Welcome to What’s the Buzz, 25YL’s feature where members of our staff provide you with recommendations on a weekly basis. In our internet age, there is so much out there to think about watching, reading, listening to, etc., that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, filter out the noise, or find those diamonds in the rough. But have no fear! We’re here to help you do that thing I just described with three different metaphors. Each week a rotating cast of writers will offer their recommendations based on things they have discovered. They won’t always be new to the world, but they’ll be new to us, or we hope new to you. This week, Vincent Greene is watching Final Space, Amber Welsh is streaming Randall Shreve: Live from Quarantine, and Rachel Stewart recommends Inside the Groove.
Final Space: An Epic Animated Thrill-Ride that Packs an Emotional Punch
Vincent: Final Space is an American animated sci-fi comedy/drama created by Olan Rogers. The story revolves around the interstellar adventures of the braggadocious if not a little dim-witted astronaut Gary Goodspeed (Olan Rogers). Goodspeed is backed up by his ever-changing crew of ragtag misfits as he tries to untangle the mystery of the titular Final Space.
As the story expands and we the enigma unravel it becomes quickly clear that Final Space is not just your regular aimed at adult type animation. The strength of Olan Rogers’s creation is that it has so many layers to it. It is every bit heart-breakingly sad as it is rib-ticklingly funny. The narratives don’t just contain the usual adult humor but also some excellently thought out dramatic sequences.
Rogers never allows the viewer to rest on their laurels. He is constantly looking to adapt and expand on the excellent core that is at the center of Final Space’s narrative. He pushes the envelope time and time again when we think that we know what the next step in his overall plan that is when he pulls the rug from under us. He is never afraid to dispatch of any character at any time. He knows like so many before him that it is the story that is the real star of the show, not just the characters that inhabit this intergalactic world.
The way the story unfolds and how Rogers sets the stage for things to come is excellently done. The world he constructs is vast, original and teeming with all kinds of life. His world is singular but yet his inspirations are clearly visible. Rogers is never one to shy away from serving his influences up on a platter for us all to see. It is so clever how he interweaves so much from what has come before without ever seeming like he is trying to copy, this universe is as much as an homage to classic sci-fi as it is completely without comparison.
What surprised me the most was how powerful and emotionally charged the storytelling is in Final Space. It does not just look stunning, it stuns you into silence with how breathtakingly beautiful the stories are and how they always play out in the most unexpected of ways. Final Space lulls you in with its stylish animation but keeps you with how meticulous and polished each and every episode is.
Even though it has only been on for two seasons there is not a bad episode in the bunch. There is no filler here, each episode is in service of the overall narrative. Each outing is another piece in this vast jigsaw that Roger’s is putting together so delicately. Final Space may appear to be just another run of the mill adult animation but at its core, it is so much more. It is hilarious, fast-paced and action-packed. It is a near-flawless representation of the medium.
Final Space is a crafty story that has been put together by an incredibly talented craftsman. It is a tour de force, an intergalactic excitement-filled thrill ride. Roger’s tale of misfits is every bit as touching as it is comedic gold. It is equal parts drama and equal parts rip-roaring sci-fi adventure. All is left for you now is to strap in and hold on tight because Final Space is going to take you on a journey the likes you have never been on before.