Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Futurama is one of the best shows on Comedy Central today. Thank goodness the network went out on a limb and listened to the fans of this little show that could. After having been picked up and resurrected by Comedy Central, this hit show has shown time and again why it is the great show that it is. Now with the release of its seventh volume, Futurama continues to show why it is one of the elite prime time animated sitcoms out there today. In the show’s seventh volume, the show’s writers poke fun at the seemingly unending to do surrounding President Obama’s birth certificate in one episode. In another episode, audiences see Fry and Leela rekindle their romance after Fry and Bender go in search of a frozen mammoth. And in yet another, the show’s writers even poke fun at The Matrix when Fry goes to the Near Death Star to visit the professor’s parents. These episodes make for just some of the laughs throughout this collection’s thirteen episodes largely for the jokes. For those who really know their stuff, they’ll love just as much the inclusion of a pair of fellow veteran actors, as well as a reference to another late comic actor to this set. Add in some hilarious commentary and some deleted scenes and audiences get another great set of episodes in the show’s seventh volume. And all of that is just the beginning. Viewers will find even more great references and jokes when they check out this new set for themselves.
One of the factors that have always made Futurama a great show is that while it does use topical humor in its episodes, it doesn’t bog itself down in that brand of comedy unlike certain other sitcoms. However, when it does venture into the realm of topical humor, it still manages somehow to remain funny without trying to be too much above itself. That’s proven in the episode, “Decision 3012.” The show’s writers spoof the controversy raised by the “birthers” over President Barack Obama’s birth certificate in this episode. In the place of the president, the writers use a character named Chris Travers, who is a Senator running for Earth President. Long-time Futurama fans will appreciate the reference to the Futurama movie, Bender’s Big Score in this episode. Even Matt Groening and David X. Cohen make light of it in the episode’s bonus commentary. It’s that reference that ends up playing to the episode’s outcome, which viewers will have to find out for themselves when they pick up Futurama Vol. 7.
Futurama’s writers prove in Vol. 7 that they can tackle topical humor and still make funny episodes. They have also proven again that they’re able to balance keeping the show successful with standalone episodes while also maintaining at least one ongoing storyline in the romance between Leela and Fry. It would have been so easy for the show’s writers to let the show descend into a serial like so many others. But thankfully it didn’t. That’s evident in the episode, “Fun on a Bun.” Having already broken up again before this episode, an accident with a sausage maker leads Leela to reveal her true feelings for Fry. She shows her true feelings to Fry when the sausage maker accident leads to a revelation as to what really happened to Fry. Again, the show’s writers are to be commended for this episode as it proves yet again their ability to maintain a specific storyline without letting the show become a serial. Movie buffs and sci-fi buffs will especially appreciate the spoof of The Los World tossed into this episode.
As noted already, one of the biggest factors that has made Futurama so successful for so long is not just its ability to balance storylines and avoid becoming a serial, but also its ability to make completely outrageous random adventures for the Planet Express Crew. In one of its funniest episodes yet, audiences learn a long held secret surrounding Professor Farnsworth after he visits his parents at the Near Death Star. The writers take a playful stab at The Matrix trilogy both in dialogue and in visual form. Any true sci-fi geek will love this little jab. When the professor doesn’t show up at an awards ceremony that Fry is attending, Fry decides to go meet Hubert’s parents. The result will leave audiences laughing as it kind of turns the whole concept of the “boomerang child” on its ear by reversing it. This of course leads to a whole other revelation that will leave audiences laughing. The secret is something that’s been used many times before in many other shows. But the minimalist way in which it has been used here keeps it funny.
The episodes noted here are just samplings of the laughs audiences can expect to get from Futurama Volume Seven. Every viewer will find their own laughs throughout the course of the double disc set. It’s thanks to good writing and an equally able cast that every episode in this set is so enjoyable. The main cast is profiled throughout each episode’s commentary. Audiences will appreciate even more some of the bonus tidbits such as learning that fellow veteran voice actor Frank Welker (The Real Ghostbusters, What’s New Scooby Doo, etc.) joins the cast in a handful of episodes this time out. Welker’s talent makes for even more enjoyment in the episodes in which his talents are profiled.
The talent of the voice cast gives so much life to each episode. What viewers get in the final product is proof that that. That’s also just as evident in the deleted scenes included as bonuses to the set. Regardless of whether or not the scenes would have fit into the final product, they are more examples of the talent and chemistry of the voice cast. They serve to show how hard the cast and the writers alike work to offer viewers the best possible product, too so as to live up to the expectations of those audiences who helped so many years ago to show why this show deserved to be brought back. And they more than do that, making for yet another great set of episodes for any long-time fan of Futurama or even for those who are new to this incredible animated sitcom. One can only hope that considering this and everything else that makes this new set such a success, fans will see much more of this hit show in the very near “future.”
Futurama Volume Seven is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered online direct via 20th Century Fox’s online store at http://www.foxconnect.com. After fans order the new set, they can also check out all the latest Futurama news online at http://www.facebook.com/Futurama and http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/futurama.
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.