Futurama

Discussion in 'Shows' started by ToroidalBoat, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    There's a Simpsons thread, so why not Zoidberg Futurama?

    Also, I haven't really seen the series after The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings. How do you think the later episodes fare?
     
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  2. AM3K

    AM3K Well-Known Member

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    Not too bad to be honest but seasons 1-4 we're damn good overall
     
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  3. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    I think the episode I like the most is The Series Has Landed.
     
  4. TheImportantFart

    TheImportantFart Jet-powered fish

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    Speaking personally, I wish they'd never brought the show back. "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" was such a perfect end to the series. There's a few okay episodes here and there in the later series and I'm not going to pretend the original run was perfect, but there was nothing that convinced me the show definitely needed to be revived.

    Futurama
    was a show that did something The Simpsons never did: quit while it was ahead. Granted, that quitting was imposed by FOX, but the show finished better than it started and left behind mostly good memories. Bringing the show back ruined that for me. Like I said, the original run wasn't perfect, but at least we never got fuck-awful garbage like "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular", "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" or "The Silence of the Clamps" (where we had bleeped swearing for f*ck knows what reason). I think the only reason critics gave Season 6 such positive reviews is because they were just happy Futurama was back. They began to wise up a bit around Season 7 which got much worse reviews.

    I've heard Matt Groening's trying to bring the show back again, but I hope he never ever succeeds. What's the point of stretching a show out for years if it just gets worse and taints your memories of the good stuff? *cough*Simpsons*cough*. And don't even get me started on "Simpsorama". Just try and forget that's probably the Planet Express crew's last televised appearance. Very sad. Anyway, we've got Rick & Morty now so I think Futurama would seem quaint by comparison.

    My advice: if you haven't watched past "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", don't.
     
  5. Salt Water Taffy

    Salt Water Taffy Venus Symbol

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    Ah, Futurama. Having watched the whole thing I feel like I never need to watch anything Star Trek. Futurama had so many references I've pretty much seen the entire TOS.
    My input on the later episodes is they were at their worst when they were doing allegories for real world events - "Proposition Infinity", "A Farewell to Arms" (that was the Mayan apocalypse one), "Election 3012", "Attack of the Killer App". It's the same problem I had with Zootopia, none of this will make sense to future generations (although not to say they didn't do that pre-cancelation, like "Three Hundred Big Boys", but that episode doesn't feel dated. It just used the pretense of parodying recent events to give the characters funny things to do, unlike the other episodes). That said, I think the best of the revival episodes ("The Late Philip J. Fry", "Lethal Inspection", "Murder on the Planet Express") are a whole lot better than the worst of the originals "The Deep South", "The Cryonic Woman", Anything with Robot Santa, anything with the Robot Mafia - seriously, did anyone like the Robot Mafia? They were just low rent versions of the Simpsons' mafia with all the humor sucked out.)
     
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  6. TheImportantFart

    TheImportantFart Jet-powered fish

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    I can't believe I forgot about this one. Should've been included on my list of fuck-awful episodes since the show came back.

    A show like Futurama doing topical stuff is just stupid. It takes months to animate an episode, unlike South Park where it can be done in a week, so whatever they're parodying will be old news by the time it airs.
     
  7. TheVoid

    TheVoid Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why you said "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" was garbage, I thought it was pretty good for the most part. Although, I will admit that the cereal cartoon in the middle kind of sucked, the bit at the end with G.I. Zapp was quite funny.

    Personally, I kind of get the 'quit while you're ahead' mindset, but I don't think many creators follow it. I remember 12 Oz Mouse telling a great linear story and having a great ending with the final episode of the series. The final lines "I thought we were finished," "I thought so too," before the characters who survived walk off into the distance while the camera pans out is perhaps one of the best finales any cartoon has ever had. The bad guys are dead, the good guys won, and the most important questions have been answered. You even get a nice reunion between Fitz and Skillet, which is all any fan of the show could ask for.

    The reason I brought up 12 Oz Mouse is because the series should have ended on the highest note possible, and it did. But then, the creators decided to make one more episode, and although that episode wasn't particularly bad, it shouldn't have existed. Speaking as a fan, there shouldn't have been any more episodes after that wonderful final episode of the series.

    Funnily enough, they did the same thing with Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They made a depressing 'final' episode at the end of the final season when they thought they were going to be renewed. I remember watching that 'final' episode and being in tears at the end because it was so incredibly depressing, and thinking that it was the final episode made me even more depressed. Master Shake and Frylock were killed, Carl lived a lonely life afterward, and Meatwad was forced to give up his interesting life to work a mundane job, and raise an ordinary family. When the credits rolled and the depressing song by Patti Smith played over a still shot of the Aqua Teen's house as Meatwad drives away after visiting one more time with his family, I cried harder than I ever cried while watching a cartoon.

    Then, the creators apparently thought that it was too depressing to end the series like that, even though it might have been legitimately the best series ending ever (at least, for an animated cartoon, I can't think of a single cartoon or anime that had a better ending), so they made an episode after that episode which wasn't bad, but it felt like a major step down after the brilliant episode that could have (and should have) been the ending to the series. Without spoiling too much, it ends with a breaking-the-fourth-wall joke of the characters watching the final episode on television.

    Really, I hope that they don't do the same thing with Squidbillies. I don't understand why Dave and Matt follow up great ending episodes for their shows with an 'actual ending' episode that doesn't measure up. It's infuriating.

    Also, Duckman did something really shitty with the final episode of the series. It ended on a cliffhanger that would never be resolved. As soon as I found that out, I decided to stop watching the series because I didn't want to be more invested in the series and watch every episode, only to be faced with an unresolved cliffhanger.
     
  8. TheImportantFart

    TheImportantFart Jet-powered fish

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    Fair enough. I just thought they lost their touch with the three-part stories towards the end. You can't top "Anthology of Interest".
    This happened with Futurama as well. They thought the ending of "Jurassic Bark" was too sad, so in "Bender's Big Score" they show Fry going back to Panucci's and finding Seymour again. I was so happy they did this because (and I'm going to commit a bit of sacrilege here):

    I don't think "Jurassic Bark" is that good.

    I felt like the episode was just being sad and depressing for the sake of being sad and depressing. I don't really get anything from it except feeling miserable. I think I appreciate it a bit more now that I know the story doesn't have nearly such an unhappy ending.

    If you want an episode that does "sad" well, look no further than my favourite Futurama episode of all time "Luck of the Fryrish". I've lost count of the number of times I've watched that episode, but it still brings tears to my eyes. Unlike "Jurassic Bark", although the episode's sad (or rather, emotional), it's an uplifting kind of sadness, where there's tears in your eyes, but you've got a big smile on your face at the same time.

    I think the reason the episode touched me so much is because me and my younger brother were just like Fry and Yancy when we were kids. We were always trying to one-up each other and I'd usually come out on top just by virtue of being older, but on the rare occasions my brother got one over me I'd get pissed. Now we're both (practically) adults, we get on really well together and look back on when we used to fight as kids and just laugh about it. Seeing Fry go through that journey and realising his brother loved him all along... I've got tears just typing this.
     
  9. TheVoid

    TheVoid Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I didn't like it when they changed the story so that Fry's dog was with him the entire time. It was a sad episode, and I liked it because it was sad. I could relate to it because I had lost pets before, so I understood how sad Fry was. I think most people can relate to the loss of a pet, and I think that is probably the biggest reason why it was so sad.

    But, to change the story to make it less depressing is a bad idea in my opinion. Yes, it was sad, but some things should be kept sad. That's just my opinion though.

    On a side note, there was a recent episode of Squidbillies where Early ate a dog that his son had recently 'adopted' which made me feel a little sick, which is something I've never really felt before while watching a cartoon. It's weird, I didn't feel depressed, or angry, I just felt disgusted and I was kind of pleased when Rusty appeared to be angry at his father for what he had done. It honestly seemed like he was about to do what he should have done a long time ago and abandon his father and Granny, and move in with Tammi and his son. It seemed like Early had done something so terrible that it actually convinced him that maybe his father is a bad person and he should abandon him, and the fact that I did feel such strong emotions is a testament to the power of the show.

    Funny thing though, and this is an unpopular opinion, but I'm noticing a bit of a decline in Rick and Morty which I feel may mean that season three is going to be when the rot begins to set it, so to speak, and that season four might be a sharper decline. I remember watching the season three premiere and thinking "this is good, but it doesn't feel as entertaining as the other episodes. I'm actually finding myself forcing myself to keep watching at some points and resisting the urge to pause it for a bit to do something else," which is a bit of a weird thought to have while watching Rick and Morty. Of course, I've also taken to re-watching a couple old episodes of Rick and Morty, and I often skip through the stuttering improvised rants (who else finds Rick constantly repeating the same thing over and over again to be grating? One particular rant where he says "Morty" over and over again irritated me a lot), so maybe I'm just getting sick of certain elements of the series which may be becoming more prominent in future episodes.

    I also wasn't fond of the Interdimensional Television episode they did, or the sequel. Every single comedy skit thing they do in the episode drags on for a little too long, and the Jerry/Beth plot was kind of lame in my opinion. The Summer plot which was resolved with a speech from Morty also kind of lost me. The existential thing where Morty buried his own dead body and taking the place of another Morty from a different dimension seems...how do I put this...it seems like something meant to provoke the audience into thinking about the philosophical thing that they just saw, but the show itself is assuming that the audience is having a mostly emotional response to it. It seems as though the show feels as though the only way for the audience to understand the philosophical question that the show is asking is to showcase it in a purely emotional manner through a character who is admittedly a bit of an idiot.

    Also, Rick is a total Mary-sue character. On Adult Swim that is actually a bit of a rarity, since many characters on Adult Swim cartoons go out of their way to avoid being Mary-sue characters, which I think is mostly because the creators of Adult Swim shows usually don't take themselves or their cartoons seriously enough to make a Mary-sue character. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon clearly do care about the show, and they do care about the characters, I think that they have managed to make Rick a Mary-sue character because of it, this makes it hard to ever feel as though Rick is ever in danger.

    God damn it, maybe I don't like Rick and Morty as much as I thought that I did.
     
  10. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    Topical episodes? Maybe I really am not missing out.

    Oh yeah, that one and the Moon one are my favorites of the series.

    I must be one of the few who don't think Mary-Sues are inherently bad.
     
  11. TheVoid

    TheVoid Well-Known Member

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    They're not inherently bad and they can be used well, I think. There's a nice Extra Punctuation article about how Mary-sue characters work very well in games, rather than in movies.

    Personally, I think the problem with Mary-sues is that once you have a character who is a Mary-sue, and you realize that they are a Mary-sue, all of the stakes are removed. You know that the character is going to survive, you know that they're going to kill the bad guy, so what's the point in continuing to watch?

    Going back to Rick and Morty and the season 3 premiere after the season 2 finale, you only need to look online to realize that Rick getting out of prison was seen as an eventuality by fans. We all knew damn well that being imprisoned wasn't going to last, and we knew that he was going to either break out because he's so smart, or be broken out because his family loves him so much. The reason why he eventually breaks out, and why he was placed in jail in the first place, is because he's "The smartest man in the galaxy", which is pretty much the ultimate Mary-sue.
     
  12. Hellblazer

    Hellblazer Autism on the rocks Staff Member

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    It doesn't bug me much because Rick being able to do whatever he wants and get out of any situation but still hating himself and living a miserable life is pretty much the foundation of the character.
     
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  13. Salt Water Taffy

    Salt Water Taffy Venus Symbol

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    I liked the G.I. Zapp part (can't go wrong with Richard Nixon's head and the headless body of Spiro Agnew!) and the Scooby Doo segment, while super mediocre, at least had George Takei in it.

    Admittedly, I've never been too fond of Jurassic Bark (except for the part where Fry does the Hustle for three straight days. That was awesome.) because except for that gag and the ending (which while I can appreciate a cartoon daring to end on a sad note like that I do think it was trying a little too hard to be sad. I think if it had instrumental music instead of "I Will Wait for You" it would have been a lot more poignant) it was just an okay episode.

    Side note: Shouldn't there be a Rick & Morty thread?
     
  14. TheVoid

    TheVoid Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but the problem I've found with that is that it is pretty much the typical example of a Mary-sue. If you think about it, he doesn't really live a miserable life at all, he's just a miserable guy with a tragic past who's family and friends put up with all of his flaws (no matter how much he abuses them) because he's so great.

    But, the thing is, I like the show, it's just that lately Rick's Mary-sue tendencies have been affecting my enjoyment of the show, and I feel as though it will only get worse as the show continues it's run.

    Anyways, here's what Tvtropes has to say on what defines a Mary-sue.

    She's exceptionally talented in an implausibly wide variety of areas, and may possess skills that are rare or nonexistent in the canon setting. She also lacks any realistic, or at least story-relevant, character flaws — either that or her "flaws" are obviously meant to be endearing.

    She has an unusual and dramatic Back Story. The canon protagonists are all overwhelmed with admiration for her beauty, wit, courage and other virtues, and are quick to adopt her as one of their True Companions, even characters who are usually antisocial and untrusting; if any character doesn't love her, that character gets an extremely unsympathetic portrayal. She has some sort of especially close relationship to the author's favorite canon character — their love interest, illegitimate child, never-before-mentioned sister, etc. Other than that, the canon characters are quickly reduced to awestruck cheerleaders, watching from the sidelines as Mary Sue outstrips them in their areas of expertise and solves problems that have stymied them for the entire series.
     
  15. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    Jurassic Bark was OK.

    Even then it isn't inherently bad. It can be like watching a movie where you know the ending, but you don't know how it'll get there.

    Yes there should.
     
  16. Mouseberger

    Mouseberger Ground Lolcow on White Bread

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    One of the worst episodes Futurama had was the one where they tried to satirize the 2008 presidential election and shill for how great they think Obama is. The first season of the relaunch was about half dumb and half good episodes on par with the original run.
     
  17. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    I like that scene where they go to Glorianimus 3, a planet near a "rainbow giant" star.


    edit to add: They recently released the Worlds of Tomorrow. From what I can tell so far, it's typical mobile gaming fare like The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  18. Janker

    Janker Salt Collector

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    Fry n Bart
     
  19. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    They actually used that "not sure if..." meme in the show.