The basic premise, over which Groening had been mulling over for about five years before its release, is that a delivery boy named Fry is accidentally frozen on New Year's Eve, 1999, and is thawed out a thousand years later. He discovers a world where destiny is preassigned, and becomes (after a day-long struggle) a delivery boy yet again, this time for intergalactic courier service Planet Express. His best friends and co-workers are the one-eyed humanoid alien Leela and the terminally corrupt robot Bender. However, they all seem to spend much more time getting into trouble on missions than they should, and the package sometimes doesn't even get to its destination on some missions! (Even despite the company motto: "Our crew is replaceable--Your package isn't.")
The animation used in Futurama has a unique richness to it that many animated shows lack. Crammed with even more jokes than it is possible to get at one time (including an alien alphabet that the staff refuses to decode) and amazing three-dimensional backgrounds, Futurama is utter "eye candy" to the viewer. From amazing shots of their terminally demented universe to their wild escapes, the computer animation showcased is almost enough to pull in the viewers by itself! However, the backgrounds and computer-enhanced sections are intentionally toned down so that they blend with the hand-drawn animation and to prevent from taking away from the storylines.
Farnsworth is a very senile 160-year-old inventor, and is a far call from the typical professor type. He is one of Fry's two known living relatives and gave Fry, Leela, and Bender their jobs. Though he gets very upset when a package isn't delivered, he could care less if the crew gets killed on a mission--in fact, he's already complained that he's had this crew for far too long!
To find out more about this futuristic show, check out these sites:
Planet Trisol--A site that I designed all about the show. A good place to visit for info on the individual episodes.
The Futurama Outlet--One of my personal favorite sites, they have the very latest information on the show.
Can't Get Enough Futurama--A site just about as good as the Outlet itself. Less focus on information, more on graphics and cool gadgets.
The Futurama Fan-O-Rama--The best Futurama newsletter around, with over 650 subscribers! Humor, fan scripts, and the latest news from the 31st Century in your mailbox every week--sign up today!
Big Book of Futurama--Lots of original contests, episode reviews, media and more!
Futurama's Official Site--Site managed by the show's creator and the Fox network.
Planet Express Service Station--Another favorite of mine, devoted entirely to the Planet Express delivery ship.