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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Futurama Rebirth!

Following in the footsteps of the mighty animated television program Family Guy, the comeback kid that proved that fans can indeed resurrect their beloved shows, FUTURAMA is back on the air. Matt Groening's bastard stepchild of a show never came close to the success of The Simpsons, but it was a show that I enjoyed for all the science fiction tropes they spoofed, and after catching a lot of reruns on Cartoon Network, well I was eager to see this series come back to the future.

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
New Episodes on Comedy Central
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I was able to obtain a sneak preview of the first two episodes to review for you 'Clubbers out there. There's good news, and bad news. The good is it's all the same voice actors, the show looks and feels exactly the same, and all the ridiculous sci-fi cliches are there. The bad is that the humor isn't.

Well, I did laugh out loud a few times, but at the random lines. The 'jokes' just felt really forced and almost dumbed down considering the quality of punchline we usually get in The Simpsons or classic Futurama episodes. I can only assume it's because they're getting back into the swing of things after a seven year hiatus (not counting the four straight to DVD movies, which I can only assume were released to test the market's waters).

That said, I was entertained throughout. The first episode had some fun moments as a few in-jokes of their "rebirth" are tossed about, and we watch the entire cast reborn through SCIENCE! (you'll see what I mean) From there it jumps right into robot dopplegangers, the science of death, and the limits of love. (for real!) The second episode was a bit more groan worthy, but maybe that's because I don't love Zap Brannigan. It really did have its moments though.

Here's the first 90 seconds of the first new episode:

Preview - Interstellar Fugitives
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Phew, that was not unlike traveling through time & space! So, another animated classic was revived after Cartoon Network re-aired the episodes. I think this sets a great precedent, that fans, or their money anyways, can make a difference in what stays on the air (after years and years of fanboys & girls trying desperately to save doomed shows, from
Millennium to Moonlight).

And really, it's good to have new episodes to look forward to with this gang. Fry has really grown on me, much like a fungus, and the humor will hopefully improve as they get a few more episodes in and get comfortable again...if Comedy Central doesn't kill it again before that.

If you've never seen Futurama before or you just want to catch up on what you missed during the five season the show ran, well Comedy Central has provided this hand Recap-O-Rama video for you.

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
Recap-O-Rama: 5 Seasons in 7 Minutes
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I kept this review spoiler free, but after you watch the episode, feel free to leave comments below on what YOU think the future holds for Futurama.

You can get a ton of more behind the scenes material over at Comedy Central Insider's
Countdown to Futurama blog posts.

Special extras:
Live action Futurama film? Futurama mini-figures from Kid Robot. Lego Planet Express.

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