I'm not saying it (BBS) did a perfect job of structuring its story, just that it did the best of the 4 by quite a lot. BBS
did a good job of structuring it's story (I'll admit that, even if I'm not a big fan of the story that was structured). It's definitely miles ahead of the middle two movies. I do think that how much better it did than ITWGY
is up to whether you can let ITWGY's
first chapter go for being sort-of throwaway (some stuff is set up, but for the most part it could work as a stand-alone episode). I'll give you that all of BBS's
chapters are not throwaway and all are important to the main plot, but I contend that ITWGY's
2nd through 4th chapters do a better job of telling its story without feeling weirdly cut or slow. So I'm saying that ITWGY's
2nd-4th chapters are more closely tied and better paced than BBS
did not handle its various plot threads well.
That's pretty much exactly how I feel about Into the Wild Green Yonder except I question whether or not the whole bringing back extinct species thing would even work for an episode.
I wasn't a huge fan of the whole scammers thing in BBS either, tbh, it's the time-travel plot once that kicks in.
Let me clarify a bit (Ha!) on what I mean by BBS
feeling stretched. What I mean is that I don't believe it's various plot threads belonged together. I don't think the Scammers, the F/L story, or the Time Travel compliment each other very well. While this certainly could mostly be due to the film's pacing, I have to judge it as is. The Time Travel comes out of nowhere and doesn't serve the Scammers story in a way I find necessary (sure, they bought all of NNY and eventually Earth from their earnings off the artifacts, but aren't they called "The Scammers" for a reason? I believe they could have just as easily scammed everybody without needing to complicate the story with time travel), and the F/L story, while having its moments, seems regressive compared to the growth F/L had by S4
(which, for the most part, was pretty sweet when it came to character development). Maybe Keeler's
2nd or 3rd or whatever draft would have fixed the issues I have with the story, but as it stands I feel it's a bit sloppy.
1st chapter aside (I'll be saying this a lot for ITWGY
. Make of that what you will), I feel that ITWGY
doesn't have any unnecessary and/or shoved in plot threads. I think everything that happened in the 2nd-4th chapters was necessary to tell its story and paced well. It's all tight and comfortable, going along at a breezy satisfying pace, with none really feeling like padding or out-of-place.
I think you misunderstand the main goal of The Madfellows. While they certainly want to revive the Encyclopod to revive extinct species (they are basically environmentalists), the main goal is to stop The Dark Ones from destroying any further species. Only the Encyclopod is capable of dealing with The Dark Ones powers. Once the Encyclopods went "extinct" due to their preservation efforts, The Dark Ones were once more free to abolish every other species in the universe.
Again, I don't think the writers mean for the film's message to be that natural selection is bad. I think the film's message is that an advanced species shouldn't continue to drive out other species. Get it? The Encyclopod's represent the part of humanity that can mostly fend for itself (basically us today and for the past 200 years or so) and doesn't need to drive out other species, while The Dark Ones represent the part of humanity that to this day is driving other species to extinction, even though we don't have to. The writers message seems to be that we should let nature take its course and no longer interfere.
The first three minutes of BBS
are an annoyingly 4th wall-breaking fanwank.
That sequence at the start is no difference to the sequence at the end of ITWGY which was just a big metaphor for Futurama's uncertain future as a show. That's not to say I didn't like the ending (I loved it), but the two are basically the same idea.
Okay, you got me here. They are basically the same idea. I'll instead mention that ITWGY's
ending is far better executed wink-winking to the audience than BBS's
was far too blatant with its wink-wink, what with the reintroduction of the crew, the BOX Network (who wrote that? One of the writers kids?), and the many fans (why would Leela mention the fans?). There was nothing wrong with letting the audience into the joke (I mean, many fans were as angry as the writers at FOX
for canceling the show), but they way they went about is too obvious and kinda screws with the flow of the movie. It seems really out-of-place. By contrast, the ending of ITWGY
, while another wink-wink to the fans, is much less blatant and more fitting with what is happening in the story.
screwed around with established bactstory.
I wouldn't say it 'screwed around' with any backstory either. It was a paradox-correcting time-code, it basically kept creating new timelines. The original episodes remained intact.
I'm not so sure. While the original episodes happened as they did in a previous version of the timeline, it really does kinda nullify their dramatic weight if you have BBS
to tell you it's all gonna be O.K. Some fans will be able to let it go while watching those episodes, but I can't. I simply disregard BBS
(I don't watch it that often, and when I do I treat is a What-If) since I prefer the old events. Actually, that parentheses sentence is why I prefer the original events. Let's remember that the past events in Luck of the Fryrish
and Jurassic Bark
are unknown to Fry (hell, that's kinda the point). We, as the audience, get to see how Fry's disappearance affected his loved ones, and we are the only ones privy to that knowledge. Fry will never know how much his brother truly loved him, or how truly faithful Seymour was. So it really bites me to have those events changed to happy endings. Sure they were bittersweet and heartbreaking respectively, but that's what made them so good. To have them nullified (essentially made What-if's by the events of BBS
) is really annoying, especially since I don't consider BBS
as great an episode as the two mentioned, and thus I feel it an unwelcome intrusion. If BBS
had added something worthwhile to the original episodes then I could have let it go or even supported it. As it is... Eh, I don't like it.
If you think Number 9 Man was stuck in for no reason other than fanwanking, then tell me how Chanukah Zombie and Kwanzaa Bot are actually necessary to the attack on the Scammers?
I'll give you that but again I don't see it is as much different to the shot of hundreds of characters at the end of ITWGY, the needless inclusion of the robot mafia at the start or the Waterfalls being furthered. That said, I don't see what's wrong with a film like this being a 'fan-wank' unless it gets in the way of the film somehow and I wouldn't say it did in either film particularly.
Alright, this one I was just adding to further the fanwank material thing. I actually like the entire fourth chapter of BBS
(it has the pacing and focus I feel the first three chapters are missing to varying degrees), and the inclusion of the holiday mascots is actually very well done (I love that Trilogy Rap). Similarly, I like the inclusion of the Waterfalls in ITWGY
, and I feel they are even better used since it makes sense to involve the Waterfalls in a story that has environmental themes (plus Hutch is mega awesome).
I agree that fanwank material is okay as long as it either doesn't get in the way of new material, or is used to further the new material. That is why I don't like the fan thing at the beginning of BBS
or the in-the-past parts, since I don't feel either of them is a credit to the film. I guess you might feel the same way about the Robot Mafia in ITWGY
(and maybe most of the first chapter of ITWGY
in general (which I understand)). However, I do feel that the Waterfalls served an important, irreplaceable part in ITWGY's
story, Number 9 Man's part made his inclusion worthy, and the shot of the characters at the end of ITWGY
doesn't slow it down (it's wink, not a yell).
Fry and Leela's subdued story in ITWGY
was a fantastic cap-off to their long-running will they?/won't they story arc.
I think I was just dissapointed because I wanted them to get together in a story ABOUT them. Or at least a story that was good. Not some crap about bringing back extinct species. Yes, stopping all life from going extinct is a good story, but they never seemed fussed about that; they only seemed to care about preserving and bringing back dead species. If the dark one was meant to be so much of a threat that it could destroy all life within a reasonable time-span, then they should have us more aware of this threat in the film. It wasn't treated like a big deal whereas saving dead animals was.
With the series the writers were able to end it with a big F/L story because the fans who don't care about F/L still have several other episodes (17 in S4
, about half of which don't have a F/L story in them) to choose from as their ending (notice that the episode previous to Devil's Hands
, Spanish Fry
, is one of the most just-for-laughs episodes of the series). This is so every fan could be at least somewhat satisfied with the end of the series (which the writers obviously thought was impending). However, with ITWGY
, that's 88 minutes with only 3 other episodes in "S5
" for non-F/L fans to choose from as their ending (2 really, since BBS
is also F/L focused). I think one of the reasons the writers kept the F/L part of ITWGY
subtle is to be able to satisfy as many of the fans as possible with what was to be the series' second finale. The way they handled it allowed F/L fans to have the final episode (again) wrap up that oh-so-important running story in a satisfying way, while still not forgoing the fan who simply wants a funny 88 minutes (this fan likely views the F/L focused episodes as less funny or less rewatchable).
That said, I want to keep trying to convince you that ITWGY
handled F/L in the best way possible. It really did present their relationship in a much more mature and close manner than previous episodes. We know how the characters can feel about each other, for a while (like Leela kissing Fry at the end of The Why of Fry
), but how do they do when their relationship is tested by separation and trust issues? Many relationships can't handle separation or issues of trust, and end up destroyed by these things. It's nice to see that even when they don't see each other (ain't it strange that the very episode I hold up as a great F/L episode happens to keep them apart for the majority of the running time?), Fry and Leela can remain so sure of the others importance in their life and goodness of their heart. Fry joined the effort to save the Violet Dwarf Star primarily because it mattered to Leela so much (not because it would get her to date him, but because it was something she cared about, and thus he cares about it too), and Leela was in disbelief that Fry would work against her (so disbelieving was she that she was furious at him when they met up at the Keeler Crater), but that didn't stop her from being the only one to trust him at the end.
This subtlety to F/L was an absolutely necessary progression of their relationship. We have been blown off too many times in the past, having big episodes that seem like they should be major to F/L's relationship, and having those episodes ignored (to a point) in future ones. To have another big, huge episode about them would make us wonder what exactly did Fry really
do differently this time to gain Leela's favor, or more importantly, what made Leela own up to her own feelings? ITWGY's
subtlety answers that question for us by making it more of a understated thing, a natural part of the background. The way ITWGY
presents it (and how I hope the 6th
season builds upon) is like it's an ingrained part of the characters, rather than a mood of the week. The Professor is senile and crotchery, Amy is a klutz, Bender is a thief, and Fry and Leela are very close, that's how ITWGY
makes it look.
Well, that responds to the first two sentences of that quote
Once more, while The Madfellows are excited about the Encyclopod's ability to save/recreate extinct species (which I'll remind you within the film's story were mostly made extinct by The Dark Ones), it was not their #1 reason for protecting it (they only mentioned it once anyway, at the end of the first meeting). They needed it to protect the universe and its life from the The Dark Ones. The Madfellows mentioned in their first meeting with Fry that life in the universe had been shrinking for years, due to the disappearance of the Green Chi, and that the Green Chi had recently returned, sparking the beginnings of a new Green Age. This meant that life would flourish once more, but not if The Dark One had his way. The first two scenes with The Madfellows both mentioned the need to protect the importance of life by stopping The Dark Ones. The writers probably thought that that was enough, since they had other parts of the story to develop and they had made it clear enough in those scenes how important it was to stop it.
As for other reasons why The Dark Ones didn't have a more forward part in the plot, I can think of a few reasons. One, it was a mystery for both the viewer and the characters (mainly Fry) to solve. The Dark Ones are an ancient and unknown species, who have been driving life to extinction for an unknown (but very long) number of years, all done behind the scenes. Nobody knows what they look like, since anybody who did find out quickly had their brain crushed. Two, since they work behind the scenes, The Dark Ones did not want to risk revealing themselves. They would wait for the opportune moment to destroy the Encyclopod egg and then be free to destroy all life in the universe (Maybe The Dark Ones didn't even know where the Encyclopod egg was. The Violet Dwarf Star might have been a big disguise that the final living Encyclopod's set up so that one of them could survive when the new Green Age came to pass).
stakes are major, what with all biological life in the universe being threatened by The Dark One.
As I said, if those are the stakes, the film should have focused on that as the mission and not simply saving some dead rubbish. Slowly but surely? Presumably every species is going to die out eventually anyway, who cares?
BBS had huge scope within Futurama's world, it dealt with Fry's life in great detail and that's what the show is about. Especially him and Leela. BWABB had great scope and then ruined it with a throw-away wrap-things-up-quickly ending. BG had large enough scope in that it had some epic battles and so forth. Again, I felt all 4 movies were lacking in their 'size' for films, but then, they were straight to video films and Futurama's normal episodes are often pretty huge in scope. If any of the film's plots had been theatrical releases, I'd have been severely dissapointed.
I explained the first few sentences above, so I'll move on to the rest.
Sure the other movies had huge scope, but I don't think they used theirs particularly well. I've already linked in my first response to you other posts where I explained why I think so, so I'll let this part be mercifully short.
I do agree on the theater thing though. None of the movies would have worked theatrically, though they were never meant to. They were written with the knowledge that they would be cut up to be run on Syndication, which probably has a lot to do with why they on the whole don't feel whole. DXC
has expressed high hopes for doing a proper Futurama
movie, on the big screen. I don't think there is a single fan who doesn't want to see that.
I disagree, there was plenty of high-and-low-brow stuff in both BWABB and BG and the character interaction was still there, just with a spin on it. In Bender's Game, Zoidberg may have been an alternate form of Zoidberg but he was still ultimately Zoidberg and behaved as Zoidberg does.
I really don't see it apart from a couple of good sign gags. They seemed woefully immature to me, what with all the sex jokes and dismembering and such.
As for the character complaints, BWABB
had the characters 'cept maybe Bender act not like themselves for pretty significant lengths of time (with Fry pretty much receiving the worse treatment) or left some mostly out of the plot (Zoidberg and Hermes were brushed aside, as was Bender sort-of till the end), while BG
had some of the characters reduced to base versions of themselves during most of the second half (yes, we know Amy used to be slutty, but she stopped that during S3
. Same with Leela's overt anger (though that was prevalent throughout the whole film) or to parodies of fantasy characters (Fry acted a lot like Gollum after the cave, Bender spent the time as a knight, and the Professor as the Wizard didn't act all that crotchety) that weren't very good.
Thanks, nothing like a good debate, eh?
It's good for my brothers at least, so they don't have to hear me spew this stuff. I certainly enjoy it as a hobby of sorts. Shall we continue?
Holy hell. That's got to be THE longest post I've ever seen....
That hurts, Ethanol
. I've been making obscenely long posts since I got here. I thought you would have noticed. Notice now?
Half of it is quotes.
And any post that requires scrolling, I don't read anyway.
*Claps* Good for you Sir! This stuff is probably not worth losing your time over.