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June 23, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Futurama returns as a series Thursday night on Comedy Central. Review (with very inconsequential spoilers). Interview with Phil LaMarr (Hermes). Matt Groening and David X. Cohen answer your questions (video). The first 90 seconds of the new season (video)

Apologies to any non-US people who cannot see any linked video.
posted by hippybear (121 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Futurama returns as a series [Thursday night] on Comedy Central.
posted by neuron at 11:00 AM on June 23, 2010


In the year 3000, tonight means tomorrow night.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:00 AM on June 23, 2010


I can't wait! I'm going to freeze myself until Thursday night.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:01 AM on June 23, 2010


whoo-hoo!

no wait...
posted by bitteroldman at 11:01 AM on June 23, 2010


ObGoodNewsEverybody
posted by DU at 11:02 AM on June 23, 2010


Welcome... to the world of tomorrow!

...

welp,
posted by boo_radley at 11:02 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gaaaa. I'm living in the future! The future, I tells ya! I'll report some sports scores so y'all can make a killing at the bookie's.

(Mods, want to fix my Wednesday/Thursday confusion in the FPP?)
posted by hippybear at 11:04 AM on June 23, 2010


Youse nerds witchas ins-jokes is sos lames.
posted by Kirk Grim at 11:05 AM on June 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


I love that Comedy Central shows Futurama frequently and I'm glad that they're bringing it back. If it is only half as good as it ever was it'll still be twice as good as most TV.

BUT for the love of god someone at Comedy Central please realize that when you do the thing where you show the credits at the end of one episode in a torn of section of screen while the opening titles for the next episode are playing on the rest of the screen, you are blocking out the opening title joke tag line and making me go crazy.
posted by Babblesort at 11:05 AM on June 23, 2010 [15 favorites]


Can somebody please tell Tivo about this?
posted by neuron at 11:06 AM on June 23, 2010


While you're fixing things, mods, it's David X. Cohen, not Cohan.

Which reminds me of an old joke whose punchline is 'Also Cohen.'
posted by box at 11:09 AM on June 23, 2010


So... is it going to be possible to watch this streamed somewhere? Or has Comedy Central already forgotten how smart it was to put all of South Park online?
posted by a small part of the world at 11:09 AM on June 23, 2010


This makes me happy.
posted by mazola at 11:11 AM on June 23, 2010


Apologies to any non-US people who cannot see any linked video.

There's no word on when they're even showing new Futurama episodes in Canada. The Comedy Network is showing Tosh.0 tomorrow night at 10pm. So our TVs will be showing internet videos, and we'll be on the internet downloading tv shows.
posted by Gary at 11:12 AM on June 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


a small part of the world:
So... is it going to be possible to watch this streamed somewhere?


Season 6 episodes 1 & 2 both available online since yesterday, believe it or not. In the Grey Area, though, not streaming through ComedyCentral.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:12 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thinking about Futurama coming back reminds me of when it was just coming, back in 1999. I remember being very excited about it. And it turned out to be even better than I hoped.

I hope that doesn't reverse this time.
posted by DU at 11:13 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]



For those of us blessed with NO-CABLE, will this be watchable post showing on the internets?
posted by njohnson23 at 11:13 AM on June 23, 2010


Hey guys, I'm throwing a party. We're all going to hang out on my couch and spend 22 minutes not watching "Jurassic Bark." Considering how miserable the opposite would be, this is going to be the get-together of the decade.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on June 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


paisley henosis: Season 6 episodes 1 & 2 both available online since yesterday, believe it or not. In the Grey Area, though, not streaming through ComedyCentral.

Wow, and originally uploaded by 4channers. I would have never thought, when I woke up this morning, that today I would not only watch new episodes of Futurama, but that I would also be thankful for /b/tards.

Will wonders never cease.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:17 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


njohnson23, it seems unclear -- at least in the Hulu-type sense...
posted by a small part of the world at 11:18 AM on June 23, 2010


Thinking about Futurama coming back reminds me of when it was just coming, back in 1999. I remember being very excited about it. And it turned out to be even better than I hoped.

I hope that doesn't reverse this time.


If it's on par with the recent movies, I'll be delighted.
posted by almostmanda at 11:19 AM on June 23, 2010


Babblesort -

THANK YOU! There was a Futurama marathon this weekend, and it was driving me nuts. I still don't get how they could not realize this is a problem and just have the credit thingy at the top where it will not interfere.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:19 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


paisley henosis: "Season 6 episodes 1 & 2 both available online since yesterday, believe it or not. "

I watched them over lunch. Wasn't that impressed with the first episode, but I thought the second was a return to form. Not Season 5 form, but still pretty solid.
posted by graventy at 11:19 AM on June 23, 2010


njohnson23: For those of us blessed with NO-CABLE, will this be watchable post showing on the internets?
posted by njohnson23 at 1:13 PM on June 23 [+] [!]


I don't have cable anymore. I still always watch shows from cable.

I never stream shows.

Given their stereotypical target demographic, I'm pretty sure Futurama will be available online about 15 minutes after the episode ends.

What I'm saying here, if you can find the newest episodes of Kathy Griffin My Life on the D-List online without going to the Bravo website, this shouldn't be a problem, no matter what Comedy Central decides.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:20 AM on June 23, 2010


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posted by Rhaomi at 11:21 AM on June 23, 2010 [52 favorites]


For those of us blessed with NO-CABLE, will this be watchable post showing on the internets?

In fact, it's watchable PRE-showing! Hit your nearest torrent site (or usenet provider, or rapidshare link) today!
posted by splice at 11:24 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll report some sports scores so y'all can make a killing at the bookie's.

It's well-known that Lucas's canonical spelling is "bookiee."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:26 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good news everyone! I've invented a device...
posted by griphus at 11:30 AM on June 23, 2010 [17 favorites]


YAAAAAAAAAY!

That is all.
posted by joedan at 11:31 AM on June 23, 2010


All of the sudden I realize why I've been sad and now will be happy forever. Unless it get canceled again.
posted by tmcw at 11:32 AM on June 23, 2010


I'm going to allow this.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:32 AM on June 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Given their stereotypical target demographic, I'm pretty sure Futurama will be available online about 15 minutes after the episode ends.

Dude, Saving Grace was on 15 minutes after an episode ended. I have no idea who even watches that.

NB, I keep the following RSS feeds (http://www.rlslog.net/category/tv-shows/feed/) and (http://www.rlslog.net/category/movies/feed/) in my RSS reader. Nearly every release comes across that feed. Then use your Newzleech or your favorite torrent search to grab it.

The episodes were better than the movies and definitely felt like they were a lot smarter than before. Of course they no longer have to write to a large audience, they can really tune it in like South Park does.

Or has Comedy Central already forgotten how smart it was to put all of South Park online?

I'm 99% certain that Matt and Trey own South Park Studios and have an agreement where they retain ownership of all the online syndication. This was in WSJ quite some time ago, and probably the smartest thing they've done. South Park Studios is really the way to make a show viewable online. I can scrub and jump to whatever scene I want to and it won't automatically jump into an annoying commercial if I passed the magic commercial marker. Hey what, they might be giving up 10 cents in revenue by making my viewing experience 1,000% better? Unheard of!
posted by geoff. at 11:34 AM on June 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Any idea on when / if these episodes will be available through the legitimate streaming channels like Hulu or Comedy Central's website?
posted by anifinder at 11:38 AM on June 23, 2010


Dude, Saving Grace was on 15 minutes after an episode ended. I have no idea who even watches that.

I've noticed that geek shows aren't online faster but they are online longer. Can you still get last year's episodes of Saving Grace (whatever that is)? Whereas full seasons of Star Trek, Mythbusters, etc will be available until the heat death of the internet.
posted by DU at 11:40 AM on June 23, 2010


Spleesh!

So much eagle.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:51 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the future, Futurama will be on bittorrent. And by future I mean "now". And by "now" I mean "within seconds of first airing or possibly before".
posted by blue_beetle at 12:15 PM on June 23, 2010


I'll just watch a bit of tennis before Futurama, he says.
"How long could it be?", he says.


Arghelbargle.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:23 PM on June 23, 2010


graventy: I watched them over lunch. Wasn't that impressed with the first episode, but I thought the second was a return to form. Not Season 5 form, but still pretty solid.

Yeah, the second one was pretty Ok. The first one, though, blech.

blue_beetle: In the future, Futurama will be on bittorrent. And by future I mean "now". And by "now" I mean "within seconds of first airing or possibly before".

Now as in yesterday.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:32 PM on June 23, 2010


I enjoyed the 90 second teaser. Fry's failures at English - "No I'm... didn't", "They said I was dumb, but I proved them!" - are some of my favourite jokes.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:50 PM on June 23, 2010


Season 6 episodes 1 & 2 both available online since yesterday, believe it or not. In the Grey Area, though, not streaming through ComedyCentral.

How neutral of you.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:51 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tell my wife I said "Hello."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:04 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


geoff. wrote: "I can scrub and jump to whatever scene I want to and it won't automatically jump into an annoying commercial if I passed the magic commercial marker"

ABC's player plays a commercial every time you skip forwards or backwards, no matter how far and no matter how recently it played a commercial. Needless to say, I do not use such things, as they are obviously designed to drive me mad, not entertain me.
posted by wierdo at 1:06 PM on June 23, 2010


Hooray for Zoidberg!
posted by darkstar at 1:25 PM on June 23, 2010


Make your own Bender.
posted by mazola at 1:30 PM on June 23, 2010


In the future, Futurama will be on bittorrent. And by future I mean "now". And by "now" I mean "within seconds of first airing or possibly before".

Not necessarily BT, but I certainly remember the old IRC days...
posted by SirOmega at 1:33 PM on June 23, 2010


God DAMN it, who the fuck interviews David X Cohen without asking him: literal or metaphorical viking? WHAT KIND OF JOURNALIST ARE YOU?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:33 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweet yeti of the serengetti! I can't wait!
posted by hot_monster at 1:35 PM on June 23, 2010


I started reading this thread *entirely* to see endless Futurama in-jokes. I have not been disappointed. Thank, you, Metafilter.

Oh, and, um ... why should I believe you? You're HITLER!
posted by kyrademon at 1:52 PM on June 23, 2010


Robot #1: Administer the test.
Robot #2: Which of the following would you most prefer? A: a puppy, B: a pretty flower from your sweetie, or C: a large properly formatted data file?
Robot #1: Choose!
Fry: Uh, is the puppy mechanical in any way?
Robot #2: No, it is the bad kind of puppy.
Leela: Then we'll go with that data file!
Robot #2: Correct!
Robot #1: The flower would also have been acceptable.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:00 PM on June 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


literal or metaphorical viking?

Your question is bad and you should feel bad.
posted by ecurtz at 2:08 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whee!

For the past three or so weeks, I've been watching episodes of Futurama on dvd during lunch in preparation for tomorrow night. Alas, unless I do a marathon tonight, I will not get through the last season and the movies before the new stuff.

I recall when Futurama appeared on the scene and it was something wonderful. By that time, the Simpsons had begun to fizzle out, and it was a more than worthy successor. Then to my horror, Fox played loose with the show, pre-empting it with sporting events and moving it all over the place (surprise). That 7:30 EST time slot was just a vile place to be. In the end, the show was canceled because Fox never really gave it a chance to build a substantial audience. The golden calf then, as now, on Sunday nights was the Simpsons. As I watch the reruns, I can't help appreciate how much better I enjoy it to anything the Simpsons has produced over the last decade or so.

To echo darkstar above, Hurray for Zoidberg!
posted by Atreides at 2:21 PM on June 23, 2010


I'll be watching, with my device that speeds up or slows down the passage of time.
posted by ninjew at 2:28 PM on June 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Atreides: For the past three or so weeks, I've been watching episodes of Futurama on dvd during lunch in preparation for tomorrow night. Alas, unless I do a marathon tonight, I will not get through the last season and the movies before the new stuff.

Maybe continue the marathon non-stop until the second episode of the night.

Trust me.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:28 PM on June 23, 2010


I just rewatched Bender's Big Score, not too long ago, k and I was reminded of this scene:

Professor Farnsworth: Yes? I see… [hangs up phone] Good news, everyone! Those asinine morons who canceled us were themselves fired for incompetence. [The crew cheers] And not just fired, but beaten up, too…and pretty badly. [The crew cheers doubtfully] In fact, most of them died from their injuries. [The crew remains silent. Bender laughs] And then they were ground up into a fine pink powder.

Fry: Why?

Professor Farnsworth: Oh, it's got a million and one uses. [Pours some down his pants] Ah, that soothes the fire.

This is why I love Futurama. It's quotable, it's funny, it speaks directly and knowingly to the fanbase without completely kicking down the fourth wall... it's wonderful writing.

I've got this whole baited breath thing happening for the premier. I'm excited far more than an adult should be about an animated TV show.

But then, I can rationalize it simply be remembering that I worship Bender as a sort of idol/ mentor/ god who I aspire to emulate, and I'm now about to get more passages for my bible.

*sprinkles some Torgo's Executive Powder on scrambled eggs, also, newly inflamed rash. waits for Thursday*
posted by quin at 3:05 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I recall when Futurama appeared on the scene and it was something wonderful. By that time, the Simpsons had begun to fizzle out, and it was a more than worthy successor.

Well, part of that is that Futurama is something Matt Groening has wanted to make, and has had in the back of his head, since he was a kid. Another part of that is that all of the Simpsons top talent shifted their focus almost entirely to Futurama once it started, and they had to make do with the C team. It's no coincidence that the Simpsons started going downhill shortly after Futurama started, and picked back up - albeit never to where it was - when Futurama got canceled.
posted by kafziel at 3:15 PM on June 23, 2010


I was highly skeptical of Futurama when it started just like I'm highly skeptical of this new season. But then I was also highly skeptical of the DVD movies, which I loved.

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: I knew I should have checked that showboating Globetrotter algebra.
Ethan 'Bubblegum' Tate: I thought you knew that algebra was all razzamatazz. A Globetrotter always saves the good algebra for the final minutes.
posted by amethysts at 3:35 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gracias
posted by mrzarquon at 3:42 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're hankering for a quote-fix, fansite GotFuturama.com has transcripts and mp3 files covering the more quotable gags from every episode of the first five seasons.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:43 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


For those of us blessed with NO-CABLE, will this be watchable post showing on the internets?

Usul, we'll have torrentsign the likes of which even God has never seen!
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:12 PM on June 23, 2010


God, it's nice to be back in the city. Eps down in 15 minutes.

BTW: That reviewer seemed to have a heart full of neutrality.
posted by Trochanter at 6:16 PM on June 23, 2010


And, what make a man turn neutral?
posted by SPrintF at 8:04 PM on June 23, 2010


Wow, that first episode was a real let-down. Thankfully, episode two was classic Futurama!
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:10 PM on June 23, 2010


The Moon shall rise again!
posted by Kevin Street at 9:05 PM on June 23, 2010


I actually really liked both of the ones on torrent sites! I'm a sucker for convoluted story lines, so I liked the first one just because it was so weird. And yea, the second one was really good, probably the funniest that Brannagan has ever been. I'm excited you guys!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:08 PM on June 23, 2010


"God, it's nice to be back in the city. Eps down in 15 minutes."

I've never seen a .torrent with over 4000 seeders before.

Ep1 was ok, Ep2 was excellent.
posted by Mitheral at 10:35 PM on June 23, 2010


waiting impatiently for this
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:56 PM on June 23, 2010


David X Cohen interviewed by the AVClub.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:36 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first two episodes are already online. I was shocked as to how terrible the first episode was! Incoherent and fast paced. I have no idea what went on with that episode, I was cringing the entire time as I watched it. The only (apologist) explanation I can think of is that it was supposed to be one hour premiere, but was cut in half (!!!).

Thankfully, the second episode is actually good. It's a real episode of Futurama proper and is not so horribly paced. I considered writing a letter to David x Cohen about it. I'm not so scared anymore about the new Futurama anymore. But it could really vary by the episode.

Also, the background artwork is rather poor in a lot of places.
posted by Napierzaza at 9:01 AM on June 24, 2010


This is why I love Futurama. It's quotable, it's funny, it speaks directly and knowingly to the fanbase without completely kicking down the fourth wall... it's wonderful writing.

It's gritty, it's got street cred. Plus I can keep my monogrammed slippers.
posted by No Robots at 9:12 AM on June 24, 2010


It's gritty, it's got street cred.

When I lift heavy weights at the gym, I often think to myself, "He's like an ox! He's got ox-like strength! Hey, he needs a nickname, right? Let's call him Clamps."
posted by Greg Nog at 2:04 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, here's Zap Brannigan providing a summary in 7 minutes of the first five seasons.
posted by Atreides at 2:41 PM on June 24, 2010


Is it just me or is Zap a little...er...more adult-themed than usual in that summary vid? He was always a randy airhead, but it seems he's kicked it up a notch for the summary.

BAM!
posted by darkstar at 3:21 PM on June 24, 2010


Zap Brannigan providing a summary in 7 minutes of the first five seasons.

Can't watch because... of... Canadian Beaurocrats... Urge to kill... rising...
posted by Trochanter at 5:25 PM on June 24, 2010


Beaurocrats

Ability to spell.... somthing... something...
posted by Trochanter at 5:26 PM on June 24, 2010


Wait! What would the robit do? Frame someone.
posted by killdevil at 7:44 PM on June 24, 2010


Trochanter: "Beaurocrats

Ability to spell.... somthing... something...
"

Go crazy?
posted by mindless progress at 9:25 PM on June 24, 2010


PEOPLE OF CANADONIA, OF THE FIREFOXIAN PERSUASION!

If you're sick of not being able to watch the Comedy Central stuff, you might want to check this out.

Link. (May cause teeth pinkening.)
posted by Trochanter at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2010


I thought both of the episodes were good. In some ways, I thought the first one was funnier. I'm just not a big fan of Zapp.
posted by wierdo at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2010


I actually enjoyed the first one more than the second. It seemed the second (and the preview for next week's) episode relied a bit more on humor that relied on having a cable channel spot. Rather, I'd hate to see Futurama veer toward more humor that relies on sex, gross out, and other related things. Obviously, it could have just been last night's episode subject. Though, do I really want to see a two headed goat vomiting on tv? Meh.

In all, the shows weren't quite up to speed yet, but I hope for definite improvement.

Also, it seems as part of their return, the show seemed to rely upon product references that stuck out to me, like an iPod and Doritos reference. (Doritos - in the year 3010?).

I also agree, Zapp was just a little bit overplayed in the episode.
posted by Atreides at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2010


I'd hate to see Futurama veer toward more humor that relies on sex,

Watching the second one, I found myself wondering how many jpgs of Amy in the orgy dominatrix outfit are now floating around the internet.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:06 PM on June 25, 2010


Atreides: Also, it seems as part of their return, the show seemed to rely upon product references that stuck out to me, like an iPod and Doritos reference. (Doritos - in the year 3010?).

I felt the same way about the CSI reference. My wife said 'maybe it's still on the air?'
posted by paisley henosis at 2:52 PM on June 25, 2010


"If you're sick of not being able to watch the Comedy Central stuff, you might want to check this out.

"Link. (May cause teeth pinkening.)"


Is this exploit just some kind of programming incompetence or is there some reason they are asking the client for their IP address?
posted by Mitheral at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2010


Dude, I'm just a delivery boy.
posted by Trochanter at 5:03 PM on June 25, 2010


What I want to know is why the probe destroyed the innocent world of Poopiter (snerk titter) while passing right by the clearly-labeled planet of Urectum.
posted by JHarris at 8:02 PM on June 25, 2010


(And I thought both episodes were wonderful, to NYAAH HATERZ.)
posted by JHarris at 8:03 PM on June 25, 2010


Because Urectum damn near killed 'em.
posted by amethysts at 8:23 PM on June 25, 2010


I have to say I was disappointed by last night's episode, which seemed to have hijacked the show purely to make a statement on gay marriage. The writers are free to do so, but the means they chose to pursue this goal just seemed to turn the characters into puppets.

You had the sudden and ridiculous break up of Amy and Kif, one of the shows steadfast relationships, just so Amy could hook up with Bender. This relationship was then conveniently mended in the last thirty seconds of the show, just proving how shallow the intent of the creators to play with the relationship. Second, we've dealt with the subject of human-robot relationships before with Fry and Lucy Liu robot. It was pretty much panned by all the characters of the show at that time exactly because it was a human and robot relationship. Then last night, the opinion of everyone was the exact opposite. Ugh!

Tie into this a fear that Bender is in danger of becoming the Home of the show, by becoming more of the focus and his worse characteristics exaggerated, and I'm worried with how the show will precede. True, there were moments which did cause a laugh, but they came around a general feeling of disappointment. It feels as if the show is trying to be more like Family Guy and South Park, and not the show that became continually awesome over five seasons.
posted by Atreides at 7:34 AM on July 9, 2010


Huh. I haven't seen that episode yet, but I was somewhat aghast at the derision devoted to Macintosh customers in the previous episode. After I saw that one, I was like, "Dang, I hope this show doesn't just become a hobby-horse for strawmanning people the writers dislike." (though, to be fair, I also felt that way about the hippies in the Poppler episode)
posted by Greg Nog at 8:53 AM on July 9, 2010


Oh, I don't know about that. The iphone send-up was better done than the Napster episode and a lot funnier. The show is pretty much a satire of technology and scifi, so it must have been hard to resist an iphone parody, especially with Mom being a perfect replacement for Steve Jobs (good external marketing/PR, but business as usual inside).

I've been reading some of the commentary on a couple of different sites and I think people have forgotten how uneven of a show Futurama was in its prime. Its too easy for us to remember the great episodes, but there were more than a couple stinkers per season and many of the average episodes were pretty meh or relied too much on Bender's schtick. If this episode came out during its original run we'd probably be quoting it and singing its praises today.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:14 AM on July 9, 2010


I'm also bewildered at the complaints about 20th century references like Doritos or Facebook. Err, what exactly are we expecting here. Some massive extended universe-type thing that no one gets? "Hey, how many zorbits does it take to change a light sphere? Oh, I don't know but it when it happens set your airspetlzer to 44!!!"

The humor is for a 20th century audience. Heck, 90% of the show is a parody of 20th century science fiction and culture, be it this season or season one.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2010


I'm also bewildered at the complaints about 20th century references like Doritos or Facebook. Err, what exactly are we expecting here. Some massive extended universe-type thing that no one gets? "Hey, how many zorbits does it take to change a light sphere? Oh, I don't know but it when it happens set your airspetlzer to 44!!!"

That's actually funnier than a Facebook joke.
This comment brought to you by Glagnar's Human Rinds! They're a bunch'o munch'o crunch'o human!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2010


In preparation for the new episodes I began watching all the episodes from before (still working on Season 5). In the previous seasons, the did not make straight out references to 21th Century products or tv shows. At worst, they did it slyly, a lot more like the recent "eyePhone" episode (and that was about as blatant as they come). Likewise, for comparison to previous seasons, I would have to say the best episodes of the Sixth so far rank up there with perhaps the mediocre of 1 - 5. There has yet to be a truly good quality episode so far, in my opinion.
posted by Atreides at 11:32 AM on July 9, 2010


In the previous seasons, the did not make straight out references to 21th Century products or tv shows.

There is an episode about Ally McBeal (McNeal) and another one about Napster (Kidnapster). The show is littered with references to modern times.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:34 AM on July 9, 2010


Oh, and the president of Earth is Richard Nixon. Are we talking about the same show here?
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:36 AM on July 9, 2010


Napster (Kidnapster)
That was an extrapolation to make a joke.
Ally McBeal (McNeal)
The joke of that was that the radio waves had taken a thousand years to get to Omecron Persei Eight, or whatever.

Both those jokes accounted for the time travel. The CSI Miami joke just sat there. If they'd made it CSI Hoboken, or anything to play with it a bit... but they didn't even try.

When I go through my Futurama episodes to decide what to watch, often the titles won't appeal to me, but then I go ahead and pick one, and those little jokes make it work.

I'm not seeing them in the new show. I hope they get better.

There was a big deal made about getting the original cast back. Do we know if they got any of the writers?
posted by Trochanter at 12:28 PM on July 9, 2010


They're back, the problem is their writing can't beat your nostalgia.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:36 PM on July 9, 2010


I didn't ever watch the show as it was broadcast. I came to them later. There was no real gap between the old and the new shows for me.

I'm going to give it time, but so far I do see a difference. I'm pulling for them.
posted by Trochanter at 12:47 PM on July 9, 2010


In the previous seasons, the did not make straight out references to 21th Century products or tv shows.

And the nominees for Best Soft Drink Product Placement are... Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation, They Call Me Mr. Pibb, and Snow White and the Seven-ups.

(from 'That's Lobstertainment!', Season 3, Episode 8, originally aired February 25, 2001.)
posted by shakespeherian at 12:51 PM on July 9, 2010


Again, the joke in those instances is to extrapolate from today's state to a state where the product placement is right in the title.
posted by Trochanter at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2010


But Pepsi, Mr. Pibb, and Seven-up are all 20th century products, just like Doritos.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2010


So wait, you're complaining that a science fiction cartoon about a time traveling pizza boy needs to have some level of logic consistency with its references? How do you extrapolate a Jewish lobster or a Willy Wonka-like alien softdrink factory? Or how George Washington is somehow a head in a jar when he clearly died before head in jar technology. Or the million other examples that don't and will never make any sense.

Seriously, its a cartoon. Its there to make you laugh. Don't turn into a stereotypical nerd hair-splitter who reminisces about a classic science fiction show canceled before it time. Unclench and accept the weirdness. Ride the walrus!
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:09 PM on July 9, 2010


shakespeherian, I wasn't complaining about the presence of Doritos or CSI Miami in the show, just that they didn't use them in clever ways. (I can't remember the Doritos one, maybe it was clever.)

Same with the George Washington thing. I don't care from illogical, I care from funny.

If I want unfunny, there's all the Seth MacFarlane stuff. No shortage there.

Again, I'm a fan, and I'm pulling for the show.
posted by Trochanter at 1:56 PM on July 9, 2010


I believe Trochanter is saying it correctly, they're just name dropping things and not being clever about it. It feels like a product placement, where in the past, it felt like a joke. Again, just like the eyePhone joke from the previous episode.

Seriously, its a cartoon. Its there to make you laugh. Don't turn into a stereotypical nerd hair-splitter who reminisces about a classic science fiction show canceled before it time. Unclench and accept the weirdness. Ride the walrus!

No one is splitting hairs here. Your position is "et all from 20th/21st century/past is acceptable regardless of context," mine is, "I want the context back!" There's a meaningful difference between the two.


They're back, the problem is their writing can't beat your nostalgia.

It's nostalgia if I'm basing my opinion on memories of watching the show way back. I'm basing my opinion on having watched episodes last few weeks. As for returning writers, currently there's about three or so, including Cohen and Groening, who are back. There's a slew of people who haven't, such as Kristen Gore (Al and Tipper's daughter) and Jeff Westbrook.
posted by Atreides at 3:33 PM on July 9, 2010


I'm a huge fan of Futurama, I've not only been re-watching all the shows, I'm almost finished watching every single commentary track.

The 4th episode this season was the worst one of the season, and IMO ep03 was the worst-to-that-date episode.

Gay marriage, Ok, fine. Like the AVClub said, "Basic truth: if you are against gay marriage, you are wrong."

So how can we make it future-y? Well, let's do a Prop 8 joke, but....Prop 8 Million? No wait, an infinity symbol is just a sideways 8! Brilliant! What else? Lets make it about ROBOsexuals instead of HOMOsexuals, that's a good idea, Ok cool. Now how will the crew feel about it? They'll be in favor of it, of course, because they are Everyman and must be Right Thinking, even though robosexuality has come up in a ton of episodes from the very first one up to the first episode of this season and every single time it has been Wrong, but let's ignore that. And who is against it? Well, who voted against Prop8? Mormons, but I guess we should make it all Religious people because LOL and also lets make them be closet cases, because even though they should be allowed to be married, closeted homosexuals are funny. Black voters turning out to support Obama mainly voted No on 8, but we probably shouldn't touch that one. Oh old people are usually jerks, lets make them bad too. Ok, so who is old and stupid and a villain? Mom? Wernstrom?M The Professor! Good news, everyone, I'm a bigot now. But why is he a bigot? Because when he was a young scientist he had a love affair with Mom, as established a while back A ROBOT! GASP! So, really, all people who hate gay robot-human marriage are all themselves gay robosexuals. In depth, in continuing with the characters, and nothing at all like an average South Park, yep yep yep. Also, please forget that Fry and Amy had a thing before. Also don't remember Bender's other Asian, human girlfriend, Lucie Lu. Oh and definitely don't remember Morbo's original voice or else you will be SUPER disappointed. Oh and George Takei should be there, somewhere, for any reason at all.

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who likes Futurama S1-5 much more than I do (as much or even a tiny bit more, maybe, but not much more.) But if all of this season is as "good" as the first four episodes, I probably won't watch the next season.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:07 PM on July 9, 2010


Err, its a comedy, not politics. The setups are excuses to launch jokes. I just watched the robosexual episode. Lots of zingers and overall very funny. Shame you can't park the "OMG POLITICS - NOW I WILL BE DIFFICULT AND ARGUMENTATIVE" part of your brain for 30 minutes.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:11 PM on July 9, 2010


damn dirty ape: Err, its a comedy, not politics. The setups are excuses to launch jokes. I just watched the robosexual episode. Lots of zingers and overall very funny. Shame you can't park the "OMG POLITICS - NOW I WILL BE DIFFICULT AND ARGUMENTATIVE" part of your brain for 30 minutes.

What the fuck are you even talking about? I said I agree with the politics and then pointed out a dozen places where they made stupid, heavy handed decisions that resulted in a shit episode, where they used to make good decisions and good episodes.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:20 PM on July 9, 2010


I've been reading some of the commentary on a couple of different sites and I think people have forgotten how uneven of a show Futurama was in its prime.

Futurama has always been, to me, really really hit or miss, and it missed way more often then it hits. But when it hits? Man it hits out of the park.

"Oh great, a lesson about changing history from Mr. I'm My own Grandpa! Screw history! Let's go!"
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on July 9, 2010


really really hit or miss,

I'll buy that. Definitely some clunkers. But I think you could sense the intelligence of the writers most of the time. The jokes may have missed, but they weren't just dumb. I think that's what I'm waiting for in the new stuff. That's why I asked about the writers.

You could count on one hand the times an episode really matched the best Simpsons, if they ever really did.
posted by Trochanter at 8:00 PM on July 9, 2010


Watched the fourth one. Still waiting for a joke I would want to tell a friend about...
posted by Trochanter at 5:39 AM on July 10, 2010


I don't know if this has been posted before, but it's the last paragraph I'm concerned about:
Something else to think about: When shows slash budgets like this, the first thing to go is the writing staff – only later do we hear about the salaries of performing artists. So if the new Futurama can't affort Bill West and Katey Segal, what's the writing room going to look like? Casting aside, there's really no point to reviving Futurama if it's not going to be as sharp, funny, and fresh as the original thanks to inferior or overextended writers.


This is seriously what I think I'm seeing. Cohen and Groening may manage the thing but they don't write scripts.
posted by Trochanter at 7:25 AM on July 10, 2010


Trochanter: This is seriously what I think I'm seeing. Cohen and Groening may manage the thing but they don't write scripts.

The animation is way worse, too. The backgrounds and whatnot are all pretty obviously done on the cheap, especially compared to the original run.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2010


Having watched episodes three and four now, I think I'm about to join with the "gone downhill" camp. There's the seed of a good episode in both of those, but the implementation is lacking. The focus is too much on the jokes than the storytelling. I think there have been some great jokes, but fewer overall, and less variety to them.

I think it's unquestionable that the show has taken a big cut to its writing staff.
posted by JHarris at 8:02 PM on July 11, 2010


Episode 5 was a lot funnier. Although, the references (da Vinci code, who wants to be a millionaire) make me wonder if it was a script they had around since pre-cancellation.

It seems like they might be of stuck where the Simpsons have been for years. If they stick to the basics, they can still put on a funny episode. But the Simpsons so often get sidetracked by ham-fisted political commentary and trying to be Mad magazine with parody-of-the-week episodes.

At least, that's what I see after a heavy handed gay marriage and a "look how we zing the iPhone" episode. The Simpsons did a very similar Apple parody recently, too.
posted by Gary at 9:25 AM on July 16, 2010


I thought last night's episode was one of the better episodes so far and a bit more truer to the original. Though, I had issues with Farnsworth's voice, it just seemed off. Though, I guess for the sake of the episode, Fry was played off as being a lot more dumb than he was.
posted by Atreides at 9:34 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right after I watched the episode I was going to post on here that surely no one could have liked this stinker. But my wife said the thread is dead and don't be a pest, so I listened.

Now I come to find out people *did* like it.

Glad you enjoyed it, really I am. I feel like I'm losing Futurama all over again, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:05 PM on July 18, 2010


What I enjoyed about it was that the show, in my opinion, had a little more of the basic elements of past seasons. I would say that its mediocre at best for a regular Futurama episode.
posted by Atreides at 6:21 AM on July 19, 2010


I agree, episode #5 was the best of the season so far, since #1 (which I still really liked). #2 comes up in the middle; just the sheer audacity of Zapp's plan makes that one for me. The Apple one (#3) and the Proposition Infinity (#4) ones, while funny, weren't up to the usual Futurama standards; they seemed like they were flogging the theme and stretching the premise a little too much.
posted by JHarris at 1:56 AM on July 23, 2010


The show's IQ has dropped back into the middle of the pack. Where's the geek sensibility? Wake me up in a thousand years if it gets good again.
posted by Trochanter at 4:13 AM on July 23, 2010


I will come forward and state that last night's episode went a long way toward reestablishing my faith in the writers. It was much more along the lines of the Futuramas of old with the nice "aw..." moment at the end. Now hopefully, the next episodes will continue to build from this point on.
posted by Atreides at 6:16 AM on July 23, 2010


I haven't seen this week's yet. I was talking about the DaVinci one. I'll check out the new one.
(guess I haven't given up after all.)
posted by Trochanter at 6:54 AM on July 23, 2010


Not to build your hopes up too high. It wasn't something on the level of Jurassic Bark, but I thought it was an encouraging improvement.
posted by Atreides at 8:26 AM on July 23, 2010


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