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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that because Futurama's content can be unpredictable, it's not meant for younger kids. The language can be crass, there are allusions to sex, characters drink and make drug references, and there is some cartoon violence. In general, characters don't cross the line when it comes to disrespecting each other, which would put the show into a more menacing sci-fi genre. Instead, this is a successful comedy that keeps you wanting more.
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What's the story?
FUTURAMA's premise goes like this: Philip Fry (voiced by Billy West) is a 20th-century pizza boy who makes a delivery to a cryogenic institute, gets frozen, and wakes up in the year 3001. Fry immediately falls in with his distant nephew, Professor Farnsworth (West again); one-eyed ship captain, Leela (Katey Sagal); and their intergalactic delivery crew. He ends up living with kleptomaniac robot Bender (John Di Maggio) and patching together a rag-tag family.
Is it any good?
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, is also the mind behind this series, so you never really know where this show is going, but you can expect a great ride. Though his involvement with Futurama wasn't as consistent as it was with The Simpsons, Groening's influence is undeniably felt. Homer and Bart fans will enjoy seeing characters with familiar features; also familiar are the quick wit and unique plot lines.
The characters have a lot of character, which can make watching this series very entertaining. Jokes are funny, ironies are ironic, and all of the peripheral details offer bonus laughs -- even book covers, signs, newspaper headlines, and other bits of media featured in the background carry witticisms. But parents should watch out: Anything and everything can happen, and the series' unpredictable nature results in a broad range of potential red flags.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what the "future" means and why so much hope is pinned to it. Futurama's fictional world is diverse -- one topic to raise is how tolerant the average Joe has to be to allow this vision of society to exist.
Can robots conceivably be part of human society?
How does this show compare to its TV "cousin," The Simpsons. How are the two shows alike? How are they different?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.