Futurama Final 7 Reviews
Somewhere out there is a huge Futurama fan who has been lovingly following the show for the majority of his life and yet is only just now able to witness the final seven episodes of the series. And that nerd's name is Scrappy! (Just check the Earth Certificate.) With these next few viewings (and subsequent episode reviews), I will finally be able to join the club of having seen all 140 episodes and also the club of being able to peruse this forum and The Infosphere in full without the risk of any spoilers.
To be honest, I was a little put off by this episode at first. Mostly, I was in a bad mood and wanted to laugh. But this wasn't a joke-heavy episode so I left a bit disappointed.Worst Episode in HistoryFuturama Dies for Second TimeComedy Central to be Demolished to Remove Stink of New EpisodeTwelve Hospitalized for Boredom during Show
Upon rewatching the episode, however, I saw how marvelous it truly is.Story
The story was a great idea overall. I think it would have been more fun, albeit a different story, to see Calculon barge in on a live taping of All My Circuits and re-establish his role on the show that way. (Antonio's breakdown in Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV was shown live.) The other actor-bots would exhibit genuine surprise on the show. But I guess that would be a different plot altogether, potentially not leading to Calculon's tragic re-death. Mostly, though, I must commend this episode for its good, strong, natural pacing -- something we don't get often enough in the newer episodes.Plot
As with the good pacing, we also got a good plot. That is, we got a plot that is both compelling and free of glaring holes. I was a little annoyed at how often they have created new rules for robot life, death, reproduction, etc., but I am pleased that they did not retcon anything in this episode. In fact, this episode is a rare treat in the Futuramaverse, wherein we observe the direct effects of a previous episode.
I found the plot twists in this episode to be rather predictable, with Leela beating down Calculon to humble him and Calculon killing himself again. They could have written the lead-ups to these events to be more subtle. For instance, after Leela berated Calculon to humble him, she justified her actions by saying "Good, then it'll work." Fry then says "Ooohhh." They could have simply left it at "Good," and I think the scene would have been stronger for it.
Still, Calculon 2.0 had a strong story that was well executed. I especially like the tragic and clever ending. They did leave me wanting more!Funny
Even though I wasn't laughing as much as I wanted to during this episode, I realized something partway through watching: it's not that the jokes were falling flat, it's just that there weren't too many big jokes. In fact, I don't think a single joke fell flat for me. The deficiency of big of jokes can be an awkward situation for a comedy, but is ultimately acceptable in episodes that focus on a compelling story such as Calculon's final bow.
That's not to say that there weren't some good bits in here, though. I enjoyed watching Bender exhuming and graverobbing so non-chalantly in broad daylight and on live TV. And when Bender produced Calculon's corpse, it was dirt-laden and bore X's over the eyes. Mr. Ben Derisgreat and Boxy Robot's tears were also treats.
My favorite line from this episode: "I was. It was shame. I've never felt it before. It makes me want to eat. Do you have a craft services table?" This line is written well and executed expertly. Bravo, Maurice LaMarche!Characters
Everyone was in character. The voice acting was top-notch and worthy of a Glemmy. It was great to see how well Calculon can carry an episode even though most of his lines in the past have been (intentionally) hammy and over-the-top. But here, Maurice LaMarche brought him to life with a furvor and depth which most shows should envy. I particularly liked the scenes (yes, plural, because a manbot of Calculon's pride needs many reminders) where the egocentric Calculon realized he is not the greatest.Classic
Yes, I'm rating the episode on how classic it felt, and this seems like an episode that could easily fit in with Season 3 or 4's pace, wit, and charm.Visuals
Everything we saw in Robot Hell was divinely animated.
I love how they add new touches and torments every time we visit subterranean New New Jersey. I especially loved Sisyphusbot and the Robot Devil-head balcony that had fire in the eyes and lava flowing all about.
As with every other aspect of this episode, Calculon really shined here. The symbolism of Calculon slowly ascending the stairs matching his rising self-esteem was a nice touch. Calculon (or rather, the animators) also exhibited some excellent physical acting when the stage lights fell next to him: his startled reaction was very convincing.Gripes
• I'm surprised that the Professor had enough protective suits for everybody this time. This may sting a little. All of you!
• Shouldn't Calculon's Walk of Fame star be in Los Angeles rather than New New York?Highlights
• Hey, Calculon's back!
• Your voice is so annoying!
• This episode exhibited a very classic feel.
• At first, I thought the 'Network Executives: Now Brainstorming' sign read 'Network Executives: Now Brainwashing.' The latter's a little more fitting, methinks.
• I love that after 14 years, All My Circuits' Human Friend is still simply known as Human Friend.
• The interpretation of the parallels between Calculon 2.0 and Futurama 2.0 (that's what we're calling the Comedy Central era now, right? Eh? Eh? )
are enchanting and add a lot of depth to be contemplated, even if Eric Rogers says it was just a "happy accident."Overall
While not comedy centric, this episode is highly satisfactory and holds up upon repeat viewings.8.5/10Now that's more like it. Always leave them wanting more -- that's the secret.