Future Man - Season 2 - Advance Preview By Brandon Rowe (January 10, 2019, 5:15 pm)
Previously on Future Man:
I didn’t have high hopes when I sat down in 2017 to watch the first season of Future Man. The basic premise sounded good enough, but too similar to The Last Starfighter and Galaxy Quest. My main concern for the series was how well complicated science fiction could mix with the irreverent comedy styles of Seth Rogen (executive producer). Despite my initial reservations, the pilot and the rest of the first season quickly proved my worries completely needless.
I was blown away by the unique mixture of creativity and the hilariously awkward and ridiculous situations our heroes found themselves in. Jumping from one time period to the next, the main trio served as a great combination of characters. The chemistry for the group was off the charts and at its best when they were all working on solving the most absurd problem possible. With issues ranging from escaping James Cameron’s evil AI-powered home to inadvertently swapping certain appendages, the group always found the perfect way to screw up the situation in the best way possible. No matter the problems they faced or the vastly different ways they reacted to new dangers, they made it fun and exciting.
While I didn’t review the series in its first season, I’m going to retroactively assign the first season of the series a 9.1/10 rating.
With Elias Kronish dead and the biotic wars seemingly avoided, the second season’s trajectory was a complete mystery to the audience (and, I suspect, not unreasonably to the writers. Future Man was originally intended as a movie). Rather than picking up immediately where the first season left off, the second season premiere jarringly throws the viewer straight into the middle of a new scenario with little explanation as to how our characters all got there. Casual viewers will inevitably be confused by the first episode, but it does (sorta) make more sense as you work through the entire season.
Whereas the first season saw fit to jump around the time stream whenever convenient, viewers should get comfortable in the year 2162 very quickly; the majority of the season is spent there. While it’s nice to spend time establishing new settings and characters, the relatively small setting of the season lacks the visual magnitude that the first season so eloquently displayed. Despite a wild variety of new characters in 2162, it doesn’t take many episodes to start to miss the constant shift of time travel.
Sadly, one of the best parts of the first season is absent for a decent section of this iteration of the series. While Josh, Tiger and Wolf’s collective chemistry served the first season best, the main trio are largely separated from each other in the first half of this season. Replacing last season’s group adventure are three storylines that seem destined to only waste time in an effort to get through a whole thirteen episodes. Tiger spends an inordinate amount of time with Haley Joel Osment’s suddenly-important Stu while Wolf focuses on living someone’s else life and supporting his multiples spouses (yes, really). While Wolf’s individual story shows sparks of potential for solid entertainment, none of the three ever manages to recreate the charm of the entire group’s combined charisma. Jo(o)sh mostly just runs around aimlessly and Tiger… Well, that bit actually needs a paragraph of its own.
As the trailers teased, Tiger’s “time twin" plays a big role in this season. Because of Future Man's strange mix of time travel, alternate realities and clones (yeah, plenty of them this season), Tiger is introduced to a different version of herself in the second episode. What Tiger lacks in regular sociability, her double makes up for… too much. With a voice that mixes Kristin Chenoweth and Spongebob Squarepants, Tiger’s double is easily the most obnoxious on-screen character since Jar Jar Binks. Despite the fact that she may also be "the key to all of this," I found myself fast-forwarding through her scenes to preserve my sanity.
The highlight of the first half of the season comes from episode five (J1: Judgement Day) in which many of the second season mysteries are spelled out more plainly and the main characters reunite to solve some of the them. Whereas last season was constantly propelled by the main threat from the future, this season doesn’t seem to understand where it’s going for a long time. By the time the ninth episode rolls around, you realize that episodes six, seven and eight were really just moderately-entertaining wastes of time. However, once the action starts moving in the final part of the season, it’s pretty fun on the whole. Future Man is a show that works best when the ridiculous and the crude meet the fantastical; this happens repeatedly throughout the last act of the season.
Season 2 Rating: 7.6/10 - While the second season boasts a number of highlights and eventually gets its story together, it ignores the best parts of the first season and takes too long to go anywhere solid. With our main characters spending too much time apart and a mixed bag of new stories, it's just okay. By the time this season is over, I wouldn't mind seeing another season of Future Man, but I'm not clamoring for more like I was at the end of the first season.
Tune in to the second season of Future Man this Friday on Hulu. Be sure to come back here to SpoilerTV to let everyone else know what you thought of the season.