REVIEW: FUTURAMA – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Billy West (Duck Dodgers)
Katey Segal (8 Simple Rules)
John DiMaggio (TMNT)
Maurice LaMarche (Freakazoid)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

David Herman (Angel)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Dawnn Lewis (Dreamgirls)
Pamela Anderson (Baywatch)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Kath Soucie (Rugrats)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Stephen Hawking (The Big Bang Theory_
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Bea Arthur (The Golden Girls)
Jan Hooks (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Coolio (Batman and Robin)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
William Shatmer (Batman vs Two-Face)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
George Takei (Heroes)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Roseanne Barr (Roseanne)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)

Futurama is Matt Groening’s superb follow-up to The Simpsons, a cartoon that reinvented the genre. Futurama follows the very silly exploits of Fry, an intergalactic delivery boy and his human, alien, robot and other assorted weirdo friends, as they make deliverys, jump dimensions, get beaten at atomic-mutant basketball, blow up planets, have snoo-snoo, start wars, meet Al Gore and have problems tuning the television in in their new apartment.On first glance, this series bears striking similarities to its predecessor. The animation is of the same simple yet effective style (only with more 3D modelling) and the humour is in the same vein of ironic, post-modern tomfoolery.  Futurama has the same high standard of sophisticated and low-brow humour; (numerous) references to Richard Nixon and the dense symbolism of Melville’s Moby Dick sit alongside Fantastic Voyage journeys up a main character’s arse.Perhaps a major difference, that might have no importance overall, is that whereas The Simpsons is populated by either children or adults, Futurama mostly focuses on those in between those age groups. Standout characters include Zapp Brannigan, a Shatnerian, pompous buffoon, who sees himself as an intergalactic alien-killing, velour-adoring, love-making machine and Calculon, a thespian-bot whose overly dramatic pronouncements are distinctly at odds with his career in the robot soap opera `All My Circuits.’To conclude, if you enjoyed The Simpsons (but think it’s not as good as it used to be), then you will love (all four glorious series – all hail!) of Futurama. An unimaginative reviewer might write that Futurama is to The Jetsons what The Simpsons is to The Flintstones, so I’ve written it, which won’t help you to appreciate just how great Futurama is. From the fabulous retro-futurist robot designs to the scuzzy New New York labourer who deliberately ruins the veneer of `the future’ with his string vest and pot-belly, Futurama consistently hits the mark.

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