Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some characters are lewd and bizarre. Again, the show is unpredictable. Very diverse society with strong female characters.

Positive role models

Just like The Simpsons, it's the characters' failings that make them so lovable. The robot Bender may be a beer-guzzling rascal, but he's soft-hearted and incredibly loyal. Fry makes boneheaded mistakes, but his motivations are pure. Leela's strength, smarts, and bravery make for good role-model material, but she pines for love. Villains typically get their comeuppance. The cumulative effect of all this is that while individually the characters are flawed, together they can conquer all obstacles. Characters frequently demonstrate perseverance.

Violence

Some cartoon violence, but nothing torturous.

Sex

Unpredictable references; not for young kids.

Language

Very unpredictable. Bender in particular has a potty mouth.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bender needs to consume alcohol in order to function, so he's a steady drinker, though not having alcohol actually makes him drunk. Robots … go figure.

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

  • How do the characters in Futurama demonstrate perseverance? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Premiere date:March 28, 1999
Cast:Billy West, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr
Network:Comedy Central
Genre:Comedy
Character strengths:Perseverance
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Futurama was written by

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Quality

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old September 9, 2010

A modern day classic

I've been watching this show since I was 8, and i've loved it ever since. It is a hilarious show with occasional innuendos (only moderate though) that people of all ages can enjoy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byseto006 April 9, 2008

Better than the Simpsons, In my mind!

This show is very funny! Parents, if you child hasn't seen it, get them the DVD. Ok, There is some Iffy Sexual Content, Usually from Zap Branagin, but nothing to Inapropriate. One episode is all about some aliens trying to get Fry's "Lower Horn," is one of the More inapropriate Episodes. There is some Violence, but it's nothing a 7 year-old hasn't seen. For Language, Bender, and A character Named "Mom," Swear in every episode. BUT, It isn't HORRABLE! The Characters can be Sexist towards Leela in some Episodes, but she usually proves them wrong. Overall, Let your 12 year old see it!
Kid, 11 years old January 25, 2011

Not for under 11

Great show.However its unpredictable.Sometimes it's okay but sometimes its really inappropriate.I think 12+ or a mature 11 year old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking