No. of Episodes- 16
Ratings – IMDB 7.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes 100%
Genre – Sci Fi / Futuristic / Drama Thriller
Better Than Us recently launched on Netflix is the debut Netflix Original Russian TV Series. The show really did not receive the buzz it deserves for its gripping storytelling, brilliant acting and twisted but engaging plot.
The show is set in 2029 – in a time when the robots are as common as mobile phones today – almost everyone has one but they’re not as advanced as Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator and contrary to that, the droids in Better Than Us have one universal moral code- “Robots cannot harm a human being”.
This is where Arisa the ‘Empathetic Robot’ stands out from others because Arisa is programmed to find and protect her family. Now, to what extent Arisa will go to save her family is worth the watch.
The show has three stories intertwined and running in parallel – That of Georgy, Arisa, Alla and the family, Egor & Zhanna and the liquidators (A group of rebels against the robots) and Viktor Toropov & the rest of the CRONOS.
Under some mysterious circumstances CRONOS, the company that’s currently making Sex-Robots for the world, receives Arisa – An advanced Robot designed by a Chinese Engineer who is dead now.
Arisa is beautiful as she is smart and strong, but she’s the only robot CRONOS now has that’s not meant for sex, at least non-consensual and so she kills an employee of CRONOS who tries to make advancements at her after giving a warning.
This is where the first domino falls, Arisa flees the place- finds Sonya (Georgy’s Daughter) makes Sonya the Primary User and Sonya’s Family as her ‘Family’, which she will now protect at any cost.
Viktor wants to win a tender for mass production of Arisa like Robots by winning a competition and winning the confidence of the investors, for which he will need help and permission from Arisa’s current primary user Georgy who happens to be the arch nemesis of Viktor (because Georgy failed to save Viktor’s Son’s life even while being the best surgeon in city).
Just a couple of episodes into the show you’ll find yourself having developed a liking and soft corner for Arisa. You will want Sofranov, the Male Protagonist (Husband in Arisa’s Robot Theory Family) to like her, have feelings for her and maybe at some point to even get intimate with her.
But Georgy must help Viktor win this bid to regain his reputation as a top Surgeon back (earlier destroyed completely by Viktor out of revenge for loss of his son).
And, Egor while trying to be the ideal son to Georgy must not let Viktor succeed because Egor is in love with Zhanna who is sister to bars – The prime leader of Liquidator’s Anti-Droid movement. Plus, Egor is influenced into being a liquidator himself now and allowing a deal for mass manufacture of an advanced robot wouldn’t really align with his agenda.
I can vouch that Better Than Us is at least better than most of the other High Budget, low on logic and story Sci-fi out there. The show keeps you at the edge of your seat with unnerving ending to each episode and makes you binge it in one stretch.
Season 2 expectations- The second season is planned to be filmed in the later part of 2021 let’s hope it comes out as planned.