By Dave B.
Future Man (Hulu) is an odd show. I’d call it a sci-fi, time-travel, dramedy. On paper, this combination could have been a mess, but the first season of Future Man is solid.
The main character, Josh Futterman is an underachieving janitor who beats an unwinnable video game that turns out to be a test to find the savior of humanity’s future. Sound familiar to you? It does to Futterman as well, and this illustrates two of the shows strengths: it’s weird nostalgia factor and its self-awareness.
I usually dislike shows and movies that have time-travel as a core element. Too often, not enough effort is made to keep the effects of time-travel reasonable and consistent. That isn’t a problem with this show. The writers clearly put a lot of time into making sure that the world(s) they built made sense. And at only 10 episodes, the series doesn’t drag.
Some of the humor occasionally falls flat, but this is more than balanced out by the general hilarity of the show. The James Cameron episode (Pandora’s Mailbox) is one of the Top 10 funniest episodes of any show that I’ve seen this decade. Overall, the actors have great chemistry and the writing is good. A note of caution, however: if you are sensitive to violence and/or vulgarity you’ll want to pass on this show because it has an abundance of both.
If I had another (minor) complaint with Future Man, it would be that its transitions from comedy to drama and back can be abrupt at times. Unlike many dramedies, the drama in Future Man isn’t confined to personal issues. The stakes are reality itself and often, you’ll find yourself laughing at something that, if looked at a certain way, is fundamentally tragic on several levels. It’s ultimately a strength of the show, but it wasn’t something that I was initially prepared for.
Hulu would have a much better subscription value if it had more shows as entertaining as Future Man and I’m highly anticipating the release of Season 2. If you are looking for something unique and irreverent, give this show a chance. I think you’ll like it. 7/10.