Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Final Space

Two thumbs way up for the TBS series "Final Space" (available on HBO Max.)  My first impression was that it was a little silly and like another version of "Futurama", which by the way was a fantastic show.  However, over three years Final Space evolved into a very good science fiction serial.  Unfortunately, it was canceled.  Final Space was created by Olan Rogers, who indicated that the story arc was only halfway done.

This series is so good that I had to watch it a second time.  I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I feel shortchanged by the cancellation.

I can only hope that it comes back or finishes its story with a made-for-TV movie.

Looking at the credits, I can't believe the voice talent that I am seeing: David Tennant, Steven Yeun, Claudia Black, Conan O'Brien, Keith David, Ron Perlman, Alan Tudyk, Phil LaMarr, and Christopher Judge.

One problem with the show is that it mixes silly humor with serious science fiction.  For example, season 2 episode 4 is probably the darkest and deepest episode of the entire series.  One of the crew becomes stranded for 60 years and literally goes insane.  That's pretty dark for an animated series.  But there were a couple of other episodes in the same season that were just a little too silly for my taste.

Because the series is animated, it can do things that would not work in a live-action show.  It is a bit like some of the Star Wars animated series where the characters perform stunts that would never work with real actors.  For example, there are primordial aliens called Titans who are as big as a planet.  You can only pull that off with animation, which is a more forgiving medium.

Sometimes the animation style is simple, but it alternates with some fantastic visuals.

There is a running joke about an alien crew member named "Tribore".  He is "non-binary" because his species only has one gender.  He literally gives birth to his son.  However, Tribore is portrayed as a gay stereotype, and I'm not sure if that is acceptable in the modern world.

Rating:  A-.  Final Space is an animated comedy with an impressive science-fiction vision.  It may owe its roots to Futurama, but it is so original that it is like a breath of fresh air.

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