Matt Groening’s Futurama has had a rough ride since it debuted in 1999. The animated show was cancelled by Fox in 2003 during its fourth season due to low ratings. After finding success on Comedy Central with its re-runs the show returned for four mini-series that aired in 2008 and 2009. These eventually became known as the show’s fifth season in the US. Following the success of the new episodes, Futurama was brought back for 52 new episodes. Sadly the show has been cancelled again this year but creator Groening has assured fans he is trying to shop it to another network.
In the midst of its latest cancellation, Futurama: The Complete Season 6 has made its way onto DVD and Blu-ray here in the UK. The new release features 13 episodes, which originally aired as the second half of season 6 in the US, but here are classed as the full season 6 (the first 13 episodes were released in the UK as season 5). The season opens with The Silence of the Clamps which finds Bender (John DiMaggio) going into witness protection after testifying against the Robot Mafia getting things off to a rather hilarious start.
Futurama: The Complete Season 6 finds the show at its strongest. Fry (Billy West) and Leela (Katey Sagal) are two of the best animated characters to ever grace our TV screens with Bender often stealing all the best lines. Highlights from season 6 include Benderama where Bender discovers how to self-replicate and causes havoc with thousands of mini versions of himself, and Mobius Dick where the crew get lost in the Bermuda Tetrahedron and swallowed by a whale. Our favourite episode though is the hilarious Fry Am The Egg Man where Fry nurtures an alien egg that hatches into an uncontrollable monster.
It’s hard to understand why Futurama has had such a rough ride really. Whilst it may not have the same kind of classic moments that The Simpsons has (Groening’s other hit show of course), it has enough laugh-out-loud moments, wonderful characters and zany stories. We’d say that the show is perhaps a little more adult than The Simpsons which is maybe why it hasn’t attracted the same huge audiences.
The release is packed with extras including audio commentaries on all episodes, deleted scenes and several featurettes looking behind-the-scenes. Those who have BD-Live can also access exclusive extra content with the Blu-ray version of the release.
Futurama: The Complete Season 6 is a real hoot. We hope that the show can find another home as it’s one of the most under-rated shows possibly ever. If you like The Simpsons and Family Guy then this should be on your shelf right next to them. Futurama is witty, hilarious, inventive and very addictive. If you’ve never seen the show then get yourself the boxsets now. Season 6 is the show at its finest.