Back when Fox was taking a merciless swipe through everything I loved, it wasn’t “Firefly” that hurt so much as losing “Futurama” right around the same time. “Firefly” was brilliant, but it was also so short lived that it actually manages to stand on its own in some way, because there just wasn’t enough volume to make sure you really knew what you would be missing. “Futurama” though got several solid seasons under its belt, and was legendarily abused by preemption and such, so it broke your heart in a different way. It’s sort of the difference between a young child dying and an infant dying, except not involving human life, so really nothing like that metaphor at all.
In any case, “Futurama” got resurrected by Comedy Central a few years back, starting with a set of movies (or technically 4 sets of 4 episodes, each designed to be watched back to back) and then moving back to traditional season orders. Season 7 comes back this summer, and here’s an extended trailer for it:
See, the trailer is fine, it does its job, but while the show was always funny, it’s not the gags that were the funniest part. It simply did a brilliant job of actually building a world and populating it, gradually building it outwards into something cohesive. That sometimes gets labelled as a series of inside jokes then when it comes to the comedy, but it’s more a consequence of having a tangible universe to draw upon. You come back to the same well, because you’ve actually built a well in this artificial universe in your head. And what that world building allowed was for the show to wrap back around from comedy to legitimately great tragedy (“Jurassic Bark”) and some of the best pure science fiction this side of old paperbacks (“Bender’s Big Score”).