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Author Topic: The key Futurama episodes  (Read 586 times)
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JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« on: 08-02-2007 15:09 »

I just know this has been discussed somewhere, but some friends of mine have asked me about Futurama and what key episodes to watch. 

Someone on PEEL was trying to make a DVD of six episodes and came up with a list a few months ago, but I'm finding I'm being asked this question a lot so it may be worth a fresh thread.

In terms of the long-term "mythology" of the series, to bring someone up to speed on all developments I'd have to go with

Space Pilot 3000
The Series has Landed
Love's Labors Lost in Space
A Flight to Remember
A Head in the Polls
Xmas Story
Amazon Women in the Mood
Parasites Lost
Luck of the Fryish
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
**Time Keeps on Slippin**
Roswell that Ends Well
**Godfellas**
Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch
Leela's Homeworld
Jurassic Bark
Why of Fry
**Sting**
Devil's Hands

The ** are episodes that do not necessarily advance the long-term plot, but I thought were exceptional examples that should be recommended.  But I'd say if someone watched all the episodes above they're ready to understand "Bender's Big Bend".

Am I missing any key "plot" shows?
Chou

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #1 on: 08-02-2007 15:17 »

That's a pretty good list. But I don't really think A Head in the Polls or Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch advance the plot...or do they?

Isn't the movie called "Bender's Big Score?"
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
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« Reply #2 on: 08-02-2007 15:43 »

I'd put KGNUaN in just in case his kids crop up in any of the movies, and AHitP might explain why the disembodied head of Richard Nixon is the president (also, that episode is simply awesome).

I think you've caught all the key episodes; I would have thrown in "A Clone of my Own" for Cubert's entry, but he plays such a small role in the show afterwards that it might not be necessary.
Chou

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #3 on: 08-02-2007 15:46 »

Oh, here's another episode to add, The Farnsworth Parabox. It explains the alternate universes concept.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #4 on: 08-02-2007 15:54 »

I think that really only has relevance within the episode itself.
Chou

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #5 on: 08-02-2007 16:15 »

I guess so.
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
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« Reply #6 on: 08-02-2007 16:15 »

I agree with Chou.  Farnsworth Parabox should've been on the list. 
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #7 on: 08-02-2007 16:26 »

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's one of, if not my favorite episode, I just don't see it's impact on the series as a whole other than Leela's totally understated date with Fry.
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« Reply #8 on: 08-02-2007 23:06 »

I had forgotten about Cubert; it's easy to do.  Yeah, a Clone of My Own should be there.

The Farnsworth Parabox was a close one for me.  Although there is no long-term plot development (except for the infamous promised date), it was a great ensemble episode, more than the Sting.  Maybe I'll list it as a **.

When were LaBarbara and the Wongs introducted?  A Flight to Remember?

Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
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« Reply #9 on: 08-03-2007 00:47 »

Yes, Labarbara and the Wongs were introduced in A Flight to Remember.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #10 on: 08-03-2007 18:38 »

I think that the list is pretty good, but should point out that TKOS is a pretty important episode, as is TMLH. Both episodes are showcases for the Fry/Leela thing as well as a showcase for the other characters relationships with those around them. Pretty complex dynamics get brought up in these epsiodes and I don't think that the contribution to the show as a whole can be ignored.
Frida Waterfall

Professor
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« Reply #11 on: 08-03-2007 19:28 »

"I, Roommate" might be one to put on the list. It does tell about how Fry got a home in the future. It's not very significant, though.
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« Reply #12 on: 08-03-2007 19:56 »

I considered "I, Roommate" and "Teenage Mutant ...".  But as Frida said (love your name by the way), the plot development in IR wasn't that significant.  TMLH was hard too because it was an excellent ensemble episode, but at the end no major "evolution" of the long-term story had occurred.

What do I mean by evolution?
(1) A major character, or frequently recurring character, is introduced.
(2) Relationships between characters are established or altered, and those changes persist past the end of the episode (Amazon women, Flight to Remember, Parasites Lost, etc.).  That's why I didn't include "Head on my shoulders"--no real long-term impact other than some Freela bonding at the end.
(3) Further information on the background or future of characters are revealed (Why of Fry, Leela's Homeworld).
(4) Fundamental insights into a character are revealed.  (The Sting, Godfellas)

So based on that I guess I should include "I, Roommmate" and "A clone of my own" after all.  But TMLH still is out, unless you want to argue that Leela's final decisions reflect a realization that  Planet Express is more than a job, but is a kind of family in itself.  Even so, that revelation is pretty subtle and never explicitly stated.

I had a hard time with "Raging Bender," "My Three Suns", "Bicyclops," and "Cyber House Rules" as well, but cut them in the end.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #13 on: 08-03-2007 20:08 »
« Last Edit on: 08-03-2007 20:08 by coldangel_1 »

Key episodes: Every episode in the series except The Honking, which I thought was lame.

  smile

Yeah, it's a good list. All my favourite episodes are in it. Although the original limited exercise might be more interesting/agonizing, if you restricted yourself to, say... five episodes of monumental importance.

I'd go:

SP3000
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Roswell that Ends Well
The Why of Fry
Devil's Hands


There. See if you too can cauterize your favourite show to such an extent. It's painful good fun.
Frida Waterfall

Professor
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« Reply #14 on: 08-03-2007 20:42 »
« Last Edit on: 08-03-2007 20:42 »

     
Quote
Originally posted by coldangel_1:
Key episodes: Every episode in the series except The Honking, which I thought was lame.

       smile

Yeah, it's a good list. All my favourite episodes are in it. Although the original limited exercise might be more interesting/agonizing, if you restricted yourself to, say... five episodes of monumental importance.

I'd go:

SP3000
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Roswell that Ends Well
The Why of Fry
Devil's Hands


There. See if you too can cauterize your favourite show to such an extent. It's painful good fun.

I like Cold Angel's list alot. It's short, but all the episodes on it are very important to the overall plotline. Most importantly, you're not messing around with others, such as Cubert and the Amy and Kif relationship. I'm sure if a first-time viewer of Futurama watched those episodes in that order will be able to pick up "Bender's Big Score" easily.

Okay. This comment is going to be so suicidal, but I must note that I do support the Fry and Leela relationship before I go on (yes, I'm a shipper). I don't understand why people place "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" so high on their favorite episode list. I know it was the "last" episode, and it showed a fair (enough) conclusion to the Fry and Leela relationship, but there wasn't much of a chase or romantic tension like other episodes. I would find "Time Keeps on Slippin'" or "The Sting" to be a better choice to demonstrate the Fry/Leela relationship.

Thinking about it, the two best episodes to introduce a person the the Fry and Leela relationship would be "A Flight to Remember" or "Xmas Story". When I was first watching the show, I didn't get into their relationship until their moments were always interrupted.


     
Quote
Originally posted by JustNibblin':But as Frida said (love your name by the way)
Thanks!
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 08-03-2007 22:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by ColdAngel:
SP3000
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Roswell that Ends Well
The Why of Fry
Devil's Hands

There. See if you too can cauterize your favourite show to such an extent. It's painful good fun.

It's a great try, I agree the "Nibblonian 4" is the core of the series (the IGN top 25 article said the same thing). 

Problem is you need to have "Series as Landed"--otherwise someone will ask "what is that red lobster thing?"

You also need to have "Love's Labors Lost in Space"--otherwise someone will ask "what is this animal with an eyestalk and diapers?"

Finally, to see "Devil's Hands" you need Parasites Lost, otherwise someone will ask, "what is that thing Fry is playing?  What are these worms he's talking about?"

So I couldn't get by with less than eight:

SP3000
Series has Landed
Love's Labor Lost
Parasites Lost
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Roswell that Ends Well
The Why of Fry
Devil's Hands

 
Quote
Originally posted by Frida Waterfall:
 I don't understand why people place "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" so high on their favorite episode list.

For myself, I love opera, love "Faust," love singing in cartoons, and love Chris Tyung's 15 second score at the very end of the episode.

If I had to choose a single Fry/Leela episode, it would be "Parasite's Lost".  It has everything.
Frida Waterfall

Professor
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« Reply #16 on: 08-03-2007 22:45 »

If the Galactic Space Entinity is to make a return appearance in the movies, you might want to include "Godfellas" on your list.

If you are going to have "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings", you might also want to think about adding "Hell is Other Robots" to your list, too. It does give background information on the Robot Devil and Bender's "internal damnation".
FuturamaPac

Professor
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« Reply #17 on: 08-04-2007 02:03 »

That's a good list Just Nibblin'. Although, why is Amazon Women In The Mood there? It probably has something important but I need a refresh of memory.
On the other hand, I completely agree with the list.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #18 on: 08-04-2007 05:57 »
« Last Edit on: 08-04-2007 05:57 by coldangel_1 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Frida Waterfall:
     I don't understand why people place "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" so high on their favorite episode list.


...Because it made me cry    frown
And I'm a grizzly, semi-muscular man, so that's no mean feat.
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #19 on: 08-04-2007 16:01 »
« Last Edit on: 08-04-2007 16:01 by JustNibblin´ »

FuturamaPac: In "Amazon" Kif and Amy begin dating.

And then there were nine:

SP3000
Series has Landed
Love's Labor Lost
Hell is Other Robots
Parasites Lost
Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Roswell that Ends Well
The Why of Fry
Devil's Hands

This list is key in more ways than one.
Frida Waterfall

Professor
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« Reply #20 on: 08-04-2007 21:14 »

Y'know, you could knock nine down to seven if you replace "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" with another Fry and Leela relationship-happy episode, such as "Time Keeps on Slipping" (it's probably the best choice). That way, you don't have to include "Hell is Other Robots" and "Parasites Lost" to your list. The goal is to keep the list as short as possible, but still hit key events in the overall plotline in the series, right?

You still might want "Godfellas" in your mix. Like I stated before, the episode is religious-heavy and includes the GSE (Galactic Space Entinity).
FuturamaPac

Professor
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« Reply #21 on: 08-05-2007 02:20 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JustNibblin':
FuturamaPac: In "Amazon" Kif and Amy begin dating.
*clicks fingers* also, after watching it yesterday, I thought if the Amazon Women were to make a reappearance, then that would be a key episode.
akachris1

Crustacean
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« Reply #22 on: 09-06-2007 14:12 »

The episode A Head In the Polls sets up the charecter of Richard Nixon's Head as president of Earth for the rest of the series.
I think that moves the plot on because he appears in many other episodes.
dr.bender nye

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #23 on: 09-06-2007 14:19 »

If you got The Devil's Hands, why not Hell Is Other Robots?
bend_her

Professor
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« Reply #24 on: 09-06-2007 14:56 »

If the movies explore Fry/Leela to any extent, I think you'd need "The Devil's Hands...". Of course, that's assuming that the writers want to carry that story arc forward, and not start over with Fry begging Leela for a date. If they've been reading these (and other) fan forums, it's a no-brainer which direction they'd take, so I'd keep "The Devil's Hands..." on the list, just to keep hope alive.

Also, it seems to me like the Robot Devil and Robot Hell are characters/places that don't really need an introduction. Aren't they self-explanatory?
dr.bender nye

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #25 on: 09-06-2007 15:05 »

I guess if you think of a robot as a Christian, it's pretty understadable.
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
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« Reply #26 on: 09-07-2007 09:59 »

Ummm.. I already have Hell is other Robots in the "essential list," because you need it for TDHIP, which is needed because it is the final episode of the series and may very likely be at least referenced in the first movie.
Cleansingfire

Bending Unit
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« Reply #27 on: 09-08-2007 03:05 »

I'd try to keep it down to, say, ten episodes:

Space Pilot 3000
The Series Has Landed
Love's Labours Lost in Space
The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Luck of the Fryrish
Roswell That Ends Well
Godfellas
The Why of Fry
The Sting
Devil's Hands

I don't think the introduction of the Robot Devil and Robot Hell are really very important; they don't clarify much more than their later appearances do.
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