Futurama's New (Old) Groove

Last night, Futurama wrapped up its sixth season on Comedy Central, a season that lasted 26 episodes and two summers. (Yes, two summers. That's how cable channels do things, I guess.) This is the first full season of weekly, half-hour episodes that Futurama has had since it was cancelled on Fox back in 2003. While season six got off to a rocky start, I'm happy to say that the second half of the season show that Futurama has finally returned to form.

As I wrote last summer when season six started, Futurama already had a rough time finding its comic footing during the unusual demands that were placed on it by Comedy Central during season five. As season six got underway, the first few episodes felt like the writers were testing the waters of half-hour, stand-alone episodes again, along with the new levels of raunchiness that they were permitted on Comedy Central. These early episodes, such as "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", "Proposition Infinity" and "A Clockwork Origin", were watchable and amusing but ultimately uneven. Thankfully, the later half of the season has shown Futurama finally coming back to its roots as a consistently absurd and outrageous parody of pop culture, science fiction and science fact.

I'm not sure what season seven will bring, other than that it too will be divided into two sets of episodes that will air in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Yet if the last few episodes are any indication (particularly "Benderama", "Law and Oracle", "Overclockwise" and "Reincarnation"), our favorite Planet Express crew has finally returned home. Huzzah!


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