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Author Topic: The old "Everything is worse now" discussion - General Futurama Discussion. SPOILER ALERT  (Read 24275 times)
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SolidSnake

Professor
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« Reply #680 on: 09-18-2011 16:41 »

Woh, woh, woh, this is crazy. Are there seriously people who've watched Prisoner of Benda, and TLPJF who say that the newer episodes represent a decline in quality?

As I see it (and we all know that my opinion of anything is worth the opinions of twenty of the rest of you mindless apes), we have production season 6 with three of the best episodes of the entire run (Inspection, Benda, TLPJF), two of the worst (AotKA, IaGDL), five solid episodes (Rebirth, Origin, Revolting, Benderama, Neutopia), and four not-that-great episodes (Prop Infinity, Lrreconcilable, TDK and Duh-Vinci). That represents a good cross-section of the show as a whole. If you poll fans for their five favourite episodes, some of them are going to come from production season 6.

Most of season 6 feels very much like the original run of the show so far. It's the nitpickers and naysayers to that who are not really fans of the show. They're fans of the ideals they ascribed to the show in between cancellation and the movies being released. They're fans of what they want from the show, and we've all seen where blatant fanservice for the sake of it leads to... look at The Simpsons.

Futurama is as nerdy, as funny, as subtle (in parts), as shippy (some episodes) and as well-produced as it ever was. The show is still mostly produced by the same team, still voiced by the same team, still drawn by the same team, and still written by most of the best writers from the original run (and it's worth noticing that some of the best episodes and the worst are written by the same writers).

It's still about the same people, it's still got the same basic qualities as it had when it began. What's changed is that certain fans have become more spoiled and whiny as time has passed, and think of themselves not only as the entire fanbase to whom the writers ought to be appealing 100% of the time but also as the individual responsible for this-and-that which they see as integral to the return of the show.

Let me point out to those people that Futurama came back (the movies) because of strong DVD and merchandise sales, coupled with the efforts of DXC and MG... not because of anything we did. We watched, we consumed, we did what we'd've done anyways. The real work was put in by DXC and MG. Then, following the movies, they put MORE work in, trying to find a network who would pick up the license so they could produce more Futurama. Which ultimately bore fruit. In amongst this, fan activity certainly helped, in that fans bought DVDs and merchandise. We bought like crazy. But that's what fans do. Fans have put far more effort into trying to resurrect Firefly following the release of Serenity. However, the show's creators and license holders chose to channel their efforts elsewhere. This and poor Box Office and DVD sales means that so far the efforts of their fans have come to naught. Despite those efforts being absolutely transcredible.

We, the fans, are owed nothing by the producers of Futurama. They've put as much of their blood and sweat into it as they could. We owe them.

Overall, they're doing just as much of a brilliant job as they ever did.
i agree with you, they are doing a great work, and i bet they are working hard right now on Season 7A and 7B. What everybody is doing, is critisizing new episodes they dont really enjoy right now. But over time, People will eventually watch the episode and enjoy it, and think it was a great episode. That's how its been the entire series run. People go on here back in 2000 saying they didnt really like it, but then around 2005 they say i kinda like it and all. So its the people who just wont sit back and enjoy an Episode. Now once people keep on seeing new episodes, they are also gonna go back and watch older ones like That Darn Katz and say "hey this was actually a pretty good ep"! But i DO agree some were Really Bad like Yo Leela Leela
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #681 on: 09-18-2011 17:11 »

And I've been comparing some OR eps to the new ones and realised that some of OR ones have been worse. hmpf
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #682 on: 09-18-2011 17:21 »

Were you comparing TLPJF to That's Lobsertainment?...
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #683 on: 09-18-2011 17:26 »

No... laff
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #684 on: 09-18-2011 17:29 »

tnuk's post that SolidSnake quoted is made of truth. The closest the writers have come to fanservice is the whole shippy bits in Overclockwise, and look how divided we are on that one. Even the shippers can admit that there are really awkward lines in there and it just doesn't mesh with the feel of the original episodes. Most of Season 6, though, it full of new and fresh ideas fleshed out in a style that's really very close to the original run. People are so quick to judge the new run against the old run and I feel like many people think they like the new run less simply because it isn't the old run - because it represents an expansion of Futurama that wasn't present in the old run, or maybe even just because it presents new material than the old run and pushes boundaries past the little comfy box old fans have drawn after watching the same 72 episodes for years.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #685 on: 09-18-2011 19:34 »

Well DXC did say he'd become more of a character in Season 7... So, you're both wrong.

You sir are quite the pain in the ass.

Spira: I've been saying that since season 6 started. So many people dismiss these new episodes because they're not like the old ones, but that's not entirely fair. The original show ended in 2003, you know eight years ago. From what I understand too the writers have changed as well. While I do think season 6 as a whole has been the weakest I don't dismiss the show entirely because I'm just grateful to be able to talk about Futurama once again. I don't find it fair how harsh these comparisons are for there has been a major gap between episodes, even the movies are separated from the original run and the new run. The only episode I really haven't like at all has been the Holiday (un)Spectacular. Still I think the show has held up really well and I like what I'm watching.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #686 on: 09-18-2011 19:41 »

You sir are quite the pain in the ass.

How when I'm informing you about a fucking fact.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #687 on: 09-18-2011 19:48 »

You sir are quite the pain in the ass.

How when I'm informing you about a fucking fact.
It's not a fact. You're "informing" people that you think they're wrong, based on zero evidence.

They did do 'Butters' Very Own Episode' in South Park, why not an episode just about Scruffy? tongue
They did do 'Butters' Very Own Episode' in South Park, why not an episode just about Scruffy? tongue

The purpose of that episode was to make the audience familiar with Butters because Kenny had been killed off 'officially' for the time being and they needed a replacement. Scruffy is a secondary character and does not need to be expanded on.
Also, Scruffy's funny because he's essentially two-dimensional. Giving him any sort of roundness or backstory would eliminate a lot of the funny retroactively.

Both spira and Spacedal11 stated that Scruffy is a background character and that his very own episode would likely not be terrifically funny. You responded with a snippet about DXC saying "Scruffy will become more of a character" and then tell them they are both wrong. This is neither factually based nor logically extrapolated.

You're being called a pain in the ass because your posts come off as poorly-thought-out and smug, often bearing little relation to what people are actually talking about and are very often antagonistic in nature.

I wouldn't call you a pain in the ass though. Just another arrogant teenaged prick who thinks he has something to prove. Welcome to the rest of your generation, Danny. You're officially one of them now.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #688 on: 09-18-2011 19:49 »
« Last Edit on: 09-18-2011 19:52 »

It's not a fact. You're "informing" people that you think they're wrong, based on zero evidence.

I have evidence, I'll find the interview. Just look around PEEL in the news thread anyway, some people were discussing it. I wasn't lying.

I wouldn't call you a pain in the ass though. Just another arrogant teenaged prick who thinks he has something to prove. Welcome to the rest of your generation, Danny. You're officially one of them now.

I have nothing to prove, and even if I did, you wouldn't listen. You're more smug than me. Ganging up on people with Nutmeg and all the rest. And just because you say something doesn't make it 'official'.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #689 on: 09-18-2011 19:52 »

It's not a fact. You're "informing" people that you think they're wrong, based on zero evidence.

I have evidence, I'll find the interview. Just look around PEEL in the news thread anyway, some people were discussing it. I wasn't lying.

No, you misunderstand. The fact that DXC stated Scruffy will become more of a character does not make either of the opinions given by Spacedal or spira "wrong". If anything, it sounds a warning bell for them that the episode in question might not be particularly good. It doesn't in any way invalidate their perfectly correct statements. roll eyes
Louiswuenator

Starship Captain
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« Reply #690 on: 09-18-2011 20:20 »

Danny, the reason people rally against you instead of behind you has everything to do with how you present your arguments.  As tnuk said, you come across as very arrogant - you single yourself out and also manage to antagonize others at the same time.  What did you really expect?

If you wish to prove a point, find evidence beforehand to support your arguments and don't insult people when you do - even if you think that they are insulting you.  Retaliatory strikes aren't going to get you anywhere.

Also, you should lay off the f-word.  It's not helping your credibility at this point.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #691 on: 09-18-2011 20:26 »

I wouldn't call you a pain in the ass though. Just another arrogant teenaged prick who thinks he has something to prove. Welcome to the rest of your generation, Danny. You're officially one of them now.

-shoves Danny aside- We're not all like that, I swear!

But yeah, I never said Scruffy won't become a more major character, I just said that his becoming a more major character would eliminate a lot of what was funny about him. Like, you know how people complain about how the Kwanzaa segment of the Craptacular made the Space Bees devalued in The Sting? I feel like any attempt to flesh out Scruffy will similarly make his earlier appearances less funny when rewatched.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #692 on: 09-18-2011 20:34 »

It also seems to me like this very Simpsons-y impulse to flesh out a character who is best left on the sidelines of the real action. For me, Futurama works just fine with its current core cast (Fry, Leela, Bender, Farnsworth, Hermes, Amy, and Zoidberg), and this orbiting cast of characters who occasionally show up to shake things up with the mains (so: Zapp, Kif, Morris, Munda, Leo, Inez, Lrrr, Ndnd, Mom, Wernstrom). These characters all have some semblance of a back story and are much more nuanced than, say, Elzar or Calculon or Hedonism Bot.

And I don't want to see more of those one-note characters; I don't need to learn more about their inner lives. The tertiary characters exist to entertain me in brief, occasionally story-relevant appearances; they don't need to be elevated to another, like, tier. Scruffy is one-note, and his whole appeal is that he's random. I don't care about what he does beyond washing floors and looking at porn; he's funny when he's doing those things, and I doubt he would be funny in many other capacities. The writers just need to leave well enough alone with Scruffy and other characters like him. Sometimes, superficiality works.
Bend-err

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #693 on: 09-18-2011 20:45 »

Time for a graph update:

Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #694 on: 09-18-2011 21:56 »

I can't believe "Yo Leela Leela" has gotten such a low score.  Yes, the premise of the episode was terrible.  Yes, it was hardly a necessary episode.  But what I admire about Eric Horsted is how he managed to create the best possible episode based on an otherwise terrible premise.

Whether he give himself the premise or not remains to be seen, but the truth is that the episode is -- from a premise standpoint -- really good.  That being said, I would not have shed a tear if the episode would have been scrapped.  Episodes like "Proposition Infinity", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" and "Attack of the Killer App", which all have far better premises are far less well executed.

It is obvious to me that either Eric Horsted realised the flaws of the premise for "Yo Leela Leela" and tried to compensate (although, he should probably have thrown the episode out, but maybe it was too late?) with the best writing he could perform.  The three other episodes (and "The Duh Vinci Code") seems to rely too heavily on the fact that the writers assumed they had a solid premise and whatever they wrote would be good.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #695 on: 09-18-2011 22:03 »
« Last Edit on: 09-18-2011 22:04 »

That graph pretty much sums up my general feeling towards 6B: more really amazing episodes, more really terrible ones, fewer average ones. Although I don't think Yo Leela Leela was nearly that terrible. I bet people went into that one expecting it to be bad, and noticed all the bad things about it. But there is some really funny material in there.

I assume the other really low one there is Craptacular. It's a shame that those two episodes seem to have pulled the average score down so much. If you ignore the two of them or even just reduce their scores to like a 60 or 65, Season 6 is at least as good as Season 3, if not more so.

Also, damn, I just did a project for Statistics that required using a data set that was at least sort of normal... I should have definitely gone with "CGEF Futurama Ratings" as opposed to something dumb like "Age of Chemistry Nobel Laureates", which I actually did. Oh, well. Next time.
AdrenalinDragon

Starship Captain
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« Reply #696 on: 09-19-2011 01:19 »
« Last Edit on: 09-19-2011 01:34 »

Time for a graph update:



Wow! I'm shocked that Bend Her was considered the worst episode of Season 4. I'm surprised it didn't hit the 80% mark, and Less Than Hero was rated pretty low too. Also, no love for Spanish Fry either? I think Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch and A Taste Of Freedom were much worse. Some of the best episodes came from Season 4, but it also had some of the worst episodes too. It's not a perfect season, but it's almost, if not the strongest.

As for Season 2, I strongly disagree with The Cryonic Woman being the worst episode of Season 2. Then again, I don't really remember there really being any bad episodes from that season. I think Mother's Day was probably the worst, but it's still an 8/10. The two standouts are War Is The H-Word and Anthology Of Interest I, but interestingly no Season 2 episode either hits my bottom 10 or top 10 Futurama episodes.

As for Season 3, it's all over the place like Season 6. I'd say Spira is right with Season 6 being roughly on par, if only slightly worse than Season 3, but the bad episodes were significantly worse in Season 6 than 3. Quality wise I'd rate The Late Philip J. Fry roughly the same as The Luck Of The Fryrish, where as Where The Buggalo Roam for me was the worst episode of Season 3, and I actually liked A Leela Of Her Own and That's Lobstertainment surprisingly. What would be interesting is if you took out the 4 worst episodes of Season 6, then compare it to Season 3 then.

Season 1 has the best average rating from the looks of things, and for me the standouts were Space Pilot 3000, Hell Is Other Robots, and A Flight To Remember. For me, there is no episode that scores lower than an 8/10 in Season 1, so Season 1 is probably the best overall in terms of consistency, with Mars University being the worst but still a good episode.

I think it's hard to predict what Season 7 will be like, but no season is perfect and I think it's going to have it's ups and downs once again. Hopefully, we won't see anything that sinks lower than The Futurama Holiday Spectacular, where less than 5 minutes of the episode is any good. I'm hoping we see an Anthology Of Interest III and Reincarnation II as the non-canon episodes. Overall, Season 6 had a handful of excellent episodes, whilst having duds too, but in a season of 26 episodes, about 3/4 of the episodes were good entertainment for me. If we split the seasons though, Season 6A is probably the 2nd worst overall (The Season 5 movies being the worst), but because Season 6B only has one bad episode, it would be in the top 3 for me.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #697 on: 09-19-2011 01:54 »

I guess the histograms I made here are applicable to this thread as well. Basically just another representation of Bend-err's graph.

I think these are especially pertinent to I'll post them here too (there are more in my post in the other thread, scroll down some):



6A is all over the place. The consistency of 6B, however, is pretty impressive. People really hated YLL, that's the one major outlier. Otherwise, though... 10/13 received an 80%+ CGEF rating. That is pretty great. I think they've gotten into the swing of things and season 7 will be strong.
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #698 on: 09-19-2011 03:38 »
« Last Edit on: 09-19-2011 03:41 »

Here is a comparison, from best score to worst, of production seasons 6A and 6B on CGEF:



It is clear that going by CGEF scores, 6B is by far the better season (with the sole exception of 6B's "Yo Leela Leela", which was considered marginally worse than the worst season of 6A, "Futurama Holiday Spectacular").
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #699 on: 09-19-2011 03:43 »

I still can't believe YLL is considered the worst Futurama episode ever on CGEF. I don't fully understand the reasoning on that one.

6B does seem to be definitively better than 6A on all of these representations. This is interesting because I personally kind of feel that 6A is better - not wildly better, mind you, but overall of a higher calibre. 6A did definitely have more duds though.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #700 on: 09-19-2011 04:21 »

Eh, I'd say that 6A and 6B are pretty equal in terms of duds. The first half of the season has "Proposition Infinity" and The Holiday Spectacular; the second half has "Ghost in the Machines" and "The Silence of the Clamps." (Yes, I know most people don't dislike those episodes, but for me they were really the only looow points of the season as a whole.)

I personally prefer 6A, but I think that's because it has several really amazing episodes ("Lethal Inspection," "The Late Philip J. Fry," and "The Prisoner of Benda"), a lot of average-to-great ones ("The Duh-Vinci Code," "The Mutants Are Revolting"), and plenty of perfectly enjoyable ones ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela," "Attack of the Killer App," "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences"). Also, there was more consistency in Fry and Leela's relationship; the fact that it was hardly mentioned in 6B just bugged the hell out of me.

Overall, though, I agree that the hit-to-miss ratio of season six is pretty much on-par with that of season three...it's just that highs in season three were a bit higher, and the lows weren't quite as low.
lilkitten29

Starship Captain
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« Reply #701 on: 09-19-2011 04:45 »

I liked more of 6A's episodes.
Ambitious misunderstood

Bending Unit
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« Reply #702 on: 09-19-2011 19:55 »
« Last Edit on: 09-19-2011 20:09 »

I personally prefer 6A, but I think that's because it has several really amazing episodes ("Lethal Inspection," "The Late Philip J. Fry," and "The Prisoner of Benda"), a lot of average-to-great ones ("The Duh-Vinci Code," "The Mutants Are Revolting"), and plenty of perfectly enjoyable ones ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela," "Attack of the Killer App," "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences"). Also, there was more consistency in Fry and Leela's relationship; the fact that it was hardly mentioned in 6B just bugged the hell out of me.

You mention "consistency in Fry and Leela's relationship" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" in the same sentence?

I didn't have a good impression of 6A at all. IAGDL was horrible. Killer App was bad, so was Proposition Infinity, so was That Darn Katz, so was Holiday Spectacular. And except TLPJF there was no great (by Futurama standards) episode. Of course, this is all my personal view and I'm glad you and many others were able to enjoy 6A more than I did. I just wonder why.

I still can't believe YLL is considered the worst Futurama episode ever on CGEF. I don't fully understand the reasoning on that one.
The unbearable song, Leela was out of character ("hey, I'm better than all of you suckers!" two minutes later: "i'm a fraud! please punish me!"), the story sucked, the twist was predictable, the thing it made fun of is something that people who watch Futurama don't care about, it really rather copied Nickelodeon than being a parody, the whole episode is either childish or confusing...
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #703 on: 09-19-2011 20:25 »

You mention "consistency in Fry and Leela's relationship" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" in the same sentence?

This probably isn't the appropriate thread to discuss this (though I'd be happy to continue the debate in this thread), but I don't have a problem with IAGDL in terms of Fry and Leela's relationship. I think Leela having sex with Zapp was gratuitous and unnecessary, but it doesn't damage her character--or, consequently, the sincerity of her feelings for Fry--in the slightest. I may be in the minority with that opinion, though.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #704 on: 09-19-2011 22:58 »

I'm with Gorky on that. If anything, the opening moments with Fry giving Leela the bag of trail mix and so forth carried their relationship on better than most of the rest of the season did... the episode sucked overall, though.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #705 on: 09-19-2011 23:13 »

Quote
I think Leela having sex with Zapp was gratuitous and unnecessary, but it doesn't damage her character--or, consequently, the sincerity of her feelings for Fry--in the slightest. I may be in the minority with that opinion, though.
I think the writers covered that aspect quite well with the phrase  "come on, I've got laundry to do". To save earth, there was no choice, and that phrase showed a "there is no choice, so let's get over with it" attitude, making clear that no personal feelings of what kind were involved...
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #706 on: 09-19-2011 23:14 »

As little as a shipper as I am, I have to concur with Gorky as well.  That is hardly one of the things one should raise as a problem with that episode; there are plenty others.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #707 on: 09-21-2011 20:54 »

It is obvious to me that either Eric Horsted realised the flaws of the premise for "Yo Leela Leela" and tried to compensate (although, he should probably have thrown the episode out, but maybe it was too late?)

I'm fairly sure there are no major television shows at which an individual writer (save for the creator and/or showrunner) would even have the power to do this. The process simply doesn't work that way.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
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« Reply #708 on: 09-21-2011 22:09 »

Its pretty obvious that Leela didn't want to do it.  After all she finds Zapp repulsive and never wastes an oppertunity to open a can of whoop ass on him.   A much more annoying example is her describing Fry as her platonic friend in FATEM and Fry having sex with Mrs Poopinmeyer... oh and Fry wanting to cheat on Leela with the ladies of the year Fifty Million (its pretty obvious he was keen on the idea, time machine or no time machine.)

Plus she was probably still a bit delirious.  The Earth had been destroyed, but Leela still assumed the human race was pretty much extinct except for her and Zapp... despite there being many humans scattered throughout the Solar System and the universe.  Hell her friend and co worker is basically the Princess of Mars. 
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #709 on: 09-21-2011 22:22 »
« Last Edit on: 09-21-2011 22:24 »

and Fry having sex with Mrs Poopinmeyer... oh and Fry wanting to cheat on Leela with the ladies of the year Fifty Million (its pretty obvious he was keen on the idea, time machine or no time machine.)
I am pretty sure Fry would have generously allowed Leela to join in in the first example, and about the year 50 Mio: After the Snoo-Snoo trauma, he was still willing to pull that through with a lot of women, just to get back to Leela (and without any other motives..)
I think I speak on behalf of every man when I say about Fry:  HE IS A SAINT!!! big grin
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #710 on: 09-21-2011 22:24 »

The closest production season in terms of length to season 6 is season 3 (22 episodes against 26 episodes).  So I have plotted the CGEF rating for each episode in the two seasons, best to worst, for a comparison.  As you can see, the two seasons are identical in quality according to the CGEF voters, from the top episode in each season to the 14th-best episode in each season. After that point, the season 3 episodes actually rate lower than the strictly comparable season 6 episodes.  However, if you stretch out the last 8 season 3 episode positions from that point onwards, they do match fairly closely with the comparable season 6 episodes.



Basically, season 6 is season 3 plus "Fry Am the Egg Man", "Rebirth", "Futurama Holiday Spectacular" and "Yo Leela Leela".  The graph below shows the CGEF ratings for "season 3" against "season 6 minus those 4 episodes".

Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #711 on: 09-21-2011 22:34 »

It is obvious to me that either Eric Horsted realised the flaws of the premise for "Yo Leela Leela" and tried to compensate (although, he should probably have thrown the episode out, but maybe it was too late?)

I'm fairly sure there are no major television shows at which an individual writer (save for the creator and/or showrunner) would even have the power to do this. The process simply doesn't work that way.

I was not suggesting that.  But he could have recommended it to the show runners or the writers at large.  The idea of it being too late, might indicate by the time he realised the obvious issues with the episode, was at a point when new episode ideas could simply not be initiated.  The writers had very limited time for season 6.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
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« Reply #712 on: 09-21-2011 23:00 »

and Fry having sex with Mrs Poopinmeyer... oh and Fry wanting to cheat on Leela with the ladies of the year Fifty Million (its pretty obvious he was keen on the idea, time machine or no time machine.)
I am pretty sure Fry would have generously allowed Leela to join in in the first example, and about the year 50 Mio: After the Snoo-Snoo trauma, he was still willing to pull that through with a lot of women, just to get back to Leela (and without any other motives..)
I think I speak on behalf of every man when I say about Fry:  HE IS A SAINT!!! big grin

Judging by the picture on his desk, Mrs Poopinmeyer is pretty hot.  Not as hot as her husband's mistress, the Queen of Yonkers, but her voice is probably a lot less annoying.

Hermes is also a pretty ugly bloke, but his wife is a knockout. 
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #713 on: 09-22-2011 01:04 »
« Last Edit on: 09-22-2011 01:07 »

It is obvious to me that either Eric Horsted realised the flaws of the premise for "Yo Leela Leela" and tried to compensate (although, he should probably have thrown the episode out, but maybe it was too late?)

I'm fairly sure there are no major television shows at which an individual writer (save for the creator and/or showrunner) would even have the power to do this. The process simply doesn't work that way.

I was not suggesting that.  But he could have recommended it to the show runners or the writers at large.  The idea of it being too late, might indicate by the time he realised the obvious issues with the episode, was at a point when new episode ideas could simply not be initiated.  The writers had very limited time for season 6.

That's the thing thing: I don't think this EVER happens on shows like this, pretty much. For one thing, episodes in any real stage of production (before being approved as an idea) really don't get thrown out; heavily reworked, sure, generally more at the instigation of the showrunner/creator than the individual writer, but the schedule of any show is pretty much too strenuous to completely throw out a substantial amount of work (and time, and money) and start from scratch, ever. It only happens if something is a complete disaster (like, un-airable) or, say, a guest star backs out and can't reasonably be replaced. For another thing, it would be redundant anyway because even the original outline itself would be created with such heavy supervision and involvement from the showrunner - and probably the entire writing staff or close to it, in many cases - that someone would notice something before, say, Eric Horsted (if he's the credited writer) would to begin with. It would already be shaped according to the preferences of the showrunner, and every other stage of scripting would be the same way; Horsted (or whoever) wouldn't just disappear for a few weeks and then come back saying "this isn't working, guys." And even if he did, that would absolutely be too late to just start from scratch, on basically any show. If something wasn't working, the showrunner would eventually decide on a massive rewrite or overhaul if there was still time. But not to throw it out.

I think this is the sort of area where the individualistic, this-writer-actually-wrote-this-episode view of how these shows are made really shows its limitations. The whole process is so collaborative that it really wouldn't fall on any writer in particular (other than the showrunner) to point out that something wasn't working; it's already almost completely a collective effort as it is. There really is a reasonable possibility that the writer you're praising or criticizing in a given week had very little to do with the actual final product relative to the rest of the staff (or at all); there are other shows (such as Futurama's sister show, The Simpsons) where it's not uncommon for the writing credit to essentially just be a legal formality to begin with to make sure every writer gets paid fairly for the season. In the case of Yo Leela Leela, even if Eric Horsted pitched the initial idea, there's a reasonable chance the entire outline, story-beat for story-beat, was put together by all the writers together in a room, collectively deciding that this was the best way for the episode to be put together. Horsted may very well be credited with writing it only because he was the one tasked with physically typing it out; in television (especially sitcoms like Futurama), that's hardly unheard of. (He also could very well have pitched out the whole story in great detail. Even then, it's unlikely that as much as 50 percent of, say, the jokes in the episode are his.)

Lastly, I think it's good to keep in mind that in television/film, something can go wrong at pretty much any stage of production without anyone realizing it until the final product. I was recently watching an interview about "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" that pretty much sums it up, where they said that they often think that things are going great - or terribly - at the writing or shooting stage, but then get a completely different result once they're sitting down to edit all the footage together. It's only at that stage that they ever know how an episode will come out. Similarly, Futurama and other sitcoms are full of stories of table reads going either great or terribly and then becoming the opposite by the final product. It's just the way the creative process for a television show is.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #714 on: 09-22-2011 01:30 »

Nice graphs, Mongo. The second one especially - a really valid comparison. I think people are letting the two real stinkers, YLL and FHS (both of which I personally liked) have more weight on their opinion of the season as a whole than they should.

Thanks, Bartman, for that information. Blaming Horsted for YLL as a whole is obviously short-sighted. I wonder if the writing crew ever did feel sort of negatively towards that particular episode at any point in its development. I can't imagine they thought it was on nearly the same level as some of the better Season 6 episodes (or any season's better episodes). There was backlash against YLL before it even aired, just from people judging the episode by its premise. I know I was never really looking forward to it and even went into it with a negative attitude (that, for the most part, was dispelled).
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #715 on: 09-22-2011 02:09 »

YLL is definitely flawed but, IMO, not awful at all. The story structure is pretty problematic (though I can see why it was laid out the way it was), and the concept isn't super interesting, but it has a lot of pretty good satire of the children's television business, and a lot of really funny material ("Sometimes when we're mad, we say words that are bad!"). It definitely wasn't brought up in any interviews I can remember, though...clearly it wasn't one of the episodes those involved were the most excited about, which might mean that the staff as a whole was less engaged with it when they were making it. Compare that with, say, Reincarnation, where the whole crew was obviously really proud of it and seem to have brought their A-game. David X. was hyping that episode for more than a year.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #716 on: 09-23-2011 11:49 »

I can't believe "Yo Leela Leela" has gotten such a low score.  Yes, the premise of the episode was terrible.  Yes, it was hardly a necessary episode.  But what I admire about Eric Horsted is how he managed to create the best possible episode based on an otherwise terrible premise.

Whether he give himself the premise or not remains to be seen, but the truth is that the episode is -- from a premise standpoint -- really good.  That being said, I would not have shed a tear if the episode would have been scrapped.  Episodes like "Proposition Infinity", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" and "Attack of the Killer App", which all have far better premises are far less well executed.

It is obvious to me that either Eric Horsted realised the flaws of the premise for "Yo Leela Leela" and tried to compensate (although, he should probably have thrown the episode out, but maybe it was too late?) with the best writing he could perform.  The three other episodes (and "The Duh Vinci Code") seems to rely too heavily on the fact that the writers assumed they had a solid premise and whatever they wrote would be good.

Agreed.  All three of those episodes had solid plot ideas but horrid execution.  A phone that goes in your eye and transmits to your brain? Awesome idea.  A boil that looks like susan boyle? Not funny.  A vomiting goat that vomits excrement out its other end? Frat boy humour.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #717 on: 09-23-2011 21:13 »

A vomiting goat that vomits excrement out its other end? Frat boy humour.

I liked that... But Susan Boil? no no
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #718 on: 09-23-2011 23:29 »

I liked Mr. Chunks purely because he was a pukemepoopewe, which I found to be an amusing reference to the pushmepullewe from Doctor Doolitle.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #719 on: 09-24-2011 00:13 »

Oh... I guess. That's kind of like taking a dump on Dr. Doolittle, though. The pushmi-pullyu was cool. Mr. Chunks was just kind of crude.
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