Matt Groening
Animation, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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Futurama - Review

This Review was written following only one rule - binge-watching the tv-show for around 10 hours with a lot of popcorn and then wirting down the thoughts - so you can trust this review is honest and truthful.

Futurama: A Blast from the Future

As the name indicates, the series Futurama is completely about a jaunt into a future society. The protagonist, Phillip J. Fry, is a delivery boy who accidentally finds himself rocketed to the future when he accidentally topples into a cryo pod. In the year 3000, Fry is awakened, and the future society that he arrives in is peopled with alien species, mutants, robots, and regular people just trying to get by.

At its core, Futurama is a comedy, and unlike many of the other animated comedies of the generation, Futurama finds its feet when its characters are falling into situations that many might consider slapstick. Despite the comic roots, every episode features life lessons that are as true in the 31st century as they are in modern times. Fry, who is a delivery boy in modern times, finds that he transitions into the same job in the future – this time, as a delivery boy for the future delivery company, Planet Express.

Much of the plot of the series is centered around Fry's burgeoning romantic relationship with Turanga Leela, who is the Cyclops captain of the show's delivery ship, the Planet Express. At the start of the series, Leela isn't quite sure who her parents are – she was abandoned as a baby and grew up in the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium. Many of the early episodes are dedicated to finding out more about Leela's origins, and when she does find out about her past, it ends up being much stranger than even she expects.

While the Fry/Leela dynamic is a significant part of the series, Futurama is another show that's known for its zany supporting characters. The central cast is all made up of Planet Express delivery people, but in addition to these, there are regularly-featured villains, rivals, and external love interests.

When it comes to storylines, the show loves to play with science fiction tropes. For example, time travel is a plot point in many episodes, and much of the series is about the main characters exploring far-off worlds where they make deliveries. In many of the plots, some of these tropes are flipped on their head, so you end up with some very enjoyable situations. For example, in the world of Futurama, humanity is flourishing despite the fact that it has been the victim of several defeats over the millennium by the large alien species from Omicron Persei 8.

Design-wise, the aesthetic of Futurama clearly draws a lot of influence from the science fiction epics of the 1950s; in fact, one of the series' protagonists, Bender, has a design that's not unlike many of the robots from that era of film. Also, there are a lot of saucers, ray guns, and Jetsons-like antennas throughout the series, which solidifies that the show takes place firmly in the future.

Over the years, Futurama has earned a slew of awards, and since it was created by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, it has a lot of the same type of humor. If you're in the mood for a series that doesn't take itself or its setting too seriously, then this is a great option to try out.

Cast of Characters

Futurama is known for its bright and sometimes ditzy characters – some are brave but dumb, smart yet cowardly, and just about all have a screw loose or two. Here are a few that are the most important:

  • Billy West as Phillip J. Fry: The figurative, "fish out of water" of the series, Phillip, or Fry as he's often called, is somewhat dimwitted. That being said, the character is known for bouts of insight, and he's almost unendingly brave. He falls in love with the captain of the ship, Turanga Leela, at a very early point in the series, and he spends much of his time wooing her.
  • Katey Sagal as Turanga Leela: Leela is a confident spaceship captain that has a single, central eye in the center of her head. At first, she's dismissive of Fry, but as the series progresses, she eventually starts to reciprocate his feelings.
  • John Dimaggio as Bender Bending Rodriguez: Bender serves as Fry's best friend throughout the series, and despite his almost human-sounding name, Bender is actually an automaton that was designed to bend girders. At the start of the series, Fry interrupts Bender's attempt at using a "suicide booth," and after that mild annoyance, a close friendship is struck between the two. Bender is always smoking a cigar, and he often seems to not care about the lives of those around him.
  • Billy West as Hubert J. Farnsworth: Doctor Farnsworth is actually a descendant of Fry's brother's side of the family, and the professor gives Fry a job to help him out. He's the veritable mad scientist of the show, and he owns the Planet Express delivery company. His catchphrase is, "Good news, everyone!"
  • Billy West as Doctor John A. Zoidberg: Another non-human character with a very human-sounding name, Doctor Zoidberg is actually a sentient alien crustacean. Despite being a decapodian physician, Zoidberg is often very silly and absentminded.
  • Lauren Tom as Amy Wong: As the heiress to almost half of the planet Mars, Amy is the rich girl of the series. She's known for her flirtatious nature and is also a student who is undergoing an internship at the delivery company.

Futurama was developed as a means of creating an entirely different kind of television series by Simpsons creator, Matt Groening. Over the years, the show has been victim to a few cancellations – most notably on the Simpsons' parent company, Fox, and it was later canceled by Comedy Central after the channel picked it up for several seasons. Despite this, the show has an ardent following and has earned a bevy of awards over the years for storytelling.

Futurama is a great show for any fan of the comedy or science fiction genres, and while shows like Rick and Morty exist in technically the same space, Futurama tends to be the more family-friendly of the two. This isn't to say that Futurama doesn't have more adult-oriented subplots, but its humor tends to be a bit more slapstick-laden than harsh and profane.

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* This is a sponsored link / the reviewed TV-Show might not be available with Amazon Prime Video Service / after the 30 days test period Amazon Prime might cause additional costs. The official website of this show can be found here: Futurama
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