and season finale whimpering to its lowest ratings thus far.
Normally, when a high concept sci-fi show gets cancelled on FOX or otherwise, it’s time for an uproar and decades of bemoaning the snubbed show’s fate. ALMOST HUMAN bucks that trend, as its somehow a J.J. Abrams/J.H. Wyman/Bad Robot dud that no one should miss in the fall. To celebrate the show’s end, I’ve cobbled together a list of awful, alternative titles for ALMOST HUMAN, that still would’ve netted a more positive result than whatever it is I spent 13 hours of my life watching over the past few months with Lili Taylor. These are the 17 shows I want more than season 2 of ALMOST HUMAN.
17. BEING HUMAN (SyFy, or BBC, depending on your favorite flavor)
ALMOST HUMAN was doomed from the start, if only because it was a confusing title, since there were already TWO different BEING HUMAN’s out there. I watched two of the three, and mixed them up several times in conversation.
I’ve never watched the BBC version (I know, shame on me), but the SyFy version that is coming to its end this year, is far superior to the cliche drivel that we were subject to in whatever city ALMOST HUMAN takes place in (they never said).
16. ALMOST LUMEN (SHO)
Remember Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles)? She was one of the special guest stars in season 5 of DEXTER, following the orgasmic (and should’ve been final) fourth season with the Trinity Killer. It was a tough act to follow, and little did we know that DEXTER would never successfully build off of it…for another 3 seasons.
ALMOST LUMEN would be a prequel series, chronicling the brutal origins of “The Group,” the band of men who raped, tortured and ruined Lumen Pierce’s life, leading up to when Dexter found her, rescued her, and let her embrace her Dark Passenger. It’d be a horrible series.
Or, ALMOST LUMEN would take place AFTER the events of DEXTER season 5, in which Lumen’s Dark Passenger has healed, and she tries to live a normal, if fractured, life, unable to ever completely live happily ever after. Ew.
15. ALMOST POOPIN’ (TLC)
13 years after the term “prairie dogging” was made famous in RAT RACE comes this reality show about men and women that are in a perpetual state of ALMOST POOPIN’. It’s painful, life or death, riveting stuff.
14. ALMOST LUPIN (POTTERMORE)
An adult take on HARRY POTTER‘s most underrated (and tragic) character, it would be Pottermore’s first foray into original content, and would blow up the internet faster than an Ellen DeGeneres selfie. The show would bounce back and forth between the past and future, with a young Remus growing up during his formative years at Hogwarts, while first grappling with his fate as a werewolf, and could cut to Teddy Lupin, his only son and Metamorphagus, dealing with hormones and being a sad sack orphan. Or it could be a heartbreaking but illuminating alternate history, detailing the life of what Lupin WOULD’VE become if he had never been mauled by a werewolf (spoilers: a death eater).
13. ALMOST GROOMIN’ (ANIMAL PLANET)
In this (literally) touching reality show, a group of talented but arrogant contestants face off in the ultimate competition: to become the world’s next great dog groomer. Blessed with a brush and a rotating cast of high maintenance puppies, you’ll have to shed a slew of shows to make room on your DVR. Ruff.
12. ALMOST BLOOMIN’ (FOOD NETWORK)
It’s the world’s first infomercial/original series hybrid that would change the way we consume pop culture, and onions. The brilliant maneuver by Outback Steakhouse would start a disturbing trend of chain restaurant TV shows (OLD MCDONALD’S, BURGER KING OF QUEENS, WENDY’S DRIVE THRU, JARED’S JEANS). Bloomin’ Onions would remain delicious and unhealthy.
This could also be a show about prepubescent girls before getting their periods. Or a show about actual flowers. Or a BRAVO show about guys and gals before they come out, and “bloom” into the gay man or woman they’ve always wanted to be. Aw.
11. ALMOST HUMMUS (TRAVEL CHANNEL)
How hard is it to make hummus? Find out in this eye opening docuseries spanning the Middle East and a whole lot of chick peas.
10. ALMOST FUMIN’ (HGTV)
While you might mistaken it for another Gordon Ramsay cooking show, this enlightening reality series invites viewers into the homes of those who fumigate ours. Find out what they’re really doing under those carnival tents while you’re stuck at a Motel 6.
9. NEARLY ALIEN (HISTORY CHANNEL)
This controversial series follows Detritus, the first kid born in space. When he returns home…he’s treated like an outcast, a misfit, the first alien. Some would anoint him as their messiah.
Or it’s about a Canadian.
8. NEARLY HEADLESS NICK (STARZ)
John Cleese reprises his role as the only ghost who actually gets older, in a prequel series when Nearly Headless Nick isn’t nearly headless, but still called Nick by his friends (that aren’t executing him).
7. ALMOST DUM DUM DUGAN (ABC)
This remarkable original series from Marvel and ABC would chronicle Dum Dum Dugan’s tortured and overlooked life as Nick Fury’s second in command known more for his bowler hat, mustache and his stupid fucking name than anything else.
JUSTIFIED’s Neal McDonough would retake the mantle of Dugan, and the big “twist” would be that the entire series wasn’t about Dum Dum Dugan at all, but the Skrull who took his place during SECRET INVASION (above). It’d be like getting to know and love Mad Eye Moody for a whole movie/book and realizing he was really a super villain played by David Tennant, only the pain would last for 3 seasons (Brian Michael Bendis would be the head writer).
6. ALMOST GOOD (BET)
Ostensibly a joke about the quality (or lack thereof) of ALMOST HUMAN, ALMOST GOOD would be a tissue-inducing (happy and sad), behind the scenes look into the life and career of Meagan Good. Despite her stunning body, good looks and talent, she’s wracked with self-doubt and stress (explaining why she’d shack up with Will Ferrell in ANCHORMAN 2), struggling to be as Good as she wants to be.
5. ALMOST CREWMAN (SyFy)
Timothy Bottleneck has always wanted to be on the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But because of his flat feet and bad hygiene, he continually fails the exams to qualify for Starfleet. In this quasi-REDSHIRTS ripoff, Timothy would learn over the course of a jam-packed 10 seasons that it’s better to be sucky and alive, than slightly better at life and dead.
You could also replace the Enterprise with the Titanic, or a dude whose dream is to work for a Disney Cruise boat, and is just far too creepy looking to ever get hired. All would be inspiring.
4. ALMOST CUMIN (FOOD NETWORK)
Is there a better spice than Cumin? There’s a reason cum is in the word. This pulse-pounding and salivating reality show would detail a battle of the remaining spices, hoping, straining, trying to be as tasty and useful as Cumin. And ultimately failing miserably.
3. ALMOST TRUMAN (LIFETIME)
The 33rd President of the U.S. and Missouri native was perhaps the most under-appreciated Prez in our nation’s history, given the unenviable task of following FDR in the midst of WWII.
Samuel Lebell says it best in his American Political Science Association award winning novel TRUMAN SUCKS (okay, so it was titled “The Future of American Politics”):
“…after seven years of Truman’s hectic, even furious, activity the nation seemed to be about on the same general spot as when he first came to office … Nowhere in the whole Truman record can one point to a single, decisive break-through … All his skills and energies—and he was among our hardest-working Presidents—were directed to standing still.”
Writers win awards talking shit about Truman. Almost beloved, almost successful, almost popular, almost Truman.
Only after he was dead and American citizens were offered the option of Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War, did they come to appreciate Harry S. Truman.
Poor Harry Sherbet Truman.
2. ALMOST, NEWMAN (NBC)
Wayne Knight’s long-awaited return to fame, where Newman gets the last laugh. Always.
AND THEN FINALLY…
1. OLMOS HUMAN (CBS)
The greatest actor in the history of the universe gets his own spotlight on TV’s biggest and “most watched” network. Each episode is different: a true variety show. EJO pitching Acne cream. EJO re-enacting speeches as Admiral Adama from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (there wouldn’t be any almost cumin for that one). EJO hosting a talk show (that gravelly voice). EJO reading books to malnourished children. EJO curing cancer. EJO as every character in a soap opera. EJO doing whatever the fuck he wanted, because he’s OLMOS HUMAN, which is to say, he’s better than us all.
So say we all.