Hulu Mini-Review – Future Man (Seasons 1-3): It’s Back… to the Finale!

The out-of-control Time Travel comedy comes to a fun and powerful ending.

SUMMARY (Spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 in that you know they’re not the finale)

Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson) is a janitor who lives in his parents’ house and spends most of his time playing the game “Biotic Wars,” a game which apparently no one has ever beaten. Josh becomes the first person to finish it, but this summons two soldiers from the future, Tiger and Wolf (Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson). It turns out that the game was designed to help them find their savior to help save the future from the real Biotics. It turns out they’ll be created as a byproduct of the research of Doctor Elias Kronish (Keith David), Josh’s employer. Josh attempts to manipulate Kronish in the 60s, but when he returns to the present, he finds out that the world is subtly different and he still failed. They keep trying again and again to mess with history and eventually kind of succeed, but Josh gets pulled into the new future that is caused by Kronish’s partner Stu Camillo (Haley Joel Osment). After ultimately thwarting this new future, Josh, Tiger, and Wolf discover that their actions have killed billions upon billions of people and are now being prosecuted via a horrible reality show.

FutureMan - 1Cast
There’s a lot to unpack in basically every image. 


Future Man was a time travel show that basically lampooned every single time-travel movie by pointing out all of the vast logical inconsistencies that typically populate the genre, as well as by playing out the implications of time travel that normally would be ignored because they’re disturbing. Josh, the supposed savior, believes he is extremely genre savvy, in contrast to his completely uncultured companions, but he frequently is shown to be out of his depth. In response to screwing up his time travel missions, Josh’s response is usually to go travel in again, thinking that the repercussions will all work themselves out despite the fact that they never do. Tiger and Wolf, on the other hand, start out knowing pretty much one thing: How to kill anyone using anything at hand. Their complete and utter lack of social skills (having lived in the apocalyptic sewers for most of their lives) is a treasure trove of comedy for the first season.

A Fuel’s Errand
This is them on an average Tuesday.

The best part, though, is that all three of the characters change frequently during the show. During the first season, for example, Wolf stays in the 1980s due to his love of Corey Hart, Josh stays in an alternate present, and Tiger heads back to the 1940s. As a result, Josh realizes he’s a bit of a douche, Wolf becomes a coke addicted chef, and Tiger starts to resemble the mom from Leave It To Beaver. Then they change again multiple times in each season, usually growing in response to their circumstances. As a fan of character arcs, I love a show that has tons of them.

FutureMan - 3Josh
Here’s Josh in a typical future slave group.

Similarly, the premise of the show changes frequently, based on the fact that time travel constantly shifts the world they’re in. Because of this, there can be huge differences in the tone or humor in any given episode, keeping the show fresh throughout most of the run. 

FutureMan - 4Astro
Everyone was awkward in the 1960s. 

Honestly, I liked this show a lot, and I enjoyed the ending quite a bit. I recommend giving it a try, particularly if you were born in the 80s or early 90s. One of my favorite jokes is contained in the end of the last episode, so I can say I found it pretty consistent.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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