“Futurama” Season 4 (2001-02, Fox), episodes 1-6 — The only animated comedy in the same league as “The Simpsons” is Matt Groening’s 30th Century farce “Futurama” (6 p.m. Sunday, Fox). The first year was hit-and-miss, but in the past three seasons it has become a ridiculously witty, extremely fun show. The show’s biggest struggle is simply getting people to see it: nearly a season’s worth of episodes have yet to air because Fox’s football coverage preempts most fall episodes.
“Futurama: Bender’s Big Score” – I had forgotten how much I missed Matt Groening’s hilariously satirical take on the future before viewing this first of four straight-to-DVD movies. It’s a decent story – despite featuring time travel and nude alien villains – but the real joy is being reunited with sexy Leela, bubble-headed Amy, put-upon Zoidberg, limbo master Hermes, confused Farnsworth, selfish Bender and lovesick Fry.
– John Hansen, Brainerd Dispatch, Dec. 27, 2007
A year ago, I announced that the lineup of new fall shows was the worst in two decades, and although I ended up liking (and now mourning, since they were canceled) “Almost Human” and “Super Fun Night,” I think my prognostication was accurate. Now I’m here to say that the fall of 2014 looks worse. The good news is that, aside from “Almost Human,” the networks’ axes fell lightly, so a decent number of favorites will return. Here are my picks for three new shows to check out, along with a few returning shows of note:
My Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview should pop up in my mailbox in a few weeks, and I hope I’m pleasantly surprised by some new shows I haven’t heard of yet. Because so far, 2013 has been an absolute bloodbath for quality television.
With the awesome news earlier this week that AMC changed its mind about “The Killing,” which it canceled a few months ago but has now resurrected for a third season (to air later this year), I thought I’d take a look at a few notable resurrected (or un-canceled, if you prefer) series through the years.
Here are my top 10 TV shows of 2012:
1. “Parenthood” (Season 3-4, NBC) — I hate to have the same No. 1 two years in a row, but “Parenthood” — the only current series where having a Kleenex box nearby is a must — gives me no choice. During the run of “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood” was “Jason Katims’ other show.” Now it is filling “FNL’s” niche as the major-network show that best captures the universal human experience even though parenthood, like football, isn’t universal. This fall has been dominated by Kristina’s cancer arc, but it’s the non-awards-baiting moments such as Max winning the student presidency or Julia finally connecting with Victor that really stand out.
In the spirit of the Olympics, here are my medal picks for Summer TV 2012 (all times Central):
“Futurama” (9 p.m. Central Wednesdays on Comedy Central) has been around long enough now that it’s starting to contradict its own backstories. Since most “Futurama” fans are also “Simpsons” fans, we’re accustomed to this. Notoriously — on series where time passes but characters stay the same age — there are stories showing Homer and Marge getting married in the 1970s and the 1990s.
Show: “Futurama” (Season 2, episode 8)
Airdate: Dec. 19, 1999
Overview: In the year 3000, Christmas is known as Xmas and Robot Santa Claus has been programmed with too strict of a “naughty or nice” judgment, so he judges everybody as naughty and guns them down. (Actually, it turns out that Zoidberg is judged to be nice.)