In Fox’s tradition of canceling excellent shows (Get A Life, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose), we now add Futurama to the litany. Premiering midseason 1999, Futurama never found the following of its older Matt Groening-created brother, The Simpsons.

Relegated to a 7:30 timeslot, it was consistently muscled out of the way on the East coast by football and pre-empted on the West coast for the after show. A show that can’t be seen is a show that cannot garnish Nielson Ratings. And a show that cannot garnish Nielson Ratings is a show Rupert Murdoch does not want on his schedule.

Futurama not only looks beautiful compared to the early seasons of the Simpsons, but exploits its animation in the wittiest of ways: in an episode titled "My Three Suns," a gelatinous alien comedian, Florp, jokes: "So what is the deal with people under the orange sun? They’re all ‘Heyho, heyho, heyho’ but us guys under the red sun we’re like ‘Ohh, ohh, ohh.’ Right? Am I right?"

Season One’s DVD also has two of the best episodes to ever land on the show: "Mars University" (think of every college movie: Animal House, Revenge Of the Nerds, Real Genius–now think of them on Mars with robots and a super-intelligent monkey named Guenter) and "Fry & The Slurm Factory" (think Willy Wonka with slugs).

Every 22 minute episode, if not crammed with enough visual gags ("Zombie Jesus is my Co-Pilot") and non-sequitur references, becomes even more packed with hilarity while listening to the commentary by show creators David Cohen, Matt Groening, the writers, directors and voice-over artists. Deleted scenes, concept art and a mini-documentary further showcase why this show was not given the chance (or time slot) it deserved.

Perhaps they’ll keep Cohen’s and Groening’s heads alive in jars for the next 2,9007 years until Fox realizes its folly and brings Fry, Leela, Bender, Dr. Zoidberg, Amy, Hermes, Nibller and Scruffy back when they’ll be appreciated–a time when Guenter, the super-smart ape, may be president of Fox.

Show Grade: A

DVD Grade: A+