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Series / Real Humans

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Also known as Äkta Människor (original title), Real Humans is a Swedish Science Fiction drama series that first aired on SVT in 2012 and has been sold to more than 40 countries. The shows deals with a parallel present where humanoid robots ("hubots") have gained a significant place in society. Humans use them as domestic help, workers, or even as sex toys.

But their condition also causes debates between humans. Some think they should be treated like humans, have rights and be respected; others, like the "Äkta Människor" (aka "the Real Humans", a political party where the title comes from) think they are a nuisance and should be exterminated. And then there are the "Children of David", a bunch of wild and free yet dangerous, rebellious hubots with obscure goals.

In 2015, the series got a British remake called Humans.


Season 1:

  • Cyborg: Leo, who was born human and then partially rebuild as a hubot. He still looks human though.
  • Deceptively Human Robots: Bea manages to pose as a human. In Season 2, Betty manages to pose as a hubot.
  • Eating Machine: Averted. When posing as a human, Bea turns down food. She swallows food at one occasion, trapping it in a condom.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Flash against the priest and her wife.note  Her homophobia has a strong undertone of Boomerang Bigot: Flash desires to have a real relationship, and dismisses the human lesbian couple for not being able to have children together - something that she herself will never be able to have in any relationship, heterosexual or otherwise.
  • Hypocrite: Theresa and Pilar. Both claim their relationships with hubots are something that should be respected and viewed in the same light as a human pairing. However the dynamic between the couples is very one-sided.
    • Both illegally modify them to suit their own needs, not to help them be more independent.
    • What happens when they decide to head out for a ladies-only night out and Rick protests? They casually switch off Bo and Rick so they don't have to argue.
    • Later when matters become worse between her and Rick, Theresa and Pilar casually discuss selling him off like he's a stolen car, not her supposed lover.
  • I Want My Jetpack: Non-hubot technology, such as cars, kitchen devices and mobile phones, seems rather old-fashioned. When characters travel by subway, they use 1950s cars, though most cars in Stockholm are futuristic-looking 2000s models. The series' writers have cited The Singularity in computer and mobile phone technology as inspiration for the rapid development of hubots.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Roger and many other people lost jobs to them, and it's used as a stock argument by the Real Humans party.
  • Just a Machine: Regular hubots, as humans see them.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Several human/hubot relationships.
  • The Mole: Bea. A police officer who joins an anti-hubot terrorist group... and turns out to be a hubot.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: A nightclub bouncer rejects Therese, Pilar and their hubot boyfriends. They sue the nightclub, which hires a lawyer, who requires a full examination of the hubots; which would reveal that they are illegally wired.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Some rogue hubots, and hotwired hubots, display human flaws.
  • Robosexual: Everywhere between the humans and hubots. Oh, and one cyborg.
    • Between Leo Eischer actually being born a human but after he died was recreated as a cyborg and the hubot Mimi.
    • Tobbe towards the reprogrammed Mimi (now called Anita). Later he realises he is only attracted to hubots, making him probably the most literal example of this trope on the show.
    • Likely between Leo's father and Bea the hubot recreation of his dead wife.
    • Roger towards Bea, though he is unaware that she's a hubot.
    • Roger's wife Therese, who leaves him for her hubot personal trainer Rick.
    • Therese's friend Pilar towards her hubot Bo.
    • Hubot Flash is probably hoping to find a robosexual guy, to fulfill her fantasy of having a normal life with a human husband.
    • And the existence of hubot brothels/strip-clubs such as Hubot Heaven.
  • Robo Speak: Played straight with regular hubots, especially with low-cost models. Averted by rogue hubots.
  • Robot Names: Most hubots have English-sounding names, in contrast to most human characters, who have typical Scandinavian names. Emphasized by Roger's boss when she decides to name all her hubots after characters from Shakespeare.
  • Robot Maid: A huge number of hubots serve this function in the average home. The android Anita/Mimi acts as this to Inger's family.
  • Superpowered Robot Meter Maids: Advanced hubots, such as Vera.
  • Sequel Hook: The memory stick with David's code.
  • Thank the Maker: The rogue hubots to David.
  • There Should Be a Law: A nightclub bouncer refuses Therese and Pilar for having hubot boyfriends. They try to sue the nightclub for discrimination.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Zig-zagged; hubots have an "Asimov block", which can be hacked.
  • Token Minority: Only really seen in the hubots where Fred is black and Anita/Mimi is Asian in appearance, and Jorge, who is implied to be Hispanic, but played by Kurdish comedian Özz Nûjen.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Cited as a parallel world; most technology is contemporary, except hubots.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The origin of Leo.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This pretty much sums up the underlying premise of the entire series, and is illustrated by human characters befriending hubots and acting upset if they are "hurt" or dismantled, and by hubots who exhibit human traits such as compassion, love, and revenge.

Season 2:

  • Robot Kid: Available for adoption in Episode 6 though averted, as Douglas and Flash adopt a human kid instead.
  • Scannable Man: Hubots' serial numbers are printed on their gums.
  • Slow Clap: Kevin's speech in episode 6.
  • Token Minority: Douglas, the only non-white human main character. Mimi is the hubot equivalent.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Betty does this successfully, to pose as a hubot.


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