Saturday, June 23, 2012

TV Report: Futurama Returns and a Brief Note

Futurama's back. I have to admit, I haven't loved it the way I did before it was canceled (and even then it was starting to deteriorate a little bit at the end), and this week's episodes sort of confirmed for me that the show has no intention of trying that hard anymore. And that's fine, it's still fun, but it doesn't feel special anymore. It's never going to be great again. The episode "The Bots and the Bees," for example, didn't do a ton for me (though I see that, of the two episodes this week, it was easily the more popular; I guess I'm still more invested in Fry and Leela's romance than in Bender just doing the same stuff over and over). It didn't resonate with me because this show is becoming like The Simpsons in its drive to maintain the status quo and not do anything too interesting. So when Bender's baby Ben shows up, he's cute as hell for the space of a montage, and then I just spent the rest of it wondering how they were going to make it so he'd never be on the show ever again. It's hard to get emotionally invested in a story when you know they're just going to go back to point A at the end and it'll erase everything that happened. Eh. Entertaining, but nothing that really feels like it matters, you know?

Besides, the second episode clearly wins for some of the funniest lines ever on Futurama, including "Scruffy, do you have any varmint grease?" "What viscosity?" and, on the revelation of an underground pyramid, "What badger could have built this?!"

:: The final two episodes of The Borgias were everything I always hoped the show could have been. God, I hope they've got it figured out now. Those were excellent television. That is all.

:: Oh, I also just started streaming Bob's Burgers, and it is utterly hilarious. I didn't realize so many people from King of the Hill were working on it, which is just a huge plus for me. You know, King of the Hill is the only animated series I can watch reruns of over and over again and never get tired of? I don't know what magic it is. It's pretty much just King of the Hill and Kids in the Hall that I can think of that never, ever get tired for me, animated or otherwise. Is it the letter combination? Bizarre implications...


Chris said...

Good Futurama review.

I was crazy for the original series; I loved it because it wasn't always just funny but also sometimes psychedelic (e.g. "The Sting") or thoughtful commentary ("War is the H-Word," which was a little edgy when it aired) or just a really neat idea (e.g. "The Parabox.") It really was for people who genuinely loved sci fi.

Nathan said...

I wonder if part of the problem is that the show was originally conceived with ongoing subplots (Nibbler's role in bringing Fry to the future, Leela's hunt for her parents, etc.), but since it was canceled, the writers wrapped these up sooner than they would have liked to. Then, when the series came back, they didn't replace them with any other ongoing subplots, so we're left with the status quo thing. And Fry and Leela's relationship remains up in the air, due to the weird television rule that main characters being in steady relationships will kill a show. I'm not convinced this has to be the case, but whatever. I still like the show, and I think part of why it isn't as great as it once was is just due to time.