Oh Future Man, you frustrating bastard you, I’d had high hopes that this third season would be a more consistent affair as it was only eight episodes long, and the first two episodes definitely were extremely likeable as we saw our heroes fight in the Diecathlon and then lurch all over time while trying their best not to change it. But then the next two slowed the story down way too much as they were stuck in Quebec and it became a much more disappointing affair, even though Osama Bin Laden turned up and tried to persuade Josh that he was all good and lovely now in a fantastic reveal that quickly ran out of steam.
Then there was what felt like more filler as the trio were carted off to Haven, a virtual version of Heaven where Josh had all of his dreams come true (well, the dreams where he fucked a huge selection of famous people at least), Tiger became a Zen goddess as she finally overcame the bloodlust that had been troubling her all season, but Wolf lost his mind as he struggled to comprehend why they were there. The first episode had a lot of very funny moments as our trio interacted with Buddy Holly, Jesus, Marilyn Monroe and other well known celebrities, but once again it stretched out the idea too thinly and the following two were disappointing.
There were still highlights in each episode, and Wolf provided the majority of the laugh out loud moments as per usual, but it was a mystery which needed to be solved far sooner than it was, especially as the final episode felt rushed as everything came to a close. In this episode there was lots of running around and fighting as Susan (Seth Rogen) reappeared to do battle with his nemesis Marshall Mathers, Wolf took on the Time Constables,Tiger did battle with the supposed ultimate killing machine and Josh tracked down the computer nerd responsible for creating Haven and “The Time Suck”, but it rarely had any time to breathe, or to be funny for that matter.
There was time for a few slightly contrived speeches about how our characters had changed however, but there were a little too patronising on occasion, Josh’s final ramble where he talked about how “You can’t cover up your mistakes, but you can own them, you can learn from them, you can make them a part of who you are, that is how you build character” being the kind of thing that saw this almost feel like “A Very Special Episode”, and also contributed to the lack of laughs.
It’s weird because the very ending showed that the series was still more than capable of being hilarious as it gave us a great gag over the end credits, a very pointed dig at Hollywood whitewashing that was quite inspired, but all it made me do was wish that the rest of the episode had been that inventive rather than the bland and largely predictable action that we ended up with. And sure, it was nice to see everyone get a happy ending, but funnier happy endings would have been nice and surely not too much to ask for?
I have to confess that I’m glad the show is now over with, if this hadn’t been the last run of episodes I don’t think I would have bothered with it, and I definitely wouldn’t have watched a season four if there was one. Which made me wonder if I actually regretted watching the show, and it’s never a good sign that I’m even asking such a question. It was undoubtedly a series with far too many filler episodes, and filler episodes that were only sometimes funny too, and on many an occasion it felt like they were stretching things out and wasting time just to fulfil an episode order. But it did contain a story I often found entertaining, filled with characters who were likeable and compelling – and of the variety you don’t often see elsewhere (well, Tiger and Wolf, anyhow) so I suppose I don’t.
That said I’m really bloody glad it is now all over, that it’s three seasons and done, perhaps a Wolf spin-off series might be diverting as he was the only character who was consistently entertaining (with Tiger coming a close second, but her arc this season led to some dull scenes in the finale) but I’m definitely glad to see the end of Josh. I also wouldn’t recommend the show to anyone either, if you watched the first two seasons you might as well finish the series off, but if you haven’t seen any of it, it really isn’t worth doing so.
Episode Rating: ★★★
Series Rating: ★★★