I'm a big fan of science fiction (my poor family can attest to the truth of this statement) and was one of the few who watched Fringe all the way to its bitter, fairly nonsensical end. But I have faith in the genre and in the abilities of J.J. Abrams — a sci-fi fan's sci-fi fan, if there ever was — so I was pretty excited to check out Almost Human. Sure, it's a pastiche of every robotic police movie/show ever, but it's fun, and it's got great visuals (which, OK, are heavily borrowed from the brilliant film Blade Runner). So in honor of Almost Human's (so far) great* robot cop, Dorian, here's a list of the worst robots ever to grace your living room.
*As of this writing, two episodes have aired. It's very possible the show will suck. I'm not blessed with the power of foresight. I don't even know what I'm having for dinner tonight.
Challenge of the GoBots: GoBots
Any TV show that exists solely to sell merchandise is an irritant in my book, but GoBots, the sad bastard step-sibling of Transformers, is an especially egregious example. The GoBots aren't even half as cool as Transformers! And no one's made a GoBots movie, have they? Let alone the 108 movies that Transformers seems to have made. And if there were a GoBots movie, it would probably star Emile Hirsch, the poor man's Shia Laboeuf.
Small Wonder: Vicki
Robot engineer Ted Lawson creates a creepy-ass child robot whose name (Vicki) stems from her model ID (Voice Input Child Identicant). Normal so far, I guess? Except that Ted tries to pass her off as human and sends her to school, where apparently no one ever seems to realize she TALKS LIKE A ROBOT and always looks exactly the same (at least until the actress herself started to age). Ugh, I bet she was a curve buster, too. Thanks for ruining the college hopes and dreams of your classmates, Vicki.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffybot
Buffybot was designed as a sexbot for Spike and was so convincing, she managed to convince real Buffy's friends that Buffy was depressed and acting out (something I hope a sexbot designed after me would do as well). Later she's used to better ends, but in a show that routinely pushed the boundaries of the suspension of disbelief, this was just a microchip too far.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lore
What was the point of Lore? He's basically just evil Data, and it's unclear why their creator Dr. Soong would have designed him in the first place. How is it possible that the final step before "perfect android" is "evil android"? And why didn't he dress better? Or wear a mustache? Why couldn't he be an evil genius as opposed to just a weird, petty android? Hate on Wesley all you want, but he was way more interesting than Lore.
We get it: Joey is a bad actor and ends up in terrible projects! The backronymned C.H.E.E.S.E. (Computerized Humanoid Electronically Enhanced Secret Enforcer) is supposed to be the exemplar of a terrible network show that might cast Joey, but come on! At the time this episode aired (2000), no network would put this on TV. The time of Small Wonder was long past, and the concept of C.H.E.E.S.E. is just a meta-insult to the intelligence of Friends fans.
I appreciate that Futurama was willing to turn sci-fi convention on its head and say that a doppelgänger with a goatee whom everyone declares to be "evil" might actually be the good one of the two, but he's just so boring. I know, I know, that's the point, but he kept popping back up and being his same boring self, never getting frustrated, always there with a pat on the back or heartily chuckling at a joke — but there's a reason we love real Bender (aka the real evil Bender) and that's that he's insane, awful, and hilarious. "Evil" Bender never stood a chance.
Battlestar Galactica: The Cylons
The frustrating thing about the Cylons was that early in the series they really were terrifying. They were indistinguishable from us except for the fact that they were better in almost every way — AND nearly succeeded in destroying all of humanity. And then after a few seasons they were… vaguely mean kind of? Except for the ones who were good? Maybe we were supposed to root for them? Maybe they held the key to everything? Who knows! In trying to be all things to the series, they became nothing worth watching, and that was truly a shame.
Family Matters: Urkelbot
Let the GIF at the left do the explaining.