Monday, July 31, 2023

Comedy Science Fiction Animated Web Series Episode Review: Futurama - The Impossible Stream

Futurama has returned from the dead yet again with the broadcast of the first episode of the eleventh broadcast season, or the eighth production season. Yes, the season numbering is weird, but blame the Cartoon Network executives for that because that channel's two seasons of Futurama were broken up into four parts.

I'll admit that I'm a huge Futurama fan. I briefly changed my screen name from Lopantu to Bender followed by Flexo, both in 2000, before settling with MetaFox the next year when I got my first arcade cabinet with a Seta game of the same name. I'm not the rose-tinted glasses type though, so I was cautiously optimistic about this episode but prepared for a possible letdown since the series has been off the air for 10 years. That's a long break, so I wasn't sure if the showrunners would be able to get back in the groove right off the bat. 

I didn't have to worry, as it managed to hit the mark with its usual dose of satire relating to today's world, as well as jabs at itself and the executives who cancelled it. The episode starts off right where the series ended in 2013 with "Meanwhile". The Planet Express crew learn that the time-stopping shenanigans of that episode messed with time itself, pulling the world ten years forward into 3023. Fry is distraught that he has been in the future for twenty-three years but has nothing to show for it. He decides to watch every television show ever made. This leads to some funny names of shows that are parodies of popular television and streaming shows, callbacks to previous shows-within a show such as their Twilight Zone parody The Scary Door, the Emeril Lagasse parody Elsar, and a surprisingly funny jab at Netflix's anti-trans comedy specials from Ricky Gervais and Dave Chapelle.

The episode truly kicks off when Fry decides to binge all of the episodes of All My Circuits, Futurama's parody of soap operas which is more like a telenovela parody today as those are the only variation of shows of that type that remain popular. The professor puts Fry into a binging suit, while the rest of the staff gets All My Circuits renewed so that Fry can keep watching episodes before he runs out of them.

I'm not going to say more, as it's definitely worth watching. So far Futurama has all of the humor and wit of its predecessor, reminding me a lot of the humor of the Comedy Central run of the show after the release of four films which ran for four years from 2009 to 2013. The voice actors step into their roles perfectly as well. This aspect of the show especially feels like it never went off the air in the first place. Time will tell if the series retains the heart of the show as well, but as Bender says about Futurama is definitely true. It's back, baby!

Final Verdict:
4 out of 5

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