The nostalgic referentiality has become a constant thanks to the immense popularity of titles like ‘Stranger Things’ . The geek is fashionable , and being a geek or nerd is no longer synonymous with marginalization, as shown by ‘The Big Bang Theory’.
Without entering into its depth or quality, which is another debate, we must assume the normalization of the geek stereotype in the audiovisual. And, above all, how much and well it sells, and gets audience, the homage to specific types of films , such as the genre of adventure, adolescent horror or science fiction, almost always centered in the eighties.
This type of products, much more soft, lend themselves more to the disconnection of the spectator than to warps and complex plots, almost always dark and very habitual in contemporary television fiction. The insignificance of these faces completely to the thematic universality of the “great series” – I insist on the quotes. And, in many cases, we prejudge the quality of a product in terms of its external appearance.
I have to recognize from the beginning that when I saw the first five minutes of ‘Future Man’ , I removed the chapter angry and very disappointed. The series, although Josh Hutcherson was among the cast, where Haley Joel Osment also appeared , seemed stupid, crude and inconsistent. But I told myself that, if I wanted to criticize it with arguments, the pilot had to finish, at least, and I did.
The feeling was maintained, but some of the situations made me assume that there might be interesting plots. In the end, I swallowed the thirteen episodes of the first season, and I had to acknowledge the error: the series can be seen well . Yes, under certain conditions.
It seems important to emphasize that a series of this type, lighter, always wins in marathon viewings . This is how you perceive your failures less, seeing them often and almost obsessively. In general, many fictions similar to ‘Future Man’ , with intentionality closer to entertainment, gain whole when consumed as well.
From prank to self-parody
Another aspect is also key: the tone that is marked. From the beginning of the series, it is declared gross and scatological, something logical considering that the pair Evan Goldberg-Seth Rogen is responsible for the series. In the creation of this humor, the repetitiveness of his tone is fundamental , which becomes heavy for the spectator who does not feel complicit in the poop-ass-pedo-pee.
The series needs several chapters – in my opinion, the worst – to accustom the viewer to the rhythm and style that we will see. And, once formed an own image, ‘Future Man’ takes it and destroys it .
The initial idea, a direct ultra-referential parody of nostalgic-ochentera science fiction, passes to a kind of meta-parody, with an implicit and formal referentiality, much more subtle. Probably, this is the greatest virtue of the series: its ability to reinvent itself after a loose, hooligan and even basic start.
The narrative inconsistency of ‘Future Man’ itself is a constant. The mere fact of talking about travel in time complicates the premise enough. Establishing a narrative idea about temporary trips makes writing a coherent and cohesive script much more difficult.
Films like ‘Regreso al futuro’ and its continuations, fundamental for many gags and tributes of the series , ‘Los cronocrímenes’ or ‘Twelve monkeys’ are examples of stories that use temporary travel in their argument. Despite the complex web of temporary plots, the resolutions of their stories are satisfactory, round in many cases.
However, ‘Future Man’ ignores the consequences of temporary travel more often than it should. Neglecting past-present-future connections, the series shows its disinterest in the temporal frameworks of its narrative construction, which should be the focus of its plot attention .
The funny thing is that the best moments of the series are the ones that most move away from the storyline of it. The episodes that serve to develop characters or simply to create quite absurd humorous situations are the most entertaining of the thirteen episodes of the season. Most monopolize the most charismatic character: Wolf, who gives life Derek Wilson (Eliza Coupe gives life to the other protagonist, Tiger).
But neither are we going to cheat: ‘Future Man’ has not changed my life. It is a digestible series that does not aspire to anything beyond entertainment, without this meaning anything negative . Because, and I the first, there are many who make mistakes prejudging stories by their external appearance and simplicity.
The series is a magnificent proposal to marathon and disconnect, relying above all on its self-awareness of light, simple and honest product. If at Christmas you fancy something entertaining and that goes on growing as you go , ‘Future Man’ (produced by Hulu and available on HBO Spain), is the option to consider.