Futurama Review: The Obvious Candidate
With this being an election year, it makes plenty of sense for Futurama to satirize the process. Too much sense, in fact, as "Decision 3012" was middle-of-the-road for the series, even if it was a good excuse for more Richard Nixon shenanigans.
This was a very thinly-veiled allegory for the political happenings of the past few years, especially the birther movement. (Earth Certificates instead of birth certificates... get it?!?)
Futurama decided to go with the twist that candidate Chris Travers didn't have an Earth Certificate yet because he was from the future. Apparently the Earth Constitution doesn't have a minimum age to be president. It's a shame we do have now, because Blue Ivy Carter would be a fantastic president.
The entire story just seemed very expected. Of course the show would go for mocking birthers because it was the obvious thing to do. Leela and Bender got involved because they're in the main cast and they have to be an important part of the episode. The Terminator reference was easy to see coming once time travel was mentioned, but hey, just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's not appropriate – or funny.
Plus, it wound up serving as a great callback to Bender's Big Score. The ending essentially resetting everything back to normal, albeit with the dark note it ended on, was not unpredictable.
However, even a problematic Futurama is still a good time. There's still plenty of laughs, even if it ended on a comically dark note with Nixon winning and the destruction of humanity a short while away. The dialogue was witty with some great Futurama quotes, but I like when I'm left somewhat surprised by the show, and it seemed comfortable to paint by the numbers tonight, even if that's still a good use of a half-hour.