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‘Future Man’ film redeems time travel trope

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‘Future Man’ film redeems time travel trope

If I could name one of my defining traits, it would be my absolute and utter disdain for the concept of time travel. It’s chaotic, undefined and far too often promotes overly-convenient and lazy writing in creators. Simply put, it’s a concept that most entertainment should just stay away from.

But alas, growing up as an “X-Men” fan, time travel as a plot device was simply inescapable. Over the years I’ve come to learn that while 90 percent of the time it’s handled poorly, there are certain instances when time travel can be done incredibly well. Case in point, “Future Man,” is a raunchy, time-traveling comedy on Hulu I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with over the past couple of weeks.

Serving as a playful homage and dedicated love letter to 80s sci-fi flicks, “Future Man” is a Hulu original series starring Josh Hutcherson of “Hunger Games” fame as a lowly janitor named Josh whose life changes forever on the day he beats an unbeatable video game. From there Josh meets Tiger and Wolf, two badass time warriors played by Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson, who tell him of his destiny as “the savior.” From there, time traveling shenanigans and raunchy adventures ensue as our timely trio begin their mission to change the future. If only they could just stop screwing up the past.

What drew me to “Future Man” wasn’t so much the show itself, but the staff behind the scenes. Developed by geek legend Seth Rogen himself, I decided to give the show a shot because much of the staff will also be involved in adapting “Invincible” and “The Boys,” two of my all-time favorite comic books, into live-action. Thankfully, if “Future Man” is any indicator, the world’s in for some treats down the line.

Everything about the show just works so well, from the tone to the plotlines to the characters themselves, with Wilson’s portrayal of Wolf being a personal highlight. What truly makes the show great is that it’s really just about three people you would never want involved in time travel being involved in time travel. It shows the audience just how stupid the concept can be while never entering lazy or convenient territory unless that’s the point of the joke.

Tiger and Wolf may be badass time warriors, but it’s not like they ever took a course on the dos and don’ts of time travel, which leads to some humorous moments from the pair through their lack of common sense. Oftentimes this leaves Josh to be the group’s voice of reason, entertainingly proving why a mere janitor could possibly be the savior of humanity. It’s this premise, as well as the series’ 80s roots, that really sold me on the show.

The show isn’t meant to be some dark and serious look at the dire need to change history. It’s just a fun, zany trek through utter madness. It loves to make fun of itself while still displaying a level of love to works of the past, name-dropping “Back to the Future” and “The Last Starfighter.” “Future Man” loves itself for what it is and because of that we get to see some of the wildest, funniest time travel shenanigans I’ve ever seen on screen.

While I could go on and on about everything the show does well, there’s just not enough time (pun intended) and quite a number of spoilers I’d have to mention. The series does a phenomenal job of beginning with a pretty basic concept for time travel and then taking it in new directions to help keep itself fresh and unique in the crowded genre’s pool.

If you’re a fan of 80s sci-fi and raunchy comedies, give “Future Man” a shot. In an age where many say there’s too much good TV, this series deserves to persevere. After all, if it can sway even the staunchest  of time travel haters like myself, then there must be some serious magic behind it.

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