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Author Topic: If you were a Futurama writer...  (Read 908 times)
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futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« on: 01-29-2012 00:12 »

Hey everyone.

I was thinking about this the other day:  if I were a writer for Futurama, where else would I be able to take the show from here?

So what I mean is this: would you agree that the vast majority of questions and plot lines have either been answered or run its course?  For example, we know why Fry was trapped into the cryogenic tube, we know who did it, the purpose, etc.  We know about Leela and her past, about Doctor Zoidberg, Bender, Amy, etc.  We already know what happened to Earth since 2000 to 3012, etc.  The list goes on and I need not bother go on with them.

The point is this:  aside from the Fry-Leela love-story arc, where else could the writers go with this show?  Something epic would have to happen that would dramatically shift the direction of the show.  I think the Earth's reverse revolution could potentially set the stage for something wacky (see That Dark Katz!).

If I were a writer, hell, I'd have a hard time thinking of something after Into The Wild Green Yonder! wink

What would you write about?  Where would you like to see the direction of the show move into?
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #1 on: 01-29-2012 00:13 »

You mean like fan fiction?
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #2 on: 01-29-2012 01:15 »

So this is "fanfics you'd like to write", eh?
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #3 on: 01-29-2012 01:42 »

Well, that wasn't quite what I was getting at, but sure why not.  I didn't even think of fan fiction. smile

I was actually wondering where you all think the show should progress from here.  The harsh reality is: how many times are we going to see the Planet Express crew go on another delivery and then make an episode out of that?  I don't the show can afford to keep on that track, unless the fans want nothing but that... then I can see the writers continue with those plots in perpetuity. wink
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #4 on: 01-29-2012 15:27 »

There are still a lot of plot lines and arcs they could create.

Idea: We get to see Mom's past and how she came to be super evil and successful.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #5 on: 01-29-2012 15:32 »
« Last Edit on: 01-29-2012 20:16 by totalnerduk »

You mean "how many times will the basic premise of the series be used to justify an episode?", futurIMAfan. The answer to that is "a lot". A metric fuckton, to be precise.

The setting and argument for Futurama is that PX is a delivery company, and Fry is a delivery boy working for them in the year 3000.

The crew's job is to deliver packages to strange alien worlds in order to generate some income to fund Professor Farnsworth's research. Anything that comes up in that preceeding sentence is therefore very likely to come up within the context of the show, and extremely likely to be the driving force behind the plot of an episode.

The show doesn't need to "progress" anywhere. They've got an excuse to visit plenty of strange new worlds, meet plenty of bizarre aliens, and have plenty of outer space hijinks. They've also got a reasonable excuse for visiting ridiculous sci-fi concepts like mind-swapping, time-travel, robot religion, etc. thanks to the delivery company they work for being owned by a mad scientist. That's all that this show needs in order to deliver some high quality entertainment.

When a show decides to radically change direction, well... there's a name for that and it's not a good name. It implies that somebody has used the potential of their leg muscles to propel them in defiance of gravity over a large, piscine carnivore that is typically found in the ocean and protrayed as a bloodthirsty consumer of human flesh.
Tedward

Professor
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« Reply #6 on: 01-29-2012 15:53 »

The harsh reality is: how many times are we going to see the Planet Express crew go on another delivery and then make an episode out of that?  I don't the show can afford to keep on that track, unless the fans want nothing but that...

Well, the new episodes have sparked complaints from some people that the crew doesn't go on enough deliveries anymore (and that when deliveries do happen, the entire staff goes along without much of a good reason)...

Also, what tnuk said.
Svip

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 01-29-2012 16:23 »

How many episodes actually contain deliveries?
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #8 on: 01-29-2012 16:57 »

Hmm good point, totalnerduk.  You answered my comment right on the head - and masterfully executed, as well.  I suppose the show can indeed go on with "delivery" episodes.  That wouldn't bother me in the slightest as I'm a sucker for any Futurama (bad or good big grin).  The last season has shown us viewers that there are still a lot of tricks left in the bag (The Prisoner of Benda and The Late Phillip J. Fry easily come to mind).  Those were rockin' episodes and if the writers can continue to deliver these outstanding storylines then we should be in for quality television.

However, back to my original question.... where would you like to see the series go from here? wink
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #9 on: 01-29-2012 17:30 »

However, back to my original question.... where would you like to see the series go from here? wink

More of what we saw in the first, second, third, and fourth seasons. More of what we saw in the movies. Perhaps a little less of what we've seen in some of the less-than-awesome "new" episodes.

But overall, more of the same. I don't want Futurama to "go" anywhere. I want it to stay Futurama.
DannyJC13

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« Reply #10 on: 01-29-2012 17:36 »

But overall, more of the same. I don't want Futurama to "go" anywhere. I want it to stay Futurama.

I'm worried it's slipping away. More vehicles with wheels. Guns shoot bullets instead of lasers. Modern day pop culture references...
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #11 on: 01-29-2012 20:00 »

When a show decides to radically change direction, well... there's a name for that and it's not a good name. It implies that somebody has used the potential of their leg muscles to propel them in defiance of gravity over a large, carnivore that is typically found in the ocean and protrayed as a bloodthirsty consumer of human flesh.

Jumping the rabid zombie-mermaid?

I'm worried it's slipping away. More vehicles with wheels. Guns shoot bullets instead of lasers. Modern day pop culture references...

Those things by themselves don't bother me; what I find troubling are some of the turns certain characters have taken for the worse. Leela's trademark bitchiness is often exaggerated for the sake of a story ("Mobius Dick" is the most striking example from the new run; I enjoy that episode, but do kind of cringe at Leela's over-the-top obsession and violence), and Fry becomes a whiny suicidal pissant if the story calls for it ("The Beast With a Billion Backs" and "Overclockwise" are good examples). We're nowhere near Flanderization yet or anything, but I do worry about the direction in which the writers seem willing to take a character for the sake of a story that may or may not be worth telling.

So, in answer to the original question: I guess I just want the show to stay true to its characters. I want to know more of their backstories (so much more could be done with the relationship between Leela and Munda and Morris, for example); I want some resolution to the whole Fry/Leela thing. I know that Futurama is an episodic sitcom, but I do miss the sense of respect for continuity that existed in the old run but has been sorely missing at certain points in the new run.
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #12 on: 01-29-2012 20:07 »

But overall, more of the same. I don't want Futurama to "go" anywhere. I want it to stay Futurama.

I'm worried it's slipping away. More vehicles with wheels. Guns shoot bullets instead of lasers. Modern day pop culture references...

I hope that doesn't happen.  This is exactly what happened with the Simpsons - especially the pop culture references.  That show has turned from comedy into a stepping stage for politicians and entertainers making guest appearances.

Thankfully, Futurama has a lot of flexibility.  Animated shows such as the Simpsons (but NOT The Family Guy) are constrained to "modern day" technological sophistications.  You can't see the Simpsons fly a space ship to the Moon and call it an episode.  Of course they can try but it usually doesn't end well.  On the other hand, Futurama is based in the future where anything's possible.  Creating a show that's based on people's imaginations (basically limitless) can lead to a virtually endless supply of episodes and comedy.

Somehow I feel Matt Groening wanted this show to replace the Simpsons eventually.  Unfortunately Fox ruined that dream.  

(By the way, does ANYONE remember when the Simpsons were moved from Sunday evening to THURSDAY nights?  This is years ago... quite possibly early 1990s.  It was quickly brought back to Sunday nights.  FOX almost screwed that up, too... go figure).
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #13 on: 01-29-2012 20:12 »

(By the way, does ANYONE remember when the Simpsons were moved from Sunday evening to THURSDAY nights?  This is years ago... quite possibly early 1990s.  It was quickly brought back to Sunday nights.  FOX almost screwed that up, too... go figure).

I don't remember this, being but a baby in the early nineties, but didn't they move the show to Thursday nights in its second season so that it could duke it out with the Cosby Show? (The Simpsons writers talk about that a lot in the second season DVD commentaries, if I recall correctly.) That was more a strategic move than an attempt to kill the show; I can't say the same for the 7PM death slot Futurama was moved to shortly after it began airing on Fox.
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #14 on: 01-30-2012 02:35 »

School of Mock

After the professor goes on a business trip, he is called into teach for a week at Mars University. Fry fills in on his role secretly, and finds himself teaching a subject that he doesn't know to a bunch of troublemakers. Meanwhile, Bender pretends to be an animal to get donations from shelters in his latest scam.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 01-30-2012 17:11 »

Sounds like a comic plot.
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #16 on: 02-01-2012 16:23 »

Here's what I came up with.

Heartbreak Kid

While away on his misadventures with Zapp Brangian, Kipp decides that a long-distance relationship with Amy is too much to bear.  A lonely Kipp decides to call it quits with Amy, and seeks a new relationship with someone else.  The PE crew is told by Prof. Farnsworth to visit Debaucheria, the planet of hedonism, drunkards, and other vices (no drugs).  They are asked to deliver highly-concentrated brewed beer in time for the upcoming Beer-drinking festival.  Bender, unable to control his temptation for booze, drinks just one bottle of beer and becomes completely inebriated the entire episode.

After taking damage from fighting space mites, Zapp Branigan orders to land the Nimbus on Debaucheria.  Kipp meets Fry and Bender, and after learning that Kipp broke off his relationship with Amy, decide to show him out on the town to try and find a new Fon-Fon Ru.  Leela and Amy decide to do the same, visting discotechs and bars trying to find a new partner for Amy.

At the end of the episode, the beer is delivered, the festival draws near its end, and after encountering all sorts of weird and interesting beings, Amy and Kipp reunite in the street realizing that they are the only two people for eachother.

Hedonism-bot, the Robot Devil (on vacation from robot hell) and Roberto should make an appearance performing some sort of nefarious acts (but with comical results...Like with Roberto sticking up a beer keg).
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 02-01-2012 16:29 »
« Last Edit on: 02-01-2012 16:31 »

Sounds pretty interesting, but it's Kif, not Kipp. laff Also, it could be funnier if Bender drank the whole cargo of beer, so the whole planet got mad at him.

@Danny: Thank you very much! I had he idea randomly one day in school...
TheMadCapper

Fluffy
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« Reply #18 on: 02-01-2012 17:26 »

futurIMAfan - it would have to be special robot beer of some kind, as alcohol normally keeps Bender well-fueled and alert. Any ideas?
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #19 on: 02-01-2012 17:51 »

I'd suggest swapping it for some sort of extreme detox drink that'd sober him up beyond his usual capacity for being sober. And the beer festival for some sort of health festival?
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #20 on: 02-01-2012 18:10 »

You guys should right a fan fiction of this altogether as a team. You could make a great episode!
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #21 on: 02-02-2012 03:59 »

Sounds pretty interesting, but it's Kif, not Kipp. laff Also, it could be funnier if Bender drank the whole cargo of beer, so the whole planet got mad at him.


My bad!!  I always get the character names screwed up for some reason.

futurIMAfan - it would have to be special robot beer of some kind, as alcohol normally keeps Bender well-fueled and alert. Any ideas?

MadCapper: well I figure since the beer is supposed to be "highly-concentrated" as opposed to beer Bender is regularly used to, it would completely throw him off and literally be drunk.  I don't think we've seen Bender drunk in any episode, ever.  That would be a hilarious change of pace!

I suppose my fan fiction episode could use some change for the better.  Hey, I tried. big grin

More people should write their ideas for the show.  I'm eager to see what you guys can come up with!
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #22 on: 02-02-2012 04:16 »

Actually, he's technically drunk in every episode. Whenever he drinks he becomes drunk! laff And if you find that to not be your answer, then remember when he was ironically sober in TBoIC?
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #23 on: 02-02-2012 04:20 »

Which episode was that again, Solid Gold Bender?  I should probably know the abbreviation but I don't!  For shame, what kind of fan am i!?  cry
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #24 on: 02-02-2012 04:21 »

The Birdbot of Ice Catraz
futurIMAfan

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #25 on: 02-02-2012 04:24 »

Ahh yes, I remember now - he went sober because Fry was fed up with his "captaining".

You're right.  I suppose that is an example of Bender actually going sober -- dangerously sober -- if I recollect.  Good catch!
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 02-02-2012 04:58 »

He's also sober in I, Roommate and Benderama. There are probably other examples that I forget, too.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #27 on: 02-02-2012 05:08 »

The 30% Iron Chef is the only other one I can think of. I like seeing him "blind stinking sober".  tongue I hope we see more of it in the future.
koldstare64
Delivery Boy
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« Reply #28 on: 02-02-2012 09:25 »

A Game of Asteroids

While returning from a mission, the Crew discovers an asteroid in the asteroid belt with a piece of a huge diamond in it. Later, after they return, Amy, while on the phone with her parents, tells them about the diamond piece. After hanging up, Leo considers an interstellar mining operation, but decides against it. Inez complains about her lack of diamonds, which causes Leo to begrudgingly take charge of mining the asteroid belt. Mom gets wind of Leo's plan and starts a mining operation of her own. Because Earth is close to Mars in its orbit, the Mom mining crew and Wong mining crew begin to conflict over what is whose. Mom and the Wongs begin "corporate warfare" to try to get all the diamonds for themselves, by buying up Mom/Wong subsidiary companies necessary (and unnecessary) for mining. In PX, Mom enlists the help of Farnsworth to help her team find the most diamonds while the Wongs enlist Amy. Amy leaves PX, crew helps Professor with mining operations. The crew gets ready to leave for the asteroid belt, Bender pulls a piece of paper out of his body, reads it, and says he has to go, walking out of the building just as the ship takes off. Outside, Bender puts on the magnetic beard he used to impersonate Flexo, then walks off, trying to look unnoticed.

A Plot: Mom and the Wongs fight over diamonds.

B Plot: The crew helps Mom, and then Bender, find large diamond deposits.

C Plot: Bender sneaks off during each mission to implement his plan he thought of and wrote down during Overclockwise. Using his bearded persona in Mom's company and a mustachioed persona in the Wong company, Bender works his way up in both companies to the point that he has more power and resources than both Wong and Mom. In the end, the crew is helping Bender find the largest diamonds.

Resolution: Bender's power grab leaves both Mom and Wong with significantly smaller wealth, leaving them open to ideas on how to reclaim that top spot in the corporate world. Bender's wealth gets obscene, and he eventually cuts ties off with PX and crew; he's just too rich now. The next two or so episodes would be done without Bender.

One Does not Simply Find a New Roommate

While Bender is Gone: With Bender gone, Fry needs a new roommate, and asks Leela to move in with him. Things are rocky at first but get lovey and happy and emotional at the end.

Return of the Metal King

When Bender Returns: Fry will find Bender washed up in an Atlantic City type place; Fry and PX take him in. The majority of the episode will have Bender telling the story of how he ended up penniless and in the gutter, having to do with the Ocw messages getting him to the top spot but not telling him how to maintain a company. While Bender tells his story, everyone is helping the Professor clean out the weird stuff in the PX building for a garage sale.


The first idea has a lot of meat, which might make it work well as a 2 part episode, maybe even a 2 part finale that leads into a new season with lots of fresh plot lines. Bender leaving also indirectly progresses Fry and Leela in their own emotional episode, which can then be a plot point in the episode where Bender comes back. It also allows for a future plot where the Wongs or Mom try out some new kind of futuristic business. It even allows the writers to go mad scientist crazy with the crap they find in the PX building.

Thoughts on something like that?
TheMadCapper

Fluffy
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« Reply #29 on: 02-02-2012 17:48 »

I like your episode titles. Two are nice and short, and all three are fantasy refs. One's even a meme!

Re: the above Bender sobriety discussion, I'm pretty sure we see that mineral oil is sufficient to keep him running in Hell is Other Robots (Ah, functional!). Alcohol seems to be the preferred option (especially if it's deliciously fortified). Magnets deactivate Bender's inhibition circuit and make him unleash his inner singer. Jacking on allows him to abuse electricity. Perhaps a variety of beer that upon opening develops a mild electric charge? Then he could be deliciously fueled whilst obtaining a "buzz".
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #30 on: 02-02-2012 23:41 »

A Game of Asteroids sounds like a wonderful idea! But it most likely wouldn't fit in a 20 minute slot. Instead, it would make a rocking 2-parter! big grin If you could find the time one day to write a script that would be rockin' my socks off! big grin
koldstare64
Delivery Boy
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« Reply #31 on: 02-06-2012 21:11 »

Errr, thanks to the positive feedback of both TheMadCapper and Solid Gold Bender, I guess I'll go ahead and try to write some kind of script for A Game of Asteroids. I'll let you know how it goes...
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
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« Reply #32 on: 02-07-2012 00:29 »

I look forward to reading it!
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