Friday, July 2, 2010

Can't Believe I Haven't Made a Post About This Yet

So yeah, the new episodes of Futurama started...over a week ago.  I'm astounded that my favourite show came back and this is the first post I've made of it.
Anywho, as was inevitable there's been some negativity surrounding the new episodes.  A tiny bit of negativity coming from me but I haven't completely wrote the show off.
I enjoyed Rebirth.  The plot was a bit convoluted and the "Futurama Feel" seemed all but absent mostly due to a very restricted setting (i.e. almost entirely within the Planet Express building instead of heading out into space).  Nonetheless, there were some good jokes and it covered the plot points that needed covering.
On a side-note:  Did everyone but me suffer hearing loss during a certain part of this episode?  I keep seeing so many complaints and confusion over whether or not Fry and Leela are a couple.  A particular line of Fry's in Rebirth pretty much confirmed that they're not.  "Well you know how I feel.  I waited a thousand years for you, I can wait a little longer."  It's not completely direct but I don't see how anyone who's ever watched TV before wouldn't realize that this line was meant to re-instate the status quo.
The next episode, In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela, was one that I did not care for.  I suppose that makes me seem really picky since this one did involve going out into space for a new experience but...oh well.  I realized lately that unlike most fans, I don't like Zapp very much.  He's had some great lines over the course of the show but it seems like episodes where he's heavily featured are among the least entertaining (on that note, I hated Beast With A Billion Backs; the movie in which he had the most presence*).
But as for the episode itself, I found there to be a lot of just very flat humour.  Futurama has always had a dry wit that I've loved but this went past being dry to just being dull/stale/whatever.  I just didn't think most of the jokes in the episode were funny at all.
As much as I hate the idea of 'shipping' I still couldn't help but get a little annoyed at Zapp getting to bone Leela again.
In the end, I didn't consider the two premier episodes bad at all.  They're not among the worst we've seen in the series but they're not great either.  They also seemed to recycle a lot of old plot points; Leela being in a coma, Fry dating a robot, an evil sphere relevant to the destruction of planets on its way to Earth, etc.

And now the third episode which premiered...earlier tonight by my internal clock.  I've been a bit of an insomniac lately so 4:49 AM Friday is still Thursday as far as I'm concerned.
Attack of the Killer App featured some heavy pop culture derived humour.  It centered around the crew all getting an eyePhone and using it to post on Twitcher.
This episode has been getting a lot of flak.  People seem to be really angry at the overdone, over-direct references among some other things.  Personally, the references didn't bother me at fact, I enjoyed them; the episode left me genuinely wishing I could have an eyePhone.  The references are a bit more forward than Napster was in I Dated A Robot, but hell I wouldn't want them to retread ground by treating it the same way.
The most flak has been directed at 'Susan Boil'.  Apparently Leela has a regrowing boil on her ass that's a caricature of Susan Boyle (a person whose existence I was completely unaware of until earlier 'today').  I hated this too.  It was annoying, unfunny and, considering the amount of times Leela's butt has been shown before, it's a continuity-stickler's nightmare*.
Some other negativity has surrounded the conclusion of the episode.  I fully understand why as there are some strong scenes early on that really set up the plot to revolve around one of Mom's evil schemes.  However, the episode ends without any resolution to the scheme, instead opting to focus on Leela.  I have 2 problems with this:  The first is the aforementioned setup, the second is that the first 2 episodes of the season were already centered around Leela.
However (bold and italics means this word is important), in spite of all the negativity and my own criticism, I still strongly feel Attack of the Killer App to be the funniest episode of the 3.  There were horrible choices in the storytelling but in the end, Futurama is a comedy (well, you may argue it's a dramedy).  In that respect, this episode did significantly better in providing laughs than the first two.  In fact, the entire first act is pure gold.

So that's my slant on the new season so far.

Now to take care of those asterisks:
*Both asterisks are going to relate to my problems with the second movie, Beast With a Billion Backs.
On the first note, Zapp Brannigan's involvement in the movie ironically had nothing to do with why I disliked it.  In fact, he's one of few things in the movie that actually moved the plot forward.
I took issue with the plot.  The story the film tells is about 5-minutes long painfully stretched out over an hour and a half with a lot of pointless sidestories.  Bender's entire plot was meaningless and detached; it only served a purpose at the very end when Hedonismbot mentioned a "damned army", which is something Bender could have come up with on his own anyway.
The Kif plot wasn't as pointless as it served as a reason for Amy and Kif to split up which I believe is going to be necessary to make sense of the episode coming next week.  Regardless, it was still really boring.
As for the second note, having implied myself as a 'continuity stickler' (which I am) there was something else that bugged me in Beast With A Billion Backs.  Zoidberg's 'double vomit' as a sign of joy.  Zoidberg's been seen happy, happier in fact, before and has never shown this trait.

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