Future Man premieres November 14th on Hulu.
By Chris Flanagan
The main plot of Future Man revolves around a small band of fighters traveling back in time to stop a scientist from getting Herpes Simplex 2 from a girl.
If that opening sentence doesn’t grab you, then this is not your kind of show.
Future Man centers on Josh Futturman, a janitor (Josh Hutcherson) for a biochemical science lab, who is recruited via a video game that was sent back in time by freedom fighters from the future in order to identify the savior of their people. Josh is tasked with helping Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Wolf (Derek Wilson) in locating Dr. Kronish, the scientist who contracted herpes simplex in college, who’s discovery of a cure ends up causing the destruction of all humanity in the future. Together, they jump through time attempting to locate and prevent this from happening thus averting the end of civilization.
Yes, I am fully aware of how that paragraph sounds and yes, it is ridiculous. However, Future Man boasts some truly well-written comedic moments, enough so that it kept me interested to the point where I stuck with the show far longer than I probably should have. In truth, it is an easy watch because it doesn’t require any specific focus from the viewer while still being able to entertain from episode to episode. As a result, many people will quickly write this show off as being shallow, but upon a closer viewing Future Man’s humor, not its story, is the main draw and the plot can be easily overlooked. Normally, that could spell TV death for certain shows, but if you approach Future Man as something other than just a simple binge you will not enjoy yourself and miss everything it’s trying to offer. There are low brow, dirty, corny, subtle and oftentimes bad jokes, but that is the allure of watching Future Man past its pilot. On more than one occasion, I found myself laughing at some of the show’s physical gags but even moreso at some of its subtle one-liners interspersed between straightforward dialogue.
The argument could easily be made that something as thin as this form of humor is not enough to interest someone reading this to devote their time to yet another new show premiering, however, I again point to the opening line of this review. If you’ve managed to read beyond it then I think you should at least watch the pilot. Past that is on you as a viewer to determine whether or not you should continue. I stopped caring about plot somewhere around episode three, but freed from the burden of following plot I settled into just watching for the jokes which helped me enjoy it even more.
I managed to watch Future Man because I wanted a show that was easy to watch, offered sophomoric humor, and wasn’t taxing on runtime. The benefit to this is minimal investment, but if you are not able to squeeze another TV show onto your list then I would suggest letting this pass you by. However, if you find the small pocket of time and need to turn your mind off for a while, Future Man might be a much needed light-hearted reprieve from other shows.
I give Future Man a C+.