Space Ramblings

Futurama’s Back… and No One Cares

Futurama’s 7th Season has arrived and no one has noticed. Except die hard fans maybe. For a show that people once cared about, Futurama can hardly get anyone to pay attention to it. To understand why, all you have to do is watch the first few episodes of Season 7.

They’re not uniformly bad, but two of them, The Bots and the Bees and Decision 3012 are genuinely awful and the third, Farewell to futurama sucksArms has some funny moments, but it’s a rehash of older Futurama episodes.

When Futurama was first cancelled, I felt more upset than I should have been. The show was already past its sell by date and FOX wasn’t wrong to cancel it. It was on the way to becoming the Simpsons with one note characters, outdated topical jokes and producer sneering. Now it actually is the Simpsons.

Watching an episode of Futurama is like hearing an old comedian do the same old gags. Take my wife, please. That’s Futurama now. Fry will say or do something stupid. Bender will steal something and laugh. Leela will sigh. The Professor will snort. Zoydberg will root through the trash. Nixon’s head will snort. Zap Brannigan will do something incompetent and Kip will sigh. This is Futurama condensed and this is all you get.

Futurama may only be beginning its 7th season, but it’s old. It began before the millennium in 1999. That makes it 13 years old. And the age shows. Its producers still think Nixon jokes are hilarious because they’re old. The writers and producers churning out Season 7 have done better episodes in the past, but the material is too old and they can’t think of anything to do with it. Their only resort is to do a grandiose SciFi concept, which occasionally works or default to sitcom mode.

The Bots and the Bees is a retarded concept, but it’s also a sitcom concept. It’s a sitcom concept that the Simpsons made fun of with a Robocop as single dad parody. A Farewell to Arms has its moments, but it’s a rehash of old material. Decision 3012 is Obama fanfic and it’s one of the rare times that I felt embarrassed for whoever wrote it.

Futurama needs new writers. It needs new energy. But mostly it needs to go.

Some shows get cancelled before their time, but Futurama got cancelled after episodes about robot farting causing global warming and Kip getting pregnant. Not to mention an episode about flag burning. There were still plenty of good episodes in Season 4 but the writing was on the wall.

Nine years later Futurama is moving into unwatchable Simpsons territory and unlike the Simpsons it never had a built in audience who would watch it no matter what.

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