It’s funny how you find new shows to watch, for example with Future Man I found it purely by accident. I put a photo up onto a Facebook group for The Expanse, the photo was of my Amazon recommendations and I was pointing out that Amazon was recommending that I watch The Expanse again. See my previous Pandemic Pick on The Expanse for reasons why I would happily watch the whole series again. However, by pure chance the cursor was actually highlighting this other show called Future Man, and several people on the group mentioned how much they enjoyed that show. So, I thought I’d give it a shot.
I’ll pre-warn you, just like I was, the show is definitely for adult only audiences. Produced by Seth Rogan and Even Goldberg the series tells the story of Josh Futturman, a twentysomething janitor who lives with his parents. He is a hardcore gamer and addicted to a game called Biotic Wars, when he completes the game he is recruited by two freedom fighters from the future, Tiger and Wolf, to help them defeat the Biotics. Does it sound a little familiar? The Last Starfighter anyone? Well the show knows that it’s ripping off it’s concept from the eighties film because it makes a joke about it immediately. The series is littered with references to various Sci-Fi films including a lot of time travel films including The Terminator and Back to the Future to name two. The font that is used for the on screen text is the same one that is used in the Terminator series.
At first I was a little dubious of whether the series was for me, it feels cheap and the acting feels weak. But very quickly I realised that was the point and that was the series charm. It feels like an 80s B-movie because that’s exactly how they want you to feel about the series. It’s really a love letter to the 80s Sci-Fi B-movies and the series really knows how to have fun with itself. The characters of Tiger and Wolf start off as one dimensional action movie clichés but very quickly they start to evolve. Wolf’s love of food and his evolution from that gives the first season some of its best moments. To cut a long story short the series very quickly endures itself as a weird quirky mashup of the Slacker, Sci-Fi, action and time travel genres with this interesting B-movie coating with some ludicrous humour thrown in.
The characters start off as clichés but quickly evolve, Josh Hutcherson plays the titular Josh Futturman, or Future Man (see what they did there?) with a sincere yet tongue in cheek performance. He manages to fully embody the ordinary person stuck in extraordinary situations whilst keeping the comedy running along at a nice pace. Eliza Coupe brings a tough hard nose performance to the role of Tiger who is modelled on every gamer’s wet dream. Even down to having purple hair, which actually has a ludicrous story reason as to why her hair is purple. But the standout for me is Derek Wilson as Wolf, a character who starts out as token tough guy shows the most amount of evolution throughout the series.
The gross out humour is on show though, as a warning if you are offended by sexual humour this is not the show for you, the first episode has a simulated cumshot. So fair warning given. But if you’re not bothered by that and are a fan of old 80s Sci-Fi strap in for a nostalgic adventure across time.
Future Man is available to stream on HULU in the United States and Amazon Prime in the UK.