Review: Netflix's 'Better Than Us' Season 1 Premiere Offers Hypnotic Robot Drama

Better Than Us Luchshe chem lyudi Arisa Paulina Andreeva Georgy Safronov Kirill Kyaro
“Better Than Us” gets off to one of the best starts of the year as a well-paced series premiere introduces Netflix viewers to a world of sci-fi and family drama. Set in a very futuristic Moscow circa 2029, “Better Than Us” centers on Georgy Safronov (Kirill Kyaro), a divorced coroner, and robot, Arisa (Paulina Andreeva).

Georgy has two kids with his ex-wife. A teenage son and an elementary-aged daughter. Meanwhile, Arisa (Paulina Andreeva), a realistic robot is coming to life in a high-rise. After trouble finds her, Arisa goes on the run where her paths cross with someone close to Georgy. As you can tell from that insight alone, “Better Than Us” (“Luchshe, chem lyudi”) gets off to a mightily intriguing start.


The Season 1 premiere hints that Georgy and Arisa's lives are about to collide in exciting ways. Is she the answer to solving his broken family?

Can Arisa be the robot Mary Poppins that they need to bring them back together? Will they be able to help her out of the mess she is in before she goes the way of the silver screen's famous ill-fated robots?

This viewer is riveted to learn the answer! Why? Because even though Georgy's ex-wife is terrible and their son is rebellious, Georgy and his delightful daughter, Sonya, prove too likable not to want to see them be happy.

They deserve some shot at it, and it could be coming their way. Plus, redemption for the hostile parties is possible to imagine after some hard work on their end.

Science fiction series can be a gamble. “Better Than Us” is why you take the risk to watch. Like “Black Spot” does with the supernatural, “Better Than Us” handles its sci-fi with matching confidence. All the while, the series is accompanied with some stellar special effects.


Bringing Arisa to life is Paulina Andreeva. An actress who has mightily impressed in her previous work, which includes the addictive miniseries "Locust." In “Better Than Us,” Andreeva wows again as the empathetic robot protagonist at the co-fore of the story.

Paulina Andreeva’s movements and expressions as Arisa are not exaggeratedly robotic. Nor are they too human. It is a tough balance to stride, and yet she makes the illusion that viewers are watching a cyborg incredibly believable.

As the dad struggling with a selfish ex-wife, a rebellious son, and a kind-hearted daughter, Kirill Karo (“The Sniffer”) proves likable as Georgy. The “Better Than Us” premiere does not give viewers a sense of Karo and Andreeva's on-screen rapport. You can bet it builds the hype for them to meet up, though.

Between the terrific “Ex Machina,” “Robot and Frank,” “The Terminator” franchise, “The Iron Giant,” or even “Her,” among others, you would think all facets of humans/AI interaction have been exhausted. This Netflix series proves that you should not understatement the concept's staying power or why viewers continue to be fascinated by it.


“Better Than Us” is primed to probe into the complications that ensue, episodically. That should provide the audience with ample time to delve into all of the various intricacies of its complex story. If the series keeps up the riveting pace and high-quality storytelling of its premiere, it could be one of the year's best.

Rating: 8.8/10

“Better Than Us” (“Luchshe, chem lyudi”) Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.

[Featured Image by CR1]

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