Futurama Volume One
Had Fox aired Matt Groening’s Futurama right after ”The Simpsons,” rather than banishing it to 7 p.m., it would be a deserved hit instead of a now-out-of-production cult favorite. Newcomers can now discover that the hilarious cartoon portrait of Fry — a dim-witted, deep-frozen 20th-century pizza delivery boy who awakens in the year 3000 — has the same incisive, silly wit as its Springfield sister. (For example, an ”Animal House” parody is even funnier when it stars robots.) And unlike ”The Simpsons”’ rougher first season, ”Futurama”’s was sharply paced and crisply drawn (with sumptuous 3-D animation) even in its first 13 episodes. Yes, there is true nerdery at work in this DVD set: Geeks will thank their lucky lightsabers for the dense commentary tracks where producers discuss hidden binary-code jokes and a reference to the obscure ”Star Wars” action figure Yakface. But wary sci-fi-phobes should rest assured that underneath the hovercrafts lies pure Simpsonian satire.