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Christian Cook
Christian Cook

Final Space - Season 1

Final Space is an adult animated space opera comedy drama television series created by Olan Rogers and developed by Rogers and David Sacks. The series involves an astronaut named Gary Goodspeed and his immensely powerful alien friend Mooncake, and focuses on their intergalactic adventures as they try to save the universe from certain doom.

Final Space - Season 1


The series aired on TBS on February 26, 2018.[1] It then moved to Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim, started with the second season on June 24, 2019, followed by the third and final season on March 20, 2021.[2]

On September 10, 2021, Rogers announced that Adult Swim cancelled the series after three seasons[3][4] due to the proposed merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery announced that year.[5] In September 2022 Warner Bros. Discovery announced the show would no longer available once it completes its international run on Netflix.;[6] widespread speculation that the removal of multiple shows was a write-off as a loss for tax purposes turned out to be incorrect, with the issue instead being ongoing flat-rate residual payments being too high compared to metrics showing not enough people watching the shows.[7]

The idea for the show originated in mid-2010. Olan Rogers uploaded the first episode of a planned ten-part animated web-series titled Gary Space to his personal Facebook channel.[14] The project went on hiatus three episodes in, and Rogers eventually explained on Facebook that both he and the series' artist, Dan Brown, were tending to separate projects at the time, but were in talks of continuing.[15] On April 30, 2013, Rogers confirmed that he was rebooting and producing a season of Gary Space episodes to release at once.[16] Over two years later, Rogers revealed that a new short for the reboot for Gary Space was planned to be pitched to Cartoon Network, in addition to premiering the episode at Buffer Festival if nothing came from the pitch.[17]

Animation for the series is handled by ShadowMachine in Los Angeles and outsourced to Canadian studio Jam Filled using the Toon Boom Harmony software. The show uses NASA space imagery for the space backgrounds.[27]

When asked on Twitter about the series' longevity, Olan Rogers had stated that he had at least six seasons worth of material thought up for the show including an ending for Final Space in case the series gets cancelled in the future.[28]

Final Space premiered on Reddit on February 15, 2018, followed by an AMA with Rogers.[35] This would mark a first for a TV network to premiere a series on the site.[35] Later that day, the first two episodes became available on TBS's website and app. TBS's sister network TNT aired a sneak peek premiere of the show on February 17, 2018, right after the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend.[36] After its official premiere on TBS on February 26, 2018, the pilot aired two hours later on sibling network Adult Swim; the rest of the season also aired on the network in a similar fashion. On February 20, 2018, the first two episodes were released on iTunes.[37] Netflix handles the international distribution to the show and debuted the series on July 20.[38]

On April 7, 2019, Rogers revealed that the show would move first-run airings to Adult Swim and be simulcast on TBS; a reversal of the airing pattern from the first season.[39] The news would be confirmed in June of that year,[40] with the second season premiering on June 24. TBS would air an encore the following week.[41]

The first 2 seasons became available to stream on HBO Max on March 1, 2021, ahead of Season 3's premiere.[43] Season 3 was released on HBO Max on November 13, 2021.[44] On July 1, 2022, the series was removed from HBO Max, as well as all content related to the series from Adult Swim's official website and YouTube channel.[45] Some episodes remain available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video[46] and YouTube[47] in the United States and the series is still available on Netflix in international regions until December 16, 2023.[48]

The first season of Final Space received positive reviews,[49] with critics praising the show's cast (especially David Tennant's voice performance as the Lord Commander).[50][51] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 70% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "Final Space doesn't always hit its mark, but for those looking for a bite-sized intergalactic comedy it may prove an amusing diversion."[52] On Metacritic season 1 has a score of 60 of 100 based on reviews from 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[49]

Impressions about the first episodes were also mixed, with criticism focused on Gary's humor. Collider's Dave Trumbore gave the series four out of five stars, praising the cast, the series' uniqueness and its originality.[53] The Hollywood Reporter said "the new animated series from TBS misses the mark, and will likely float off into space".[54] The A.V. Club gave the series a C+ grade.[55] Reviewing the first two episodes, Den of Geek gave them a score of 3.5 out of 5 stars.[51] IndieWire gave a B+ grade.[50] The Daily Beast received the series favorably, comparing its potential with Adventure Time and BoJack Horseman.[56] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times praised the show for the space backgrounds and Gary's relationship with Mooncake, but criticized for being "not as clever as Futurama or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Galaxy Quest, series with which it shares certain features" and for the comedy which "leans toward things adolescent boys find funny."[57] Screen Rant wrote favorably of the series, praising TBS' decision to release the first two episodes 11 days before the series premiere, and describing it as a "very silly comedy," comparing protagonist Gary to Homer Simpson and Philip J. Fry.[58]

Gary Goodspeed, a man serving a five year prison sentence on a spaceship named the Galaxy One, one day, he finds an alien creature he names Mooncake. The creature, while cute, is a powerful planet destroyer, with the potential to open a gateway to a different universe called Final Space. Soon, Gary finds himself caught in a conflict with the tyrannical Lord Commander, who wishes to enter Final Space and is dead set on capturing Mooncake.

TBS, the network of "very funny" programming, has a brand-new animated series to share with you tonight in Final Space. But it's not really a comedy at all. Despite the occasional one-liner or sight gag that elicits honest laughter, Olan Rogers' creation is a darkly comic tale that is at its best when delivering space-based peril, harrowing displays of evil, and impossible decisions on the part of the heroes. A comedy it is not, but a visceral, engaging, and surprisingly high-stakes animated adventure-drama, it definitely is.

While watching Final Space, a bunch of sci-fi touchstones kept coming to mind: There's the obvious Buck Rogers and Star Wars nods for space-based sci-fi/fantasy action, the dysfunctional space family comedy unit that's familiar to Futurama and Bravest Warriors, and the outright weirdness and randomness exemplified by shows in the vein of Rick and Morty. There's even the hyper-cute death-weapon Mooncake, who conjures up memories of the cuddly alien menace from Lilo & Stitch. Final Space borrows some elements of all of these popular titles and peppers them in throughout the telling, but it really is its own unique story. In fact, Final Space swerves so severely from comedic beats in one moment to dramatic gut-punches in the next that you'll find yourself laughing just before the wind gets knocked out of you and your jaw hangs open in disbelief. "Did they really just do that?" I asked myself a number of times over these six episodes. While this approach makes Final Space stand out, it also hampers it a bit because the uneven tone makes it difficult to pin down just what this show is trying to be. And that unevenness is exemplified in the often-selfish and occasionally heroic Gary, our protagonist.

Please have some patience with Gary; he's been on his own with no one to talk to but some frustrating robots for about five years. You see, he's a prisoner aboard the space ship Galaxy One, and he's a little rusty when it comes to his communication skills. He's the core of this cast of characters: He's watched over by the Galaxy One's robot ensemble, which varies from the hyper-intelligent HUE (Kenny), to the irritating but occasionally useful KVN (Armisen), to an endless army of variously named bot-assistants/soldiers; he's also the caretaker of Mooncake, a curious creature who is sought after by the Lord Commander (Tennant) and his hired bounty hunters, like Avocato (Galloway); and he's the ever-awkward, one-sided love interest of Quinn (Sumpter), a "Lawful Good" space soldier who is forced to break bad. This dysfunctional family comes together in exciting ways that lead to a lot of conflict, and they're tested in ever more traumatizing ways, with heart-breaking results. It's these characters that make the show worth watching.

Final Space is also an incredibly well-produced series. ShadowMachine's animation is glossy, smooth, and not afraid to get incredibly visceral on a number of occasions. And for a spacefaring action-adventure series, the animators' grasp of scale comes into play quite often, whether it's one already-massive spaceship being dwarfed by another, much larger vessel, or when one of our heroes runs afoul of a not-so-nice butterfly and almost ends up becoming bug-chow. The locales vary from exotic alien marketplaces, to dangerous industrial facilities, to neon-colored jungles; my only complaint here is that Final Space moves so quickly through these settings that the show never really gets a chance to catch its breath in any of them, save the prison ship HQ. Perhaps the best display of the show's willingness to get into the gritty realities of space dangers is the cold open of each episode which feature Gary in peril as HUE talks him through his last minutes alive. Each episode ticks a little further along on Gary's clock as audiences are left to wonder how he got into this position, where his friends and allies are, and if he'll make it out alive. 041b061a72


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