A show returning after a decade-long absence comes with inevitable concerns. Will the show have the same appeal as it used to? Can it possibly be as good? These questions and more plagued the minds of some Futurama fans upon the announcement of a new season, but five episodes in it’s safe to say that there was never any reason to worry at all.
Hulu announced that it would be rolling out a Futurama revival in 2022, and immediately audiences got to work on wondering what the classic writers and cast could do with it. One of the true beauties of animated sci-fi is you can go anywhere, and as season 11 illustrates, also poke fun at anything.
So far this season, we’ve seen Bender, Leela, Fry, and the rest of the crew in installments that satirize and reference the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming binges, TV reboots, Bitcoin, and even the Frank Herbert book Dune and its cinematic adaptations.
Arriving at season 11 episode 5—Related To Items You’ve Viewed—which premiered on Monday, August 25th 2023, the Planet Express crew takes on Futurama’s answer to the colossal company Amazon.
Buying things today has never been easier, and Matt Groening’s beloved series has something to say about the hidden price in this latest episode. It begins with Fry preparing his and Bender’s apartment so it’s clean for Leela’s stay. Fry mentions he doesn’t have any hangers but that they can order some from “Momazon”, a thinly veiled riff on the tech company.
Within a second of ordering, there’s a knock at the door. “Wow, fast delivery,” Leela exclaims, and a robot delivery device brings in the order.
Back at work, Hermes explains that they’re being “driven out of business” by Momazon because of their free deliveries. Sent on a delivery mission, the crew return to the Moon and visit the farmer fans will recognize from the second-ever episode in the show’s history, The Series Has Landed. There’s even a cameo from the Crushinator!
The farmer points out that the Momazon warehouse is on the Moon and calls it a “wicked, wicked conglomerate.” His concern stems from the fact that the warehouse seems to grow bigger and bigger by the day. Crashing the meeting against Momazon is the company’s head herself, Mom, and she introduces a new product. “This is a smart home assistant,” she begins. “Always listening, always watching, but also respecting your privacy because privacy comes first. We call it Invasa.”
The rest of the episode becomes a commentary on conditions in the Momazon warehouse, as Leela expresses concerns before Bender takes a job there. When Bender is at work and finds himself essentially held hostage by the company working the boxing line, Fry and Leela only have to mention products in their home before Invasa disrupts them and shows them Momazon search results.
When Mom and her sons are discussing the progress of Momazon, they make reference to “10,000 small companies out of business,” as well as the Momazon Primo service where customers “pay a fortune for free shipping and also get TV shows for some reason,” with a cut to Primo Video.
Bender becomes trapped in his role and gets the word out to Fry and Leela to help him. Meanwhile, Planet Express goes out of business. The crew goes after Bender, but bigger problems emerge when the farmer’s suspicions are confirmed: Momazon’s warehouse is growing bigger. So big, in fact, that it swallows Earth and the planet is technically inside of it.
Furthermore, Invasa becomes so great and powerful that it dominates the planet with profits being driven to Mom. With Earth being inside the warehouse, the Professor comments that it’s blotting out the sun, while Amy is optimistic saying that “at least the deliveries will be faster now.”
Al Gore’s head presents itself to the crew. “I warned you this would happen,” he taunts. “You said global warming,” Fry accuses, but he replies, “I said climate crisis.”
Although they believe they’ll freeze to death in no time at all, they notice that Momazon’s warehouse expands past the sun and other planets, and soon the known universe will all be inside the warehouse.
Knowing they’ll survive, the crew cheer and Invasa suggests buying champagne. “It’s my universe now,” Invasa says, “you just shop in it.”
Futurama has dived into satire before, but it’s perhaps never been so focused.