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Author Topic: Should Futurama have just stayed cancelled the first time?  (Read 6128 times)
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PEE Poll: ^
Yes!
Nah
I'll wait another season before judging

x.Bianca.x

Urban Legend
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« on: 09-13-2011 00:50 »

The first time meaning after season 4
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 09-13-2011 00:52 »

Not sure.  It's still too early to say if they are just getting back into their stride, or if we are witnessing the early signs of terminal seasonal rot, like Family Guy when it was "uncancelled."
x.Bianca.x

Urban Legend
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« Reply #2 on: 09-13-2011 00:56 »

Added an option to reflect that opinion
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #3 on: 09-13-2011 01:10 »

No, I think Season 6 had a lot of gems. There were also a bunch of average/mediocre episodes, but same with the original run, and there were maybe two real stinkers. It stacks up well.

If Season 7 sucks, then yeah, maybe. I kind of hope it ends for real after Season 7, unless 7 is absolutely magical.
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #4 on: 09-13-2011 01:28 »
« Last Edit on: 09-13-2011 01:30 »

I think that production season six is not as good as the first four seasons, but still better than almost anything else out there.  (The decline being mainly due to the handful of stinkers, the better episodes are still as good as they were in the earlier seasons.)

I also think that the decline in average quality is permanent, but not likely to get worse.  As far as I can tell, it is due to the reduced budget and running time mandated by Comedy Central, and hence is not likely to get worse. In fact, future production seasons are likely to slightly improve as the production staff learns to work within the new, tighter limits.  I think that the noticeable improvement in quality of 6B over 6A is mainly due to that effect.

In short, while the average episode quality has slightly declined in this production season, it is still better than almost anything else out there, and very unlikely to get any worse in future seasons, in fact it will probably slightly improve.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #5 on: 09-13-2011 02:25 »

I also think that the decline in average quality is permanent........ In fact, future production seasons are likely to slightly improve

 confused
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #6 on: 09-13-2011 03:54 »

No.

See also: "If you don't like it, don't watch it."

The Simpsons stopped being watchable for me many years ago.  Do I care that it is still on tv?  Nope.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #7 on: 09-13-2011 04:02 »

Nah.

Season 6 has been really good.
futz
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #8 on: 09-13-2011 05:47 »

I think it's been worth every cent of the millions other people have spent on it. I think Season 6 was better than 3 of the 4 movies (ITTWGY being the exception) and I'd compare it to Season 3 or 4 (5 being all the movies) that had hits and misses for me. Can't think of any of them that I don't enjoy at least a scene or two or the animation overall.

I think part of the some of the negativity is that after 11 years the future isn't new anymore it's become the routine. Not like Season 1 or 2 where just about everything and everyone has a bit of discovery involved.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #9 on: 09-13-2011 06:12 »

But there is still new stuff coming up at an interesting enough rate. I guess a lot of the "new" stuff they've shown us in season 6 was actually backstory - we got to learn more about pretty much all of the main crew's past. So that's been interesting.

And yeah, I definitely found at least a bit of all of the season 6 episodes amusing. Many of them I found completely awesome (I think I gave 7 of the 26 a 10/10).
lilkitten29

Starship Captain
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« Reply #10 on: 09-13-2011 07:06 »

Some of the season 6 episodes have became some of my all time favorite episodes (The Late Philip J. Fry, for example.) So I am glad that they continued on.
x.Bianca.x

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 09-13-2011 09:14 »

Books hasn't even seen many of any of the new episodes, I like some of the newer episodes I've seen actually.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #12 on: 09-13-2011 14:08 »

Have you seen all of them? I wouldn't judge whether or not the show should still exist without having seen all of Season 6.
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 09-13-2011 14:59 »

I also think that the decline in average quality is permanent........ In fact, future production seasons are likely to slightly improve

 confused
The decline in average episode quality is real, and I do not believe that the average quality will return to its previous levels from the first production run (due to the reduced budget per episode), hence it is a permanent decline.  However, it can still slightly improve without returning to its previous levels, and in fact already has from the depths of the first half of production season 6.

The average episode quality can partially rebound from its 6A depths and still suffer a permanent decline from the original run.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #14 on: 09-13-2011 15:40 »

I also think that the decline in average quality is permanent........ In fact, future production seasons are likely to slightly improve

 confused
The decline in average episode quality is real, and I do not believe that the average quality will return to its previous levels from the first production run (due to the reduced budget per episode), hence it is a permanent decline.  However, it can still slightly improve without returning to its previous levels, and in fact already has from the depths of the first half of production season 6.

Yes, budget was what made Futurama good. >_> <_<
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 09-13-2011 16:04 »

Yes, budget was what made Futurama good. >_> <_<
Are you being deliberately obtuse?

OF COURSE there is more to Futurama than its budget -- but what the reduced budget has done is reduce the size of its writing staff compared to the original run, as well as reduce the amount of double-checking of the animation that can be done.  Remember the Slurm Queen fiasco in Yo Leela Leela?  With a larger budget, that animation goof could have been avoided.

A decline in average episode quality was inevitable, once the per-episode budget was slashed.  Deal with it.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #16 on: 09-13-2011 16:10 »
« Last Edit on: 09-13-2011 16:19 »

Yes, budget was what made Futurama good. >_> <_<
OF COURSE there is more to Futurama than its budget -- but what the reduced budget has done is reduce the size of its writing staff compared to the original run, as well as reduce the amount of double-checking of the animation that can be done.  Remember the Slurm Queen fiasco in Yo Leela Leela?  With a larger budget, that animation goof could have been avoided.

Yes, the Slurm Queen fiasko is why "Yo Leela Leela" was a bad episode.  It is truly the moment that Futurama's decline became inevitable.

Perhaps - before talking - you should have verified your own statements.  You are correct that there is a smaller writing staff (from 12 to 7), but maybe you should look back and notice that most of the original run's Futurama episodes were written by (and credited to) the same 7 people.  The other 5 generally wrote one or two episodes a season.

An episode idea is pitched to Groening and/or Cohen by one of the writers (including freelance writers, why they still have in addition to the seven 'official' writers).[1]  The basic plot outline is then decided together with all the writers.  Each writer is than assigned one or more episodes to write on.  When finished, the re-writing process begins together with the other writers, and each writer does a re-write of their own episode.  Often time constrictions will force them to finish, other times not.

Only the official writing staff of Futurama has been diminished, but the producers can get around this by hiring freelancers.

Of the writers we lost,[2] I truly only miss Eric Kaplan, Ron Weiner and Jeff Westbrook.

[1] Fourteen different people have been credited with episodes in production season 6: J. Stewart Burns David X. Cohen Aaron Ehasz Matt Groening Eric Horsted Ken Keeler Lewis Morton Carolyn Premish Eric Rogers Michael Rowe Dan Vebber Patric M. Verrone Josh Weinstein Maiya Williams
[2] David A. Goodman Jason Gorbett Evan Gore Kristin Gore Darin Henry Eric Kaplan Brian Kelley Scott Kirby Heather Lombard Mirsky Bill Odenkirk Ron Weiner Jeff Westbrook
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #17 on: 09-13-2011 17:01 »
« Last Edit on: 09-13-2011 17:10 »

19 for 'Nah', fuck yes. This show should go on for quite a long time. big grin And with 2 Emmy's, why shouldn't it?

Season 6 has included some of the show's best moments. big grin And possibly the greatest episode ever.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #18 on: 09-14-2011 02:53 »

Having fewer actual writers on staff does have an impact (I'm not saying it's a quality impact, though, one way or the other. But I will say that there are some television shows that arguably have too many writers). The names flashing on screen are just names at the end of the day; people overestimate how much impact a particular writer has on an episode they're credited with writing on modern sitcoms, especially ones like the Groening cartoons that are written so collaboratively.  There are many episodes of The Simpsons where the credited writer wrote, at most, the episode's title or maybe a few lines; it's as much a legal thing (they try to spread around credits proportionally to writers' duties/titles, so they get their share of airing royalties) as anything. Granted I think (just from commentaries and whatnot) that Futurama's scripts aren't quite as committee-driven as those on The Simpsons, and my heart certainly gets a warm feeling whenever the name of a favored writer from the original run pops up on screen, but it's just worth taking the credits with (as Fry might say) a heaping bowl of salt. To say the very, very least.

But anyway, while I personally have no doubt that fewer staff writers has had an impact on the show from a production/process side (for instance, I recall reading that they used to have two writer's rooms working at a given time, and I'd imagine that's down to just one now), I don't know that it's made a huge difference to the actual product that's come out. As David Cohen has said a few times, it's a more well-oiled machine now, so I think they're able to get by with fewer regular writers and a few more freelancers popping in, just as long as everyone involved still "gets" the show. I do think seasons 3 and 4 probably tended to have more real huge "hit" episodes than season 6 has had on average (I would take it over seasons 1 and 2, though), but otherwise in terms of both quality and style I don't think there's been an enormous difference at all. I could think of a lot of shows that have changed a lot more drastically by season 5 or 6, and that's without getting cancelled somewhere in between.
Zmithy

Professor
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« Reply #19 on: 09-14-2011 05:22 »
« Last Edit on: 09-14-2011 05:27 »

Hell no.

I have enjoyed Season 6 far more than Season 4, on the whole.

Season 4 had a few excellent episodes, and another dozen or so that I've forgotten about already.

6A was kinda like that, but 6B more than made up for it with at least half of the eps being "pretty damn good" IMO.
spira

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #20 on: 09-14-2011 05:40 »

19 for 'Nah', fuck yes.

Well, I think we're kind of a biased group, being active posters on a forum for Futurama fans. I'd be quite surprised if there were a lot of votes for "Yes".

Season 4 definitely had a lot of forgettable episodes, but going through the list there were nine of the 17 that I would give the label "absolutely brilliant", and only two that I don't like a whole lot, with the rest being in solid "good" territory. Eight of the 26 Season 6 episodes achieve a similar "brilliant" rating, there were two I really did not like, and the rest are somewhere between solidly good and subpar. So, my ratings indicate season 4 is better, but season 6 is nothing to sneeze at.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #21 on: 09-14-2011 06:32 »

Season 6A was kinda meh, but 6B was fantastic. Overall, the quality of Season 6 was on par for Futurama. Also, it has one of my favorite episodes of all time, The Prisoner of Benda, in addition to four episodes that make my Top 25, The Late Philip J. Fry, Law and Oracle, Ghost in the Machines, and Cold Warriors (I'm a sucker for time travel, possible paradoxes, the Robot Devil, and 80's flashbacks).

Would I love to be in a world where such um ... classics as Attack of the Killer App, The Futurama Holiday Spectacular, Neutopia, and Yo Leela Leela didn't exist? Definitely. But I'd also like to live in a world where The Cryonic Woman, Where the Buggalo Roam, and A Leela of Her Own didn't exist.
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #22 on: 09-14-2011 13:18 »

Of course I'm glad Futurama didn't stay cancelled. Although Season 6 has been hit and miss, the hits make it more than worth having it back. That's the thing with Futurama, within any season after Season 1 there are severe fluctuations of quality, and Season 6 is no exception. Despite it having the shows two worst episodes ever in my opinion, it also has some fantastic episodes, one even in my Top 10. It's a payoff I can live with as long as the hits keep on coming...
futurefreak

salutatory committee member
Moderator
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« Reply #23 on: 09-14-2011 15:16 »

Interesting question...no. TLPJF surpasses all episodes and movies ever made.
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #24 on: 09-14-2011 15:47 »

Didn't know it was your fave ep, but good choice Randi. Is Futurama also your fave show ever? Would that make TLPJF your favourite episode of any TV ever made?...
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #25 on: 09-14-2011 16:27 »
« Last Edit on: 09-14-2011 16:29 »

That wouldn't automatically make it her favorite episode of anything. For instance, I would say Futurama is my favorite show (that, Boston Legal, or How I Met Your Mother). However, I would rank the TNG episode "Tapestry" above any episode of anything else. "The Prisoner of Benda" is my favorite Futurama episode, but I would rank "Jurassic Bark" as a better piece of television, possibly one of the greatest pieces of television ever.*


*For that last part, the difference between "favorite" and "better piece of television" is like the difference between a "movie" and a "film": one is meant to entertain, the second is at level of excellence to be called "art".
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #26 on: 09-15-2011 03:00 »

Well, following Weiner's line of thinking, I'd say that "The Late Philip J. Fry" is among the greatest things I've ever seen on television--and, consequently, it's in my personal top three for the series. I think episodes that are great-for-Futurama are also great-for-TV-generally, as Futurama as a series is above-average in quality to start with. If that makes any sense.

Anyway, I think that the handful of truly brilliant season six episodes (TLPJF, "The Prisoner of Benda," and "Reincarnation") make the show's resurrection totally worth it. Do I think the show will ever be as great as it was in, say, season four? No. But, then again, season four set a pretty impossible standard for overall quality. I'm not bothered by the idea that the show will never again be that great on a season-by-season basis, because on an episode-by-episode basis, there are plenty of season six episodes that can hold their own (and even surpass) what was done in the original run.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't expect to ever again be consistently wowed by the series week after week, which is what I experience when I watch season four straight through. But I can get used to the pattern the writers have established in season six--where most episodes are average and some are brilliant, and maybe one or two are truly lousy--because this pattern holds true for seasons one, two, and three, as well as the movies. Overall, I don't see a big decline in quality between the new run and the old one.

But season four is just really special to me, be it for reasons of nostalgia or true objective quality or both, and I don't expect the show to reach such levels of week-by-week greatness ever again. That doesn't mean they made a mistake by bringing the show back, though.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #27 on: 09-15-2011 04:14 »

I definitely consciously lowered my standards when I started watching season 6, because I felt like "there is no way this will be as good as anything ever before". But I was pleasantly surprised to have those standards consistently broken.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
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« Reply #28 on: 09-15-2011 04:26 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2011 04:31 »

I still don't get why the Slurm Queen glunking out Slurm would be such a big deal in the future.   They eat buggalo legs and drink buggalo milk, among even WEIRDER things, so why would it be a big deal?  It doesn't seem to have affected Fry's excessive consumption of it at all.

The Slurm Queen probably realized this, fired all the grunka lunkas, sold the fake factory off to intergalactic real estate agents, and is now enjoying the maximized profits and the occasional sponsorship at award ceremonies to boot.  Crafty old slug dame.
meisterPOOP

Professor
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« Reply #29 on: 09-15-2011 04:30 »

The Slurm Queen should have had more respect for herself, than to accepted that role.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
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« Reply #30 on: 09-15-2011 04:33 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2011 04:34 »

The Slurm Queen should have had more respect for herself, than to accepted that role.

She cans and sells her bodily excretions for a profit.  She probably will do just about anything if it will help her business empire.

Though it does seem weird that no one had noticed the high amounts of DNA in the slurm.  I guess food standard agencies in the future are pretty lax. 
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #31 on: 09-15-2011 04:39 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2011 04:40 »

The general populace doesn't know that Slurm is the excrement of a Wormulon. That's what's wrong here.

Also, excrement is a lot different than milk or meat. Mind you I'm a vegetarian, but even I can see the difference between it all.
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #32 on: 09-15-2011 04:43 »

Truth, milk isn't on quite the same level of icky as excrement is, though I'm not particularly fond of consuming either.

She cans and sells her bodily excretions for a profit.

No worse than peasants who would sell their urine to tanners. I don't think that really proves any points about self-respect, though.
coffeeBot

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #33 on: 09-15-2011 04:54 »

Nahhh.

There were a few stinkers this season, but I agree with a few others here that the order in which the episodes were shown made the season seem worse than it actually was by basically showing all the weak episodes one after the other at the beginning of the season. The increase in quality from Law and Oracle onward (with the exception of Yo Leela Leela, which I *think* was after Law and Oracle) has been very noticeable, in my opinion.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #34 on: 09-15-2011 07:59 »

RE: Slurm monster, I think we're just meant to assume that the secret "got out" at some point or another. There doesn't need to be a whole episode on it, ya know? Things can still happen in between episodes without us being directly privy to them.

The crew of some shipping company that includes an idiot delivery boy and a wacky old scientist eventually figured out the secret, and the Slurm people were apparently too incompetent to ever kill them off (or just never tried again, which would also be a sign of incompetence). It's not unreasonable to assume that they can't really keep a secret for all that long....or that the people of the future wouldn't just keep drinking it even after finding out the secret, as even the crew (sans Leela) does at the end of the original Slurm episode.

In other words, it's not really an "error" unless you assume that nothing ever changes between episodes (to things that aren't important to any of the show's larger stories), and it's probably worth just getting over. It was worth it for the joke of the Slurm Queen "sliming" Leela Nickelodeon-style, which was really the only purpose behind it.



RE: Season 6A and 6B, I thought the first half was somewhat better. There were a few more hits and the episodes felt a little more ambitious to me; I was disappointed not to see more big sci-fi stories or pairings of characters who don't normally interact that much (Bender/Hermes, Amy/Nibbler, etc), for instance. Overall, though, the quality and style were pretty consistent. I've seen much bigger quality fluctuations in other shows, even ones I don't really feel have jumped the shark at all.
flesheatingbull

Starship Captain
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« Reply #35 on: 09-15-2011 09:12 »

relevant to last post: leela is seen drinking diet slurm in YLL, so even she got over it.
Ambitious misunderstood

Bending Unit
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« Reply #36 on: 09-15-2011 12:47 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2011 12:55 by Ambitious_misunderstood »

I voted "too early to judge". Season 6 brought us the worst Futurama episodes ever, like YLL and IAGDL. On the other hand, it had great ones like TLPJF and my personal favourite (I know I'm in the minority on this one) Benderama. Overall, 6A would make me say "Just let Futurama rest in peace" and 6B "Hey, this is good after all!"
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #37 on: 09-15-2011 14:14 »

Somebody break this guy's nickname!
spira

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #38 on: 09-16-2011 02:39 »

So this is what it was like when Spacefish joined. Now I understand how frustrating that must have been for everyone. Welcome to PEEL, anyways, you board-breaker, you. Also, you're the 12000th member, which I guess is kind of cool maybe.

I also though 6A was better than 6B, but not by a whole lot.

Benderama? Really? Weird choice.

Lobstertainment is way worse than YLL and IAGDL in my opinion. Not, however, worse than Neutopia.
Mongo

Bending Unit
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« Reply #39 on: 09-16-2011 03:04 »

I don't think that Slurm is all that disgusting when compared to real-life foods that we all happily consume.  Milk is nothing but (slightly) altered blood. This is literally true -- the basis of cow's milk is the cow's own blood serum, with some minor modifications made in the milk glands.  Not to mention that honey is the regurgitated and partly digested contents of the bee's crop (stomach).

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