Dammit, America. I let myself believe that I was done with Futurama for a little while. After the finale, which I found one of the more poignant pieces of (primetime) American animation, there was a shiny metal ass-weight lifted off of my chest, as I thought this always wonderful series was actually gone for good. And then that somber albatross was gloriously vanquished from my sky with the solid crossover episode with The Simpsons, and then there was rumorish talk about the show possibly returning. And now there’s an itch that only another season can scratch. 2015, do this.
I’ve now gone full-frontal Hedonismbot with my boner for more Futurama in the future. Addictions are normally fueled by knowing the substance of choice is already out there in the world, waiting for you to come and grab a hold of it at whatever cost. Being addicted to Futurama is like playing craps with marshmallows. When you’re hot, it all just sticks to your hand. That doesn’t make sense, because being addicted to Futurama doesn’t make sense. But this is how this series’ lifespan has led fans to behave.
As Matt Groening’s second series past The Simpsons, Futurama had a lot to live up to, and it did it in full. Nothing in science-fiction was off-limits, and almost every trope and genre icon was referenced. (Even the Harlem Globetrotters!) And then it got cancelled, and the world was terrible for a while. And then it got brought back in a quartet of distantly-released DVDs, each with their own strengths and faults, but still completely worthy on all levels. And then it got brought back for a while on Comedy Central, who was perfectly happy to gloryhole out one piece at a time, cancelling the series before the rest of its seventh season had aired. And the cast have been vocal on not wanting it to end. This is how addiction works, people!
And why should it end? This is where Netflix and Amazon Prime and Yahoo! come into things accordingly. If you’re a larger TV network looking for ratings, and Futurama is pulling under 2 million people on Comedy Central, you’re not looking at it as a marketable series. (Which is dumb, independently of my point here.) For a streaming service, or even a network trying to plant a stake in the landscape, drawing in a series with as big of a fanbase as Futurama is better than any cheapo original series idea that any execs will bring in. The chances of vaulting subscriptions are a lot better than giving people something they aren’t familiar with.
Everyone wants more Futurama. If any of the writers were ever revealed to be secretly complaining about people asking them to write more brilliant math jokes, I will gladly take their place and write completely incorrect “jokes.” I will draw the animation with chalk onto a sock if I have to. That would be terrible. Someone save us.
We have made it into a new year, America. Fry learned to adapt to a culture 1,000 years beyond his own. Let’s bring Futurama back and remember what it’s like to be nostalgic about being futuristic again.