Like “Avenue 5”, the new creation of the screenwriter of “Veep” with Hugh Laurie to discover on OCS City, these films and series had fun parodying science fiction!
The most meta
Synopsis: “Galaxy Quest” is a science fiction series that made the heyday of American television in the eighties. Since then, the actors have failed to break through and are condemned to put on their space suits in conventions or to provide supermarket entertainment. When real aliens ask Jason Nesmith, who played Commander Taggart, for help, he rounds up his old partners. In space, the entire universe of the series has been faithfully reconstructed. Will the actors be able to play their roles “for real”?
Carried by a solid cast (Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman…), Galaxy Quest is not a simple parody of science fiction but a meta film which features not a spaceship crew but a bunch of has-been comedians who rose to fame thanks to a science fiction soap opera that once aired on television. Biting and hilarious, Dean Parisot’s feature film is above all a vibrant tribute to the Star Trek series and its performers, first and foremost William Shatner portrayed here as a narcissistic former glory by a perfect Tim Allen.
The most tribute
Synopsis: The adventures of the broken arm crew of Orville, a spaceship of Earth’s interstellar fleet more than fresh, 400 years in the future…
Sold as a pastiche in the vein of Ted and Family Guy, his previous creations, The Orville became for Seth MacFarlane the Star Trek series he never got to do. A great enthusiast of the universe created by Gene Roddenberry, the screenwriter imagined with The Orville a series which would therefore be both a parody but also an extension of the cult series, not hesitating to regularly put the humorous side of the show to tackling societal issues: sexual identity, the death penalty, the parity of men and women… Although The Orville had a difficult start, it is clear that the program has since been able to find a place for itself – and a public – with a third season announced for the end of 2020 on the Hulu cable channel.
The most fun
Synopsis: Accidentally frozen on December 31, 1999 while delivering a pizza, Fry wakes up 1000 later in New York. At the dawn of the year 3000, the world has changed, populated by robots and extraterrestrials. The young man finds one of his descendants who hires him and his new friends, Leela and Bender, at Planet Express, a delivery company. Together, they will have to face perilous and delirious missions in a most surprising world.
Made famous thanks to the Simpsons, Matt Groening then devoted himself to a more personal project with Futurama, a futuristic parody which sees a pizza delivery boy as stupid as his feet waking up in the 31st century. Already lost in his own time, Fry will have to learn the habits and customs of this unknown future, but also participate in fantastic space trips, to discover new planets and extraterrestrial species, to say the least… bizarre. Nourished by a deep love for old science fiction films and soap operas from the 60s (Star Trek, Lost in Space…), Futurama is an animated series full of references, often hilarious, sometimes perched and even at the harrowing occasion, like the heartbreaking ending of the fourth season’s Jurassic Bark episode.
The crazy history of space
Synopsis: Helped by the dark Black Helmet, President Skroob decides to seize the atmosphere of the peaceful planet Druidia. That was without counting the intrepid Lone Starr and her faithful Barf, Princess Vespa and her droid Dot Matrix, and the mysterious Yogurt, grand master of the “Schwartz”…
“Star Wars with Jewish Humor”such was the description of the legendary Mel Brooks for his film The Mad Space Story (with the more daring original title: Spaceballs, or “space balls” in French). Stuffed with nods to George Lucas’ trilogy (special mention to Jabba the Hutt renamed…Pizza the Hut, a pile of pizza that will eat itself!), the feature film is also one of the greatest successes of the king of American farce, who also grants himself two major roles in his film: President Spurious, a sort of Emperor Palpatine, and Yogurt, the jester-jester equivalent of Yoda.
Mainly a parody of Star Wars, La Folle histoire de l’espace also had fun hijacking other films, whether Alien (with a cameo by John Hurt), Lawrence of Arabia or even La Planet of the Apes.
rick and morty
Synopsis: A brilliant inventor and his grandson go off on an adventure…
Imagine Back to the Future, if Doc Brown was a lifelong alcoholic and Marty a no-nonsense simpleton. That’s literally the pitch of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s animated series that sees a scientist grandfather and his grandson travel through dimensions on hilarious and – let’s face it – often disgusting. Trash without falling into gratuitous vulgarity (although…), Rick and Morty is a series with an ever-expanding mythology, served by an exceptional degree of inventiveness and a most effective low-brow humor. Character never imagined one day seeing a series like Rick and Morty land one day on television, it is undoubtedly for this reason that its two creators decided to do it!
The most British
Synopsis: The Red Dwarf is an 8 km long Earth mining vessel, which circulates in orbit around Saturn. On board, officers and miners coexist somehow. Dave Lister lives on board and has a cat although this is strictly prohibited. Discovered, he is locked up in a cryogenic box for fault… When he wakes up, the ship is completely empty. Accompanied by several traveling companions, Dave heads for Earth to find out what it has become during all this time.
Little known beyond British borders, Red Dwarf is not just a cult series in the United Kingdom, but a real television institution! Taking up the codes of space travel, this brilliant 12-season comedy does not hesitate to play the quirky and absurd card through a gallery of colorful characters: an average human (not very intelligent to understand), the evolved version of a cat, a tyrannical hologram or a frankly clumsy android.
Proof of its popularity, the series made its big comeback on television in 2009, ten years after being canceled by the BBC, which deemed the program “old fashioned”. In the end, it’s always the viewers who are right and Red Dwarf continues to offer new quality episodes at a more or less regular rate (a thirteenth season is expected later this year).
The most French
A ticket to space
Synopsis: Faced with the incomprehension of the French population as to the amount of credits allocated to space research, the government launches a vast communication operation. In partnership with the French Space Center, a big game is organized. “The ticket for space”, a scratch game, will allow two civilians to stay in the European orbital station, in the company of a professional crew. The operation is a huge success. Everything is going well, until one of the two winners takes the station hostage…
After the detective genre with But who killed Pamela Rose?, Kad and Olivier tackled science fiction with Un ticket pour l’espace, a comedy by Eric Lartigau which humorously revisits genre classics such as Appolo 13, Armageddon or even Alien (except that the creature is replaced by Teddy… a mutant turkey!). Very funny and frankly believable from the point of view of special effects, the film also offers Guillaume Canet a counter-intuitive role as a bad guy who is an expert in towel fights (yes…)!