“I’m back baby”: New season of Futurama starts off promising
Jul 25, 2023
Futurama has returned with a new season and six episodes are already on Hulu. Will it ruin the show’s previously perfect and emotional ending or is it worth diving back into the iconic science fiction comedy series?
Reboots are oftentimes controversial for fans of TV shows since some want the show to stay a fond memory while others want to revisit their favorite characters in a new era. The magic of a show can sometimes be ruined, however, if the reboot doesn’t live up to expectations or feels like it “jumped the shark.” Luckily, the new season of Futurama is quite harmless so far.
Futurama was canceled by Fox in 2003 and then ran on Comedy Central with longer episodes until 2013. Then Hulu mentioned the possibility of a possible Futurama reboot a while back and promised it would come with all of the original voice actors. There will be 20 episodes total, and six are currently available to stream.
The last season of Futurama left off in a way no fan could forget. Fry and Leela explored the world together after finally getting together. After growing old, they returned to their friends in the present time to enjoy it all over again, concluding with a romantic and hopeful feeling that’s been giving us goosebumps for years. That is what made it so concerning that another season would basically take back that touching ending and bring us back to all of the usual comedy antics of the Planet Express crew.
The Impossible Stream kicks off new Futurama season
The new season starts with an episode called “The Impossible Stream” that has Fry deciding his life goal is to stream every show on Fulu. This goal becomes a bit more complex when he must be put into a machine that allows him to “binge watch” All My Circuits’ thousands of episodes, something that is dangerous in the future apparently.
This episode had me sighing with relief. I felt the same punchy one-liners and comebacks were still there, the same humor still intact despite all of the new material the writers have gathered from the past few years. There are a lot of references to the old show and its beloved characters — it almost feels seamless. But a lot of people have complained about the amount of self-awareness in this episode.
While Futurama is no stranger to being self-aware in past seasons, this one was quite constant. Most of the jokes revolved around Futurama being canceled over and over, and it features a lot of commentary about binge-watching shows, TV show writers, and how to go about rebooting a show. It’s definitely, well, relevant.
Futurama Season 11 hits in the feels, misses elsewhere
As Season 11 continues, you’ll get to see a lot of scenarios fans often contemplated and speculated about when the show ended (again). This includes seeing Amy and Kiff’s children emerge from the swamp, Leela and Fry living together, and Mom exploiting robot workers at Momazon. There’s no denying that it’s nostalgia overload to see Nibbler, Kiff, Leela, and everyone else all over again.
While every episode will probably have you laughing, you will also notice that it feels a bit more on the nose than in previous seasons. Just as many (including myself) feared, the reboot was the writers’ chance to attack hot-button topics in an obvious way, making most of the humor topical jokes. NFTs, Amazon, crypto, AI, streaming services… It can feel a bit simple and even obvious at times.
That’s not the greatest feeling when Futurama was previously praised for being so witty and smart. It’s common knowledge amongst Futurama fans that the writing staff of Futurama held three Ph. D.s, seven master’s degrees, and cumulatively had more than 50 years at Harvard. It’s a smart bunch of writers and a very talented cast of voice actors that make the show in its own league.
While the first six episodes are probably not going to feel as addicting as Popplers and don’t have as much chaotic magic as previous seasons, there is no doubt that long-time fans of Futurama will enjoy seeing the original crew back and ready to (very unprofessionally) deliver packages.
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