Better than Us
|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||November 23, 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 August 16, 2019, the first season was available to stream on Netflix markets outside of Russia and China.
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 the 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 (Vita Kornienko) and automatically bonds with her and makes herself the child's guardian.
The series follows three storylines: that of Arisa (Paulina Andreeva) and the family whom she adopts; the family's son Egor Safranov (Eldar Kalimulin) and his girlfriend Zhanna (Vera Panfilova) as part of the anti-droid militant group called the "Liquidators"; and the secrets of Viktor Toropov (Aleksandr Ustyugov), the head of CRONOS, as he tries to hide the fact that they cannot make another Arisa.
Cast and characters
- Paulina Andreeva as Arisa, empathetic bot of the new generation
- 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's and Alla's son
- Vita Kornienko as Sonya Safronova, Georgy's and Alla's daughter
- Aleksandr Kuznetsov as Bars (Barsenev), bartender at Club Liquidators and Zhanna's brother
- Vera Panfilova as Zhanna Barseneva, waitress at Club Liquidators 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 cyber-crime
- Kirill Polukhin as Pavel Borisovich Varlamov, an investigator in the cyber-crime department, a former employee of the homicide department
- Viktoriya Korlyakova as Irina Plescheeva, a subordinate to Varlamov in the cyber-crime department
- Mariya Lugovaya as Larisa 'Lara' Kuras, a hacker helping the Liquidators
- Valentina Muravskaya as Boutique saleswomen
The filming of the television series began in the summer of 2016 and ended in the fall of 2018.
- "Лучше, чем люди". kino-teatr.ru (in Russian). Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- "СОЗДАТЕЛИ «КУХНИ» И «ЛОНДОНГРАДА» СНИМАЮТ СЕРИАЛ О РОБОТАХ" [The creators of "Kitchen" and "Londongrad" make a series about robots] (in Russian). kinometro.ru. August 24, 2016.
- "Сериалы 2018-го: Трудно быть Ботом..." (in Russian). kinopoisk.ru. 2018-01-12. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- Kozlov, Vladimir (January 11, 2019). "'Better Than People' to Become First Russian Series Under Netflix Originals Banner". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Netflix series – Better than Us". netflix.com. 2019.
- "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. August 31, 2019.
- "Старт съёмок нового масштабного проекта". YBW Group (in Russian). Retrieved August 31, 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). August 24, 2016.