Season two of Hulu’s sci-fi comedy Future Manpicks up exactly where its first season left off, and faster than you can say “biotik” we’re thrown right back in the futuristic mix with Tiger (Eliza Coupe), Josh/Joosh (Josh Hutcherson) and Wolf (Derek Wilson). (The three are pictured above, left to right.) When we last left our heroes (spoiler alert for season one), Josh was in prison, having been convicted for a terroristic act of mass murder, even though what he really did was avert the apocalypse by destroying the laboratory and headquarters of an evil company that was full of human-impersonating killer-robot soldiers called “biotics.” Tiger and Wolf, having just helped Josh save the future in an epic fight to the finish with some biotiks in the building’s corridors, arrive in a future that’s completely different from the one they left, because they apparently succeeded in saving it. Back in Josh’s cell, a bright light begins flashing, wind begins to blow, and the crackle and flash of electricity can be heard as it appears someone is using the TTD (time travel device) to rescue Josh from his incarcerated fate.
The first difference I noticed about this season was how it was formatted. Season one was more of a “You’re the one, Neo,” fish-out-of-water type of tale, so the focus was on Josh for the most part, and then on Josh, Tiger and Wolf as a group. It wasn’t until much later in the season that entire episodes would branch off and follow Wolf and Tiger separately during the parts of their story where they’d split up. In season two the trio is split right from the beginning (first in two, with Josh in jail and the bad asses back in the future, then in three, when Tiger almost immediately takes off after leaving the injured Wolf somewhere safe).
This separation allows for each character’s journey to feel totally different. Josh’s story is one of imminent danger (for both him and the world, again), Tiger’s is one of self-acceptance, and Wolf’s, as usual, is one of him finding love and passion in the weirdest of places. Last time, he found love with James Cameron’s A.I. home security system, “SIGORN-E,” and discovered his passion for cocaine and the culinary arts, respectively. This time he falls in love with the five spouses of his alternate future doppelganger “Torque” (who’s actually missing) and discovers his passion for being a father to Torque’s daughter, “Lugnut,” as well as his affinity for building wheels. Not special, futuristic wheels. Just wheels. Wheels made out of wood.
I feel it’s worth noting that Torque’s spouses are two men and three women, and while that obviously doesn’t matter, I thought it was cool how the show made that progressive move even more powerful by not calling it out. They did the same thing in a much less romantic, orgy kind of way last season, but this time it came from a very loving place. Normalizing love is always a plus.
While Josh’s story is still as entertaining as it is hilarious, and Tiger’s is never a let down either, Wolf’s storyline always seems to have the most heart. Tiger spends most of her time being tough as nails and trying to beat every situation into submission, which extends the amount of time it takes for her to finally allow things to affect her. Wolf, on the other hand, had his horizons broadened when Josh’s super-supportive dad taught him through cooking that he could be more than a soldier (last season). This taught him that embracing new things like the warmth of a loving family, or cocaine, could feel amazing.
Nothing against Josh and Tiger but compared to the range of feelings Wolf gets to express and embrace on screen, sometimes they feel a little one-note (at least at first). When Future Man began it was a story about Josh that turned into a story about Josh and his two sort-of friends from the future. This season feels like its more about Tiger, then Wolf, then Josh, in that order, with Wolf’s story having the most depth.
As far as the comedy goes, the show is just as funny as it was before. It’s not necessarily better than last season joke-wise, but it’s not worse, either. There are still plenty of dick jokes, puns, jokes based on naming conventions, and a few callbacks to the previous season, but most of the comedy is situational if nothing else. Again, still great stuff, but season one had some great stuff, too.
I can’t really say much else without the spoiling the season, but I will say that, as per usual, the special effects, set design, wardrobe and camera work are all top notch. Does it look like a Ridley Scott movie? No. But it looks and sounds great. The fight choreography is bad ass as well.
So, do you have to have seen season one in order to enjoy this one? I don’t think so. There’s a “previously on” refresher mini-episode before the season two opener that covers the necessities, and while the plot does matter, the show doesn’t take itself so seriously that it avoids exposition. It’s pretty easy to figure out what’s going, because everyone’s pretty much telling you. That’s okay, though. This isn’t supposed to be the most cerebral thing ever. This is laugh-out-loud, popcorn flick-based entertainment. Almost everything that happens is ri-damn-diculous, but it’s undeniably fun to watch.
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