Future Man

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Future Man TV Poster Image
Dude-bro comedy has language, violence, is pretty funny.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Saving the world and the people in it is a noble goal, but Tiger and Wolf don't care who they hurt on the way. Josh distinguishes himself by trying to make sure the innocent are not harmed (though they sometimes are anyway). Parents are present, supportive, and affectionate: Josh's dad calls his son "buddy boo" and "Joshy" and his mom reminds him "You can be anything!" (even though he's currently a janitor). 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tiger and Wolf are basically human war machines who don't care who they injure or kill as long as they keep fighting. Josh is a bit of a schlub, but he can be courageous when the chips are down, and he cares about his loved ones and humanity in general. Tiger, a woman, has a strong central role, and people of color also fill roles with agency. 

Violence

The show revolves around preventing a future apocalypse that has humankind living in sewers and fighting invincible "Biotics" (humans who have received a treatment that makes them invulnerable to disease); expect many battles with futuristic weaponry including laser guns and explosives. Faceless thugs are killed frequently; we see their gory wounds. Innocent bystanders, such as a pair of police officers, may be suddenly killed as well. Violence occasionally rises to unexpectedly vicious levels, like when a man is stabbed in the leg during a fistfight and the attacker twists the knife as he screams and Tiger and Wolf scream things like "Crush his nuts!" and "Break their skulls!" Josh frequently tries to protect innocent people who happen to be nearby during a battle. "Do I really have to say this? Killing is wrong!" he informs Tiger and Wolf.  

Sex

Expect frequent rude jokes, like when a man masturbates to a video game (we see his lowered pants and hand moving rhythmically) and then ejaculates accidentally on another man's leg; his "cum" is referred to thereafter. In another scene, characters talk about having sex with video game characters, with rude terms like "spank it" and Ms. Pac-Man "gobbling" a man's "dick." A woman demands a man's clothing; he tells her to take hers off and do a dance -- he is then brutally beaten by the woman, who takes his clothes at the end. 

Language

Language includes cursing such as "f--k," 'f---ing," "s--t," "goddamn," "jackass," "a--hole." Language may have an insulting and/or sexual edge: "spazz," "d--k," "piss," "cum," "nuts."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Josh's parents are regular pot smokers -- expect to hear jokes about it and references to their habits. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Future Man is a comedy about a video gamer who winds up being recruited for a future apocalyptic battle. It is produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the minds behind raunchy movies like This Is the End and Pineapple Express, so expect lots of language and sophomoric (but sometimes very funny) humor about sex, drugs, and other mature topics. Violence is frequently played for laughs but is still intense: faceless thugs are shot and killed with futuristic laser weapons; in hand-to-hand combat, characters are stabbed as they shriek in agony. Sexual content is frequent and rude, like when we see a man lowering his pants and moving one hand rhythmically before he accidentally ejaculates on another man's leg. Language often includes a sexual connotation ("spank it," "d--k," "cum"), and there are jokes about oral sex, sex with video game characters, and other odd and absurd scenarios. Other cursing, including "f--k" and "s--t" is frequent. Parents of a 20-something man are regular pot smokers and refer to and joke about it. Women and people of color have strong, central roles, and parents are present and supportive. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJ. Walt November 17, 2017

Not for Us.

This is not a family show. It is, in my opinion, another silly, gratuitous, disappointing show. And, NO, NOT FOR 14 and up: It earns every bit of its MA title...
Adult Written bykend2 January 25, 2018

Only for 18+ who have the sense of humor of an 11-year-old

...and I apologize for insulting 11-year-olds! If you really like unoriginal, crude humor and story-lines that do not require any thinking on your part, then th... Continue reading

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What's the story?

By day, Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson) is a janitor at a herpes research facility who lives in his parents' house and doesn't have a lot going on. But when he's alone in his bedroom, Josh is FUTURE MAN, the only known person to have triumphed over an "unbeatable" video game. But that game's not just a game -- it's a simulation device that the last vestiges of humankind use in the future to train themselves to battle against the unkillable "biotics." And so Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and her lieutenant, Wolf (Derek Wilson), have traveled back in time to recruit the man then think is the Savior to their ragtag army, and have found only goofball Josh. He's all they have -- and if he's not enough, humankind is doomed. 

Is it any good?

This show boasts a talented cast and lively, funny writing, but it was originally pitched as a feature film, and it shows in that the plot feels a bit stretched. Plot contrivances that could have been done away with in moments or seconds of screen time -- like Tiger and Wolf arriving to alert Josh of his mission from the future -- are expanded to a whole episode, to the show's detriment. At one point, the show gets caught in a Groundhog Day-style repeat, not because it serves the show stylistically or functions as a metaphor, but because we needed to stall. 

That said, if you're not particularly in a hurry or are particularly amused by Back to the Future callbacks or jokes about wayward ejaculate, Future Man can be a lot of fun. "Do you have any useful skills at all?" an exasperated Tiger asks Josh after he falters in a fight. "I'm good at word jumbles," he tells her. "And Sudoku." Tiger and Wolf reacting to old-timey life is pretty amusing, too. "They have so much food, it's literally hanging from the walls," wonders Wolf at a deli, stuffing pickles in his mouth. In the future, he tells Josh, people eat garbage and rats. But in our present, we have food to spare, and a show about a possible apocalypse to watch from our comfy couch. Things could be worse. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Future Man might appeal to younger viewers -- and if they should watch it. Are the levels of sex, language, and violence too much for young kids? Does a video game setting attract them? Is it intended to? 

  • How violent is this show? How much gore is shown? What effect does it have? Is it funny? Shocking? Why do you think violence on TV often makes us laugh, when the same thing happening in real life would be terrifying?

  • Many reviews of Future Man refer to 1980s shows and movies such as Back to the Future and Quantum Leap. How is Future Man like or unlike these examples? Why are these comparisons being made? 

TV details

For kids who love funny stuff

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