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Offline Khushrenada

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The Futurama Review Project
« on: March 24, 2015, 09:05:56 PM »
I've decided to watch all of Futurama. I was big on the show when it premiered but I never followed it that regularly. I would see episodes here and there. And then it got cancelled. Years later, I saw it on the cartoon network and started trying to catch up on it again and what I missed but then I kind of stopped because other stuff would catch my eye.

Then there were the 6th and 7th seasons that I never saw but I think it was Plugabugz or Ooohboy who used to review them in the "rate the last TV show" thread (which is sometimes why I wish things could be divided by series instead of everything in one mega thread to look up past comments) and seemed pretty positive about them especially the ending of the series. A good series ending can go a long way to make a series great. I think it's one helps give MASH part of its enduring appeal. Recently, I just wanted to watch a little comedy while eating a meal and thought of Futurama and finally seeing it all. I'm sure there's even episodes in the original 4 season run I've missed.

Why not post the progress here on NWR and make this forum further into my own personal blog? Sure, the reader reviews forum mentions it for being about Nintendo games but that doesn't give this forum much life. I've always felt that just opening it up to reviews in general might better suit it. If the mods don't agree, then you can move this over to General Chat but I say we shake things up a bit. Rattle a few cages. Plus, destroying the Review Forum will at least give the Funhouse time to breath and recover from how much I've been suffocating it in the last couple months so that I can go back and burn it all down again later.

I'm not interested in really getting in depth with things here. I'm sure there are many other sources out there and better reviewers than I who have broken the series down quite well. I'm just going to rate episodes and make a few quick observations about them. My grading system will just be a simple A, B, C, D, F. Here's a breakdown:

A = a top tier episode and one I would watch again and again and recommend to people to make them fans of a show. Using The Simpsons as a reference, an A would be an episode like Last Exit to Springfield. 

B = a solid episode but slightly lacking in someway which holds it back. Using The Simpsons as a reference, a B episode would be like Homer the Vigilante

C = an average episode. You get some enjoyment out of it and sometimes you are a bit bored by it. Using the Simpsons as a reference, a C episode would be like Lisa on Ice.

D = a subpar episode. There's a bit of enjoyment but a lot of the episode doesn't work or, worse, annoys you. Using the Simpsons as a reference, a D episode would be like Saturdays of Thunder.

F = a failure. Would not want to watch again. Even if there is one or two good moments, the rest of the episode destroys any desire to see them again. Using the Simpsons as a reference, an F episode would be like All Singing, All Dancing.

As I watch more episodes, I'll add them to this thread. If anyone wishes to join in on this or make their own specific comments about episodes as I cover them, please feel free to join in. I'm always interested to know what other people take away from the same viewing experience.

Let's begin!




Season 1


Space Pilot 3000

Despite having seen this episode a few times, it had been years since I'd last watched it so a lot of it felt fresh again. The characters voices seemed a bit off to me but that is to be expected as the voice actors were only just learning them. It does a good job of introducing the main 3 characters and this world to get you to come back for more even if it feels more like set-up then self-contained story. Rating: B


The Series Has Landed

This episode sold me on Futurama and it still holds up so well. More of the cast is introduced, there are more laughs than the pilot and all kinds of different gags throughout the episode come together in the end. Really well done and Fry's sentiments about the moon echo my some of my own thoughts about it. A perfect blend of sentiment and laughter. Rating: A


I, Roommate

The series is still doing some world building in this episode which is to be expected and establishing the character relationships. It's not as brilliantly plotted as the 2nd episode but it's got a lot of great material especially the whole Bender being sober and told to drink element. I was cracking up at that. A good little twist ending also helps wrap up the episode strong. Rating: B


Love's Labours Lost in Space

The introduction to Zap Brannigan. While the beginning of finding Leela a date is ok, when the episode meets up with Zap Brannigan and starts making some Star Trek jokes is when it really takes off. His willingness to send wave after wave of men to their deaths cracks me up now thinking about it. Long-suffering Kif is the perfect foil. The episode then scales back down on the comedy by the time the crew leaves Zap and land on the planet. Another good ending although it isn't really funny but a bit clever in how it all works out. Rating: C


Fear of a Bot Planet

While Bender is clearly the comedic star of the series right now, it's hard to feel a lot of sympathy for him at the beginning although the casual way Fry dismisses robots as living is a bit humorous. There are a few good gags along the way and yet it feels as though the set up wasn't used to as full a potential as it could have been. The ending is a bit weaker than what had come before as well. The Robot Council admitting their corruption was a problem is the standout joke I take from that episode. Rating: C


A Fishfull of Dollars

I love the premise of this episode of Fry collecting all the interest on his bank account. The opening with ads in dreams and shopping is great. Mom is a so-so character but it is the eldest son who sounds and looks a bit like Vincent Price who is the standout to me of that group. I do feel bad though that Fry loses all his money over nothing which returns things to status quo but it irks me and I feel bad for the guy even if he doesn't seem all that bothered by it. After the strong beginning though, the episode is just hit and miss for me. Rating: C


My Three Suns

A rather forgettable episode. I can detail the plot for you but it's hard to think of any big laughs from this episode aside from Dr. Zoidberg regretting he had seconds and Bender making Amy cry at the end. It's also the third time now where Fry has had to make up with a friend. First its Bender in the third episode, then Bender and Leela in the 6th episode and now Leela in this episode. It's already starting to become tiresome. Rating: D


A Big Piece of Garbage

This is the episode where I realized how different Futurama could be from The Simpsons. If they want to parody a movie like Armageddon, the setting and world is far more flexible to do it than in The Simpsons. Which is funny since it has a sort of Bart Simpson cameo in it. A pretty solid episode with a lot of great gags and a new foil in Wernstrom. I did like the solution to how the problem was solved. Just an overall solid job of making some great jokes around the set-up and material. Of all the episodes I've seen of Futurama, I think I've somehow ended up watching this one the most. This might have been my 5 or 6th viewing. Rating: B


Hell is Other Robots

Ugh. Maybe this is why I stopped following Futurama in its beginning. I remembered not liking it but not why so I was interested to re-watch it. Big mistake! This episode is terrible. While the premise of Bender becoming well mannered seems like it could create some laughs, there were maybe two times I smiled in this episode. For the most part, my expression was probably slack-jawed incredulousness at what the writers were thinking when they wrote this or how it ever made the air. The episode just keeps getting worse and worse until the absolute nadir of when the characters sing a song about robot hell. I was ready to just stop it and walk away but I hung on until the bitter end to get nothing. I know Bender flies out of Hell but I can't recall anything that happens after the hatch closes. Different plot points raise so many questions about why things happen yet the characters just go from one scene to the next just because they happen that way. A complete mishmash. Rating: F


A Flight To Remember

A Titanic parody because everyone in the end of the 90's had to do Titanic jokes and parodies because of that behemoth of a movie. Despite what could be a tired premise, this episode actually holds up pretty well and gives most of the characters some great moments. My most favorite thing of this episode has to be Hermes and the limbo. That has me laughing again already. Even with Titanic now a distant pop culture phenomenon, the episode fits quite well into the Futurama universe and one can almost imagine it being written for this show anyways even if the movie Titanic never existed. Maybe I'm rating it a bit high after the last episode but... Hermes. Rating: B


« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 10:38:42 PM by Khushrenada »
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 03:42:15 PM »
Mars University

A sort of random episode. Bender helping the frat had a redundant feeling of Homer Goes to College which was a blending of Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds anyways. Still, it did make me laugh so I guess there's a reason shows and other stories keep referencing that material although the Fry vs Gunter material was stronger. I do love the gag of the elephant appearing out of nowhere. Ranking: B


When Aliens Attack

It's funny how a show about the future seems to just be so full of 90's references and pop culture. In this case, the Ally McBeal just lends the episode a dated feeling and the jokes or comments about TV didn't really work for me. The middle is probably my favorite part when Zap shows up and McNeal is trying save his own life. Last episode made a joke about FOX and this one then made a couple more. When you watch a few shows in a row like this, things like that stand out and make the writing seem a bit weaker. Rating: C


Fry and the Slurm Factory

I remember watching this episode when it first aired years ago and while I may have forgotten the dialogue, I've always remembered the plot. Thus, I already knew Slurm's secret. I remember laughing a lot at the Oompah-Loompah jokes and I was pleased to see they hold up well after all these years. The strength of that element is enough to recommend this episode. I also enjoyed how no one had any mercy towards Slurms McKenzie and it was a pretty good parody of the film. Yet, I feel like the episode lacks something especially in the last act when you already know the secret. I feel like if it was the first time I was watching this, I'd give it an A but on re-viewings like this and compared to other episodes, I'm going with how I felt and giving it a B. Rating: B


Season 1 Overall Rating: C

Without worrying about doing an average of my scores, I'm just going with how everything felt to me. The season and show seemed to start out strong with a lot of energy and excitement about this world but then that excitement began to peter out a bit and the season cratered for me in the middle but then rebounded and ended with a few strong episodes. I had someone warn me that they felt the later seasons of 6 and 7 may have had or relied on too many parodies but I countered that the show has always seemed to do a lot of parodies from the beginning and Season 1 definitely backs me up on that point. To the show's credit, the parodies are pretty strong and are probably the better episodes of the season even. It's just a shame that with all the possibilities that the show seems to offer at the beginning, it then relies so much on mimicking and parodying so many other properties. Still, having seen other episodes of the show, I know the setting of this world will be used for greater things.(At least I hope so when I eventually get to them again.) Plus, most first seasons of a TV show are usually a bit rough and uneven so I shouldn't be too surprised at this being the case with Futurama as well. On to season 2!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 09:40:37 PM by Khushrenada »
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Offline Dan Laser

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 09:01:10 PM »
And now I have the Robot Hell song in my head.

When I started rewatching the series last year, I enjoyed seeing how characters and certain stories were introduced. Not having watched it for a while, I was surprised to see how early some them actually appeared in the show and Nibbler’s shadow is really in the first episode. And yes, the voices were really weird at first!

The moon episode would be one of my favourites. I remember liking “I, Roommate” and “A Big Piece of Garbage” too. “A Fishfull of Dollars” had some good laughs, but I did feel sorry for Fry too. I don’t really remember much about the “My Three Suns” or “Fear of a Bot Planet” episodes, which might make sense given your ratings of them.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 09:10:47 PM »
And now I have the Robot Hell song in my head.

How can you have that song stuck in your head? I can't remember a thing about. I can only remember some of the animation. I'm still in shock over how horrible it was. Maybe that's just me.

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and Nibbler’s shadow is really in the first episode.

Really? Where? Of course, I wasn't looking for him and forgot he even existed until the 4th episode but I'm just kind of curious about when in the episode it happens.

Quote
The moon episode would be one of my favourites. I remember liking “I, Roommate” and “A Big Piece of Garbage” too. “A Fishfull of Dollars” had some good laughs, but I did feel sorry for Fry too. I don’t really remember much about the “My Three Suns” or “Fear of a Bot Planet” episodes, which might make sense given your ratings of them.

Yay! I'm not out to lunch here with my views.

Also, just to derail this thread for a moment, looks like I was wrong about Better Call Saul. Jimmy did work at HHM. A pretty strong episode that I thought was starting to tie a lot of things together and is now giving a better picture of what may happen in the Chuck and HHM conflict.
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 10:15:04 PM »
"No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!"
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 10:39:32 PM »
I don't recognize that line. I must not have come to it yet.
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Offline Dan Laser

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2015, 03:01:46 AM »
And now I have the Robot Hell song in my head.

How can you have that song stuck in your head? I can't remember a thing about. I can only remember some of the animation. I'm still in shock over how horrible it was. Maybe that's just me.

I don’t know! I guess I’ve seen it a lot. Whenever I watched reruns, it seemed like it was either that episode or the Titanic one. The other Robot Devil episodes are better, at least. And the Titanic episode does lead to some other storylines, such as Kif and Amy. In Simpsons terms, it would be the Babysitter Bandit episode for me as a kid.

Quote
Quote
and Nibbler’s shadow is really in the first episode.

Really? Where? Of course, I wasn't looking for him and forgot he even existed until the 4th episode but I'm just kind of curious about when in the episode it happens.

It's during the new year count down, just as Fry’s chair tips back and he falls in the cryo chamber. It’s on the wall, near the chair legs I believe. I looked it up to see if they added that into later releases, but it was apparently even there in the original run. Neat! http://i.imgur.com/TNBFvFU.png?1

Which season are you up to?

One random thing that I’ve always found funny is all of the owls instead of pigeons in the future.

Quote
Also, just to derail this thread for a moment, looks like I was wrong about Better Call Saul. Jimmy did work at HHM. A pretty strong episode that I thought was starting to tie a lot of things together and is now giving a better picture of what may happen in the Chuck and HHM conflict.

Hah, yep looks like little Jimmy did work at HHM. Since it wasn’t as a lawyer, you could probably call that a draw as you weren’t completely wrong. It was a good episode. Pretty important in building Jimmy and Chuck’s relationship (past and present) and showing Jimmy's drive, ambition and seeking of approval. And as you said, it looks like it’s leading towards some conflict between Chuck and HHM (working on this big legal case while still contracted with HHM?), and more than likely some conflict between Chuck and Jimmy. It didn’t look like Chuck wanted Jimmy to work as a lawyer at HHM, but I wonder if Jimmy blames Howard completely for that decision - another reason he hates the guy so much. I honestly don’t know if Howard is actually a bad guy or not. I don’t think he’s necessarily a good guy, but maybe not as terrible as Jimmy thinks? Who knows. We haven’t really seen enough to say I guess. Anyways, I couldn't see Chuck or Howard dumpster diving to save files. "You can’t say it’s private if a hobo can use it as a wigwam!"

Silly Mikey. He is going to get into trouble. Do you think his daughter in law said the whole “it’ll only be a drop in the bucket…” thing hoping Mike would get her more money? I would have to see the scene again, but I don’t remember reading that off of the character. She seems pretty honest but conspiracy theories are fun.

Maybe we will get more Jimmy Matlock, solving cases, after all. Maaaaaatlooooock. Or Single Female Lawyer, sticking with the whole Futurama thing
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 03:04:41 AM by Dan Laser »

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 10:34:52 AM »
I'm into season 2 now and have to post a few more episodes. Can't say I've noticed a lot of owls but I'll watch for it now.

I don't think the daughter was being manipulative. First of all, if she wanted more illegal money, I don't think she'd have held on to the stash she had found in her husband's belongings. She'd have been more willing to spend it and would not have ostracised Mike for awhile. In Breaking Bad, we learn Mike has a bank account for his granddaughter and sends most of his money to it but no mention is ever made of him giving money to his daughter-in-law. The bank account is a sort of secret to them both from my recollection of the series. I took it as just an off-hand comment she made but Mike took it to heart because he's looking for ways to help them out since the granddaughter seems to be the last of his blood family. I think there's a conspiracy only because the line is a bit forced. It's just a clunky delivery and is brought up out of nowhere but just needs to be said because it has be said in order to move Mike along the path of BB.
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Offline Dan Laser

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 11:59:33 PM »
Oops I hope I didn't spoil anything there... Not sure what you've seen of the later Futurama seasons.

Yeah I kind of doubt she was trying to get more money from him. Considering dirty money got her husband killed, I don't think she would want anything more to do with that kind of stuff. It was more a passing though. I think you're right that is was probably the line itself - but it's purpose was definitely to motivate Mike to look for more work and help them out. I gotta admit that I wasn't apparently paying enough attention though because I didn't realize that  money was even from her husband. I thought she told the cops about that money and so assumed it had been seized. I thought that wad of cash came from Mike or something. Oops!

Another good episode this week! Won't say anything in case you haven't watched it yet. I started watching Fargo and definitely liking it so far. I should've saved the show until after Saul and some other shows were done though, cuz now I won't have much to watch pretty soon. I'm already on episode 9 of Fargo!

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 12:08:38 AM »
Ha ha. Ever watch Mad Men? It's not for everyone with its pace and unclear story structure but I'm really into it and it's last 7 episodes begin this Sunday. That might be something to watch.

I've seen the latest B.C.S. episode and it was very strong even though you knew the betrayal that was coming. The Mike half of the episode had a real Breaking Bad feel to it. Just like old times. Really liking how the show is coming together now and it keeps making the earlier episodes a bit more relevant as to why we were shown them. Looking forward to the final episode this Monday but it's going to be tough to already have the season wrapped up and wait until next year just as it's ramping up more.

I need to get posting more in this thread though. I've seen like 12 episodes of Season 2 and despite knowing what I want to say about them, I just need to take the time to write it out and post it.

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Offline Dan Laser

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 07:29:22 PM »
Ah yes, might be a good time to start catching up with Mad Men with it ending soon. I think I’ve seen the first couple seasons, then just started missing episodes and never caught up. Trying to think of any other shows I’m following, and there are actually a few I should finish - The Returned (french version), Broadchurch, Wallander, The Bridge… I'm sure there are more. They’re all a bit dark and gloomy so I'll go back to Danger 5 for a change of pace.

I finished Fargo and it was real good, yah. I went and watched the movie afterwards and it was neat seeing how many throwbacks the series actually had to the movie.

Looking forward to the last BCS tonight, but also will miss it! Think we can expect to see Saul Goodman introduced by the end of the episode? And yeah, where are the next Futurama write-ups!

Offline Wah

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2015, 08:47:17 PM »
What happened to E?
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2015, 03:50:07 AM »
So, it's been April 1st since my last post in this thread, (how appropriate [or is it?]) and I'm currently at Season 4 episode 9. I'd say it's becoming apparent that Futurama just does not grip me and it is why I've never gotten around to seeing it all and have never completed watching the first 4 season run of episodes before. That said, I'm close enough in finishing it that I probably finally will. Despite there being a lot to the show I like or want to like, it just lacks something. Still, I think I'll start trying to catch up in my postings again about episodes (and see how well I remember things I saw a few months ago now at this point.) However, I have a feeling I probably my take isn't going to line up well with fans of the show but that might make this a very interesting thread after all....
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Offline oohhboy

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Re: The Futurama Review Project
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 04:08:34 AM »
I love the show but a good portion of the episodes fell into the Simpson trap where almost everything was about some godawful stupid thing Homer did. For Futurama that would be Bender being a Jerk. I get it, he is the biggest Jerk in the multi-universe, can we please move on to some other characters and some other stories that aren't Bender centric?

It did improve near the end where I think the writers finally realised they way over used him and it was well into abuse territory. They tacked away, finally getting some heart warming Fry stories among other things.
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