Futurama: the show that just won’t die, but that is so sick, its picture has stopped working.
Even though audiences have bid a fond farewell to this show on multiple occasions already (the “final episode” counter is currently hovering around the number 3), Futurama is back once again, baby, this time in radio play form.
If you’re looking for someone to blame for stealing forty minutes of your life, point the finger at Chris Hardwick. The comedian and creator of Nerdist has used his substantial sway within the media industry to convince all of the original cast, as well as several of the show’s original writers, to come together for a special “podcast” that boils down to a double episode of Futurama that you can enjoy with your eyes closed.
Yes, it seems that Chris Hardwick has essentially kidnapped the Futurama team, locked them in his basement, and forced them to produce fan fiction in which he plays an evil podcast monster.
No, seriously. It’s as if Melvarrr from the Star Trek episode were real, and hosted a Comedy Central show based around Twitter.
(Come to think of it, Chris Hardwick really does fit the bill for a Futurama villain better than anyone could have imagined, huh?)
Regardless of how this show came about (Hardwick claims that it’s a promotional podcast for the new Futurama mobile game, but that’s less believable than the kidnapping story), it’s absolutely golden.
Futurama fits the quirky pulp sci-fi radio play format like a glove (or a mitten for Zoidberg). Simply popping the show into this medium provides ample opportunity to bring back quirky 30s style announcers and awkwardly shoehorned product placement gags that perfectly continue the vibe of Futurama from the cartoon series.
Yes, it’s a shame not to get to see Leela, Fry, Bender and friends actually perform their antics, but some fun “visual” gags centering on italicized text, overly greased staircases, and a magnificent 3D digital sculpture of Fry’s dingdong work so perfectly without pictures that you’ll soon forget that this is any different from a standard episode of Futurama.
So, this radio show being so absolutely perfect, it’s time to mobilize. Fans of Futurama, if we kick up enough of a fuss, we could well convince the Powers That Be to create a full series of episodes in this format.
After all, radio is a heck of a lot cheaper than animation. All it would take would be to get the team of voice actors together a few times, add some sound effects, and the show would be ready to take to the air – perfect for listening to while driving, exterminating owls, or practicing the holophone.
No matter how many times Futurama may die, this show just keeps coming back to life. If we make enough noise, we could just get yet another revival of the classic sci-fi property, in a format that’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t mind using their imagination to fill in the gaps left by a sudden absence of moving pictures.