Favorite

The Televisionist, June 24 

REVIVED: 'Futurama' is back on the air, thanks to Comedy Central.
  • REVIVED: 'Futurama' is back on the air, thanks to Comedy Central.

FUTURAMA: NEW EPISODES
Comedy Central, Thursdays at 9 p.m.

For the most part, there are no do-overs in television. If that series you love gets canceled — no matter how sharp the writing, no matter how great the characters, no matter how dreamy the leads — that's usually the end of it. Ratings are king, and if you can't get those, you're usually out for good. I say "usually," because we're about to see a rare TV Lazarus trick with the return of new episodes for the cartoon "Futurama." The show debuted on Fox in 1999, and looked like a sure thing — especially given that the brain behind it was Matt Groening, who also helms a little show called "The Simpsons." Too, the plot was funny: In 1999 a pizza delivery guy named Phillip J. Fry (voice of Billy West) gets accidentally frozen in a cryogenic chamber, only to wake up 1,000 years later. There in the future, he meets his many-times-great-grandnephew, Professor Farnsworth. Farnsworth, a kind of mad scientist, runs a galactic shipping company. Soon, Fry is making interplanetary comedy with pals Captain Leela (voice of Katy West) and wisecracking robot Bender (voice of John DiMaggio). The show had a decent run on Fox, lasting about 4 years before the network pulled the plug. Reruns of Futurama went to the late night "Adult Swim" block on Cartoon Network. That would have been that, but the show has managed to build up enough of an audience on Adult Swim that cable took a second look. Comedy Central got involved, and now the show will return with 26 new episodes. Next up: my letter writing campaign to Fox, asking them to consider re-firing "The X-Files" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Cross your fingers, geeks. DK

JAMES MAY'S TOY STORIES
BBC America, Mondays at 9 p.m.

Those familiar with the best car-themed show in the world — BBC's "Top Gear" — will know James May, the straight man to TG's more hip hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. He's in the driver's seat, however, for his new show, an ode to childhood playthings. Every week, May and a group of engineers will take on the challenge of using everyday toys to build something bigger, better or more extravagant than humble beginnings have any right to aspire to. On one show, for example, May and a group of volunteers lay three miles of slot car track to create a replica of a famous raceway — breaking a World Record in the process. Another week, with the help of the company that makes the iconic Erector Set building toys, they bolt together a bridge using only the holey metal strips — which May then uses to cross a canal. How about a life-sized house built from 3 million Lego bricks, a scale train set with 10 MILES of track, or a vividly colored garden built solely from modeling clay? The one I'm most looking forward to, however, is an episode that should bring a smile to anyone (like me) who spent many a childhood hour hunched over the scattered pieces of a plastic jet, meticulously fitting the parts together with model glue: With the help of British model company Airfix, May and friends build a life-sized, all-plastic replica of a Spitfire fighter plane from World War II. Sure, it's child's play, but there ain't nothing wrong with that. DK

TRUE BLOOD
HBO, Sundays at 8 p.m.

Tedium, thy name is the first two episodes of the third season of "True Blood." Sure, some things have happened. Vampire Bill got kidnapped by vampire-blood-addled werewolves. Eric's given Sookie a lot of lusty looks. Sam visited Arkansas, where he enjoyed some brotherly hazing from his shifter sibling, who leaves Sam for roadkill. Well and good all. But as has often been the case with "True Blood," this stuff of crackling soap mystery is served with too many attempts at real pathos that, at their best, transcend into comedy (see Jessica's would-be boyfriend Hoyt, who tries to sell Jessica on a relationship based on fighting their "natures," where Jessica would fight her urge to bite people and drink their blood and Hoyt would fight his urge to be a momma's boy) and at their worst, suggest a mystery soap on TNT. Thankfully, most of the angst is residual, left over from late season plot developments last year. "True Blood" can right its ship by simply getting on with it. More vampire v. werewolf tussles. More vampire politics. More sex. More of the "What Sookie is" revealed, though, so-help-me if she is The One Who Can Fix Everything in the Supernatural World I'm leaving Bon Temps for Sunday night baseball. LM

Read weekly recaps of "True Blood" on Rock Candy.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The PR Stunt Edition

    Little Rock’s Amazon PR stunt, the Tom Cotton to the CIA rumor, French Hill and Puerto Rico and UA-Little Rock's football future — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • The First Amendment, Yo Edition

    The latest in the legal fight to stop a law that would prevent Planned Parenthood from performing abortions in Arkansas, the cancellation of a rap show in Little Rock and its First Amendment implications, a stunning investigative report on drug court defendants being forced to work for free for Arkansas poultry companies and bellicose Tom Cotton — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • Come with the Arkansas Times to the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival

    After several years of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro hosting benefit concerts to raise money for the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home, this year the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival debuts in Dyess just outside the Cash homeplace. And of course the Arkansas Times is chartering a bus to be there. The lineup is spectacular: Kris Kristofferson (one of the greatest songwriters of all-time easily), Rosanne Cash, Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash and Buddy Jewel.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • More »

More by David Koon

Most Shared

Latest in The Televisionist

  • Netflix pix: revenge!

    Is there anything more satisfying than watching a character take a just and righteous revenge on someone who has smugly screwed them over at some time in the past? Not in this writer's book. I love the cinema of revenge, and Netflix Instant happens to have a crop of Revengers that includes some of the best ever made.
    • May 30, 2013
  • Netflix pix: 'Kumare'

    With Easter just passed, I've been thinking a lot about faith — why we need it, what purpose it serves, and just how devout many of the people who claim to be religious really are. It's a question for the ages, and will probably be debated until the sun goes supernova or language finally devolves into a series of squeaks and grunts, whichever comes first.
    • Mar 28, 2013
  • Netflix Pix

    Hidden gems from Netflix Instant.
    • Dec 19, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Thumped again

    • No new life for the Hogs this week. Gus will have the Tigers focused and…

    • on October 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation