Mann & Machine (1992) – Déjà vu in the making

Picture this:
A Dick Wolf crime drama (of course) set in the not too distant future. Hot shot Detective Mann has been partnered with an android much to his dismay. You know, one of those “I don’t need no stinkin’ machine” types. One day said machine is destroyed (hooray!) and the detective is in need of a new partner, preferably human.

In cartwheels (yes, that’s right) the interestingly named Eve – Mann’s new partner. But there’s something strange about her; she seems a little off. It’s not long before we learn she, too, is a robot. She’s a special one though. An upgrade! An advancement in artificial intelligence with the ability to learn emotions therefore making her… almost human.

Boom! There you have it. Mann & Machine from 1992. NBC let this run 9 episodes before it hit the chopping block.

Sounds like a solid concept. So solid it showed up again 21 years later in the 2013 FOX series Almost Human (which I quite liked), but that didn’t last long either. Only 13 episodes and it was gone. How long before we give this story another go?

Check these funky opening credits:

Seriously though, I really enjoyed the first episode and even had some genuine laughs – like at this little exchange.

Mann: What’s the matter with you, anyway? They forget to give you a laugh track?

Eve: The old prototypes were programmed with heuristics to respond to punchlines and stimuli words. I have a genuine sense of humor. If, in fact, you say or do anything funny, I WILL laugh.

Where’d she pick up that shade?

As always there’s the usual partner banter/sexual tension, also there’s some amusement in Eve’s learning process. The action scenes could be better but overall I was entertained. It’ll take a few more episodes before I can say I think it was gone too soon, but I think it had a decent beginning.

If you’d like to check it out, a kind soul has made a YouTube playlist of episodes.



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