Future Man crashed onto our screens this month of SyFy with great fanfare and a prodigious amount of advertising. The sci-fi comedy is produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg and first aired in the US on Hulu and stars Josh Hutchinson of ‘Hunger Games’ fame.
The story on first glimpse seems to be a rehash of the plot of ‘The Last Gunfighter’ and the series is well aware of this and references it in dialogue, but anyone expecting such a child-friendly affair will be quickly disillusioned. Future Man is a very adult themed programme. The language is raw with nearly every other line containing an F here, there, everywhere and there was even the dropping of the dreaded c-word. Such bad language might disturb some but then again it does lend a little credibility to some of the characters, not many people confronted by teleporting super soldiers would exclaim ‘Oh golly’!
In some ways, it does feel as if the sci-fi element is just a backdrop to enable the production team to place characters in situations to use the humour. Luckily for a comedy Future Man is funny. I wouldn’t say it was side-splitting but there is a wry clever humour that subverts some of the sci-fi tropes and includes a surprising amount of social commentary.
Josh Hutchinson in the lead makes a significant contribution to the series. His character, Josh Futterman is a likeable dork who plays computer games with a dead end job and finds himself as the saviour of the future. He plays this role well and creates a sympathetic lead. The two supporting characters, Tiger and Wolf (Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson) are somewhat one dimensional in the first two episodes but do realistically, if a little silly, represent what a true warrior on the edge of annihilation may actually express, these are not your noble knights but war-weary combatants that have had to do terrible things to survive, they most definitely do not fit the cliche of heroic soldier, they are anti-heroes through and through.
I have watched the first two episodes of the 13 episode first season run with a second season in production. As a series opener Future Man lays its cards on the table, crude funny and manic but scratch the surface and the sci-fi staples of morals and ethics are there, you just might miss them whilst you laugh.