TV From The Crypts: Futurama
We in the Brotherhood of Evil Geeks all have our specialties and areas of interest even if there might be a lot of overlap. If you have not read the superbly stunning story of our origins, you need to go check it out here and maybe you’ll understand us as individuals a little bit better. Being someone who works 24/7 to keep nature’s balance of life and death in harmony, I can’t schedule a slot to catch the latest Falling Skies or Game of Thrones episodes during its regularly scheduled showing on TV, but I manage to keep myself entertained and to keep all of you tremendous followers educated about the best retired TV shows out there. The advantages to watching retired shows also means no commercials, you can pause for bathroom breaks and to refill your glass of wine, and you can watch as many episodes as you want in a row, so rather than pine and stress over who’s going to kill who in Game of Thrones next for an entire painfully long week, or who’s going to sleep with who in True Blood for 7 agonizing days, you can jump right ahead and watch the whole season in a day or two.
Naturally being the queen of retired TV shows among many other things, I get excited to claim newly finished shows as “mine” as I twist my hands together and let out my evil Muahahahaha laugh. I was able to do that this month with another phenomenally funny and science-fiction fantastic show: Futurama.
Futurama first aired on FOX in 1999, created by Matt Groening (more famously known for being the creator of The Simpsons), and David Cohen. The show is about a delivery boy that accidentally ends up cryogenically frozen at the turn of the century (New Year’s Eve of 1999) only to reawake 1,000 years later in the future. There he ends up joining a delivery service as well, though this delivery group serves interplanetary deliveries. The show was exemplarary, combining science-fiction concepts, whacky characters and aliens, with hilariously adult humor. Sadly, some of the show’s ludeness and more left-leaning concepts led to quite the disagreement between FOX and Groening. FOX eventually retaliated to Groening’s refusal to modify the show to their liking by cancelling it in 2003. If you happen to enjoy The Simpsons it is worth checking out the episodes that aired during this feud, as Groening took quite a few hits at the FOX network, which was very funny.
After being cancelled the first time around the show was re-aired in its entirety on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, where it acquired an even heftier following than it already had on FOX. So in 2008 Comedy Central thought it was worth reviving, and took on the show for another run of four seasons that were released until 2013, when this month it was officially re-retired, entering my ranks of TV show wonders. During its run, Futurama has been nominated for 12 Emmy’s and received 6, which is pretty impressive for an animated show.
Naturally, I have not yet indulged in the latest season of the show that just finished airing (have to wait for it to come out on blu-ray) but I have treated myself to all the other seasons, all of which keep you laughing and thinking. Like I have in previous TV From The Crypts posts, it would be too much of an undertaking to try to discuss the episodes and seasons as a whole (there are too many, and most episodes are stand-alones), so instead I will discuss some of the main characters and what they bring to the playing field as part of the cast.
Philip J. Fry is obviously the main character whom the story centers around, as he is the pizza delivery boy I mentioned earlier who inadvertently freezes himself in 2000 until he is thawed a thousand years later. Sadly for Fry, he’s not that bright, but his dim-wit makes for multiple laugh-out-loud one-liners in every episode. In addition to his idiotic yet hilarious comments, Fry’s other redeeming quality is his simpleness and contentedness about life make him a happy person to be around most of the time. Other recurring qualities of his that come up in many episodes include a huge crush and respect for Leela, and his relative lazy-nature and love of video games and beer.
Bender is the next main character in my opinion, being Fry’s best friend and roommate, as well as an alcoholic, crass, and selfish robot. Bender is the most inappropriate, rude, and pompous character on the show, and you will love him for it. I think we all have a little Bender in us, and appreciate trying to take the easy way out of some problems.
Turanga Leela is the Cyclops pilot of the delivery ship that most of the characters end up working for, employed like the others by Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. Initially it is thought that she is some weird alien from another planet, but eventually it is discovered that she was actually a mutant abandoned by her parents to try to give her a better life. Leela is the warrior princess of the show, trying to fit the boots of a strong female character that is not afraid to kick butt. Of course, she still has a soft spot for tiny, adorable creatures like Nibbler.
The Professor is actually Fry’s distant relative from the future, who is your token mad scientist, only he has to pay the bills like everyone else and runs the Planet Express delivery company to do so. While he has some great schemes that lead to vaious science driven plots and quests throughout the series, he is also 160+ years old, and his grumpiness with age as well as early dementia just twist the plot in even better directions.
Dr. Zoidberg is my favorite character, a lobster-like alien who serves as the ship’s doctor. The Professor’s long-time friend, he is employed so as to have a roof over his head and his alien-antics are sidesplitting. Heing the staff doctor one might have to perform surgeries, and with lobster claws for hands this can be quite a feat (often ending in hysterical failure). Zoidberg is also well known for his unsatisfiable appetite, and his silly behaviors and noises he gets from being an alien cephalopod. Woop woop woop woop woop woop…..
Those are some of the most important characters, with lots of recurring appearances on the crew by the rich and spoiled Amy Wong, the retired limbo-gold medal winner Hermes Conrad whom is the accountant for the delivery company, Nibbler the dark-matter shitting alien pet of Leela’s, and the occasionally cross-dressing hick janitor whom keeps up the building maintenance of Planet Express’ facilities.
Additionally, Zapp Brannigan, a pompous captain from another famous ship is a comical farse on William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. And there are many other phenomenal characters, people, robots, and aliens included, seen throughout the show. I am proud that I can now claim this epic show as part of my specialities, and if you have not already caught most of the repeats on Cartoon Network or Comedy Central, I think it’s worth investing in for some non-stop hilarity. And I am super glad I can now claim this show as my domain! I think they agree:
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Posted on September 27, 2013, in Geekology, TV, TV From the Crypts and tagged Bender, Fox, Fry, Futurama, Leela, Matt Groening, Philip J. Fry, planet express, Science fiction, TV From the Crypts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.