"Futurama’s" Third Season – that actually aired sporadically over two seasons – is its worst. Which means, like its ancestor "The Simpsons," the most awful episodes can only be watched only two or three times before losing their humor.

"Futurama" tells the ongoing saga of Philip J. Fry, who, after being frozen New Year’s Eve, 1999, is thawed out in 3000. He joins Planet Express Delivery Service along with his interminable crush and best friend, the one-eyed Leela, the "would make Homer blush" robot named Bender.

"Season Three" advanced many of the ongoing story lines that separate "Futurama" from its yellow-skinned predecessor. While each episode could exist in its own hermetically-sealed universe, many connect to earlier stories and set up plot lines that are wrapped in later seasons. Episode 2: "Parasites Lost" (parasitic worms from an intergalactic gas station bathroom sandwich, turn Fry charming from the inside out) sets up the "holophone" that will appear in the show’s finale. Episode 10: "Where The Buggalo Roam" furthers the relationship between mealy-mouthed alien Kif and girlfriend, the too-cute-for-her-own-good Amy. There’s a rich history (future) in this series, and the DVD commentary on each episode just adds money to it.

Even on the most uninspiring episodes, the commentary is hilarious. Show’s producer David X. Cohen ponders why in all "Futurama" shows no one seems to ever wear seatbelts. He uses "Star Trek" to question why, if on every episode they fell out of their chairs, did they simply not buckle up? Of course, he also expounds on the genealogical mathematics of Fry being his own grandfather which makes Michael Crichton’s scientific masturbations look like Dr. Seuss.

The problem is, there’s no middle ground with the characters – they’re either evolving or staying stagnant. Each of the ancillary characters, while funny in the original episodes, never evolve. When newscaster Morbo, Lawyer Chicken or Kif come on screen, you already know what the punch line will be for these characters, who always seem to do the same shtick. Morbo, for instance, the angry news anchor, is always just that – the angry news anchor.

As with another of my favorite irreverent cult shows, "Upright Citizens Brigade," when this show hits, it smacks it out of the ballpark. That fact that the "Futurama" episode "Roswell That Ends Well" won an Emmy, shows that the Emmy committee does know what they’re doing and can identify quality when they see it. Combining popular mythology with incest, "Futurama" is one of the most brilliant 22 minutes ever devised.