“Future Man” is the new addition to the time travel genre, explored through the lens of a hardcore gamer. The show marks the second TV collaboration between creative duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, after the two producers came into television with their hit AMC show, “Preacher.”
A Hulu original, “Future Man” is stamped with signature Rogen-Goldberg finesse, reminiscent of movies like “This is the End” and “Superbad,” which Rogen and Goldberg also produced. As in a usual Rogen production, there are sexual jokes, as well as other more intense genitalia-related jokes that, surprisingly, hold a firm connection to the overall character dynamics and narrative. In other words, “Future Man” doesn’t deviate from the customary Rogen-Goldberg style, which just makes the already-fascinating time travel show even better.
More in the style of “Back to the Future” than “The Flash,” the pilot episode of “Future Man” introduces us to Josh Futterman (played by “Hunger Games” alumnus Josh Hutcherson). He is a young janitor who works at a laboratory looking for a cure for herpes and other STDs.
When he is not cleaning, he is playing his favorite video game, “Biotic Wars,” where he must fight alongside two futuristic in-game soldiers named Tiger and Wolf. After he successfully beats the game, he is visited by the actual Tiger and Wolf from the future. They explain that the video game was sent to the past as a recruitment platform; that whoever was first to beat the game was destined to be humanity’s savior, called “Future Man.” Completely dumbfounded, Josh only believes them when, after initial confusion surrounding the number and year ‘69, they all instantly travel to said period. Hilariously, we later find out that the Biotic Wars are real and that it’s all tied to a future event where the cure for all sexually transmitted diseases leads to the end of the world.
The pilot was written and directed by Rogen and Goldberg, so it’s not surprising that this first episode of “Future Man” is filled with comedic elements from beginning to end. Granted, some jokes don’t hit the mark, but there are definitely more wins than misses.
Hutcherson as the “Future Man” gives an interesting performance—though not a fully convincing one—that has room to grow as each episode transpires. Tiger and Wolf (played by Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson, respectively) lack some character, feeling one-dimensional at times, but near the end of the episode there is hope that they will also develop some type of character arc moving on. Nonetheless, the fight scenes with Tiger and Wolf were absolutely terrific and I hope more scenes like that will occur throughout the series.
The episode took place in three different settings: a dystopian future, 2017 Los Angeles and 1969 Los Angeles. Apart from the bland look of 2017 (perhaps a social commentary of our actual time), the future and 1969 L.A. looked stunningly marvelous. Colors fly off the screen as we explore those settings, which ups the ante for any other possible period the show will explore.
“Future Man” doesn’t disappoint and once again, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have proved that when the two creative geniuses work together, only good will come. The rest of the season looks to be an extremely fun ride.
Carlos Rosario Gonzalez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.