Screw the Roche Limit, Futurama's back in business!
There are only two words that can really describe Futurama: "Fucking Awesome." It's one of those rare shows that is smart, funny, hilariously well planned ahead (Remember Nibbler? Yeah. That's this development team for you), and takes the entire concept of space and time exploration and mixes every attending cliche and trope in the blender to parody and revel in every aspect. Frequently running on Rule Of Cool, Futurama is pretty much the definition of Troperiffic, and it will lampshade, deconstruct and freaking re-invent every convention in both the comedy and sci-fi genres to the nth degree, and it won't be shy about it. What really makes this one of my favourite comedy series of all time is not only the flat laugh-out-loud jokes, but also the more subtler ones on astronomy and engineering that make you want to not only sacrifice a live goat in a bloody sacrifice to the creators of this show, but also buy a really expensive goat for said sacrifice. I mean, what other show would ever include a joke on the Keeler Gap of Saturn's rings? And the shout-outs and affectionate parodies of everything from Star Trek TOS to Doctor Who to LOTR are enough to make your inner geek jump for joy. For fuck's sake, this show got me interested in string theory again! This show really caters to all aspects of the human psyche, when your main characters are Fry, a ditzy Cloud Cuckoo Lander with a heart of gold, Leela, a Kick Ass Captain with one eye, and Bender, a robot who smokes, drinks, does drugs, and can and will steal the pavement you're walking on just For The Evulz. Oh, And Zoidberg. Hell, this show has NAMED so many tropes, that I know I for one owe it for many a TV-trope entry. And boy, did Futurama get Royally Fucked Over By The Network. I think it's really a testament to how good a show is when it survives a run on Fox (a.k.a Satan's Evil Spawn (The Guys Who Destroyed Firefly)), and has 4 movies to its name. No one was happier than me when after a horrific run of mid-year university exams I found a new episode out for the start of season 6, and got to laugh my head of. Thank god for Comedy Central. Alright, I've ranted on for long enough. I really wrote all this just to celebrate one of the best shows in Western Animation and say "FUCKING YES! FUTURAMA'S BACK!"
Bender's Game review
I love Futurama. It was a brilliant, brilliant show with great characters, excellent stories and wonderful humor. I was sad when the series was cancelled, but became hopeful when the DVD movies were announced. I will review the third DVD movie Bender's Game. The story centers around a dark matter shortage in the universe, and a subplot about Bender playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now, the first half is superb. There are some issues with character exaggeration, but other than that, is excellent. The humor is funny and clever, most of the parts with Bender in the asylum in particular, and there are some magnificent plot elements, for example, the reveal of the secret behind Mom's Dark Matter mine is the movie's triumph, making a hilarious moment, that ties in to the continuity in a satisfying way. But the main selling point in this movie was the Medieval segment. I was mostly against this idea, since it seemed pointless that Futurama would need such a segment. But there were possibilities. Would it be the medieval world shown in the first episode? A steampunk medieval setting? No. The end result is what ruins the movie. This segment, awkwardly comes right in the middle of the main plot, throwing everything established in said plot out the window. What we have is this hackneyed, uninspired segment that takes over the movie, and accomplishes nothing, other than being a mediocre Lord of the Rings parody. Did we NEED this segment? Did Futurama need the cast roleplaying as medieval archetypes? Did we need to have this instead of the previous plot? This is one of-NO-THE worst plot shift I have ever witnessed in a fictional work. And to top it all off, the climax has no closure and ends off with a cheap gag. Un-F**king-believable. So the moral of this story is, don't throw something perfectly good away, to get an inferior replacement. It's just a bad idea.
I've been hearing a lot of people complain about the new broadcast season of Futurama, and it's getting pretty annoying. I was a HUGE fan of the original run, and I thought all the movies were awesome. Yeah, I know that the sixth season (at least the second half of it, anyways) wasn't as good as the original 72, but honestly, what is? Besides, all TV shows decline in quality as they get older. It's a fact of life, and I've long accepted it. I'm just thankful Futurama can still make me laugh. But I absolutely DESPISE this episode. Not because it's a weak episode. A weak episode is just that, a weak episode. This was worse. It was an episode that was CLOSE to being great, but was ruined by something easily changed in development. I was excited for this during the beginning. Bender becoming omniscient was a promising idea, and the Fry and Leela relationship was getting touched on. It was apparently written as another series finale, and knowing Futurama, I prepared myself to cry tears. But of course, everything was destroyed by the goddamn court subplot. Somebody thought that instead of focusing on their relationship and Bender becoming God, what this episode needed was Mom suing the Farnsworths for messing with Bender. They knew this was a stupid reason to sue, and they lampshaded it too. So, why would they think we would care about the outcome of the case, when so many more interesting stories were happening around it? And then there's the amazingly heartwarming ending, even more heartwarming than the one from Devil's Hands, which was just a punch to the stomach, reminding me of what this episode COULD have been, if they took out the tedious court plot. I felt cheated out of an amazing episode when I watched this for the first time, and I don't ever want to watch this episode again.
The Late Philip J. Fry
This episode has been described as Futurama's return to glory post-revival, on the same emotional wavelength as Luck of the Fryish and Jurassic Bark. So I sat down, hoping to be swept away by effective character-driven storytelling. I walked away unimpressed. The story opens up showing Fry's tendency to be late on his dates with Leela. On her birthday, Fry assists Prof. Farnsworth (and Bender) in testing his one way Time Machine. An error during the test NOT caused by Fry ends up propelling them 1000 years into the future instead of the intended 1 min. The episode focuses on our heroes trying to find ways back, whilst showing snippets of Leela's life and her attempt to cope with Fry's absence. Unbeknownst to her, he recorded a message for her, apologizing for his tardiness and reminding her of his love. Eventually getting hold of the message, she realizes her misunderstanding and leaves a message for him to find in the future, telling him she enjoyed their time together. So what part didn't I like? Ignoring the obvious set-up, the contrived way in which they're lost in time, the way Leela copes (marrying Cubert) and her inexplicably knowing how and where to leave her message, what killed this ep (emotionally) was the Profs solution to loop time back around to the starting point, essentially resetting the universe. What made the 2 aformentioned episodes so powerful was that they were ultimately moments in time that Fry could never get back. Here time is resetted, lessons aren't learned (or unlearned), and nothing of value is lost. Compare this to Fry realizing Yancy loved him all along, but never being able to reconcile with him, or never knowing that Seymour was waiting until death for his return. TBH, if I hadn't read up on this episode, and they didn't rock that dramatic music so hard, it would have never registered that I was to take something away from it. Outside the spectacle of the universe rebirth, and the hilarious moment which resulted in them having to loop around a SECOND time, The Late Philip J. Fry was largely forgettable. It felt like a very long Tale Of Interest that tried to be emotional, but came across as emotionally manipulative.
This Show is SO good...
...I think it'd save us a lot of time if I mentioned the three episodes I don't like. 1. "The Cryonic Woman": Whoever added it in the DMOS page already said so. 2. "Amazon Women in the Mood": I know it was added to the Fetish Fuel page, and while I respect the opinion of the person who added it, I prefer it when the Amazons are militaristic hotties, not 15-foot-tall barbarians who act like they have daisies for brains. 3. "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch": This episode wasn't bad, but (and forgive me if I sound like a shipper) I thought the idea of Leela getting Kif pregnant kind of ruined the romance for me a little. Plus, as one reviewer pointed out when the episode first aired, "Kif and Amy have kissed and touched each other lots of times before; why does Kif only get pregnant now?" Those three episodes aside, though, it was a fantastic series. :)