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Author Topic: Futurama's Decline?  (Read 1344 times)
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wiggles

Bending Unit
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« on: 04-03-2002 15:37 »

Call me crazy but could one of the reasons why futurama has lost part of its audience of the past couple of season be down to the complete removal of the 'surprise factor'?

When Futurama started Matt and David came up with a bucket full of inventive and (at times) almost logical elements in the Futurama universe. Suicide booths, Bender needing to drink to stay sober, career chips etc.

As time went on and storylines came and went I got 'used' to the year 3000 and nothing that happened really seemed to surprise me anymore. The recent revelation in 'Roswell' that Fry was his own father made me go 'uh-huh'.

Take 'The Simpsons' in its current state. Nothing that Homer does anymore is of any great revelation (in fact the Simpsons storylines now continually take the p*** out this fact). In recent seasons there have only been one or two truly original approaches in that series ('Behind the Laughter' and the one where you see the same story from three points of view, I forget the name).

Futurama is going the same way. 'Luck of the Fryfish' is probably the episode with the most 'wow' factor in it as of late. Although the 'what-if machine' has allowed some entertaining stories to emerge with the two AOI's.

Maybe Fry is wrong, TV audiences want surprises and clever storylines after all. I suppose there is a limit to the number of ideas you can insert into a series.

Discuss/Flame/Ignore!

Wiggles
(Despite all this, Futurama still rocks!)
Mitsui

Starship Captain
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« Reply #1 on: 04-03-2002 15:42 »
« Last Edit on: 04-03-2002 15:42 »

I havnt seen the recent episodes but I think even from the way you described it it sounds fine. Futurama is not in decline its just Fox ruining it (apparently   smile) and the proposed cancellation doesnt mean its losing its touch.

Also I dont mean to sound rude or mean or anything but if you think that now Futurama is starting to suck then why did you sign up to a Futurama fan board now   wink.

*edit* Damn, I just read the last part of your speech and it cancels out my last paragraphs idea. Oh well.
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #2 on: 04-03-2002 15:44 »
« Last Edit on: 04-03-2002 15:44 »

What are you talking about, Futurama is getting stronger with every season. Of course it's going to seem fresh and new in the beginning but now the story’s are a lot deeper because the characters have developed more and we know a lot more about what life is like in 30th century.

There have been some really great episodes of late such as "Roswell That Ends Well" which I can't believe your bad mouthing again. Season 3 had many superb episodes such as "Parasites Lost", "Amazon Women in The Mood", "Insane In The Mainframe", "Time Keeps on Slippn'" and of course "Luck of the Fryrish" which you correctly mentioned.
impact

Bending Unit
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« Reply #3 on: 04-03-2002 15:45 »

A word of advice: If you really want to be surprised, DON'T read the spoilers.
wiggles

Bending Unit
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« Reply #4 on: 04-03-2002 15:50 »
« Last Edit on: 04-03-2002 15:50 »

Ok... ok... Before I get tarred and feathered by the rest of the board. Lets get a few things straight.

1) As I said before. Futurama does still rock. And I'm still just as hooked as ever before.
2) I totally agree that FOX has not done it any favours of late. It doesn't really affect me though as I'm in the UK and the only thing that 'pre-empted' anything here was the Queen Mother (may she rest in peace).
3) I'm not trying to make any enemies here either! Otis -> I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on 'Roswell'.

Who can truly say they wern't surprised about the Fry/father revalation? I _was_ surprised about the outcome of LoTF though....

Wiggles
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #5 on: 04-03-2002 16:02 »

A) Fry's his own grandfather.  Big difference.  The man who was his own father was Lister from Red Dwarf.

B) It still hasn't been proven substantially that Fry is his own grandfather.  There's a discussion about it somewhere in the Weird Scenes forum.
Xenomorph
Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 04-03-2002 16:20 »

I think it was a writing mistake. If Enis had been his mother's father everything would more or less work out okay.

On topic, I agree. The episodes just don't seem as wacky this season, and I don't watch Futurama for drama. There's a certain type of program you can watch for that, it's called a Drama, and at last count there seem to be quite enough of them.
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 04-03-2002 16:32 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Xenomorph:
On topic, I agree. The episodes just don't seem as wacky this season, and I don't watch Futurama for drama.

I think less wacky is a good thing, sure we want some stupidity but we don't want it going down the same road as The Simpsons. Story is very important for Futurama, at the beginning they used a lot of story to set it all up and explain things, now they can have fun with what they've conceived.

I can understand people not liking the drama episodes but as long as there are only a few per season then It doesn't bother me. In fact I love the drama episodes because they show off the writing talents of the team and give depth and emotion to the characters.

Some Futurama haters say that they dislike it because they don't have anything in common with it and can't relate to the characters like they can The Simpsons. I disagree, Futurama uses the emotional episodes to help make the viewer really care for the characters and the feelings the characters experience are what Futurama lovers can relate to.
Erdrik

Professor
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« Reply #8 on: 04-03-2002 16:40 »

Futurama is not just about comedy. its about life in the year 3000 IMHO(also making fun of it). And whether you like it or not Life contains Drama. Romance. Ect ect. The comedy is added to make it morefunny and entertaining. Besides, Drama is great as long as its not in execess. And beleive me Futurama doesn't do this if you want to see execessive drama go check one of the many other drama shows on TV.  tongue
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #9 on: 04-03-2002 16:46 »

I think Futurama has lost some of its audience due to one simple reason:  It's hardly ever on.  When it is on, no one knows it because it isn't advertised and it's on so early in the evening.  FOX's poopey treatment is to blame.
wiggles

Bending Unit
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« Reply #10 on: 04-03-2002 16:49 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Otis P Jivefunk:
 I think less wacky is a good thing, sure we want some stupidity but we don't want it going down the same road as The Simpsons.

Yup. With you on that one. Some people watch Futurama for its wackyness, some for its drama, some for both. Personally one of the biggest draws for me was its inventivness and scriptwriting.

Some the best stuff in the scripts are small one-line throwaways that shoot straight past you and you might pick up the second or third viewing. And I'm talking really small things here ("Officer 1-BDI", "I've realised that my friends are more important, and they aren't even worth a penny to me&quot wink.

he he. That still makes me laugh, even now.   laff
Venus

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 04-03-2002 17:19 »

i like drama, i like comedy, i like dramatic comedy. Futurama dosn't do the drama thing too often but i love it to pieces when they do.
and considering only 3 eps this season have been actual season 4 eps, you can't really say there's been a decline. in fact the actual season 4 eps have been in my oppinion the best of this season.
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #12 on: 04-03-2002 17:35 »

First off: Welcome to PEEL, wiggles. Enjoy it here.  big grin
(Did you bring Bender's toboggan? If yes, I'd like to borrow it.  wink)

WARNING! Ranting, rambling and weaving ahead!

Again I find myself agreeing with Otis (some of the way). I think the new season has turned out pretty great so far. Roswell, Godfellas, Love&Rocket are, in my opinion, showcases of what Futurama's strenghts are. Funny stories, great jokes, sci-fi references and nerdy throw-aways that often only shows up on repeated viewing.

I agree that the surprise-element has gone, but after 3 seasons that would be the case with all series. We know NNY by now, we know the characters, we now what makes 'em tick etc, so hardly anything can come as a surprise to us, like it did back in "Space Pilot 3000". But that's not necessarily a weakness. If they were to reveal shocking new things in every episode, the stories would hurt from it. It would result in Simpson-esque stories, where nothing is too wild or unusual to happen. The fact that Fry in the next episode won't all of a sudden reveal a, until now wellhidden, desire to be a Wrestling Star comforts me.

Which brings me to continuity. Call me crazy, but I like my shows to maintain a certain amount of continuity. I like that they (almost) always bring up Leela and the Zapper's "night to remember" when they meet. I like that Fry and Leela's friendship evolves every now and then. I'd hate if they ignored Leela's parents from now on. I...ah, you get the picture.  smile

"Dude, if you wan't continuity, go see a DS9 instead." Would be the obvious response, but Futurama gives us the best of both worlds. It is at it's heart a comedy, and that's pretty much all I ask from it. But the writers have shown that they can do it all. Fryish, by most regarded as Futurama's finest, has drama, heart and charcter development, yet it's also funny and nerdy (the only known joke about "Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle" in a cartoon). And the trend was continued in "Leela's Homeworld" (one of my all time fave's)

Roswell is a great episode, because it's funny and sci-fi. None of the actions of the characters comes as a surprise, they act prety much the way we know they will (we know Fry can be an idiot, we know Zoidy want's to ahve friends etc.). And yet it's unpredictable (aside from Fry's story, that was obvious) and funny.

Err, I'm sure I started out with a point. Hmm, what was it? Oh, yes. I don't think Futurama is in decline, I've laughed prety much the same (if not more) during the new season, when compared to the previous 3. If anything it's FOX lame-ass treatment of the show that hurts.
Mike!

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 04-03-2002 17:50 »
« Last Edit on: 04-03-2002 17:50 »

I think that Futurama is in decline a bit, but it's got nothing to do with losing a surprise factor.. I just think that recently the jokes haven't been as funny or clever as they used to be.

I still think it's a great show, and I'm sure that pretty soon another LoTF is going to come along, which will be amazing.  After all, it happened just as I was noticing a decline in season three.

I'm still going to carry on watching it to the end anyway, because of the continuity.  Laughs may be important, but it's the continuity in Futurama that really makes it stand out.  The Nibbler shadow in the pilot is a perfect example.

That's why the future episodes I'm most looking forward to are Leela's Homeworld, Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch and The Why of Fry (from the short description I've read, I think this really should be the finale episode).

So, anyway.. Recently Futurama may not have been as good as it used to be, but it's still the best comedy on TV.
dschomburg

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #14 on: 04-03-2002 19:35 »

The only thing I have to say is-I agree with Wiggles 100%.
It's like they come up with a good idea and then hand (or it's forcfully taken) off to the standard joke writers.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #15 on: 04-03-2002 19:41 »

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Why did this topic have to come up at the point wherew FUX execs are giong to be scouring the net for fan comments that they can turn against the show?

Oh god, why?

Why,why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why? It seems that everywhere you lok people are providing FUX in their innocence with the right toolsto knock Futurama into the can permenantly.

There is still a fight going on to save the show, shouldn't discussions be more proactive than picking holes in the general brilliance of this one-off piece of animated treasure?
Dr_Dave

Bending Unit
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« Reply #16 on: 04-03-2002 20:01 »

Hmmm.  FOX executives care what Futurama fans think?  What a novel concept.  (anyway, they know what THIS fan thinks about Futurama!).

I don't think Futurama is in decline.  It's unrealistic to expect every episode to be a home run.  Recent episodes have been average, that's all. 

Erdrik

Professor
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« Reply #17 on: 04-03-2002 20:18 »

?! What is you talkin' about?! The only Average eps Ive seen
(besides 'The Cyber House Rules' ... hee hee, PUN!) was the new FutureStock eps. It was the only eps of the whole bunch that I actualy disliked. and if it takes 4 season to produce a flop I doubt the shows in decline!
Simm Nixxon

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #18 on: 04-03-2002 22:54 »

FOX isn't advertising "Futurama" at all, which is why the show is in decline. When all you do to promote these days is show a 2 second clip of Fry with a sandwich in his hands, how can you expect the show to get high ratings?
Just Chris

Urban Legend
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« Reply #19 on: 04-04-2002 01:27 »

Futurama's sight gags are still better than The Simpsons, and the characters are far more imaginative. Just imagine if all the people were human, that wouldn't be fun at all. But Futurama's still a very strong show. Their humor is mostly satire and verbal commentary, and when they do slapstick humor, it's not as forced as in The Simpsons.

Futurama loses its suprise factor because you're all used to the weird gadgets and characters involved in the 31st century. The transport tubes and suicide machine at the beginning are a good example. And they surprised me again in the 2nd season when we were introduced to their Internet. What I like is that the future world is still far from being perfect (like robots malfunctioning for example). Otherwise it would feel pretty dull!
wiggles

Bending Unit
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« Reply #20 on: 04-04-2002 03:18 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by totalnerduk:
There is still a fight going on to save the show, shouldn't discussions be more proactive than picking holes in the general brilliance of this one-off piece of animated treasure?

Judging by most of the responses posted so far people _are_ being very proactive about the show. And, like others, I suspect FOX doesn't care much what the fans think one way or the other.

Wiggles
Ricky

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #21 on: 04-04-2002 10:09 »

It's just like X-files. At first, there were surprises in every episode, always a new monster or supernatural event taking place.
But as the years went by... well, government conspiration and/or Mulder's sister. Not exciting.
I don't really see that coming to Futurama, but it's better if they keep the element of     SURPRISE!
Lucas

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 04-04-2002 10:25 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Simm Nixxon:
FOX isn't advertising "Futurama" at all, which is why the show is in decline. When all you do to promote these days is show a 2 second clip of Fry with a sandwich in his hands, how can you expect the show to get high ratings?

In spain we don't even have that, there aren't ads at all   mad
Just Chris

Urban Legend
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« Reply #23 on: 04-04-2002 10:56 »

I just want to mention that Fox is showing an encore presentation of Greg the Bunny and Andy Ritcher Controls The Universe, at 7:30 and 8:30 respectively. That means no Futurama!! Family Guy and King of the Hill will be aired for the 7 and 8pm timeslots. That commercial just made Fox oblivious to Futurama again  mad
FilthyCrab

Urban Legend
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« Reply #24 on: 04-04-2002 10:59 »

I think that there have been a few m'eh episodes this season, and so it may feel like there is a decline, but Futurama is still one of the best shows going.  I bet that the rest of the episodes we see this year will be good.
wiggles

Bending Unit
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« Reply #25 on: 04-04-2002 11:58 »
« Last Edit on: 04-04-2002 11:58 »

   
Quote
Originally posted by Simm Nixxon:
FOX isn't advertising "Futurama" at all, which is why the show is in decline. When all you do to promote these days is show a 2 second clip of Fry with a sandwich in his hands, how can you expect the show to get high ratings?

Sky doesn't do to bad a job at promoting shows (even if they do focus on "<INSERT TACKY REALITY SHOW> Uncut/Raw/Explicit!!"  wink.

Sunday evenings usually get a fair mention (new Simpsons, you see?) and what with all the Futurama repeats on at the moment the announcer tends to refer to "All new Futurama, this Sunday" quite a bit.
wu_konguk

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 04-04-2002 13:29 »

Okey since it has yet to be shown in some countries you'll have to put a little more effort into reading this post.  evil laugh


And what's this rubbish about Futurama on the decline just cause Fox are losing intrest( the fools) does not mean the genral public is waigning. The more I talk to my friend the more they say how much they love the show. And for the love of Benji please Do NOT compare the new Futurama episodes to the New Simpson episodes there is no comparison  up yours
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #27 on: 04-04-2002 13:36 »

I agree, Sky One do a pretty good job of advertising and promoting the show. They also repeat it a decent amount too like at the moment it's on twice a day smile
blahness

Bending Unit
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« Reply #28 on: 04-04-2002 13:39 »

LOL and these 2 seconds of advertising is put on right before futurama comes on sundays... so unless you are tuning in to watch futurama you may never know when its going to be on or what the episode will be about
Quote
Originally posted by Simm Nixxon:
FOX isn't advertising "Futurama" at all, which is why the show is in decline. When all you do to promote these days is show a 2 second clip of Fry with a sandwich in his hands, how can you expect the show to get high ratings?

bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #29 on: 04-04-2002 14:00 »

As far as advertising, I think we might be getting crossed between advertising in the US and advertising in other countries.  In the US, 2 seconds of advertising before the show comes on is about all FOX does.  Also, where I live(Ohio)it's not shown at any other time(now that the Thursday slot seems to be gone)than Sunday.  I wish it was on twice a day here!  We do get KOH every day though.   puke
Venus

Urban Legend
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« Reply #30 on: 04-04-2002 16:11 »

i do not understand why Fox shows a 2 second advertisement for futurama IMMEDIATELY before the ep airs. It means the only people who see the ad were people who were already planning on watching the show anyway. By showing the ads then they are in effect preaching to the choir. Gotta love that Fox logic!
McGrady

Bending Unit
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« Reply #31 on: 04-04-2002 22:55 »

They do it so they can say, "see we promote it".

I always enjoy telling a friend, "Did you see the last Futurama episode?" Friends usually almost always say, "What?  That show is still on the air?  I used to watch it but it is never on anymore."

And no, the episodes are not declining in quality.  Fry being his own grandfather was VERY unexpected.  Leela actually being a mutant was also very unexpected (to a certain degree, as pointed out above).

Luck of the Fryish was the best episode, imho.  It would be impossible to be as good as the best every time.
Just Chris

Urban Legend
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« Reply #32 on: 04-05-2002 01:06 »

The only way people can for sure see Futurama these days is if they download some of the eps from the Internet. I got a friend to take a refresher course by watching it, and he forgot how much he missed it. He even stated quoting out loud. "All 6,000 hulls have been breached!" At least most of my friends agree that The Simpsons are declining in quality, saying that they are "trying to reach a new audience".
skullhappy

Crustacean
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« Reply #33 on: 04-05-2002 15:34 »

I agree that its ALL Fux's fault! They give it a lame time slot which always gets interrupted, they dont advertise, they just stink.

LOVE IT OR SHOVE IT FOX!
FrysGIRL

Bending Unit
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« Reply #34 on: 04-05-2002 16:22 »

I agree a bit with Wiggles. Ratings schmatings, it's the quality of the show that has declined. I used to be so damn excited to see an episode every Sunday. Now, I just kinda wait for it to come on. You can see a difference from the first two seasons from the latest ones. Futurama's still fun, but if I were a fickle viewer, I would have left the show a long time ago. A lot of people are fickle viewers and I don't really blame them for not watching Futurama.

I've tried to get my brother to watch this show for years and he told me that it wasn't nearly as funny as others animated shows out there. C'mon ya'll, more and more episodes are ending up like the Godfellas, which btw, I did not enjoy.
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #35 on: 04-07-2002 00:07 »

Episodes ending up like Godfellas is a good thing in my book.  I loved the episode.  The quality of the show is top notch.
Erdrik

Professor
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« Reply #36 on: 04-07-2002 00:26 »

GodFella's was good, but not exeptional. A pharoh to Remember was ok, but NOT one I'll remember. And In my opinion FutureStocks was the worsed Futurama Eps yet... tho still better than most other TV programing... but poor eps have been made before. It doesn't mean Futurama is in decline. simply that one of the writers was doped up(or wasn't doped up enough?) I'm sure the episodes to come will be much better.
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #37 on: 04-07-2002 00:53 »

People are complaining about things not being new, and yet praise Futurama about having great continuity, and that makes little to no sense to me.  If the writers constantly add new things over and over, it would reach the point of rediculousness and almost all sense of contuinity would be lost.  Matt Groening saidd something along the lines of "the future is dull," and therein lies the humor.
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #38 on: 04-07-2002 05:31 »

I have to agree with Nixorbo, like I said earlier, it will obviously feel fresh and new during the first season because it a new show. Now the continuity kicks in along with plenty of character development, which in my book is a good thing.
Torquemada

Starship Captain
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« Reply #39 on: 04-07-2002 19:10 »

Continuity? Futurama? Hahahahahahaa....
*dies of laughter*
The program is great but continuity it doesn't have.
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