What Not to Expect from the New Futurama

By Tim Surette

Jun 24, 2010

Good news, everyone! Futurama begins its second life tonight on Comedy Central! But will it be as good as the genius classic episodes or as good as the disappointing made-for-DVD-movies? I've seen the first two episodes and noticed five things that Futurama fans should take note of:

Don't expect the voices to sound EXACTLY like they used to...
Perhaps it's just some rusty pipes, or perhaps the voice actors need to reacquaint themselves with their characters, but some members of the Planet Express crew sound slightly different. This is most noticeable with the characters voiced by Billy West, particularly Fry. His voice is about half an octave lower and missing that nasally ignorance we all love. Does it take away from the experience? Not really, but it was noticeable enough for these ears. Am I being nitpicky? Why, yes... yes I am.

Don't expect the Planet Express crew to keep their clothes on...
We first saw the show's affinity for rampant nudity in the made-for-TV movies, but it's all over the place in the first two episodes. Is this a result of the show's move to basic cable via Comedy Central, where it can take advantage of looser censorship rules? Seems like it. Or are we overanalyzing "nudity" in cartoons? Seems like it. Or are we feeling conflicted and confused by seeing the shapely curves of Amy and Leela? Seems like it. But this isn't just about cartoon underboob. It's about Futurama having more lax restrictions and taking advantage. First it's nudity, next it's Bender saying "Bite my shiny metal ass and while you're at it lick the S*** from my robo-butthole." Call it Futurama After Dark.

Don't expect it to be as good as classic Futurama...
Futurama has always been vastly underrated, and the original run on Fox is arguably one of the best adult-targeted cartoons ever. With the bar set so high, it's understandable that the Comedy Central version isn't as good as the show in its glory days. But do expect it to be better than the made-for-DVD movies. And in that sense, it shouldn't disappoint longtime fans of the program.

Don't expect this Fry-and-Leela romance stuff to stop...
When we last saw Futurama, Fry and Leela were K-I-S-S-I-N-G while their ship plummeted through a wormhole. I don't think it would be a spoiler to say that everyone lives, and as things continue, so does Fry and Leela's romance. Is this what we want, though? Don't we want this tension between the two to help carry the action? Wouldn't it even be better if Fry was into it and Leela spurned his advances? Futurama should use the Bones formula!

Don't expect it to be as creative as the original...
Yes, it's for sure way too early to tell, but from what I've seen there's a certain lack of creativity in the first two episodes that made the original program great. The second episode in particular lacks the charming premises of the first run, as evidenced with a disappointing Adam & Eve send-up. I'm giving the show the benefit of the doubt, though, as the universe of Futurama is still well-mined for jokes in the new series.

[UPDATE] Just a note after reading the initial comments. I thought the first two Comedy Central episodes were great! I'm not trying to harsh on the new episodes, they're well worth watching and actually exceeded my expectations. I'm just noting what I thought was different after its long break from television. Back to the story.

Futurama airs tonight (June 24) at 10pm on Comedy CentrALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • junterz Sep 07, 2013

    Wow. Tim hit the nail on the head. Classic Futurama is still far superior to the Comedy Central redux.

  • JaysonLeMoine Aug 31, 2012

    @ JamesLynch4

    Jesus the interent is filled with some crazy mad mother fuckers. You're taking that shit reeeal personal. Just relax and it'll all be ok.

  • baryaqueen Jun 13, 2011

    The episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" lacks some funny scenes but it was one of the top rated episodes aired. It used good scientific stuff for the storyline.

  • JamesLynch4 Aug 13, 2010

    I am a big fan of Futurama.As we\'re all, probably, but it\'s just **** SAD for me to see the degradation of humor in Futurama from math, physics and programming jokes to stupid penis jokes.Only if they we\'re funny, but no, they\'re not.And what\'s up with all the nudity in every **** episode?!Those stupid new screenwriters of Futurama just gone crazy because of Comedy Central\'s loose of censorship.The script it self is just some random absurd mess.Giant death star V-Giny??Oh, how **** clever.VAGINA IS FUNNY.Yeah.Singing boil on Leela\'s ass???Just think for one god-damn moment HOW REDICULOS IT SOUNDS!Thank you Matt Groening, i hope you and your fat ass are now finaly happy, with all the money you making now, from that lame-ass cartoon.

  • dan42889 Jul 09, 2010

    Actually I thought episodes 2 and 3 were truly fantastic. The first episode was a bit lame, but I understood what they were going for.. just reuniting the team. Episode 4 was just "meh". So far though, I still love the show and am deliriously happy that it has returned!

  • Tunguska Jul 04, 2010

    @JohnnyDrama8 Totally with you on both counts there. Haven't seen the new
    Futurama yet but I had the same opinion when Family Guy came back on.

  • Lord_Prosper Jul 03, 2010

    If you thought the first two episodes were great, why was your article nothing but pessimistic views?

  • ck02623 Jul 03, 2010

    What a jerk to write this article putting down the new Futurama before even watching it. Incredibly pretentious.

  • awedfrgt Jul 01, 2010

    Hm, funny how they say Fry and Leela shouldn't be together when that would make it the greatest show ever (more so than it is now, already the greatest show ever). I've never seen a show with such great character development. Not developing the relationship would be so disappointing to most fans. I don't want to see another 26 episodes of Leela and Fry still not being in a relationship. That wouldn't even make sense. It's become clear that she loves him, so you build on that instead of tearing half of it down.

  • snake3rules Jun 30, 2010

    sure jon, feel free to humor me with specifics, as i see nothing wrong upon reading a second time

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