Better than Us
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|Better Than Us|
|Country of origin||Russia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Distributor||Yellow, Black and White|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||23 November 2018|
Better than Us (Russian: Лучше, чем люди, romanized: Luchshe, chem lyudi, literally Better than Humans) is a Russian science fiction television series created by Andrey Junkovsky. It was produced by Yellow, Black and White in cooperation with Sputnik Vostok Production for the Russian state channel C1R. Netflix purchased it under the English title Better than Us, and it is the first Russian series presented as a Netflix Original. On 16 August 2019, the first season became available to stream on Netflix markets outside of Russia and China.
A second season of 10 episodes is planned to begin filming in Moscow and Beijing in 2021.
The story takes place in 2029, where androids serve humans in various positions, even replacing them in many menial jobs. China's one-child policy has led to a critical shortage of marriageable women, so an engineer designs an advanced robot named Arisa. She is programmed to be a wife to a man and mother to adopted children, and she does not abide by Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. She is designed to protect her family, which includes herself. However, her creator dies and Arisa is sold to the Russian robotics firm CRONOS. Arisa accidentally kills a man at CRONOS who tried to use her as a sex robot, and she then flees. She encounters little Sonia and automatically bonds with her and makes herself the child's guardian.
The series follows three storylines: that of Arisa and the family she adopts; the family's son Egor Safranov and his girlfriend Zhanna as part of the anti-droid militant group called the "Liquidators"; and the secrets of Viktor Toropov, the head of CRONOS, as he tries to hide the fact that they cannot make another Arisa.
Cast and characters
- Paulina Andreeva as Arisa, prototype of a new generation of empathetic bots
- Kirill Käro as Georgy Safronov, pathologist, former surgeon, father to Egor and Sonya
- Aleksandr Ustyugov as Viktor Toropov, CRONOS director
- Olga Lomonosova as Alla Safronova, Georgy's ex-wife
- Eldar Kalimulin as Egor Safronov, Georgy and Alla's son
- Vita Kornienko as Sonya Safronova, Georgy and Alla's daughter
- Aleksandr Kuznetsov as Bars (Barsenev), bartender at Club Liquidators and Zhanna's brother
- Vera Panfilova as Zhanna Barseneva, waitress at Bot Net and Bars' sister
- Fedor Lavrov as Gleb, a fixer on Toropov's payroll
- Sergey Sosnovsky as Alexey Stepanovich Losev, head of the State Duma Committee on Cyber Security and Svetlana's father
- Pavel Vorozhtsov as Igor Mikhailovich Maslovsky, CRONOS head tech
- Irina Tarannik as Svetlana Toropova, Viktor's wife
- Sergey Kolesnikov as Anatoly Vladimirovich Svetov, head of the police department on fighting cybercrime
- Kirill Polukhin as Pavel Borisovich Varlamov, an investigator in the cybercrime department, a former employee of the homicide department
- Viktoriya Korlyakova as Irina Plescheeva, a subordinate to Varlamov in the cybercrime department
- Mariya Lugovaya as Larisa 'Lara' Kuras, a hacker helping the Liquidators
- "Лучше, чем люди". kino-teatr.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on 9 February 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- "СОЗДАТЕЛИ "КУХНИ" И "ЛОНДОНГРАДА" СНИМАЮТ СЕРИАЛ О РОБОТАХ" [The creators of "Kitchen" and "Londongrad" make a series about robots] (in Russian). kinometro.ru. 24 August 2016.
- "Сериалы 2018-го: Трудно быть Ботом..." (in Russian). kinopoisk.ru. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- Kozlov, Vladimir (11 January 2019). "'Better Than People' to Become First Russian Series Under Netflix Originals Banner". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Netflix series – Better than Us". netflix.com. 2019.
- Frater, Patrick (17 November 2020). "Netflix Series 'Better Than Us' to Get China-Backed Indie-Produced Second Season (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- "Russia's 'Better Than Us' explores the near future of AI". nbcwashington.com. 2019.
- "Stream It or Skip It: 'Better Than Us' on Netflix, a Russian Family Drama with Sex Bots". decider.com. 31 August 2019.
- "Старт съёмок нового масштабного проекта". YBW Group (in Russian). Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- "Паулина Андреева играет робота в новом фантастическом телепроекте (ФОТО)" [Paulina Andreeva plays a robot in a new fantastic television project]. OK! Magazine Russia (in Russian). 24 August 2016.