A Fond Farewell/Review to Futurama

By: Kyle Daley (A Toast) –
[ratings] 

I probably should have done this like a month ago before the show actually had its second finale, but…you know what screw it!  I don’t need to defend myself. We’ve got reviews of movies like All About Eve on this website and that movie came out in 1950!  As far as I’m concerned, this article is current.

Anyway, Futurama is an animated show about a delivery-boy named Fry who gets cryogenically frozen on New Year’s Eve, 1999 for 1,000 years.  When he is thawed out in the year 2099 he ends up getting a job working for his great (times 20) nephew, Professor Farnsworth.  He falls in love with a purple haired cyclops named Leela who doesn’t really reciprocate the emotion for the first four seasons.  He also befriends everyone’s favorite beer guzzling, thieving, egomaniacal robot with a shiny metal ass (that I’m pretty sure nobody ever actually bit), Bender Bending Rodriguez.  These guys, plus a few other crazy cast members, fly around the galaxy having zany adventures while piloting the Planet Express ship.  A spacecraft that I’m sure was never insured for more than three hours as every delivery was pretty much a suicide run.

A Toast

One of the greatest animated shows of all time.  For those of you who don’t know, this show was created by Matt Groening, the brain behind The Simpson’s.  Right from the get-go we should have known this show would be good.  The best part is that this program felt like its own separate entity, unlike early episodes of American Dad whose jokes often felt like leftovers from the Family Guy writing room (though I have heard the show has taken on a life of its own in recent years).  This show was not grounded in the same time period as The Simpson’s, so it had to fully develop its own style.  Granted, there are still plenty of social commentary jokes and references to pop-culture like its yellow-skinned counterpart, but there’s always some kind of futuristic twist to them.  At the very least, when Fry says something stupidly funny I cannot picture Homer saying the same thing in a similar way.

Here's to your retirement Bender. Now can someone please give Homer his watch?  He should have been done like 15 years ago.
Here’s to your retirement Bender. Now can someone please give Homer HIS golden watch? He should have been done like 15 years ago.

Above all, the show can be equally touching as it is funny.  For every three episodes that end on a note of hilarity, there was always one that would  bring you to tears.  Any comedy that has that ability deserves an award for its writing.  You know, like a small, golden statue of an angel holding an atom.

If this episode didn't make you cry, you're not a human being.  Go back to Omicron Persei 8!
If this episode didn’t make you cry, you’re not a human being. Go back to Omicron Persei 8 you over sized alligator!

The characters are all enjoyable.  Despite the fact that one is a robot, another a mutant cyclops and a third is a giant lobster-man, they all have some qualities to them that are relatable.  They all have insecurities, doubts and this show was never afraid to expose them to tug at your heart-strings.  Yet, at the same time, it was also willing to exploit those flaws for great comic effect.  Not just one character was the sole lightning rod of despair.  Though the big gag was Zoidberg was pathetic, even Bender was the bottom end of a few laughs throughout the seasons.  The only difference was Bender had better ways of bouncing back from any insult or downfall by letting his ego comfort him.  Zoidberg had little to no ego in order to help him.

The adventures the crew went on were also timeless.  Each time the Planet Express ship left the office building you knew you were in for a trip that was filled with high jinks, satire, and above all character growth.  Well…kind of.  Even though there was usually a moral at the end of each episode, it’s tough to tell how well the lessons stayed with them.  I mean, so many episodes ended looking like Fry and Lela were going to hook up and that didn’t happen until the show began its second run after being off the air for seven years; and there were three movies in between that.  Either way, be it the adventure was meant to parody a famous movie or it was totally original in concept, it was never dull.

Verdict

AToast-150x150

Hands down an amazing show.  Sure there are some episodes that aren’t as memorable as others, but nothing is perfect.  For seven season this show did nothing but entertain.  I will seriously miss this show.  It was always able to lift my spirits when I needed it, and even when I didn’t.  And when my mind was altered…  Then it was REALLY funny.

Remember-Me-Bender-The-Great-Pharaoh-On-Futurama
We will, Bender. We will.

Drinking Game:

640wem.jpg

Take a Drink: Every time The Professor says, “Good news everyone!” (Or some variant.)

Take a Drink: Every time Earth is threatened to be and/or actually is invaded.

Take a Shot: Every time Bender says he’s 40% of something.

Take a Drink: Whenever Nixon says “Earthicans” or “Haarrooo!”

Take a Drink: Every time the Planet Express Ship gets damaged (Chug if it gets totally destroyed).

Take a Drink: Every time Zapp Brannigan mentions he and Leela had sex and/or degrades Kif.

Take a Drink: Every time Leela kicks some ass.

Everybody do the Bender one last time.
Everybody do the Bender one last time.

About Kyle Daley

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