While cinema has successfully overcome the barrier of language with the help of streaming services like Netflix, there are still some countries that don’t have the same exposure. Russia is one of them. The country has kept to itself when it comes to movies and TV shows, and though it has allowed Hollywood to release its content there, it hasn’t completely opened itself to the foreign wave that has swept over the whole world. Russia has done so to preserve its own cinema. However, you can’t move forward if you don’t move outward. Netflix has been trying to find a way to find a footing in the Russian market but has not been able to do so as successfully as it broke into others. But that changed with the sci-fi thriller series, ‘Better Than Us’.
Created by Andrey Junkovsky, Aleksandr Dagan and Aleksandr Kessel, it is set in the world where the employment of robots to do meagre human jobs has become commonplace. While robots start to explore their emotions, humanity deals with their mixed feelings about artificial intelligence. The series holds the distinction of being the first Russian show to fall under the banner of Netflix originals. The streaming service airs it all over the world, except in China. In Russia, the rights of broadcast lie with Yellow Black and White and Gazprom-Media holding, who have produced it in co-operation with Sputnik Vostok Production.
Better Than Us Cast: Who’s in it?
The lead character of ‘Better Than Us’ is Arisa, a robot who begins to feel as humans do while under the employment of a family. She is played by Paulina Andreeva, who is a well-known actress in Russia and has worked in films and TV shows like ‘Locust’ and ‘The Method’. Kirill Kyaro plays the role of Georgy Safronov, a former surgeon who brings Arisa to his family. Aleksandr Kuznetsov plays the role of Barsenev, a member of the Liquidators club, a group of rebels who have declared war against the robots. Pavel Vorozhtsov plays the role of Igor Mikhailovich, the technical director of CRONOS Corporation, a company that makes robots for hire.
If season 2 is commissioned, all the cast members whose characters survive till the end might make a return.
Better Than Us Plot: What’s it About?
‘Better Than Us’ is set sometime in the near future where humans have started employing robots to do all sorts of works. They are serving in factories, they are serving as cleaners, they are present at the cash desks and are serving as nannies and maids in the houses of people who are rich enough to afford them. Amongst these robots is Arisa, who is employed by a family. Even though robots are treated just like any other machine, they have begun to learn from their makers. Being in the continuous presence of humans has exposed them to feelings, both good and bad. Living with her family, Arisa begins to experience these emotions and develops a thought-process of her own. While she feels love for her employers whom she considers her “family”, irrespective of what they think about her, she also wonders about the things that mark the differences between her and humans- the things that make her better than them.
Meanwhile, people are being murdered and someone is trying to cover it up. There is also an organization that doesn’t like the amalgamation of robots with human society. They believe that robots are just tin boxes that can never compare to humans. They are concerned about the fact that robots are taking their jobs, that they would eventually take over humans and they need to be eradicated before they become a menace (why does that sound so oddly familiar, I wonder!). And there is only one thing that can be done about it. According to them, it is to hunt down the robots and start killing them one by one. What makes them even more dangerous is that they are ready to kill any human who tries to stand in their way. What they don’t anticipate is that by attacking the robots, they are essentially starting a war. It isn’t easy to kill robots, but it isn’t difficult to kill humans. What happens when robots decide to retaliate?
The first season leaves Arisa’s fate hanging in a balance. The second season will pick up with Georgy trying to get back to her.
Better Than Us Season 2 Release Date: When Will It Premiere?
‘Better Than Us’ Season 1 is premiered on Netflix on August 16, 2019. With a total of sixteen episodes, it is the first Russian series to be tagged as a Netflix Original. It first aired in Russia on November 23, 2018, and the popularity that it received brought it to Netflix’s attention, who, reportedly, bought it at a record-breaking price. The access of Netflix to the international audience gives a chance for Russian content to break out of its territorial bounds. “The importance is that Netflix promotes its series completely differently. If the series is translated in a large number of languages, this is a huge victory and if it goes well, Netflix will look for opportunities to order in Russia at the early production stage,” said Alexander Modestova, the general director of ExpoContent.
Sci-fi shows have traditionally done well at Netflix and ‘Better Than Us’ presents a scenario that the viewers would love to explore more. Whether or not, we get to see ‘Better Than Us’ Season 2 depends on the response. The show has tasted a lot of success in Russia and has also won awards. There is no reason why it would not appeal to the international audience. Still, we might have to wait for some time before Netflix announced anything on ‘Better Than Us’ Season 2. As soon as we receive more information on the subject, we will update this section.
Better Than Us Trailer
The evolution of robots has been a prevalent issue in sci-fi shows and some of the best series out there fall in this genre. ‘Better Than Us’ presents a fresh take at the relationship between humans and bots, and explores the depths of morality, of the machine as well as its maker. You can catch all the episodes of this show on Netflix. Watch the trailer below to get a gist of the thrilling ride that this series promises.
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