What Not to Expect from the New Futurama

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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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