'Future Man' - Pilot Recap & Review

Hulu's newest series Future Man has just been released in its entirety for subscribers to stream. The show follows Josh Futturman, a janitor by day and a gamer by night, who is recruited by mysterious visitors to travel through time to prevent the extinction of humanity. It also happens to be a sci-fi action comedy executive produced and partly directed by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.

The pilot does a decent job of setting up the series' plot. Josh works as a janitor at a medical facility where Dr. Kronish (Keith David) is working on a cure for herpes. In his down time he lives with his overly supportive parents (Ed Begley Jr. and the late Glenne Headly) and is obsessed with beating the unbeatable "Biotic Wars" video game. When Josh becomes the first person to successfully beat the game he is visited by two soldiers from the future, Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Wolf (Derek Wilson), who inform him that the video game was actually a test to find "The Savior", a warrior who will save the world from total destruction. That destruction may or may not be tied to the cure for herpes, just so we're clear on the tone of the show.

Future Man is a show that isn't afraid to stoop to any level to make a joke. We're talking "flying ejaculate hitting an unsuspecting target" level of gross-out humor. It's an over-the-top show that knows it's over-the-top, but the pilot hasn't quite found the balance to keep the proceedings from going off the rails. The jokes are very hit-or-miss with many of the gross-out gags missing an actual punchline. It's supposed to be funny because it's gross.

But some of the stuff really works. Ed Begley Jr. and Glenne Headly are hilarious as Josh's parents, who do nothing but encourage him to play video games and live at home forever. There's also a fairly impressive action sequence in the episode that really raises the bar for what the show should aspire to be.

Based on the first episode, Future Man is a real work in progress. If they can hone some of the juvenile gags into more clever jokes and find the right tone moving forward, Future Man has the potential to be a real comedic gem.