Season Analysis: It’s not like the 2012 output of Futurama was bad or anything, it’s just that there wasn’t anything about it that really excited me.

futurama_701_preview_03_640x360

“Decision 3012”
One of Futurama’s major strengths has been its ability to take social and political issues of the day and demonstrate how they could continue to crop up 1,000 years from now, such as the endlessness of political debates (the 3012 debate is the 3,012th debate of the 3012 election) and mathematically unsound economic policy (candidates are asked point blank if they believe they can lower taxes and fix the deficit).  The biggest target of this episode is the birther movement, in which the Earth citizenship of Senator Chris Zaxxar Travers (running against the head of President Nixon for President of Earth) is called into question.  Futurama adds its sci-fi bent to the social commentary, as it turns out that Senator Travers cannot produce his “Earth certificate” because he is a time traveler who has not been born on Earth yet.  Eventually, in true Futurama fashion, what started as a takeoff of the political issues of the 21st century became its own thing, with time travel paradoxes and erasure from existence.