Futurama Season 7 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Grinch Doctor, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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    I agree "T: The Terrestrial" was rather weak. I didn't really have anything to say about it last week so I forgot to post in my own thread.

    This week's episode was a bit better, but not quite a standout. The first half and the final quarter were pretty strong with lots of gags, but for a short stretch in the middle, the episode felt like it was meandering in the world of predictability. I did enjoy the revelation that everything that Bender sang about came true and I especially liked the fatal flow of Bender's duplicate, i.e. having artistic integrity, which was something I noticed right away as being off.

    I also agree that the Professor should have been the inventor of the "Make-o-Matic," but I forgive that because of all of the other callbacks such as Bender's previous adventure as a folk singer and his personality screw up as penguin as well as the mourners at his funeral that included some penguins, Lucy Liu, Abner Doubledeal, Bubblegum, the Destructor, among others, although I don't think I noticed Flexo (I guess he actually destroyed himself).

    Lastly, I loved this line: “Nowadays, we can take a unique and beautiful object, and easily reduce it to a formula for mass production. I call the process ‘Science!’”
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I thought T: The Terrestrial was OK. I love ET, but I think when it comes to episodes doing a take on it, I definitely prefer I, E.T. from Farscape. As for last night's I thought it was pretty fun. I liked the callback to Bender's dream of being a folksinger, and the stuff with his connection the 3-D printer was fun. I honestly didn't expect that when they started to realize something weird was going on.
     
  3. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yeah, The E.T. parody was too specific (and of a 32-year-old movie), while the folk song episode was better because it was more general, and tackled several topics. It also made the point that you can't create art without the experience to back it up.
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    The E.T. episode was a bad parody. I did like the folk singer episode but I was mad we didn't see more of the evil super villain! He looked so creepy!
     
  5. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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    "The Inhuman Torch" is easily the best episode of this broadcast season and possibly the best episode of the production season. I really enjoyed watching the Planet Express crew become a firefighting team, an idea that might sound hokey on paper but for whatever reason worked out really well in execution, from the red-painted Planet Express ship (which looked rather well) to Nibbler being painted to look like a dalmatian.

    However, the heart of the episode was the Bender/Fry friendship as seen from Bender's perspective. I loved how everyone (including the viewer) is so easily convinced that Bender was responsible for all of the sudden fires because, guess what, it makes sense. It's exactly the kind of thing Bender would do for all of the reasons stated. And, of course, Fry is the one exception, until he sees the evidence that he's actually right, naturally.

    Lots of great jokes and felt like a one of the early season episodes, although I couldn't help but I wish Amy, Zoidberg and Hermes had more to do.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I agree, this one was the most hilarious episode in a long time. Lots of laugh-out-loud gags. My favorite was the one about how the trapped sun miners "may never not see the light of day again." :lol: And I love how the cackling supervillain sought to overthrow "the alderman of my district."

    And it's refreshing to see Bender portrayed as having at least some trace of a conscience. He actually chose to protect the Earth even if it meant sacrificing himself to eternal solitude. Sometimes I think he gets caricatured as too evil, and I prefer it when he has some redeeming virtues.
     
  7. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Was it just me, or did the "flame" being resemble the sapient hearth fire in "Howl's Moving Castle"?

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are probably only so many different ways to animate a sentient flame being.
     
  9. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Ah, the best episode of the season. And, of course, I missed it. It had to happen. I'd been doing too well lately. :rommie:
     
  10. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    That was clearly supposed to look like Calcifer. When I saw the ad the first thought I had was they're doing a Howls parody.

    It was a good episode and I did find it hilarious the villain sought to become an alderman... the name alone is funny ;)
     
  11. T J

    T J Commodore Commodore

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    Saturday Morning Fun Pit...

    What the fuck was that?!?!? That had to be the worst Futurama episode ever made! Scooby doo, smurfs?(i guess) and gi joe parodys. Absolutely an awful disgrace.

    I have a bad taste in my mouth after that. With only a handful of episodes left it's a shame they wasted on on this shit!:barf:

    Get it together Futurama!!!
     
  12. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I'm usually a bit more forgiving with their "experimental" material, but I found myself literally clenching my teeth at that one. I muted the audio after the second laugh track replay on the SD parody and didn't turn it on again until the GI Joe pastiche and even that one left me cringing.

    The only thing I liked was the "smudges" upon the "cel" as the Mystery Machine/Planet Express Ship pulled into frame. A neat lil' dig at the sloppiness of circa 1970s Hanna Barbara animation.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Every season since the show's return, they've done one of these compilation things. Last time it was the nature programs, and before that it was the one where the show was done in 1930s, low-res video game, and '80s anime formats. That one was actually good, but the last two have been lame and had nothing to do with Futurama.

    The Scooby parody was mildly fun, and I liked how it was fairly authentic to the look of the show, particularly the style of the background paintings. One slightly amusing thing is that Billy West actually played Shaggy once before, in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island in 1998. But the main value was nostalgic; the parody wasn't all that good and the story was rather unfocused. Although it did come together surprisingly coherently in the end.

    The second segment was based on the Strawberry Shortcake cartoon, which I never watched, so I don't have much of a referent there. I think the one part I liked was the "part of a balanced breakfast" bit with the huge breakfast spread.

    I felt the G.I. Joe segment was off the mark. It might've been funnier if they'd gone with a straight parody that showed what it would've been like if they hadn't had the violence toned down -- or something like the Scooby segment, where the violence was toned down in the show but the characters remarked on the oddity of it. I also would've liked it if they'd captured the original animation style more. I did like the animation of the flames from the rocket and a couple of the explosions, which had a staccato, hand-painted quality that felt very much like the work of an '80s Japanese animation studio. That was the sort of thing I wanted to see more of, the recreation of the old visual styles, but aside from those bits of effects animation, the whole segment was just in Futurama's art style, aside from the modified character designs.

    And of course, it's disrespectful to show us these gags involving Headless Clone of Agnew so soon after his tragic disintegration at the hands of Omicronian invaders. The nation is still in mourning! Show some respect, people! ;)
     
  14. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Ah, the best episode was followed by the worst episode. At least I remembered to record them this week. :rommie:
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I suppose the best thing that can be said about this one is that for once, they didn't make the "three alternate versions" episode the season finale, like they did with the previous two. Which is good, because this season's finale is going to be the series finale. Well, unless they manage to resurrect it yet again -- but at this point I'm feeling they should quit before the quality degenerates much further.
     
  16. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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    I really enjoyed the Scooby-Doo parody, probably more so than others because I was such a huge fan of the shows growing up. The best part: The Harlem Globetrotters actually guest starred several times on The New Scooby-Doo Movies (which was my second favorite incarnation of the show, after the original).

    I agree the other two parodies were pretty bad (aside from the "balanced breakfast" gag), although I was somewhat amused by the notion of Nixon trying to tone down G.I. Zapp.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It felt like a misfire to me to have Nixon be the one in charge of adjusting/censoring programming based on '80s cartoons. True, some of the earlier social activism that led to the FCC imposing restrictions on Saturday morning content came during Nixon's time in office (indeed, part of the reason the Scooby-Doo characters responded to danger by running away or building traps was because of the pressure to keep the show nonviolent), but I'm not sure how involved he was with that as an issue, and it's still off by over a decade with the latter two shows being featured here. It felt kind of random. History aside, the fictional character that is Futurama's Nixon is unrepentantly evil and warmongering, so it's out of character for him to give a damn about censoring violence on TV.

    And really, if they wanted to do a satire of violent animation being redubbed to tone down the violence, they should've parodied an anime series. A lot of anime imports have had violence, sexual innuendo, alcohol use, or blatant product placements censored in the English dubs, often with the kind of obvious substitutions spoofed here, like a voiceover assuring us that a pilot survived a crash. (I think I remember a Star Blazers episode where a Gamilon ship blew up with the captain and crew pretty clearly still aboard, but there was a dubbed line in the next scene about how the captain would be court-martialed for his failure once he returned home.) But it makes no sense in a parody of G.I. Joe, an American-produced (if overseas-animated) show which was written, storyboarded, and animated to be devoid of lethal violence in the first place -- with all the characters using laser guns and never hitting each other except with stun weapons, pilots always parachuting safely out of falling jets, etc. There was a fair amount of death and bloodshed in the Marvel G.I. Joe comics, but not in the TV show. So their satire was way off the mark here and just didn't work.
     
  18. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This. It was a great trip down memory lane for us old farts who were the target audience in the 70s and 80s. No, the story itself (or stories themselves) weren't memorable, for the most part; but the satire and parody of Saturday morning cartoons was a great blast.

    I really loved the ending monologue about the cartoons being followed by 5 hours of golf. That was the best part because it was SO TRUE! Or that's how it felt. Noon was always a big disappointment - cartoons were over and the stuffy boring stuff filled the rest of the day.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There's a fun parody of '70s cartoons in the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. Leonardo there is a huge fan of Space Heroes, an old cartoon done in a dead-on, beautifully authentic recreation of Filmation's Star Trek animation style -- although the show-within-the-show is far more violent than any Filmation or other '70s cartoon could ever have gotten away with being.
     
  20. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I got a kick out of the Scooby Doo parody, but I never saw the other two shows so they didn't mean that much to me-- although I did appreciate the satire of commercialism in the Purple Smurfs or whatever it was. I wish they had picked some other cartoons to lampoon. The firefighter episode was better and had some great lines ("Suck it, Gilgamesh."). I wonder if the writing staff ever read "Out Of The Sun."