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HomeTechThe New 'Futurama' Successfully Reboots the Show for 2023

The New ‘Futurama’ Successfully Reboots the Show for 2023


Excellent news, everybody! Futurama is again (once more).

The sci-fi cartoon’s eleventh season premieres immediately, returning on Hulu within the US (and Disney+ elsewhere) after a 10-year hiatus. Given the time that’s handed, it’s pure to wonder if the present might decide up the place it left off and be simply as related immediately because it was a decade in the past, however worry not. The brand new episodes efficiently reboot the present in 3023—it’s nonetheless 1,000 years sooner or later—with all of the verve it had when it acquired canceled (for the second time) in 2013.

Futurama acquired its begin nearly 1 / 4 of a century in the past, in 1999, rising from the shadow of The Simpsons. It started with 4 wonderful seasons, together with a number of award-winning episodes like “Roswell That Ends Properly” and “Godfellas.” Whereas the protagonists, Philip J. Fry (voiced by Billy West) and Leela (Katey Sagal), ship loads of hilarious traces, the foul-mouthed, beer-drinking robotic Bender (John DiMaggio) arguably turned the most well-liked character. For newbies, the premise of the present is that Fry was a pizza-delivery boy on New Yr’s Eve in 1999 when he was by accident cryogenically frozen for a millennium. The brand new season begins after time has been stopped for just a few years, and Professor Farnsworth (additionally voiced by West) one way or the other reboots the universe, inflicting everybody to seamlessly proceed the place they left off. “We’re again, child!” Bender exclaims as he lights a cigar.

The present has now been canceled and revived a number of occasions, and it repeatedly mocks itself for this within the new season—like when the characters persuade “Fulu” executives (who’re robots) to convey again a canceled robotic cleaning soap opera beloved by Fry. They assist him binge many seasons by ensconcing him in a Dune-style stillsuit that feeds him, recycles his waste, and features a helmet that drills into his cranium. Bender himself writes a few episodes of the cleaning soap, however they’re not excellent—apparently, even 1,000 years from now, AI nonetheless can’t write very effectively. It seems like basic Futurama—a nod to sci-fi of bygone eras however fully au courant.

And to assume it nearly didn’t occur. Final 12 months, as the brand new season was coming collectively, DiMaggio withdrew from the Futurama revival, holding out for extra pay for your complete solid. (TV and online game voice actors have lengthy argued that they’re underpaid.) Producers threatened to interchange his voice, spawning a backlash from followers beneath the hashtag #BenderGate. In the end, the matter was settled and he returned to the position.

Created by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, Futurama started earlier than Y2K, smartphones, social media, synthetic intelligence—and in addition earlier than animated house comedies like Rick and Morty and Star Trek: Decrease Decks, which each now have new seasons within the works. Futurama is much less darkish than Rick and Morty and fewer tethered to science than Star Trek, nevertheless it’s simple to see how their influences overlap and the way the recognition of animated sci-fi has multiplied because of their existence.

Futurama additionally references the 2020s greater than both of these exhibits. Its Twilight Zone-like show-within-a-show now nods to Black Mirror, and there’s an episode about Bitcoin, which comes with crypto scams and misplaced cash. It additionally features a server farm, full with an moral conundrum: It sparks concern not about vitality consumption and carbon footprints however concerning the robots’ heads powering it. Different episodes embrace a Covid-like outbreak, use of Ivermectin (however for deworming), a significant character getting “canceled,” and 3D printing.


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