Back to the future

The newest “Futurama” epic might be the last.

PHOTO COURTESY TWENTHIETH CENTURY FOX

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY TWENTHIETH CENTURY FOX

âÄúFuturama: Into the Wild Green YonderâÄù Directed by: Peter Avanzino Starring: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio Almost a decade after its first uproarious airing, the beloved animated series âÄúFuturamaâÄù might have finally come to its end. This past week marked the release of âÄúFuturama: Into the Wild Green Yonder,âÄù the last of four straight-to-DVD features created in lieu of an official sixth season with the hopes of garnering network interest in additional seasons. While the DVDs will be chopped and aired in singular episode format, there arenâÄôt any new episodes currently in production, making the prospect of continuation look dismal at best. To make matters worse, the potential âÄúFuturamaâÄù finale leaves much to be desired. âÄúInto the Wild Green YonderâÄù begins with the Planet Express crew visiting the lavish new Mars Vegas and then suddenly derailing, melting into a strange web of semi-related occurrences: Bender starts fooling around with a Mob-botâÄôs wife, Leela becomes an eco-feminist and Fry picks up mind-reading abilities and is once again forced to save the universe. If the plot sounds borderline nonsensical, thatâÄôs because it is. The movie trudges through more than a few irrelevancies and truly inspired jokes are few and far between. There is some pleasure to be had: Bender is as lovable as ever while Dr. Zoidberg is just as reviled, and diehard fans will not want to miss the developments in Fry and LeelaâÄôs quasi-romance. Still, the movie is, for the most part, uncharacteristically unfunny. The real travesty, however, is not the lack of laughs, but the lack of heart. âÄúFuturamaâÄù writers, like those of current âÄúSimpsonsâÄù episodes, have opted for an excess of stale gags over any real sentimental value, which is a shame for a series that set itself apart with its heart-warming tales (the episode âÄúJurassic Bark âÄú has one of the most poignant endings in television history). There is one notable exception at the filmâÄôs climax, but itâÄôs too little, too late. For now, the future of âÄúFuturamaâÄù remains shrouded in uncertainty. DVD sales have successfully revived shows in the past (as evidenced by the unfortunate resurrection of âÄúFamily GuyâÄù), but one has to wonder if continuation is even desirable in this case. âÄúFuturamaâÄù was better than most, but, as Zapp Brannigan idiotically pontificates near the end of the film, all good things must come to an end.