Eye For Film >> Movies >> Futurama - Season 1 (1999) Film Review
Although it was instantly accepted by fans and TV addicts, being another primetime animation with a similar style as The Simpsons, Futurama suffered the same fate pretty quickly.
The Simpsons took about eight years to become crap, whereas Futurama began to really suck after only a few episodes. The former takes place in the present day and we can identify with many different characters, while the latter exists in the year 3000, where its writers have indulged their creative license and exploited imagination to the nth degree.
Creativity should come in small doses. Massive overexposure to the minds of a top heavy writing team that doesn't know when to quit has harmed it a great deal. The show is a mess of lost potential and idiocy.
The Simpsons used to have individual plots and very slowly built up their characters. Futurama has practically no REAL characterisation at all. Fry is the new Homeresque moron, who is thrown into varying situations, in order to make ridicule and cause havoc - hardly sophisticated plotting. Leela's only function is to say, "What the hell are you doing, Fry?" Bender is basically the robot version of Krusty the Klown - same vices, same habits. Professor Farnsworth is a carbon copy of Professor Frink. And Dr. Zoidberg is basically another Chief Wiggum.
Any genuine plot, or character development, is sacrificed for cheap and easy pop culture references, much like the Homer Becomes episodes, which represent basically 98% of The Simpsons' output these days. But let's not forget, Bart and Co has a good seven seasons of quality over Futurama.
It comes as no surprise that this show has been cancelled. Fans would argue that Fox never gave it a chance, with senseless Sunday night timeslots and constantly cancelled airings in favour of football. The real reason is simpler; it was a bad show, plain and simple. If they had extended each episode to an hour, with more room for a storyline, instead of using the characters for one-off, low grade gags, it would have been far better. But that proved too difficult and Futurama is the perfect example of easy, simple-minded humour.
Fox should have learned that what made The Simpsons bad shouldn't be transplanted into Futurama. So far, Matt Groening appears to be a one-hit wonder. If he could learn that constant pop culture jokes do make a decent show, he might be able to pull off something new and original. Futurama is crud in disguise.
A three star rating is simply for the potential the show had and for the money's worth of this entire first season set. The first two episodes and, maybe, a couple of others are okay, but the rest, especially A Flight To Remember, makes you wonder how on earth it was given the greenlight. Even the music sucks. Where's Danny Elfman when you need him?Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2003