LIGHT SPOILER ALERT- Do not read if you have not watched Season One of Future Man and Runaways on Hulu.
To no one’s surprise, Hulu renewed Future Man and Runaways on January 8, 2018 for second seasons. Both shows have been surprising hits for Hulu this past year. Future Man is a hilarious comedy about a 20-something slacker who is contacted by fighters from the future. They need him to help save humanity. Runaways is a Marvel show (based on one of their comic books) about a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are part of a conspiracy which abducts runaways and sacrifices them. Both shows have scored big with the fans as well as being the latest blockbusters for Hulu.
Future Man (see Transmute Jun’s article for more on Future Man) stars Josh Hutcherson as Josh Futterman. Josh is a slacker in his 20s who still lives in his parent’s home and works as a janitor at a company which is trying to develop a cure for herpes. Josh’s life changes radically when he defeats the villains, known as Biotics, in a video game and is contacted by fighters from the future who tell him that the Biotics are real and that they need Josh to help save them and humanity. This is of course the premise for The Last Starfighter which Josh actually references in the show. But, the fighters from the future, Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Wolf (Derek Wilson), have made a terrible error. They assumed that the person who could win the game had the same abilities in real life as the game. Josh does not have any of those abilities.
Future Man combines the tropes of fish out water (Tiger and Wolf) with the slacker, (Josh), who is the ‘chosen one’ to save the world. The ensuing comedy is truly laugh-out-loud funny. One of the first scenes, which sets the tone for the show, occurs when Tiger and Wolf first appear. Suffice it to say that Josh was in the middle of something for which teen boys are notorious for doing. Yes, the humor, at times, is sophomoric but the show manages to discuss issues such as race, family, and identity while taking the viewers through a hilarious and skewed view of history. It is truly a satisfying romp. One note of caution, Future Man is an adult comedy. Nudity and sex are played to great comedic effect.
Runaways, on the other hand, is a very serious look at how teenagers react when they discover that their parents are part of a dark conspiracy. And, since this is a Marvel story, some of the teens also discover that they have superpowers.
The show starts when this group of teens tries to mend their friendship after their group was torn apart by the apparent suicide of one of their members. The group is composed of the following members.
- Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz), the nerd of the group, whose parents are Catherine Wilder (Angel Parker) and Geoffrey Wilder (Ryan Sands)
- Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano), the goth of the group and the sister of the girl who committed “suicide.” Her parents are Tina Minoru (Brittany Ishibashi) and Robert Minoru (James Yaegashi).
- Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner), the spiritual one of the group. Her parents are Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) and Frank Dean (Kip Perdue)
- Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin), the jock of the group. His parents are Victor Stein (James Marsters) and Janet Stein (Ever Carradine)
- Gert Yorkes (Areila Barer), the social consciousness of the group. Her parents are Dale Yorkes (Kevin Weisman) and Stacey Yorkes (Brigid Brannagh)
- Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta), the youngest member of the group. She was adopted by the Yorkes after the mysterious death of her parents in a fire.
These teens begin learning the truth about their parents when a chance event at a party reveals that their parents taking part in a secret ceremony which involves sacrificing a runaway. From this point, the teens begin to unravel a vast conspiracy involving their parents, the police, Victor Stein’s corporation, a new building construction site in South Central LA, and a mysterious stranger, Jonah (Julian McMahon).
By the season finale, the teens become “runaways” who are being hunted for the murder of the woman whom they saw being sacrificed. The show is fast-paced, with tight scripts, good acting, and great production values. There is no doubt that Marvel has a hit on its hands with Runaways. But, to be clear, unlike the dark and brooding Marvel shows on Netflix, Runaways is definitely designed for young adults. In other words, the protagonists’ lives have just begun. And even with all of the obstacles facing them, these young adults have the ability to change the world and their lives.
Fans are thrilled that both shows are getting second seasons and they will clearly tune in for Future Man and Runaways. For Season 2 of Future Man, fans will be expecting the same laugh-out-loud, heartwarming comedy that they saw in Season 1 with just a seasoning of raunchy humor for flavor. For Season 2 of Runaways, the fans want more answers about the teens, their parents, and Jonah. Where will the teens go and what will they do? This truly is the diamond age of television!