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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    Futurama In-Depth Discussion/Review Thread

    The purpose of this thread is to facilitate any and all discussion about Futurama, specifically the episodes and movies that have already been released (as opposed to speculation about its future). This forum once had a lot of Simpsons discussion, but The Simpsons section has been rather slow lately, which is understandable given how discussed to death that show has already been. But there's not a lot of Futurama discussion. Given that Futurama is widely beloved around here, and how much interest Panther's viewing thread had, I'm hoping there will be some interest in some more discussion. I know not everyone around here is into in-depth analysis, but I am interested to hear what the general opinions of Futurama episodes are, so short reviews are fine as well (as long as there is some substance to them; the idea isn't for a thread with a bunch of "Great ep, 5/5"-like comments).

    It makes sense to go in chronological order, for the sake of structure/having a place to start or fall back on, but the discussion doesn't have to be limited to that. Any relevant topic (i.e. relevant to any Futurama episode, movie, character, story arc etc.) is welcome at any time. And while I would like to go through my DVD sets and post thorough reviews myself, this isn't supposed to be a platform for my own reviews, unlike some of my other threads. I would love to have some good discussion. Futurama is a great, very deep series (and it happens to be the only show I have convenient access to at the moment, since I have most of the DVD's (Seasons 1-4 and the first half of 6). Which is also part of the reason for the hiatus in my Simpsons thread). Anyway, might as well get started.

    Space Pilot 3000

    While Futurama is quite similar to The Simpsons in many ways, it is also very different, not only because of the radically different premise, but also because the series as a whole has a plot. It's not just a bunch of self-contained episodes. For that reason, the pilot has a specific function, in addition to merely introducing the characters and settings: it needs to get the plot started. And as further evidence of Futurama's divergence from The Simpsons, future episodes and storylines were planned out well in advance, and you can find a few easter eggs in the earlier episodes that give clues to later ones. The attention to detail/continuity is one of the things I love about this show (although it could have been better. e.g. space wasps). Anyway, another job of the pilot is to make you care about the characters and what they are up to. Evaluating Space Pilot 3000 on how well it accomplished its jobs is probably the best way to approach reviewing a unique episode like this, especially for someone who is used to reviewing Simpsons episodes (most of which don't exactly have any specific functions).

    Right off the bat, Fry is established as a loser. It does a good job of making clear what his reaction to the future (and the new opportunity that comes with it) is going to be. Something did occur to me, though; doesn't Nibbler's plan to get Fry to the future require him to sit down in that chair and lean back in it? I guess he could have had something to incapacitate him in case he didn't, but he doesn't appear to have any weapon. I mean, a plan that involves someone leaning back in a specific chair in a creepy room after they have been crank called, and then falling back in the chair, isn't a very good plan. So I'm just going to assume that Nibbler had some other plan and that Fry leaning back in the chair and falling over was just lucky. But that also assumes that no one would let Fry out of the freezer for 1000 years, and that the building would remain standing for that long (even though all the other buildings around it are clearly destroyed by aliens who just seem to ignore that single building). I'm going to assume that Nibbler paid for Fry's stay in the freezer. And based on the fact that the cryogenics lab now appears to be in a futuristic building not different from the ones around it, that the freezers somehow made it into a new building (obviously, not everything that happened during the thousand-year time lapse was shown, so it's plausible that the old building was demolished and the freezers were moved at some point). Another thing: this was probably Nibbler's best shot at getting Fry to the future, so might as well give it a shot. Who knows, maybe he already tried a bunch of stuff already. On the other hand, given that the premise of the show relies on cryogenics existing in 1999, all that stuff is just nitpicking anyway.

    Given that the way the show is presented (that is, the fact that this is the premise of the show and Fry is happy about it), you don't think of Fry waking up in the future as a problem. But a lot of the time (even in other instances within Futurama itself), finding oneself in the future is presented as a problem, and the plot of the episode/movie/etc. involves attempting to return to one's own time period, where they are comfortable. I'm sure my immediate response would be something like grief (if not utter disbelief). I probably wouldn't be that interested in the wonders of the future until I got over the fact that everything I am accustomed to is gone. Just another observation that had never occurred to me before. He does eventually realize the magnitude of his situation, but it takes a while (the opposite of what I would think the sequence of his emotions would be). That's not a criticism, though, but it reveals some insight into Fry's mental state at the time (that is, he was deeply dissatisfied with his old life, so he immediately saw what I would assume most people would find devastating as an opportunity instead).

    Something else a bit strange about the first episode is that it makes the future seem like some kind of totalitarian dystopia, considering you are required by law to have a particular job, and that you are fired out of a cannon into the sun if you don't do it. But if I recall correctly, the Earth is not portrayed that way in any other episode; the cultural attitudes are pretty similar to contemporary American ones in many ways.

    While there were some few possible oversights in the writing (what I mentioned above), overall, this is very well-written series, and the episode itself is well-written. The manner in which the characters meet and how their relationships develop feels pretty natural (even though Professor Farnsworth sure takes a lot of risk for some people he literally just met). I also have to give the episode a lot of credit for how engaging it is, which speaks to the good writing. It's not boring at all, which I might expect for an episode whose primary role is to introduce characters I am already very familiar with by now. 8.5/10 (I should note that I tend to be a harsh grader, mostly because I want to be able to distinguish the absolute best episodes from the merely great episodes, so I reserve the very highest scores for the former).

    So, what are your thoughts on Space Pilot 3000? Does it do a good job of introducing the series? Is there a more satisfying way to explain the plot holes I brought up? Did you ever notice those things? Also feel free to just ignore those questions and talk about whatever, as long as it is relevant. As long as there is some discussion I will be happy.
    Last edited by Insanity Pepper; 02-05-2016 at 10:20 PM.

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    I'm not good at writing in-depth reviews but I still want to participate.

    Space Pilot 3000

    This was an awesome pilot for the show, when I first saw it I was actually more interested in what was gonna happen next other than just "oh that was a fun episode". The voices are very weird, mostly the Professors. And yeah very weird about the carrier ship which was instantly ignored in other episodes. Maybe they changed that law in the future a few years after 3000? All the foreshadowing in the series like Nibblers shadow is amazing. I wish I was around during that time so I could realize that before it was revealed. Good ep tbh

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    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Space Pilot 3000 is a great episode and surprisingly so for a pilot episode; it tends to take a few episodes of many series before they really hit a home run with one that is great and hooks you but here they did that pretty much right off the bat. It sets up the overaching story and universe of the series very well and the plot, following Fry as he finds himself in (New) New York in the 30th century and starts adapting to his new life (and coming to terms that everyone he knew is gone), is just as well done; while not all of the main characters are introduced here, the core ones (Fry, Leela, Bender and Professor Farnsworth) are pretty much perfectly introduced and we also get to meet a number of the secondary characters for the first time.

    Overall, I'd say that this is one of my favorite episodes of the first season and what makes it unique is undoubtedly it's high quality as a pilot episode (I just wish that the "but I am already in my pajamas" running joke with the Professor would have stayed on the show for more than two episodes; it would have been funny to hear that a few more times throughout the series).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 02-04-2016 at 02:41 PM.

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    I like how Space Pilot 3000 is unique to the show in the way that it largely builds up the show, and the feel that there's like 100% continuity while other episodes just have their standard stories which doesn't often give you the feeling that the show progresses further. We do see stories like Nibblers relationship to the screw and the Fry/Leela romance troughout the show, but its mostly just a sitcom where after each individual episode just ends without having it ever existed before. The first Simpson episode was basically a regular episode for them, but it did introduce Santa's Little Helper to the show.

    The episode itself is only good to me. The story and overall execution is good, but it kind of lacks the humor and the pacing it has in future episodes. It did a good job serving as an introduction episode, and I liked the way how the characters got introduced. They did the best job with Leela, where she was having some doubts of living her own life and kind of appreciated Fry's actions. The Bender introduction is more for the jokes, it didn't took long for them to become friends as it just required a beer. The scene at the suicide booth is probably my favorite. Then with Farnsworth and the rest of the crew, they were kinda just done introducing on the spot and I guess it didn't need to be longer. They also did a good job of making Fry feel like a stranger in thie 30th century, having no idea what has changed.

    Its not the best of its season, but its still a very solid episode and a great introduction to the show. like with the Simpsons, the show got a lot better with the second season.
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane

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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    The Series Has Landed

    One thing that is strange about this episode is the fact that, in an age when it takes a few seconds to fly to the moon, it's hard to believe that the location of the Moon Landing would be lost, especially considering it's in plain sight and Professor Farnsworth probably could have seen it easily with his telescope. Something else, Neil Armstrong's head is probably in a jar somewhere, alive. How is the story of the moon landing, and anything else in history for that matter, lost to time? There are literally people alive who were there.

    Those relatively minor inconsistencies aside, The Series Has Landed is a solid episode, albeit not as interesting as the first one. It also has a specific role: to introduce the remaining main characters (albeit briefly, with the exception of Amy, who probably has more screentime in the first two episodes than Professor Farnsworth) and give viewers the first taste of the show's space travel element. I would also argue it's funnier than the first episode, with one of my favourite ever lines being "You're the kind of guy who visits Jerusalem and doesn't want to see the Sexateria." But it's pretty slow, action-wise. Sure, they're in a life-threatening situation, but it never feels completely convincing to me, possibly because neither Fry nor Leela seems all that concerned about it. Also, while it does introduce the space travel element and other aspects of the futuristic setting, it is a pretty boring and familiar location. Still, it's not a bad episode, but one of the weaker ones of the first season. 7/10

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    The Series Has Landed
    When the first episode introduced the main characters so nicely, the second one introduced all secondary characters. It still feels sort of awkward watching these characters not know each other. But aside from that, the episode is good, even if it is slow I still enjoy it because like you said, gives me a taste of the travel element, and how the show's gonna be, basically. I should probably watch them before reviewing as I can't remember a whole lot. I loved the music during the escape scene with that moon farmer.

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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    I, Roommate

    This is the weakest episode so far, given that the story isn't very interesting. Fry and Bender just look for an apartment and then Bender's feelings get hurt. On the other hand, it's funny. As for its role in advancing the series, it does serve an important role in establishing where Fry lives, and more importantly, his friendship with Bender, not to mention offering some insight into Bender's character (we already know that he has some compassion, given how he felt once he learned the girders he was bending before were being used for suicide booths, but this episode provides additional evidence that he is a more complex character than he seems). Don't have much else to say about this one. 7/10

    Love's Labors Lost in Space

    Another very important episode, in that it introduces several major characters (Zapp Brannigan, Kif, Nibbler), and establishes Leela's relationship with Zapp. Leela sleeping with Zapp might seem out of character for her, but in addition to the fact that she felt sorry for him at the moment and she had been striking out in her own love life, Leela's primary concern was rescuing the animals from Vergon 6, so it was also in her best interest to try to appease him (whether or not she was doing that consciously). So, this episode offers a lot of insight into Leela. Overall, the story is more interesting than the last two, and it offers the first real glimpse of the show's adventure aspect. It's also probably the funniest episode so far. One problem I have with it is the fact that it never gave the reason for DOOP's quarantine of Vergon 6 (it didn't seem to be due to the planet's impending implosion, considering that Brannigan's Law forbids interference with undeveloped planets and that was the reason given for the quarantine. But why was that law in place?). I have no other complaints about this episode, though, and it is a great episode overall. 8/10


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    I, Roomate

    Quote Originally Posted by Insanity Pepper View Post
    This is the weakest episode so far, given that the story isn't very interesting.
    i disagree. Doesn't have to be super sci-fi and action going on to be good. Its a really nice story and is pretty down to earth, literally, hahaha!!! And this was the first time we saw the emotional side of bender, which was really nice. He acts cold hearted but he actually has feelings and feels very strongly about them.

    I am gonna give all episodes good reviews being the fanboy that i am tho.

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    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    It's interesting that you think I, Roomate is weak, @Insanity Pepper; that episode is seen as one of the most popular of the first season.

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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    I didn't say it was weak, just the weakest so far (being marginally worse than The Series Has Landed). It's a good episode, but I do tend to prefer the more space adventure type episodes (although not all my favourite episodes are like that). Speaking of which...

    Fear of a Bot Planet

    This is one my favorite episodes of the series. I'm not big on satire, but it sure gives me the adventure I crave. Fry and Leela's journey into the extremely hostile robot planet is one of the most interesting stories the show has done, and I love seeing how the robot society works. One little complaint is how Professor Farnsworth said humans were killed on sight on Chapek 9, which obviously wasn't the case (it feels like the writers cheated with that). But I can forgive that, given how great the episode is as a whole.

    It does have some good satire as well, even though that isn't really my thing. I don't think the satire on race is necessarily applicable, considering not all robots are advanced enough to warrant having equal status to humans (and robots like Bender already seem to), but there is also some good satire on how governments operate. The robot elders using humans as a scapegoat in order to distract the citizenry from society's problems reminds me a lot of what goes on in politics here on Earth, in the present (all of our problems are do to Mexicans, Muslims, corporations, gay marriage, global warming, or basically whatever the thing that happens to incite your passions is, instead of causes that are actually related to the problems). Come to think of it, it is interesting to see how alien (or robot) societies might operate and how that compares to how human societies operate. So I guess you could say I am a fan of that kind of satire. Something else I love about this episode is how the episode has such a dark feeling to it. 9/10

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    Hole in My Head Telso's Avatar
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    Pretty interesting thread, I look forward for more in-depth reviews. All I can say for now is that season 1 is a really consistent season and probably my favorite one.

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    I can't really do much in-depth reviews for Futurama, but I can say that I pretty much love every episode till now. The Series Has Landed is another great continuation episode where Fry is still getting used to living in the 30th century, where he's like the only person still interested in the moon while all the others have gotten used to it. It also did a good job introducing Amy and making her a funny character, and I just keep ROFL'ing at that whale song and the way Leela is singing along. I, Roommate is another episode I love, as it really does a great job exploring Fry's and Benders relationship. I like the awkwardness of Fry trying to live in Benders closet, and the way they treat Benders antenna as if it is his genital parts. Love's Labors Lost in Space has to be one of my favorites of the season because it heavily invovles Zapp and Kiff, and ofcourse introduced Nibbler to the team. Fear of a Bot Planet is another great episode, also one of my favorites of the season. It has so many good laughs and even a somewhat dark atmosphere. I'd like to grade all episode but I think its better to do it after we're done reviewing the entire season.

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    Love's Labours Lost in Space

    Aside from the Zapp sleeping with Leela scene, this episode isn't really a memorable one. Not saying it isn't good, but I can't remember a whole lot. The scene with Fry and Bender in Zapps prison is pretty funny...

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    Fear of a Bot Planet

    I love this one, hilarious all the way through. Robonnukah Fry and Leela just pretending to be robots is fun to watch, the scene where Fry is "leeking". The setting itself is kinda empty though, but i still love this one.

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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    A Fishful of Dollars

    This is kind of an average episode. Humor is kind of average, plot is kind of average... Nothing about it sticks out to me. Fry also seems a bit out of character, since he normally prefers the future to the past, and there wasn't any indication that that had changed. It's understandable for someone like that to get homesick after a while, but that could have at least been acknowledged. But instead, he just gives up everything about the future he has come to love for the sake of living in the past, which he didn't like when he was actually doing it. Probably the most glaring flaw of any episode up to this point. Furthermore, if you've read my other reviews, it shouldn't surprise you that this isn't the kind of episode that I'm a huge fan of. By Futurama standards, it's just not that interesting. The conflict between Fry and Mom over the anchovies is especially dull; I mean, it's a can of anchovies. Not exactly high stakes. All those criticisms aside, it's a perfectly solid episode, just lacking in some areas relative to other episodes. 6.5/10

    I'm going to assume that A Fishful of Dollars is also going to turn out to be a popular one, so what are the reasons it's a good episode?
    Last edited by Insanity Pepper; 02-12-2016 at 09:23 AM.

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    A Fishful of Dollars

    I don't think it's a popular one. But the first act is hilarious, the whole Lightspeed Briefs thing, and one of my favorite jokes is when that saleswoman sprays perfume and Bender spray oil back nothing really memorable after that. still worth a watch tho, good jokes.

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    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    My Three Suns

    I love this episode for a lot of the same reasons I love Fear of a Bot Planet. It's interesting to see how the Trisolian society operates. And not only do you learn about Trisol, but also a little bit about Neptune. I believe this was also the first episode that referenced Bender's passion for cooking (kind of an odd way to introduce such an important trait, though; it's merely the set-up for the main plot). I also love how Leela is inexplicably wearing a lime-green tanktop for the first part of the episode; I mean, if you were watching for the first time and paying attention, you would probably be wondering why her shirt is suddenly green, only to find out that the whole thing was just a set up for a lame joke. It's fantastic how much effort they put into setting up that lame joke, making what would otherwise be a forgettable joke into a masterpiece of humor. There's a lot of other great humor in this episode. Of course, what I really love about it is the adventure aspect. And then there is the added conflict between Fry and Leela, which leads to one of the best emotional scenes in the series (although, I have to admit that when Fry first hears about Leela coming to rescue him, it's not quite convincing at first). There is also some beautiful scenes and music, which really adds to the romantic feeling of the episode (I use romantic not in the sense of love, but the other sense). Like Fear of a Bot Planet, it has an atmosphere to it that I find really engaging. It really is an epic episode. 9/10

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    A Fishful of Dollars is kinda average, I couldn't really dig into Fry's character in this one for spending his money so recklessly. Though it was good to see an evil Mom taking the spotlight in this episode, most of her scenes with her 3 sons are hilarious.

    My Three Suns is pretty good, its just more interesting to see Fry picking up the role as ring of an entire civilization. And that he got to learn how important Leela is to him. I like how the plot, while a bit goofy at parts, is also somewhat realistic from the older ages. Jokewise its also solid, loved the scene where everyone tried to make Fry tear up.

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    My Three Suns

    just like the last episode, a hilarious first act. Refreshing CRACK! the ending is hilarious as well. as for the middle, pretty weird plot, but alright. this episode doesn't have much too it, so that's my review. pretty short ik.



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