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China Doll Not A Sci-Fi Show, Says HBO Despite The Frackin Robot!

The cable channel behind True Blood and Game Of Thrones suddenly seems all coy about telefantasy

This week’s Margaret Atwood award would have gone to Margaret Atwood for her bizarre argument that HG Wells is sci-fi while Jules Verne is “speculative fiction” (God, can a phrase be any more tautological?) except that HBO have managed to trump her. Mightily.

Because, according to Deadline (via Blastr ), the US cable channel’s new drama, China Doll , about, “a successful California construction subcontractor, his Asian American wife who is a university professor, and a robot as they straddle both sides of the Pacific with extended families on two continents” is not a sci-fi show.

Hang on. Rewind. “And a robot.”

Okay. Well, maybe it’s one of those “robots” the piece together cars on production lines in factories. Maybe the guy has one in the garage. Yeah, that makes sense. That wouldn’t be science fiction.

But hang on – the Deadline article definitely says, “a mixed-race family and their humanoid robot.”

Okay. Maybe it’s one of those toy robots that…

Oh, who are we kidding? It’ll be a robot. A goddamned sci-fi, sentient, “what are these things called emotions?” robot. And it’ll be sci fi. Sure, it might have lofty ideals about being about, “China, Chinese Americans, robots, the effect of technology on our lives and the China moment in American consciousness,” as series co-creator Mark V Olsen ( Big Love ) put it. But being intelligent, relevant and allegorical and being sci-fi aren’t mutually exclusive.

Could be a good show, though. Sounds interesting…