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Author Topic: The Futurama "Random Order" Test  (Read 6598 times)
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winna

Avatar Czar
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« Reply #40 on: 07-08-2011 14:03 »

I'll go make a random episode generating program so people can watch random episodes.  I'll have to include the movies.
Mongo

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #41 on: 07-08-2011 20:38 »

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I honestly doubt that involving people who have already seen (and rated) all the extant episodes will provide an impartial judgment.  No matter how impartial you try to be, you already have set your predispositions regarding "Futurama Classic" versus "New Futurama" (and I am including myself in that group as well).

You really, REALLY, need to limit this test to people who have never watched Futurama  (or at least have only casually watched a few episodes at most).  In that case, production order is as good as any other order (in fact it's better, since earlier episodes tend to introduce material used in later episodes, so there would be less confusion than if the episodes were watched in random order).

So what I would do is locate friends or family members who are not familiar with the show, convince them to take part in this project, and have them rate each episode in turn.  Be sure to include (in total) at least 20 people in order to reduce random personal variation to a minimum.  But it is very important that they have no preexisting opinions regarding old vs new Futurama.  If this can be arranged, then we should definitively know whether the episode quality has been maintained in the current production season, or not.
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #42 on: 07-08-2011 21:22 »

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I honestly doubt that involving people who have already seen (and rated) all the extant episodes will provide an impartial judgment.  No matter how impartial you try to be, you already have set your predispositions regarding "Futurama Classic" versus "New Futurama" (and I am including myself in that group as well).

You really, REALLY, need to limit this test to people who have never watched Futurama  (or at least have only casually watched a few episodes at most).  In that case, production order is as good as any other order (in fact it's better, since earlier episodes tend to introduce material used in later episodes, so there would be less confusion than if the episodes were watched in random order).

So what I would do is locate friends or family members who are not familiar with the show, convince them to take part in this project, and have them rate each episode in turn.  Be sure to include (in total) at least 20 people in order to reduce random personal variation to a minimum.  But it is very important that they have no preexisting opinions regarding old vs new Futurama.  If this can be arranged, then we should definitively know whether the episode quality has been maintained in the current production season, or not.

The point of the test isn't to be a scientific judge over what episodes are better, it is to take away some of the nostalgia glasses a small bit. No-one expects it to work excellently and show once and for all what run is the better one.

In short: I think you're missing the point.
Mongo

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #43 on: 07-08-2011 21:49 »

The point of the test isn't to be a scientific judge over what episodes are better, it is to take away some of the nostalgia glasses a small bit. No-one expects it to work excellently and show once and for all what run is the better one.

In short: I think you're missing the point.

In that case, what IS the point of doing this?

If you already know that the methodology to be used won't remove the nostalgia glasses (which everyone knows exist), so that the results will be effectively worthless, then really, why bother?
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #44 on: 07-08-2011 21:51 »

In that case, what IS the point of doing this?

If you already know that the methodology to be used won't remove the nostalgia glasses (which everyone knows exist), so that the results will be effectively worthless, then really, why bother?
The point of the test isn't to be a scientific judge over what episodes are better, it is to take away some of the nostalgia glasses a small bit. No-one expects it to work excellently and show once and for all what run is the better one.

In other words, it is to help people (us) get some tell tale signs of what we think of the episodes compared to each other, when we view them randomly and not clashed together into seasons.
Mongo

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #45 on: 07-08-2011 21:56 »
« Last Edit on: 07-08-2011 21:57 »

In other words, it is to help people (us) get some tell tale signs of what we think of the episodes compared to each other, when we view them randomly and not clashed together into seasons.

Well, yeah, I can see that.  So it would be some help in determining the "true" enjoyment level of a given episode, separate from its production season, while being reasonably possible to actually do.

The new-to-Futurama-person test would give much cleaner, unbiased, results, but it would be almost impossible to collect enough people to give statistically significant results.
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #46 on: 07-08-2011 22:04 »

Indeed. Whenever I show my friends quite random episodes (from boths run), though, they seem to like both to the same extent. Obviously that's biased, anecdotal evidence, but still.
totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #47 on: 07-08-2011 22:08 »
« Last Edit on: 07-08-2011 22:14 by totalnerduk »

The new-to-Futurama-person test would give much cleaner, unbiased, results, but it would be almost impossible to collect enough people to give statistically significant results.

The traditional set composed of ten or a dozen people would be sufficient, I think to give a trend. Statistical significance isn't really required. The trend would be enough to show that there is such a thing as "nostalgia goggles" and they are affecting people's perception of "new vs old" in respect to Futurama.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #48 on: 07-09-2011 04:25 »

Only you couldn't really call them "nostalgia goggles" if you were dealing with a group of people who have never seen Futurama before. You would also probably have to find people who are already sci-fi fans and would be likely to enjoy the show on its own merits. I mean, if I wrangled up ten or twelve random people that I know, chances are only one or two of them would be amenable to watching some sci-fi cartoon in the first place.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #49 on: 07-09-2011 06:47 »

It would be great to do this with new people who have never seen the show, it's just a problem of finding a dozen people who are willing to sit through a hundred episodes. If we could develop a test that required total newcomers watching five or six episodes, some old and some new, then I know I could convince at least two people to participate. But I don't know if that would give us accurate enough information.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #50 on: 07-09-2011 16:03 »

Only you couldn't really call them "nostalgia goggles" if you were dealing with a group of people who have never seen Futurama before.

That's the point. If people who've never seen it before follow a different trend in their opinions of episode quality than the people who've watched it a bajillion times, then we've proved that "nostalgia goggles" exist. If they don't, then we'll have to rename them "glasses", as "nostalgia goggles" will have been shown not to be present when people watch Futurama and bitch about episode quality.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #51 on: 08-31-2011 13:56 »

*BUMP*

Just out of curiosity, is this thing still happening? If it is happening, of course, it won't be for about two more weeks anyway, but I was just wondering.

I still think it would be an interesting test to perform on oneself, so even if no other PEELers are with me there, I'll compile my own randomized list of episodes and work my way through it on a fairly consistent schedule. I just wouldn't bug the rest of you guys with my findings, as they would likely be very long-winded and very boring.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #52 on: 08-31-2011 15:10 »

If anyone does this, I'll try to do it as well. As long as we still get the whole week to watch episodes, I should be able to watch them over the weekend.
Aki

Professor
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« Reply #53 on: 08-31-2011 15:56 »

I'm still on.
Smarty

Professor
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« Reply #54 on: 08-31-2011 17:11 »

I'm also in, this sounds like a good idea. And I have access to all the seasons. Which makea it work. smile
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #55 on: 08-31-2011 19:40 »

Sweet, three additional humans with whom to embark on this experiment! I guess we'll also have to figure out a viewing list (tnuk came up with one a page back, but I believe it was just preliminary/for kicks)--but, like I said, this obviously still won't start up for several weeks.

On that note, is everyone still up for starting the week of (not the day of, for various reasons) September 11th? Or should we wait longer so as to allow for some downtime between "Reincarnation" and the Many Long, Lonely Months of No New Futurama?
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #56 on: 08-31-2011 21:20 »

I don't really mind the exact date of starting one bit, go for it as soon as possible.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #57 on: 09-01-2011 05:57 »

I am fine with starting that week.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #58 on: 09-10-2011 05:47 »
« Last Edit on: 09-10-2011 13:14 »

Okey dokey, folks. Since it's a Friday night and I have nothing better to do, I have compiled our Random Episode List (patent pending). It's derived from an Excel spreadsheet similar to tnuk's from the previous page, only this one is better because it's American-made. tongue

I used this random number generator (so chosen for the Star Trek-like moniker), plugged the numbers into Excel, and paired them up with the corresponding episodes. I'm no math whiz, nor have I ever used Excel before tonight, but I think the list turned out all right.

Broken down into manageable, weekly chunks...

09/11/11 - 09/17/11
Amazon Women in the Mood
The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz
Overclockwise

09/18/11 - 09/24/11
Bendless Love
A Pharaoh to Remember
Where No Fan Has Gone Before

09/25/11 - 10/01/11
The Route of All Evil
Love's Labours Lost in Space
A Bicyclops Built for Two

10/02/11 - 10/08/11
A Clone of My Own
Put Your Head on My Shoulder
Anthology of Interest I

10/09/11 - 10/15/11
Bender's Game
The Mutants Are Revolting
Reincarnation

10/16/11 - 10/22/11
Bender Should Not be Allowed on Television
A Clockwork Origin
That Darn Katz!

10/23/11 - 10/29/11
Fry and the Slurm Factory
Raging Bender
Bender Gets Made

10/30/11 - 11/05/11
A Flight to Remember
A Taste of Freedom
The Futurama Holiday Spectacular

11/06/11 - 11/12/11
The Beast With a Billion Backs
Insane in the Mainframe
My Three Suns

11/13/11 - 11/19/11
When Aliens Attack
Godfellas
A Fishful of Dollars

11/20/11 - 11/26/11
Brannigan, Begin Again
Where the Buggalo Roam
The Luck of the Fryrish

11/27/11 - 12/03/11
The Series Has Landed
The Problem With Popplers
In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela

12/04/11 - 12/10/11
War is the H-Word
I Dated a Robot
Spanish Fry

12/11/11 - 12/17/11
How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
The Farnsworth Parabox

12/18/11 - 12/24/11
I, Roommate
Future Stock
The Deep South

12/25/11 - 12/31/11
A Head in the Polls
Jurassic Bark
Anthology of Interest II

01/01/12 - 01/07/12
The 30% Iron Chef
Rebirth
A Big Piece of Garbage

01/08/12 - 01/14/12
Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
Bender's Big Score
Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?

01/15/12 - 01/21/12
The Honking
The Duh-Vinci Code
Yo Leela Leela

01/22/12 - 01/28/12
Into the Wild Green Yonder
Mother's Day
A Tale of Two Santas

01/29/12 - 02/04/12
Fear of a Bot Planet
I Second That Emotion
Time Keeps on Slipping

02/05/12 - 02/11/12
The Why of Fry
The Lesser of Two Evils
Attack of the Killer App

02/12/12 - 02/18/12
That's Lobstertainment!
Xmas Story
Love and Rocket

02/19/12 - 02/25/12
The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
A Leela of Her Own
Obsoletely Fabulous

02/26/12 - 03/03/12
Parasites Lost
Hell is Other Robots
Crimes of the Hot

03/04/12 - 03/10/12
Space Pilot 3000
Ghost in the Machines
Benderama

03/11/12 - 03/17/12
Lethal Inspection
The Tip of the Zoidberg
The Prisoner of Benda

03/18/12 - 03/24/12
Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences
Mars University
Bend Her

03/25/12 - 03/31/12
Roswell That Ends Well
Less Than Hero
Neutopia

04/01/12 - 04/07/12
Proposition Infinity
The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
The Silence of the Clamps

04/08/12 - 04/14/12
Cold Warriors
The Sting
The Cyber House Rules

04/15/12 - 04/21/12
The Cryonic Woman
Mobius Dick
Bendin' in the Wind

04/22/12 - 04/28/12
All the Presidents' Heads
300 Big Boys
Leela's Homeworld

04/29/12 - 05/05/12
The Late Philip J. Fry
Fry am the Egg Man
Law and Oracle

So the goal here would be to watch all three of these episodes, in their specific orders, within a given week. Every Sunday morning-ish, I (or any other industrious individual) could post the episode list for that particular week, and links to the relevant review threads. Actual discussion of the individual episodes can be done in their respective review threads; any general comments about how the three episodes compare to one another can go here, as well as any questions about the undertaking itself.

I think that's the neatest way to do this, but I could be way off-base--and if that's the case, feel free to correct me.

I also had this notion that we could be watching these episodes with a few things in mind, chiefly those things that have received the most criticism in season six. In list form...

  • Pop culture references
  • Montages
  • Crude or otherwise low-brow humor
  • Funky pacing
  • Gratuitous use of secondary characters
  • Lame or otherwise tactless callbacks
  • "What the fuck is up with Fry and Leela's relationship?" moments
  • Wonky animation and/or character designs

And...that's all I can think of, off the top of my head. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

So, yeah. This ought to be a blast. big grin
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #59 on: 09-10-2011 06:01 »

I like those ideas. I think I'm going to take the challenge.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #60 on: 09-10-2011 06:13 »

Yay, someone besides me and three other people who's interested in doing this! Welcome aboard, sir.

Also: Doing a search of episode review threads right now, it looks like not every episode has one. Well, either that or I fail at using PEEL's search tool. If it turns out that the former's the case, I guess the review thread should be opened on the Sunday of the week during which that particular episode is meant to be viewed. Right?
any1else

Space Pope
****
« Reply #61 on: 09-10-2011 06:17 »

I'd be happy to join in with this if I can find time to procrastinate in such a productive way. I've been watching older episodes on TV lately in amongst the new episodes so I'm already aware of how some of them compare and contrast tongue
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #62 on: 09-10-2011 07:54 »

...the hell with it. I'm in.

I don't have my Futurama DVDs at school with me. Thank god for Netflix.
Smarty

Professor
*
« Reply #63 on: 09-10-2011 08:06 »

Wow, this has become quite the experiment. I'm sure I'll be able to watch all (or mostly all) in the time span that you've set up. If I somehow get behind, though, I'll be sure to still watch them in the same order.

I think I may make a chart to jot thoughts down, using the points you've given, Gorky.

I am very excited. smile
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #64 on: 09-10-2011 10:10 »

I reckon I'll do it. It looks like it might be fun.
Also, and I don't mean to nitpick... but you said "Lrrreconcilable Differences" instead of "Ndndifferences" smile

Just Sayin.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #65 on: 09-10-2011 13:15 »

Fixed, UnrealLegend. As a fellow nitpicker, I thank you for catching that. As if I could be bothered to proofread my own monstrous post! tongue

I think I may make a chart to jot thoughts down, using the points you've given, Gorky.

I am very excited. smile

About the chart? Yeah, they have that effect on me, too. wink
Beanoz4

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #66 on: 09-10-2011 13:54 »

Intersting order there....
I'm in!
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #67 on: 09-10-2011 18:38 »

I'm in. Though I'm sorry the season is over, I was sort of looking forward to not having much incentive to waste time on PEEL, and actually do some work.

Are we still looking for backronyms? I love Spira's:

S.C.R.U.F.F.Y.: Systematic Community Rewatch Unveiling Futurama Favoritism. Yup.

And F.R.O. is cool. I also thought of N.E.R.D.: Nostalgia Evaluation & Removal Drive.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #68 on: 09-11-2011 04:18 »

I don't know how well I'll be able to keep up with this, but I will try. And for every episode I do manage to watch, I'll jot down notes related to the list you posted (which is fairly comprehensive) and comment in the respective review thread. I'm still allowed to comment in review threads if I can't manage to stay completely on schedule, right? Don't hit me.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #69 on: 09-11-2011 05:22 »

I'm still allowed to comment in review threads if I can't manage to stay completely on schedule, right?

You are more than welcome to post your thoughts in the review thread whenever you get around to watching the episode in question. For the purposes of this li'l project, it matters more that you're watching the episodes in the prescribed order, than that you're watching three a week. I think we decided on three per week because it seemed relatively manageable, but do whatever works for you.

I of course resent the fact that you have a life that might prevent you from partaking in our scheduled nerdiness, but I think I'll get over it. tongue
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #70 on: 09-11-2011 05:30 »

Well, my life mostly consists of being such a nerd that I've overfilled my academic schedule again, and also the debate season is starting up soon so I spend spare moments prepping for that. So I wouldn't be too jealous there. smile

I think I'll be able to keep up with the schedule. But if not, I will definitely adhere religiously to the order.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #71 on: 09-11-2011 05:42 »

Ah, so you've just chosen a more industriously nerdy path than the rest of us. Fair enough.

And it's still technically Saturday where I am (though only for another twenty-or-so minutes), but since I'm going to bed soon and very well may not wake up until, like, noon tomorrow, here's our viewing list for the coming week (along with links to the pertinent review threads)...

Week of 09/11/11
1. Amazon Women in the Mood
2. The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz
3. Overclockwise

Go nuts, folks.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #72 on: 09-11-2011 12:24 »

Two Season 3 eps and one Season 6 ep. MATHS. tongue
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #73 on: 09-11-2011 12:43 »

Huh?
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #74 on: 09-11-2011 12:49 »

3+3=6
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #75 on: 09-11-2011 13:46 »

Yes.
Beanoz4

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #76 on: 09-11-2011 13:48 »

Haha!

I haven't watched any of them so far but here's my list serving my memory

1) Like
2) Dislike and I've only seen this episode once! O_O
3) Haven't seen before
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #77 on: 09-14-2011 00:30 »

Ah, so you've just chosen a more industriously nerdy path than the rest of us. Fair enough.

And it's still technically Saturday where I am (though only for another twenty-or-so minutes), but since I'm going to bed soon and very well may not wake up until, like, noon tomorrow, here's our viewing list for the coming week (along with links to the pertinent review threads)...

Week of 09/11/11
1. Amazon Women in the Mood
2. The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz
3. Overclockwise

Go nuts, folks.

Amazon Women... I gave it less than I wanted to but more than I expected to. It lost points for pop-culture, pacing towards the end, and being overly reliant on male/female gender divide jokes. But it's a good solid episode.

Next, the Birdbot of Ice-Catraz (maybe tomorrow).
Bend-err

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #78 on: 09-14-2011 00:33 »

Would make a nice long article for the wiki... just saying wink
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #79 on: 09-14-2011 00:33 »

The wiki's about PEEL, not about Futurama. If you desperately want to wiki this, it belongs on the Infosphere, rather than wikiPEELia.
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