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Author Topic: Thoughts on 7ACV15 - 2-D Blacktop - SPOILERS  (Read 7444 times)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Print
PEE Poll: What Did You Think of the Episode?
1/10 This Episode Is 2 Dimentional   -4 (5.5%)
2/10   -1 (1.4%)
3/10   -1 (1.4%)
4/10   -2 (2.7%)
5/10 Meh   -6 (8.2%)
6/10   -10 (13.7%)
7/10   -22 (30.1%)
8/10   -16 (21.9%)
9/10   -11 (15.1%)
10/10 Fantastic   -0 (0%)
Total Voters: 73

sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #40 on: 06-20-2013 19:06 »

Yeah, it got old (just one mention of the verbal abuse in the first act, and then the call from daddy with her thumb's up at then end would've been enough).

I just finished a second viewing. It seems rather mediocre by the light of day, after the initial rush passed, from it being the first episode.
Jarvio

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #41 on: 06-20-2013 19:13 »

This is what's confusing me though - why did you (or anyone) find it funny even the first time? I'm not knocking yours or anyone elses opinion, I'm just genuinely confused as to why it's funny, did I miss something? Sorry if this sounds harsh, I don't mean to pick on you or anyone else, just wondering if I've missed something about that joke that's all...
I find it funny when ridiculous carton circumstance is mixed with real world tragedy to create a dark humour, at least to an extent. The space pirate in Godfellas who, just before he dies, said "too late do I realise that me children are me only real treasures" is hilarious to me. This was the same, her comparing the cops on Farnsworth's tail to her dads abuse on her psyche. It really did get old, though.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I need to rewatch the episode anyway. I was just a little disappointed as when I first saw Minx I thought she was going to be a cool character, but that verbal abuse stuff just confused me on my initial viewing.

On the plus side, lots of Farnsworth. My favourite character and I believe he shined through on this.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #42 on: 06-20-2013 19:18 »
« Last Edit on: 06-20-2013 20:59 »

Yeah, it got old (just one mention of the verbal abuse in the first act, and then the call from daddy with her thumb's up at then end would've been enough).

Yep. Had that reminder provoked Minx into some action (e.g. hitting the brakes and stoping her car), it could have been used as a running gag. Yet, just mentioning the verbal abuse for it's own sake, without any action or consequence to be triggered, became pointless really quick.

Though I did enjoy that "last minute squeezed in Happy End for really everyone in that scene" gag smile
SolidSnake

Professor
*
« Reply #43 on: 06-20-2013 19:19 »
« Last Edit on: 07-23-2013 06:37 »

REVIEW:

Well, I thought this episode was pretty good! I really didn't care much for the 2D Dimension part. Rather boring. The first two acts were really great! Having Bender and Fry act like kids, and Leela acting kinda like a mom during the new ship montage was funny, but mehh at the same time. Also, the abusive dad jokes really, did not land at all. That dark kinda humor is tossed around way too much nowadays. Anyways, I loved the Professor in this one, and thought this was one of his better episodes.

I think I'll rate it a 8/10. Pretty good. Impressive for Mike Rowe.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #44 on: 06-20-2013 20:21 »

Well, this episode was pretty much on par with most of the last half-season. By which I mean to say, it sucked pretty badly. The 2-D universe stuff was an interesting concept but fell flat since they couldn't find any way to actually have it make any sort of satisfying logical sense within the context of the episode. A lot of the jokes were cringingly bad as well.

There was one joke that did make me laugh a bit, when the girl introduces herself to Zoidberg: "If we're gonna be coworkers, I gotta be straight with you...I've been emotionally scarred by years of unspoken verbal abuse." "...I'm Zoidberg, nice to meet you!"
All of the other uses of the joke with that girl were stupid, but I felt that one was pretty worth it.

3/10
coffeeBot

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #45 on: 06-20-2013 20:33 »

The humor was on par, with the exception of the "non-vocal verbal abuse" thing, which I think was fairly dumb.

That was a terrible joke that wasn't funny in the first place, wasn't funny after five seconds, and bit us back in the butt several more times. At least the personal problem of "my Aunt's neighbor is a hoarder and a pile of magazines fell onto her cat" was bizarre enough to be funny.


Thank you. I just thought it was awkward  and depressing more than anything. And I'm a fan of dark humor, too. It was just... hamfisted and done all wrong.

Full review coming later. But a preview- ugh. No.
totalnerduk

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #46 on: 06-20-2013 20:45 »

The space pirate in Godfellas who, just before he dies, said "too late do I realise that me children are me only real treasures" is hilarious to me. This was the same, her comparing the cops on Farnsworth's tail to her dads abuse on her psyche. It really did get old, though.

I loved the Space Pirate's last words. I hated this "joke". I don't think they're the same at all, and I think that the difference is that the Space Pirate's last words are a throwaway line, but perfectly in context with what's happening. The street racer's fixation on verbal abuse comes out of nowhere, is repeated often enough that it becomes annoying, and doesn't really go anywhere (the "resolution" of it at the end seemed utterly pointless and I couldn't care less that her dad called to say hi or whatever. Her and her dad could have been left out of the episode entirely and I'd have probably given it a higher score for that).

It's not "dark humour". Dark humour is generally funny, for one thing.
Thank you. I just thought it was awkward  and depressing more than anything. And I'm a fan of dark humor, too. It was just... hamfisted and done all wrong.

This. This, this, this. A million times this.
Jarvio

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #47 on: 06-20-2013 21:06 »
« Last Edit on: 06-20-2013 21:07 »

The space pirate in Godfellas who, just before he dies, said "too late do I realise that me children are me only real treasures" is hilarious to me. This was the same, her comparing the cops on Farnsworth's tail to her dads abuse on her psyche. It really did get old, though.

I loved the Space Pirate's last words. I hated this "joke". I don't think they're the same at all, and I think that the difference is that the Space Pirate's last words are a throwaway line, but perfectly in context with what's happening. The street racer's fixation on verbal abuse comes out of nowhere, is repeated often enough that it becomes annoying, and doesn't really go anywhere (the "resolution" of it at the end seemed utterly pointless and I couldn't care less that her dad called to say hi or whatever. Her and her dad could have been left out of the episode entirely and I'd have probably given it a higher score for that).

It's not "dark humour". Dark humour is generally funny, for one thing.
Thank you. I just thought it was awkward  and depressing more than anything. And I'm a fan of dark humor, too. It was just... hamfisted and done all wrong.

This. This, this, this. A million times this.

Agree with all this. Those abuse lines were just painful and embarrassing to watch. They were indeed done all wrong, how did the writers/producers etc not pick up on this? It kind of ruins an otherwise decent episode for me... I preferred this to FALBT but actually I think upon reflection I prefer FALBT now, all because of those abuse 'jokes'. It really was odd and felt completely... off. The best word to describe it would indeed be 'awkward'...

Never mind though, I enjoyed the rest of the episode.
The Sophisticated Shut In

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #48 on: 06-20-2013 22:06 »

I didn't mind the "verbal abuse" joke. I didn't find it dark or depressing humor at all, because I don't think it was meant to taken seriously. It was basically a non-issue, created to poke fun at what is by now a common trope in action / drag-racing movies. One character in the gang always has to have a troubled backstory, I guess to make it look like there's more to the movie than endless chase scenes - but these story-lines tend to be clichéd. The racing gang took this to the max here. One of them raps about hardcore social issues like, uh . . . his neighbor's hoarding and how it killed her cat, and Minx's big issue becomes less and less traumatic every time it's mentioned. First it's abuse. Then it's verbal abuse. Then it's unspoken verbal abuse, and by the end of the episode it pretty much boils down to "my dad never calls". It wasn't one of the show's best jokes, but I didn't think it ruined the episode. It was just an absurdist take on a tired old trope.

Other notes on the episode :

- The graphics were amazing. The rainbow star, the revelation of the souped-up Planet Express ship, and the sequence where the ship returned to the 3D dimension were all jaw-dropping. Kudos to Rough Draft and the animators.

- The characterizations felt wobbly this episode. Historically Leela has been the speed-freak (a point stressed in Rowe's own episode, Bender's Game!) and the Professor has been infuriatingly slow (Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles). The safer new ship would have made more sense if, say, Hermes insisted upon a ship that complied with health and safety regulations. The boob job gag would have made more sense if it centered on Amy (who has been cheerful and open about cosmetic surgery in the past) rather than Leela, who once had cosmetic surgery (to fix her eye) and ended up getting it reversed.

- The episode felt very rushed. Felt like I blinked and it was over.

- Still, there were some lines I liked, like Leela asking Farnsworth if he was wearing a leather lab coat, and Bender practicing his "Fry did it!" line for later. The visual of the two ships squashing Fry was also unexpectedly hilarious, as was Hermes saying he liked to think they were alive in some other dimension, "screaming in agony".
Dorsal Axe

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #49 on: 06-20-2013 22:09 »

Ninja'd by Shut In, but I'll post what I had anyway.

I found the abuse thing really strange and awkward at first, but amusing in the end.

She kept bringing it up at inopportune moments, and really being a drama queen as it became more ridiculous each time (hell, she changed her lifestyle and became a rebellious street racing punk as a result).

In the end it becomes apparent that the unspoken verbal abuse stems from the fact that Minx and her dad never bothered to call each other in the first place, and she really has been making a mountain out of a molehill. I'll admit it's not the clearest gag in the slightest though.
Tachyon

Space Pope
****
« Reply #50 on: 06-20-2013 22:12 »


I thought it mildly humorous, and only on the edge of annoying by the last time she brought it up.

JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #51 on: 06-20-2013 22:17 »

As I said, I only enjoyed it for the joke they set up with Zoidberg, where he could have easily acknowledged that he and this girl share a similar issue but instead was completely oblivious, not only of the fact that they shared that pain but that she was even in pain at all. I thought that at least was clever.
boasel

Professor
*
« Reply #52 on: 06-20-2013 22:18 »

Yeah i'm in a very close or the same boat as tachy man here. It was humorous then got a little tedious.
Jarvio

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #53 on: 06-20-2013 22:22 »

Thanks shut in and Dorsal Axe for explaining the joke. It makes a bit more sense to me now, and I can finally see the 'joke' within it.

However, I think dorsal axe hit the nail on the head by saying it was still a very unclear gag. Even though there is a joke there, it was so unclear that many people are just gonna miss it and not understand it at all. And it all feels so awkward as a result. Risky opener this...
The Sophisticated Shut In

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #54 on: 06-20-2013 22:24 »

Ninja'd by Shut In, but I'll post what I had anyway.

I found the abuse thing really strange and awkward at first, but amusing in the end.

She kept bringing it up at inopportune moments, and really being a drama queen as it became more ridiculous each time (hell, she changed her lifestyle and became a rebellious street racing punk as a result).

In the end it becomes apparent that the unspoken verbal abuse stems from the fact that Minx and her dad never bothered to call each other in the first place, and she really has been making a mountain out of a molehill. I'll admit it's not the clearest gag in the slightest though.

It's what I do. That and spinny kicks.  wink

It could definitely be clearer, but I did like how she overplayed the emotion of it. (On a side note, her voice and design really reminded me of the Murderflies from The Butterjunk Effect. Just me?)

Some other stuff I forgot I liked :

- "Leela! Bender's bugging me!"

- Leela punching the squishy screen.

- Farnsworth having no idea what the street punks were talking about. Twice.

- The kangaroo pimp.

- Smitty and URL going to beat homeless people because they can't drink on the job. (Now that's dark humor.)

- Farnsworth's reaction when he realized it was Leela he'd been calling a soccer-mom. The delivery of that line was just hilarious. Even as a badass street racer, he's still terrified of Leela.  laff

Curious Gorge

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #55 on: 06-20-2013 22:43 »

Can't say I was a massive fan of this one but it was acceptable. Felt a little bit rushed and gimmicky but...it was fine. Couple of laughs, all I ask for.
Juliet

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #56 on: 06-20-2013 23:04 »



That is all.
MuchAdo

Professor
*
« Reply #57 on: 06-20-2013 23:27 »

Again, I enjoyed the newest comic more than both of the new episodes!
homerjaysimpson

Space Pope
****
« Reply #58 on: 06-20-2013 23:36 »

This episode sucked. Should have done more with the 2d Dimension screw the car driving sh*t.
Meerkat54

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #59 on: 06-21-2013 00:17 »

I enjoyed the fact that it featured a song from GTA 4

Which song?

Ohai, didn't see you there. Idk the name of it, but I know it's off "Liberty Rock" off GTA4: TBoGT. It appears at the scene where they're racing, Farnsworth and the other four guys. Idk if it appears at the end though, as the online video player failed loading for some reason, so I never got to the finish.
Box Incorporated

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #60 on: 06-21-2013 00:31 »

I enjoyed the fact that it featured a song from GTA 4

Which song?

Ohai, didn't see you there. Idk the name of it, but I know it's off "Liberty Rock" off GTA4: TBoGT. It appears at the scene where they're racing, Farnsworth and the other four guys. Idk if it appears at the end though, as the online video player failed loading for some reason, so I never got to the finish.

The song that plays during Farnsworth's first race is called ''Highway Star'', by Deep Purple. I think it's also the song that plays at the end, but I could be wrong.
DannyJC13

Space Pope
****
« Reply #61 on: 06-21-2013 00:58 »
« Last Edit on: 06-21-2013 01:05 »

Yep, it's "Highway Star". I was thinking you meant the rap song from at the end of the episode, since there are like 3 or 4 radio stations that play rap only in GTA IV...

The 2-D universe stuff was an interesting concept but fell flat

Not sure if intentional...
Meerkat54

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #62 on: 06-21-2013 01:53 »

Ah, yes, I somehow managed to finish watching this episode, and the music at the credits does not sound the same as what was played in the racing scene, just fyi.
DannyJC13

Space Pope
****
« Reply #63 on: 06-21-2013 02:04 »

What was the yellow buggy that sputters a lot a reference to? I recognise it but can't quite put my finger on it.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #64 on: 06-21-2013 02:08 »

Now that I've rewatched it:

"This is how you treat me? After all the good news I've given you over the years?"  laff
With many themes in this episode, fast pacing wasn't problem. It felt smoothly changing as two plots was linked back together before actual conflict of 2D-world.

All dimensional stuff raised this episode to above average -episode. Episode's theme was the differences and links of dimensions. Like möbius strip represents link between 2D (straight line that comes back where it started) and 3D (circle-like strip). "Hahaha, you kids and your topology." Best line in the episode.
As there was also obvious dimensional drive to flatland and back. "2.1... 2.2... 2.π" ???

And I found it funny that random character - without any reason - tells about her verbal abuse. Resolving it in the end ruined it though.

Episode had lots of jokes in it, but it was an average episode. It contained some new aspects as professor's love for ship was represented extremely. 6/10.
Box Incorporated

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #65 on: 06-21-2013 02:29 »

What was the yellow buggy that sputters a lot a reference to? I recognise it but can't quite put my finger on it.



UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #66 on: 06-21-2013 03:08 »

What was the yellow buggy that sputters a lot a reference to? I recognise it but can't quite put my finger on it.

I assumed it was just a jab at the countless children shows with talking vehicles.
pumpkinpie

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #67 on: 06-21-2013 03:28 »

I was almost sure it was a Bob the Builder reference
Scrappylive

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #68 on: 06-21-2013 03:56 »

I recognized it, too, but did not know why as I've never seen that show. I'm assuming I saw Speed Buggy on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast or Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (all Hannah-Barbera properties) several years back.
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #69 on: 06-21-2013 04:46 »

I enjoyed it.  The ship designs were neat... the fast & furious parody was well timed... and the mathematics extras were nice.
PeskyOwl

Crustacean
*
« Reply #70 on: 06-21-2013 06:02 »

I really enjoyed this episode. Great fun with sci-fi humor. Favorite things:

*Farnsworth's cackling madly as he drove at stupidly fast speeds. I love Farnsworth's hysterical cackle.

*Moebius strip race-way, and how it affects laps.

*The entire 2D dimension. The thing that sticks with me the most is seeing the un-born chicken in an egg.

*Overall funniness of the episode. (Pimparoo!)

Also, on the subject of Minx's emotional problems: Besides what Shut-In explained, I think it was also poking fun at how female action characters often have tragic pasts that motivate them into getting involved in a dangerous or masculine activity. (Racing, fighting, etc...) I think the people that use this as a way to make the masculine female who they show as being powerful to also be emotionally vulnerable. Because that it would in theory make her more feminine and apparently vulnribility is attractive to guys?

I don't know it there's a specific trope for it -- The closets thing I can find for it on TV Tropes is "Dark and Troubled Past" and "Standard Cop Backstory." I won't link to them because I have mercy on you.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #71 on: 06-21-2013 06:33 »

The car was definitely Speed Buggy, but for a couple seconds I was thinking more of the famous junkyard sequence in "The Brave Little Toaster." I don't think that was intentional, though.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #72 on: 06-21-2013 11:16 »
« Last Edit on: 06-21-2013 11:18 »


Also, on the subject of Minx's emotional problems: Besides what Shut-In explained, I think it was also poking fun at how female action characters often have tragic pasts that motivate them into getting involved in a dangerous or masculine activity. (Racing, fighting, etc...) I think the people that use this as a way to make the masculine female who they show as being powerful to also be emotionally vulnerable. Because that it would in theory make her more feminine and apparently vulnribility is attractive to guys?


Leela also followed that scheme with her "I am sooo alone, and everyone is picking on me" past wink
That said, the tragic past is not female characters exclusive. E.g. Batman having lost his parents at an early age to become a dark avenger, etc... .
I guess Minx did not only poke fun at a tragic background per se, but the randomness those backgrounds are often subjected to.
Going back to the Batman example: Having lost his parents and becoming a crimefighter to spare others that fate (and to have a certain revenge) makes at least some sense. While in Minx case
1) "Daddy didn't say he loved me"
2) ???
3) Street Racer
Had her father been a street racer, her career would had made sense. But in that episode, no logic explanation for her choise was given. A tragic background for it's own sake.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #73 on: 06-21-2013 11:28 »

Looking back, I understand now where they were trying to go with Minx's daddy issues. But that still doesn't change to fact that it was both unfunny and irritating.

That coupled with the 2D segment being too disjointed from the main plot means I'm demoting my score to a 7/10. I still think it's easily Rowe's best episode though.
totalnerduk

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #74 on: 06-21-2013 11:46 »

The car was definitely Speed Buggy, but for a couple seconds I was thinking more of the famous junkyard sequence in "The Brave Little Toaster." I don't think that was intentional, though.

Same here. Whilst I don't think that there was intentionally any resemblance, the destruction of an anthropomorphic car is always going to end up bearing similarities to the climactic sequence from Toaster, due to it being a pretty powerful image that a lot of people end up being exposed to early on (and thus it becomes a rather powerful memory that's easy to associate with similar imagery).

The impact that animated films end up having on children is immense. Disney and Pixar really ought to be more tightly regulated than cocaine. They're arguably in the greatest positions of power on the planet.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #75 on: 06-21-2013 13:14 »

I mean, that was better than most of season 7, so far, but it was still terrible by Futurama's standards.

It wasn't incoherent nonsense like most of season 7 - so I'll give it credit for the story more or less holding together (though, the whole turning 2D thing wasn't explained very well).

But the humour was just a limp fart, throughout the episode.

Honestly, if this is what they're choosing as a "season premiere", I really don't care if this is the final season.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #76 on: 06-21-2013 15:34 »

I still think it's easily Rowe's best episode though.

I'd say that honor goes to "Bend Her" (I know it's not exactly a well-loved episode by most, but it's one of my favorites from the original run); in fact, I may even have preferred "The Butterjunk Effect" to this episode, too, despite its hideous third act. Both TBE and "2-D Blacktop" have the same problem, really:

a 3rd act that is really out of place from the rest of the episode

I daresay I would have enjoyed this episode a lot more if the third act had continued with the Professor-as-street-racer story. I thought the second dimension stuff was unfunny--not poorly-written, mind you, but just boring, and a bit too much like some sort of quasi-educational Saturday morning cartoon or something--and would have preferred if act three had concerned itself with the interactions between the PE crew and the street-racing gang. There were obvious parallels between the two groups, and though I don't know that following their exploits for three whole acts would have been an improvement, it certainly would have felt more organic. The episode as it stands feels to me like it was plotted  by the writers thusly: "We want to do something with the second dimension, but we can't fill up three acts with that tomfoolery. One act should be doable, though. So what shall we do with the first two acts, then? Let's see...how about Farnsworth becomes a street racer!"

In short, I feel like the street-racing stuff--which, again, I found more interesting than the 2D stuff--was crammed onto the front end of the episode the writers really wanted to do: a trapped-in-another-realm story with a bunch of nerdy non-jokes and (admittedly interesting) animation of the PE crew in the second dimension. I guess what I'm saying is that the whole thing felt kind of self-indulgent to me.

Of course, my distaste for the third act might partly be a product of my own stupidity and general lameness when it comes to all things science; perhaps if I were more of a science geek--as opposed to your run-of-the-mill, bookworm-y dork--I would have appreciated it more. Of course, I've never seen any of those The Fast and the Furious movies, either, but I still appreciated the street-racing stuff quite a bit. I was inordinately amused by the Minx thing, which I think The Sophisticated Shut In explains very well:

I didn't mind the "verbal abuse" joke. I didn't find it dark or depressing humor at all, because I don't think it was meant to taken seriously. It was basically a non-issue, created to poke fun at what is by now a common trope in action / drag-racing movies. One character in the gang always has to have a troubled backstory, I guess to make it look like there's more to the movie than endless chase scenes - but these story-lines tend to be clichéd. The racing gang took this to the max here. One of them raps about hardcore social issues like, uh . . . his neighbor's hoarding and how it killed her cat, and Minx's big issue becomes less and less traumatic every time it's mentioned. First it's abuse. Then it's verbal abuse. Then it's unspoken verbal abuse, and by the end of the episode it pretty much boils down to "my dad never calls". It wasn't one of the show's best jokes, but I didn't think it ruined the episode. It was just an absurdist take on a tired old trope.

In fact, I will admit with only a modicum of shame that I think the biggest laughs in this episode came from the silly, cliche-ridden street racers. Part of the reason I think the third act should have done more with those characters is that (as Tedward pointed out to me post-episode-viewing) Minx and that Fry-ish guy with the crush on her literally got a whole cutaway scene devoted to their weird unrequited love thing; the writers went out of their way to establish these street racers as somewhat rounded characters (albeit, through heavy reliance on silly stereotypes), and it would have been neat to see that paid off some more in the third act.

But enough of my griping. This was by no means a bad episode--it was just, you know, kind of disappointing. It left no real mark on me. I think this will wind up being one of those episodes that--like "I Dated a Robot" from the original run--I mostly forget exists, but don't go out of my way to avoid if it happens to be the episode Comedy Central is airing one lazy afternoon. Which is to say, I give it the slightly below-average grade of 6/10.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #77 on: 06-21-2013 16:35 »

Thinking about this more...one of the biggest reasons why I felt disappointed by this episode was the introduction of new characters, none of whom were interesting or intriguing--and it felt very much like a move that a show would do to try to inject some freshness. I can't find any articles on TV Tropes that document this pattern, because I'm in a hurry and have to run, but "Happy Days" did this (Pinky Tuscadero, anyone remember?), as well as "The Brady Bunch" (frikkin' cousin Oliver). And "The Simpsons" poked fun at this with the Poochy character and then that random dude who appeared out of nowhere, going "Hey, Mrs. S!"

I think the writers were aware of this trope, and were parodying it by making the gang over-the-top with the stereotypical attributes of "cool"--but they really distracted me. I would've much preferred to see tertiary characters in the gang. e.g., Randy, Petunia, Barbados Slim...whomever. Yes, it would've been random and obviously just serving the plot, but at least viewers would already have some investment in and connection to these characters.

I gotta dash off...
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #78 on: 06-21-2013 16:47 »

I can't find any articles on TV Tropes that document this pattern, because I'm in a hurry and have to run, but "Happy Days" did this (Pinky Tuscadero, anyone remember?), as well as "The Brady Bunch" (frikkin' cousin Oliver). And "The Simpsons" poked fun at this with the Poochy character and then that random dude who appeared out of nowhere, going "Hey, Mrs. S!"

They just call it the Cousin Oliver.

In any event, I think it would have been far more distracting if the street-racing gang had been composed of preexisting characters. It also might have rendered the third act even more frustrating, because the episode would now have been abandoning a band of characters the audience almost certainly cares about, as opposed to a handful of one-off nobodies with some hackneyed character development. The nearest analogue I can think of is "Neutopia," where the tertiary characters from the airplane play a big role in act two...but the episode refocuses on the PE crew in the third act, leaving the other sex-changed characters to fend for themselves.

Of course, "Neutopia" has its own problems, least of all being the narrowing down of the cast of characters as the story progresses...
DannyJC13

Space Pope
****
« Reply #79 on: 06-21-2013 17:53 »

Honestly, if this is what they're choosing as a "season premiere", I really don't care if this is the final season.

I'd blame Comedy Central for that, not Futurama.
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