Ok, I have an unhealthy obsession with Futurama, I love it so much I learned the background language that’s all over the posters and billboards of New New York. I love it to the same degree I love Discworld, if that tells you anything.
It was very difficult for me not to get over hyped about this, I really tried to make sure I went into this with my expectations properly managed, and I think I did that fairly well. I was over the moon when I first heard the news, but I wasn’t that excited about the previews/trailers. I spotted a joke that had been used in Futurama, the characters weren’t really speaking to me, and I didn’t laugh a single time for any of the trailers. After watching the clips I was actually going into this with low expectations.
Princess Tiabini or Bean is an alcoholic that doesn’t want to get forced into marriage. She’s been betrothed to a prince from a neighboring kingdom for an alliance, but he promptly impales himself on a sword and so she then gets betrothed to his brother. It turns into a running gag that she keeps killing people to get out of her marriages. She’s an okay character, I haven’t totally warmed to her yet but she’s growing on me.
She’s been bound to a demon, Luci, who is probably my favorite character, he was given to her as a wedding present as a “curse” and they’re stuck together for life. He’s sarcastic, he’s the classic devil on the shoulder giving you terrible life advice. He plays a great back and forth with Elfo, who’s his total opposite and that’s where a lot of my laughs came from for the season.
Bean’s father is an idiot king, he’s uneducated, not well spoken, selfish, and at times, cruel. He’s also obsessed with Bean’s mother who died after drinking poisoned wine meant for the king. He’s not at all subtle that he’s still in love with her and treats his current wife like crap. It’s pretty reminiscent of GoT with King Robert and Cersei. The King is obsessed with finding the elixir of life and has taken Elfo and imprisoned him harvesting his blood for magic potions. He’s probably my least favorite character so far, I just haven’t warmed to him at all, unfortunately. Maybe in time I will, but for now he’s a miss for me.
Elfo is an elf who isn’t happy with his life, everyone around him is always bouncing, laughing, and singing as they work and he’s just not feeling it. He wants to find a place where people feel a full range of emotions, misery included. He annoyed me at first but as the episodes progressed I found myself getting more attached to him. He’s extremely naive and they play around with that a lot. He’s sweet and genuine, and he doesn’t have a clue how to function and be a normal person in the real world. Watching him bumble around and make mistakes was another highlight of the latter half of the season.
So, those are the main characters, there are a lot of side characters per usual in a Groening animation, and so far I like most of them.
This show does a lot more with drugs than they did in Futurama or the Simpsons, there’s an episode where the trio (Bean, Luci and Elfo) get into her step mothers stash of hallucinogens and I’m a big fan of that episode.
There are a lot of background jokes if you watch the posters and signs, which is very reminiscent of Futurama. There were a few jokes that I saw used again from either the Simpsons or Futurama but they were sprinkled in lightly so I didn’t mind too much. Honestly, if you don’t watch those shows religiously you’re probably not going to notice. There are voices that you’ll recognize though, I was hoping for minimal cross over voices from Futurama and they’re mostly original, but some are dead ringers for Futurama characters which got to me a little.
Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic. This show didn’t blow my mind, I wasn’t bouncing on the edge of my seat for another episode, but it managed not to fall on its face. I feel like the characters personas were original and not repeats, the world they’ve created leaves a lot open for expansion and exploration, so I’m excited. I am definitely going to tune in to season 2 whenever that comes out. I hadn’t checked out the critic ratings before I watched this, I’m not surprised by IMDB’s score, but I am pretty surprised by how low it is on Rotten Tomatoes. I knew I’d be biased towards a show created by Matt Groening and maybe be more lenient than others, but, I guess just watch for yourself and see 😀