Futurama (Season 11) Review
HAVING survived two millenniums and three cancellations, Fox's Futurama once again returns for its 11th season, with a 12th yet to confirm its release schedule. But despite the sci-fi series' long-awaited third return, fans have been torn on the episode quality as these newest episodes, much like The Simpsons, can't escape the stigma of being compared to their older (and far superior) anecdotes.
Season 11 kicks off where the series finale ended: Fry and Leela stuck in a frozen world and deciding to re-live their lives over again. However, before they go back around, Professor Farnsworth informs the two he can reset time to the way it was. Now back in the present and with their friends once again, Fry returns to watching TV and embarks on a journey to binge-watch every TV show in existence; a journey which everyone warns him will drive him to insanity.
Continuity errors aside, Season 11 does show promise right from the get-go, showcasing Fry's humorous side at the expense of sacrificing his devoted love for Leela; a common theme for many characters throughout the season. Episode 2 continues the trend of revisiting the past by returning to the bog where Amy and Kif's children are set to emerge from 20 years following their conception. These debut episodes feature charming call-backs for long-time fans of the series, but these references are sadly dampened by the lack of humour. The show crams many fan favourite characters into these opening episodes such as Zapp Brannigan, but they are given very little to do in these adventures, being eye-candy for much of the episode only until it is their time to spout a non-sensical one-liner before hastily jumping to the next scene in a manner that can only be described as jarring. Episodes 3 and 4 don't fair better, unfortunately being lacklustre and boring despite revolving around entertaining concepts like Bitcoin mining in a wild west setting and the return of the parasites from one of the series' funniest and most emotional stories.
The show does kick back into high gear with episode 5 by revolving around Mom and her ever-expanding company Momazon; a novel, albeit blatant, parody of Amazon delivery. Episode 6 also keeps the laughs coming by being a Xmas episode blended into a I Know What You Did Last Summer story, as well as including a loving tribute to the late rapper and voice for Futurama, Coolio. However, the show does sadly continue to meander following these season standouts, especially during its penultimate episode, but thankfully, the season finale does showcase some moments of actual character development between the lead trio, making the season go out on a high note rather than a plodding low one.
Season 11 of Futurama may not hit the high mark of its classic ventures (or even come close), but its few flourishes do make the season worth a watch. While majority of the season features untimely references that would feel tiresome in 2020, episodes 5, 6, 8 and 10 do prove that Futurama still has some life left in its soul; whether or not it can maintain something in its heart will remain to be seen.