TV Show Review: Futurama (Comedy Central And Fox)

You are presented with a problem: you are about to go swimming, but the catch is that the location is the bottom of the ocean.  The human body will be crushed by the immense pressure.  Luckily, it is the year 3000 and Professor Farnsworth presents you a Pressure Pill.  Its size is immense, seemingly too big for anyone to swallow, but the Professor is able to reassure you: “Good news!  It’s a suppository.”  Oh the technological breakthroughs and mentally instable individuals of various species you might find in the future, specifically in Futurama.

Futurama, from the creators of The Simpsons, is a cartoon that uses similar humoristic styles to those found The Simpsons.  Originally on Fox, the show gained popularity in syndication on several networks including TBS, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central.  In 2010 it is returning with new episodes of Futurama on Comedy Central.

Futurama is based around a young 20th Century delivery boy named Fry.  After accidentally cryogenically freezing himself for a millennium, he woke up in New New York on the last day of the year 2999.  A person of relatively low intelligence, his lack of brainpower may be explained by one temporal incident that caused him to become his own grandfather.  His hobbies include sitting on the couch and watching television and he makes a living as an employee of Professor Farnsworth’s.

Professor Farnsworth is a distant nephew of Fry.  At the age of 161, the Professor exhibits many of the traits stereotypically attributed to older individuals such as forgetfulness, senility, forgetfulness, anger, and even forgetfulness.  A mad scientist, the Professor is in possession of several doomsday devises as well as a series of personal inventions like the Smell-o-Scope.  He just so happens to own an intergalactic parcel service called Planet Express, allowing Fry to work as a delivery boy in the both the 21st and 31st Centuries.  His method of delivery, the intergalactic Planet Express Ship, is captained by Leela.

Leela is a one-eyed mutant and the captain of Planet Express Ship.  Unlike other mutants, she her looks almost completely resemble those of a human, so unlike other mutants, she does not have to live in the sewers.  Leela is the love interest of the persistent Fry.  Strong and with elite leadership skills, she tends to be responsible for saving the characters from their various dilemmas, but often faces criticism from the other female member of Planet Express – Amy.

Amy specializes in congratulating herself on her own cuteness.  She was born into money and is terribly spoiled because of it.  Youthful, she is a student as Mars University and is quite fond of 31st Century slang, exhibiting many traits of a shallow spoiled youth.  She has had a one-time love affair with Fry, but it didn’t last.  So what is she doing at Planet Express?  The Professor keeps her around because they share the same blood type.

Hermes is a penny-pinching bureaucrat at Planet Express, constantly looking for ways to save more money and increase efficiency.  Having previously participated in the Olympics for Limbo, Hermes will occasionally use his ability to fit under tight squeezes go get the group out of trouble.

Dr. Zoidberg is the physician for Planet Express.  He is a member of the Decapodian alien species that somewhat resembles the lobster and he struggles with loneliness.  Despite being a medical doctor, Zoidberg has difficulty differentiating between the human body and a robot.  He does not have much money and is willing to happily just about eat anything.  When he is noticed by others, it is often not in a favorable light, as evidence by the time when Professor Farnsworth believed he was about to die and cried out, “With my last breath, I curse Zoidberg!”

Fry’s best friend on the show, however, is not even a person: Bender, the bending robot.  Bender functions on alcohol, is a kleptomaniac, is highly lazy, and maintains a mantra of “kill all humans (except Fry).”  He has aspirations of becoming a chef despite his lack of a sense of taste, and a dream of becoming a Harlem Globetrotter, but the team rejected him firmly.  He was, however, once able to successfully serve as a temporary beer brewery.  Arrogant and rebellious, Bender has once been on a campaign against all technology even though he himself is a robot.

Futurama also often features cameos by such names as Al Gore, Lucy Liu, and Leonard Nimoy.  Recurring characters in the series include Captain Zapp Brannigan, a parody of Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series; Kif, Brannigan’s perpetually disappointed assistant; and the Head of Richard Nixon, former U.S. President and 31st Century President of Earth.  The array of characters found in Futurama makes it such that just about anyone can find something funny and entertaining about the show.