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Author Topic: Thoughts on 7ACV23 - Game of Tones - SPOILERS  (Read 16882 times)
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PEE Poll: How was this episodo?
1/10 Mike Rowe shat on this   -2 (2.4%)
2/10 Just kill this show already!   -0 (0%)
3/10 I blame Zoidberg for such an episode!   -1 (1.2%)
4/10 Not good at all.   -2 (2.4%)
5/10 Wait, what was this?   -2 (2.4%)
6/10 Mehh   -0 (0%)
7/10 Pretty good   -4 (4.9%)
8/10 Good!   -7 (8.5%)
9/10 Rowe did this...?   -27 (32.9%)
10/10 Futurama Reversed the Shark!   -37 (45.1%)
Total Voters: 82

Lyra405

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #120 on: 08-18-2013 15:50 »

I'm a bit late to the party with this episode, but to put it simply: fantastic.

9/10
lol

Crustacean
*
« Reply #121 on: 08-18-2013 16:10 »

So Digby remembers the events of December 31st 1999 perfectly and knows he parked the ship there, as he explains all that.

But he spends a thousand years looking for the ship?

So... what, he both remembers and doesn't remember the events of that night?
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #122 on: 08-18-2013 19:20 »

So Digby remembers the events of December 31st 1999 perfectly and knows he parked the ship there, as he explains all that.

But he spends a thousand years looking for the ship?

So... what, he both remembers and doesn't remember the events of that night?
Maybe he just never put two and two together........ Either that, or he's the stupidest Nibblonian ever.
Jezzem

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #123 on: 08-18-2013 19:23 »

Presumably he couldn't remember because he was drunk and then it all came flooding back when he got to Earth. Or something.
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #124 on: 08-18-2013 19:31 »

Maybe he just never felt the need to go get it until then.
RogerWilco81

Crustacean
*
« Reply #125 on: 08-18-2013 20:44 »

I really enjoyed the episode. I thought the "Nibblonian plot" was a bit "lazy" at first, but it grew on me...the shining moment was definitely the scene between Fry and his mom, not ashamed to admit it brought tears to my eyes. Fry telling Seymour to shrink and hide in his pocket made me smile too, and made up for how neglected poor Seymour seemed in BBS. Speaking of BBS...

This may cause some rancid fruit to be launched in my direction but I take it this episode confirmed that "Fry 2" has been retconned away with Fry's mom mentioning that she's been dreaming about him a lot since he disappeared
TheAnvil

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #126 on: 08-18-2013 20:47 »

Some of you guys look into stuff way too much...
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #127 on: 08-18-2013 21:27 »

Just a brief disclaimer before I begin my review proper: What follows is going to be mostly negative--but rest assured that I really did like this episode, and would count it among the best of this season, and of the new run in general. Still, it had a number of significant problems in terms of plotting (several of which have already been mentioned by other posters) that I feel the need to address. These criticisms do not diminish the fact that this was an admirably ambitious episode--and that, ultimately, it failed a lot less hard than a bunch of really crappy episodes did that were not nearly as ambitious.

So, yeah, I really liked this episode despite the many, many problems I had with it. Now, on to the review...

I just saw this episode for the first time last night, and I must say that I went into it with very high hopes (based partly on its plot description and partly on the high marks I saw it scoring on this very board); however, these hopes were at least partly dashed, and I'm doing my damnedest to puzzle out why exactly this episode disappointed me without simply dismissing it as yet another failed episode in the hit-or-miss new run. Because I don't think this episode was objectively bad; it was no "The Late Philip J. Fry" (which may be the only episode of the new run that I expected to be flawless and that was, in fact, flawless), but it certainly had a near-classic feel to it that plenty of episodes these past few years have failed to achieve. It's just that, well...it feels like it could have been a whole lot better, and with only the slightest of adjustments.

See, there is a lot about this episode that I admired: I thought it was a clever mix of a traditional flashback (like past Fry family episodes) and a lucid dream, a way of allowing Fry to reflect on his past while also having a degree of agency in what transpires on his last day in the twentieth century; I thought the incorporation of the Nibblonians, while not as epic and/or necessary as their appearances in past episodes, was clever; and I thought the PE crew's interactions with Fry's family and other such past acquaintances was really cool. But the part of this episode that fell flat for me--the part that has me feeling colder about this episode than I would like to--is the whole Fry-misses-his-mom thing.

To clarify, I don't think it's wrong for Fry to miss his mom; I don't doubt that Fry actively misses all of his loved ones from the past, and I certainly appreciate the glimpses the show has given us into his relationships with his family members. I just think that, in the context of "Game of Tones," the acuteness of Fry's aching for his mother's attention came out of nowhere. In part, I think this was a consequence of the show's diminished run-time: a lot of stuff happened in this episode--we were thrown right into the scary-spaceship-making-a-weird-noise story within the first five seconds--and I understand that time constraints make it difficult for the writers to craft stories quite as complete and cogent as they did in the original run. However, I think I would have been able to swallow Fry's (perfectly understandable, of course) near-obsession with spending an additional few moments with his mom if the episode had opened with him dreaming about her and in some way being unsatisfied with that dream. Not only would that have introduced the notion that Fry misses his mom--in a way similar to how his ice-fishing in "Cold Warriors" immediately tips us off that he's been missing his dad--but it would have laid in the idea of dreams, and Fry's own powerlessness to truly be with his family again.   

I guess my main complaint with the Fry's mom stuff--and I know this isn't entirely fair--is that this episode did not follow the precedent set by "The Luck of the Fryrish" or "Jurassic Bark" or "Cold Warriors." Those flashback episodes show us why Fry might be missing his brother or dog or dad at a specific moment in time; this episode introduced the concept of Fry missing his mom in the second act, and only after we'd been thrown so many other plot points (Fry reliving his last day in the past, Fry trying to identify the sound, Fry not-cheating on Leela by scoring with Michelle) that there was no way for it to not feel tacked on. Like I mentioned above, this episode isn't a straight-up flashback episode (and, in fact, I appreciate the twist it gives on that genre, by having Fry actively participate in his own reminiscence), and as such I suppose it was not obligated to follow the formula of past flashback episodes--but, I don't know, if the writers were really so determined to give us an episode exploring Fry's relationship with his mom, I wouldn't have minded a bit more formula and a bit less innovation. The other flashback episodes have done a near-seamless job of blending the past with the present, and of making us truly sympathize with Fry and his lost family--but this episode, because it already had a cool sci fi story going for it, seemed almost to be wasting its time on the Fry-misses-his-mom plot point.

Because, in theory, there are a bunch of potentially cooler, less familiar areas in which to take a story about Fry and the crew venturing through his subconscious. We got glimpses of it when the crew busted up Fry's family reunion and began actively interacting with his parents and brother, and when Leela yelled at Michelle for stealing her job of dumping Fry, but wouldn't it have been cool if this episode were more about Fry trying to reconcile all the great stuff that's happened to him in the future with all the great stuff he misses from the past? Wouldn't it have been cool for Fry to introduce his parents to his best friends? I know this was all just a dream, and as such Fry would not really be interacting with his real family members--but the episode seemed more than willing to act as if spending time with a dream version of his mom might bring Fry comfort, so why not apply the same logic to Fry bringing together, for the first time, his life in the past with his life in the future?

I'm just spit-balling here, and it's totally possible that what I have suggested in the preceding paragraph would have, in fact, been awful. But my point remains that this episode had a lot of potential directions in which to go, and in many ways it picked the safest option among them by giving us a version of TLotF or JB or CW that just so happens to be about Fry's mom. This is the most pronounced instance of the writers dropping the ball story-wise, but there were some other issues I took with the manner in which this episode progressed. For starters, why did Farnsworth think that Fry's recognition of the sound the ship was making made him the only person who could save them from their potential demise? Why did they make a point of saying the ship was two weeks away from Earth when there was really no reason for it to take over thirteen days for Fry to dream literally two minutes' worth of December 31st, 1999? And how how how was Nibbler able to place Fry in his own mother's dream, when the Nibblonians cannot travel back in time (and she was obviously dreaming in the twenty-first, not the thirty-first, century), have not been shown to be able to enter another person's consciousness beyond manipulating a mind to make it seem like they are speaking English, and in all likelihood (barring an eerily specific prophesy from the sages) did not know back in the 2000s that in the year 3013 Fry would miss his mom and want to visit her in her dreams and therefore could not do the appropriate work back then to allow Fry cross-millennial access to his mom's subconscious?

Which brings me to another gripe: The end of this episode reminded me, somewhat distractingly, of the virtual reality stuff at the end of "Near-Death Wish." This is not to say that the last scene was not a near-tear-inducing mix of beautiful music and sweet dialogue and lovely animation--just that, you know, this is well-trod territory for Futurama. That said, though, this episode was very funny, very sweet, and thoroughly enjoyable in spite of its flaws. I don't feel right giving it anything less than a 9/10, because I know this is one of the best things the show's done in the past few seasons--but, man, I also can't help but dwell on all the ways this episode could have been made even better.
cartoonlover27

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #128 on: 08-18-2013 21:36 »

I enjoyed this episode. The plot itself was a little corny. That said, the jokes and emotion made up for it. It's very nice to hear Bender's " Let's go already!" again and Frank Welker as drunk Nibbler was the second best thing I ever heard.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #129 on: 08-18-2013 22:07 »
« Last Edit on: 08-18-2013 22:09 »

I gave this a 10/10. I've never given a perfect score before. However, that they managed to get together Fry's family and the crew to interact (from our perspective), even if just in a dream, to hilarious effect; the menace of the tones and impending doom, humorously contrasted with the real reason behind the tones; and the emotional subplot all combined to make a masterpiece.

Seeing the PE crew and Fry family together tripped me out--I felt the same way I do when two groups of people I know in different contexts are in the same room with each other, having dinner and laughing and talking (e.g., like my family and my husband's family during dinner last night). And the casualness with which the PE crew were pigging out at the Fry family's table just cracked me up. I'm going to have to get a screenshot of Amy totally chowing down, her cheeks full; it's always funny when her dormant overeating rears its head.

Yeah, the explanation behind the alien ship was kind of cheap and contrived, but I could forgive that because the actual result was so funny and clever. The tones sounded foreboding, and the ship looked high tech and menacing, like it contained a race of beings intending to destroy Earth. I really liked the reveal that it was a teeny Nibblonian ship, and the scene of Nibbler and Digby getting so shitfaced after their important mission to save the universe was great ("Bye bye keys").

I don't think the emotion was forced at all. The longing for one's mom's approval and love is so primal and ingrained; even if Fry seemed at first so nonchalant and indifferent to seeing his family again, I think it's natural for these dormant feelings to come welling up, seemingly out of nowhere. I could buy this emotional reunion between mother and son, even if Fry's mom has always been portrayed as indifferent. It was nice to see this hitherto-unseen dimension to Fry's relationship with his mom, so I really appreciated the focus here.

My mom and sister are visiting, and when they saw tears in my eyes, they were pretty surprised (like, "Why are you crying over a cartoon?"). I should've hugged my mom right then and there, but she probably would've thought I was a weirdo at that moment (we have exchanged many hugs and kisses during her visit here). How wonderful that I have family bonding opps while this awesome Futurama episode aired. smile)
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #130 on: 08-18-2013 22:17 »

Question for those saying it's like or almost "classic" Futurama. Are you referring to the best episodes in the show's history, or the original run in general? Just asking because I found this episode superior to 90% of the Fox era.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #131 on: 08-18-2013 22:39 »

Just rewatched this episode, and while I do still stand by my original post--the stuff with Fry's mom does feel over-the-top and out-of-nowhere, and Fry's desire to spend more time with her, while understandable, is portrayed in a kind of an unwarranted-ly melodramatic way--I will praise the writers for at least referencing Fry's ambivalence about his family in general (if not his mother specifically) before he actually arrives at his house in the dream. I had forgotten about Fry's couple of offhanded lines about his family (pairing "Kaboom cereal" and "my family" as two things that are gone forever, and "seeing my family" and "falling into the cryogenic tube" as two really lousy things that happened to him on New Year's Eve), and I think there's some definite truth to his line to Seymour about convincing himself his family wasn't so great as a way of preventing himself from missing something he'll never be able to regain (though, you know, he's pretty damn nostalgic and rose-colored-glasses-y about his family in previous flashback episodes).

So, while I still think this episode suffers from some sloppiness, I do have to give it credit where credit is due and acknowledge that the writers at least tried not to make the Fry's mom thing come from out of nowhere in act two. That is still more or less the impression I get from this episode, though, especially considering the fact that act three abandons the idea of him missing his mom almost entirely to focus on the Nibblonian thing. But the ending is still really, really beautiful; I got chills watching it the second time around (and thanks to cB for identifying the song that plays; I had some free MP3 credits on Amazon, which I used to purchase it), and it is definitely of the same stock as the endings to Fryrish and its ilk.

Also:

I could buy this emotional reunion between mother and son, even if Fry's mom has always been portrayed as indifferent.

For my part, my complaints about the inclusion of Fry's mom as such a major part of this episode's plot have virtually nothing to do with her characterization. In fact, I thought she was more or less her usual, semi-aloof self; I loved her screaming at the Charlie Brown special, and her telling Fry he had her undivided attention when the game was over. She was a little bit warmer towards him than perhaps we've seen in the past, but that seems only natural because this is probably the most we've seen of his mother in the whole series.

Question for those saying it's like or almost "classic" Futurama. Are you referring to the best episodes in the show's history, or the original run in general? Just asking because I found this episode superior to 90% of the Fox era.

I'm referring to the best episode's in the show's history--which almost entirely happen to fall within the original run. "Classic Futurama" is, to me, something established in the first four seasons: smart humor, carefully-constructed stories, strong characterization. It is on display in such greats as "The Problem With Popplers," "War is the H-Word," "Parasites Lost," "Roswell that Ends Well," "The Sting," and many, many others. Such movies as "Into the Wild Green Yonder"--and such episodes as "The Late Philip J. Fry," "The Prisoner of Benda," "Cold Warriors," "Reincarnation," "Fun on a Bun," "Fry and Leela's Big Fling," and now "Game of Tones"--are new-run offerings that contain the aforementioned elements of the classic era. So, to me, they are separated from the first 72 episodes by time, not quality. In other words, while I consider something like TLPJF to be a classic episode of Futurama, I would not say it is a part of the classic era. 'Tis a small distinction, but a distinction nonetheless.
The Sophisticated Shut In

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #132 on: 08-19-2013 00:06 »

I just rewatched the opening sequence, and now I'm wondering if there's some fridge humor in it. We think we see a huge spaceship blow up a planet, and later learn it was a tiny spaceship blowing up a planet.

But what if it was actually a kitten-sized spaceship blowing up a kitten-sized planet?  laff


Speaking of BBS...

This may cause some rancid fruit to be launched in my direction but I take it this episode confirmed that "Fry 2" has been retconned away with Fry's mom mentioning that she's been dreaming about him a lot since he disappeared

Actually this could work either way. Viewers who never saw BBS will assume that by Fry's "disappearance" his mother means December 31st 1999 - but if you're going by the perspective offered in Bender's Big Score, her feelings could still apply, because Fry 2 / Lars does in fact do the exact same thing. He leaves on a boat to the North Pole (a voyage which takes a year or two, if I remember rightly), returns to New York and then realizes he is Lars - at which point he runs out of his apartment to the Cryogenics Building and freezes himself. From his family's perspective, he surely just disappears. They may not even know he returned to New York at all after the North Pole trip. It's always struck me as ironic. His return the first time spares his family the pain and uncertainty of his disappearance, but he unthinkingly inflicts it on them anyway 12 years later.


And how how how was Nibbler able to place Fry in his own mother's dream, when the Nibblonians cannot travel back in time (and she was obviously dreaming in the twenty-first, not the thirty-first, century), have not been shown to be able to enter another person's consciousness beyond manipulating a mind to make it seem like they are speaking English, and in all likelihood (barring an eerily specific prophesy from the sages) did not know back in the 2000s that in the year 3013 Fry would miss his mom and want to visit her in her dreams and therefore could not do the appropriate work back then to allow Fry cross-millennial access to his mom's subconscious?


I had a number of interesting (and some cruel) thoughts about this.

A) Perhaps the Nibblonians (knowing they have not perfected the secret of time travel, and knowing Fry's special brain will one day prove invaluable in saving the universe) have been monitoring the brain activity of his entire family. At the time, they wouldn't have known Fry was his own grandfather, and might have examined the brain activity of his parents in an attempt to discover how he lacks the delta brainwave. The Brainspawn were certainly skeptical when Fry described the Nibblonians as "good" in The Why of Fry, and they do have a history of interfering for the greater good. Fry would naturally be furious if he found out they had been observing his family, but I wouldn't be so surprised. The Nibblonians seem an "end justifies the means" kind of race.

B) It's possible Nibbler was lying. What we actually see is Fry's mother in bed asleep, obviously troubled and missing her son. We also see Fry asleep. We're meant to put two and two together and assume they're sharing the same dream, obviously . . . but what if they're not? Nibbler seemed to think it was important his species "repay" Fry for all he's done for them, and with good reason. After all, he wouldn't be in the future, missing his mother, if Nibbler hadn't interfered, which makes it Nibbler's fault Fry is unhappy. Fry might also be a lot less willing to make sacrifices in future, if he only ever seems to lose by it.

We've already seen that Nibbler can alter perception in others (so he appears to be speaking English) and that he can erase memory. It doesn't seem impossible for him to plant a false dream in Fry's subconscious to give him closure. The facts of the Rose Bowl game would be easy to find, and it doesn't take a genius to work out how a mother might feel about her missing son. Could Nibbler justify it as being necessary for Fry's happiness? And would he? Probably not, but it's an interesting question, and if so, it makes Fry's mother's unhappiness even more tragic.

C) It's possible the whole cross-time dream sequence is a reference to an episode of Brit show Doctor Who. The cast (Clara, Jenny, Madam Vastra, Strax and River Song) have a "conference call" across time by taking some sort of hallucinatory drug and falling asleep. (It's terrible science, but the episode is pretty full of that.) Despite being at different points in time and space, they're able to meet up and converse in a dream state. It aired in June, I think, so it's unlikely the Futurama writers were inspired by it, but it's a similarity.

And the casualness with which the PE crew were pigging out at the Fry family's table just cracked me up. I'm going to have to get a screenshot of Amy totally chowing down, her cheeks full; it's always funny when her dormant overeating rears its head.


That scene was gold. Fry Sr and Bender's interactions were also great : "The waffle-iron's turned on us!" big grin

I need a screensaver of that dinner. I kept freezing it to watch the crew stuffing their faces in the background. And Zoidberg's "Is that a Captain Crunch casserole?" - rudely elbowing Fry out of the way - too funny. Sending in Zoidberg is the perfect way to break up a family occasion.  laff
DannyJC13

Space Pope
****
« Reply #133 on: 08-19-2013 16:24 »

Some of you guys look into stuff way too much...

Incorrect, we're Futurama fans, we wouldn't be doing out job properly if we didn't look into it deep enough.
SilverWolf

Crustacean
*
« Reply #134 on: 08-19-2013 16:47 »

PEEL needs a 'like' button for that, Danny. Amen.

Lost My Phone

Professor
*
« Reply #135 on: 08-19-2013 18:46 »

The way Comedy Central advertised it misled me. They made it sound like the episode would be a tearjerker. Well, that's what it sounded like to me anyway. But I guess it was kind of sad, but not as much as episodes like "Luck of the Fryrish" and "Jurassic Bark".
MeatablePie

Professor
*
« Reply #136 on: 08-19-2013 18:54 »

What?
Michael Rowe wrote this?
Well if the show comes back, I'm not going to doubt Rowe a little more.
I mean I will, but just a little less after this great episode.

9/10, the best episode of the 7th season so far.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #137 on: 08-20-2013 00:38 »

To clarify, I don't think it's wrong for Fry to miss his mom; I don't doubt that Fry actively misses all of his loved ones from the past, and I certainly appreciate the glimpses the show has given us into his relationships with his family members. I just think that, in the context of "Game of Tones," the acuteness of Fry's aching for his mother's attention came out of nowhere. In part, I think this was a consequence of the show's diminished run-time: a lot of stuff happened in this episode--we were thrown right into the scary-spaceship-making-a-weird-noise story within the first five seconds--and I understand that time constraints make it difficult for the writers to craft stories quite as complete and cogent as they did in the original run. However, I think I would have been able to swallow Fry's (perfectly understandable, of course) near-obsession with spending an additional few moments with his mom if the episode had opened with him dreaming about her and in some way being unsatisfied with that dream. Not only would that have introduced the notion that Fry misses his mom--in a way similar to how his ice-fishing in "Cold Warriors" immediately tips us off that he's been missing his dad--but it would have laid in the idea of dreams, and Fry's own powerlessness to truly be with his family again.   

I guess my main complaint with the Fry's mom stuff--and I know this isn't entirely fair--is that this episode did not follow the precedent set by "The Luck of the Fryrish" or "Jurassic Bark" or "Cold Warriors." Those flashback episodes show us why Fry might be missing his brother or dog or dad at a specific moment in time; this episode introduced the concept of Fry missing his mom in the second act, and only after we'd been thrown so many other plot points (Fry reliving his last day in the past, Fry trying to identify the sound, Fry not-cheating on Leela by scoring with Michelle) that there was no way for it to not feel tacked on. Like I mentioned above, this episode isn't a straight-up flashback episode (and, in fact, I appreciate the twist it gives on that genre, by having Fry actively participate in his own reminiscence), and as such I suppose it was not obligated to follow the formula of past flashback episodes--but, I don't know, if the writers were really so determined to give us an episode exploring Fry's relationship with his mom, I wouldn't have minded a bit more formula and a bit less innovation. The other flashback episodes have done a near-seamless job of blending the past with the present, and of making us truly sympathize with Fry and his lost family--but this episode, because it already had a cool sci fi story going for it, seemed almost to be wasting its time on the Fry-misses-his-mom plot point.

Because, in theory, there are a bunch of potentially cooler, less familiar areas in which to take a story about Fry and the crew venturing through his subconscious. We got glimpses of it when the crew busted up Fry's family reunion and began actively interacting with his parents and brother, and when Leela yelled at Michelle for stealing her job of dumping Fry, but wouldn't it have been cool if this episode were more about Fry trying to reconcile all the great stuff that's happened to him in the future with all the great stuff he misses from the past? Wouldn't it have been cool for Fry to introduce his parents to his best friends? I know this was all just a dream, and as such Fry would not really be interacting with his real family members--but the episode seemed more than willing to act as if spending time with a dream version of his mom might bring Fry comfort, so why not apply the same logic to Fry bringing together, for the first time, his life in the past with his life in the future?

I'm in love with everything you said here. What you just described was exactly what I expected from this episode when it began but ended up not being. You were able to say all of that far more eloquently than I could have hoped to.

This is a big reason I tend not to go easy on the newer episodes and even episodes like this that get so much right and have such great potential and yet end up wasting it...because I can't forgive laziness. If fans like yourself can see so plainly what would have made this such a better episode, why were the writers unable to realize it? The only answer I can come up with is that they simply weren't determined enough to do so. They came up with the premise and seemed to figure that alone was good enough, and then just filled in the blanks instead of taking the time to figure out how to follow through to ensure that they brought it to its full potential. Many of the routes they took in this episode seemed very much like the easiest one to take.

One of my biggest problems with the emotional aspect of this episode is it feels boiled down to its simplest form. Fry missing his mother is a good issue to focus on, but not only did it feel like it came out of nowhere without being established well (which as I explained was my biggest problem with it), it also neglected to then take the issue and explore it in depth. I wanted to know what sort of things he wanted to talk about with his mother. I wanted him to more greatly acknowledge the discrepancy between her indifference to her children and her love for them. Anything that was more clever than simply "Fry loves and misses his mother and vice versa." I didn't need an episode to say or show that to me to assume it was true...it just felt unnecessary when like you said Gorky, there were so many other better-established plot points to spend time on in this episode.

My favorite episodes of Futurama took emotional issues and then tried to explore them in depth. They managed not only to be sweet, but also to be ambiguous and sometimes even devastating (Parasites Lost, Time Keeps On Slippin', Jurassic Bark). Sweetness is nice but it's also easy to achieve from a writing standpoint. I expect more from the writers of Futurama not just because I'm hard to please but because they've already set that bar for themselves.

I totally agree with you Gorky about the idea that the episode should have explored the issue more of Fry reconciling his feelings of missing his past life while also enjoying his future life. It's a concept the show has definitely explored before but not necessarily to the extent that this episode had the opportunity to do and even seemed to be hinting at when those two worlds began interacting as you pointed out. At least to me, that would have been a far more interesting and satisfying road for the show to go down so close to the end of its run.
PeskyOwl

Crustacean
*
« Reply #138 on: 08-20-2013 00:41 »

My wish-list of things to see in Futurama before the end included some kind of closure with Fry's mom. Wish granted.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #139 on: 08-20-2013 01:21 »

Honestly that concept never even occurred to me before this episode, so the idea that people were hoping for it is kind of hard for me to swallow.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #140 on: 08-20-2013 02:51 »

I'm guessing it was kind of assumed following "Cold Warriors", where his dad got an episode.
Univers

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #141 on: 08-20-2013 06:28 »

Excellent episode ! This may be the last season, but at least it ends on a great note.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #142 on: 08-20-2013 15:58 »

However, I think I would have been able to swallow Fry's (perfectly understandable, of course) near-obsession with spending an additional few moments with his mom if the episode had opened with him dreaming about her and in some way being unsatisfied with that dream. Not only would that have introduced the notion that Fry misses his mom--in a way similar to how his ice-fishing in "Cold Warriors" immediately tips us off that he's been missing his dad--but it would have laid in the idea of dreams, and Fry's own powerlessness to truly be with his family again.

Has anyone ever lost a loved one before, like years ago--only to dream about that person, even if you weren't even thinking about him/her? That happened to me like a week ago, with my brother who died over 25 years ago. The mind is a fascinating, deep, meandering place. Things that I hadn't thought of in years will suddenly come up to the surface, maybe because of a song, or more than likely, a smell.

I was very touched by Fry's wrenching pleas that he just wanted to "see" his mom. I can understand it very well. As people get older they have an appreciation for parents that they never had when they were younger, and compound that with Fry having "lost" his family.

Quote
I guess my main complaint with the Fry's mom stuff--and I know this isn't entirely fair--is that this episode did not follow the precedent set by "The Luck of the Fryrish" or "Jurassic Bark" or "Cold Warriors." Those flashback episodes show us why Fry might be missing his brother or dog or dad at a specific moment in time; this episode introduced the concept of Fry missing his mom in the second act

Frankly, I'm pretty lukewarm to those episodes you mentioned. The first time watching JB, yes, I did shed copious tears and felt like I was gutshot. If it had followed that formula, I might have felt differently about this episode (i.e., it probably would not have felt as fresh to me). And CW--talk about an ending coming completely out of left field. I hated that ending. I said so in my review when it first came out, and I'll say it now: Fry's dad getting abruptly emotional and affectionate was preceded by belittlement and mistreatment of his son. I saw no sign of his dad feeling anything that he expressed at the end. I felt it was a fake and cheap resolution to the episode; I do not feel that way about this one.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #143 on: 08-20-2013 16:47 »
« Last Edit on: 08-20-2013 19:51 »

I felt the same way about the ending of Cold Warriors, sparky, glad to hear somebody else say it. Not only did it come out of nowhere and feel disgenuine, but it was incredibly cheesy to the point that it felt like a rehash of a lesson about parent-child relationships from an after school special. It was neither smart nor deep.

While I don't necessarily feel that the emotions displayed in this episode felt fake (although perhaps a little, I do find it similar to the situation with Cold Warriors because Fry's mom has also never been shown to be particularly loving or caring...in fact from the beginning of the series I always figured that the whole point was that Fry's mom and dad were bad parents, and I'm disappointed that conecpt has been retconned for cheap emotional punches because it seems to neglect the idea that in reality there truly are bad, irredeemable parents, which there most certainly are) and could get behind the idea of Fry missing his mom and family, I definitely found it to be cheap for the reasons I've already explained. As Gorky and others have pointed out, it felt like a tacked on addition to an episode already overpacked with ideas, and there wasn't enough setup to justify it, regardless of how sweet it was or how believable the emotions were. It felt like the writers went out of their way to fit it in without finding a clever enough way of doing so, causing it to simply not make sense from a story standpoint.
Beamer

Space Pope
****
« Reply #144 on: 08-21-2013 03:07 »

I felt the same way about the ending of Cold Warriors, sparky, glad to hear somebody else say it. Not only did it come out of nowhere and feel disgenuine, but it was incredibly cheesy to the point that it felt like a rehash of a lesson about parent-child relationships from an after school special. It was neither smart nor deep.

I agree completely.

Even if the more emotional episodes don't make you tear up, the twist at the end of The Luck of the Fryrish (and, to a far lesser extent, Game of Tones) was hinted at throughout the course of the episode and written incredibly well. Cold Warriors' ending just felt absolutely tacked on without so much as a second thought. Like, "Oh, we're doing another episode about Fry's past, better add in something sappy at the end!" I really did not care for that episode at all. Especially when the "common cold" plot (which was originally an abandoned idea from the original run) had already been done far better by Pat Verrone in the damn comics of all things!
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #145 on: 08-21-2013 03:45 »

I actually really love "Cold Warriors"; it's one of my favourite episodes of 6B. However, I agree that the ending feels incredibly forced. Everything else is spot-on though.
MuchAdo

Professor
*
« Reply #146 on: 08-21-2013 04:24 »

Actually.. THIS EPISODE MADE NO SENSE, TELL THE PEOPLE!
Fnord
Starship Captain
****
« Reply #147 on: 08-21-2013 07:18 »

Excellent episode ! This may be the last season, but at least it ends on a great note.

Well, technically, six ...
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #148 on: 08-21-2013 15:45 »

Has anyone ever lost a loved one before, like years ago--only to dream about that person, even if you weren't even thinking about him/her? That happened to me like a week ago, with my brother who died over 25 years ago. The mind is a fascinating, deep, meandering place. Things that I hadn't thought of in years will suddenly come up to the surface, maybe because of a song, or more than likely, a smell.

I was very touched by Fry's wrenching pleas that he just wanted to "see" his mom. I can understand it very well. As people get older they have an appreciation for parents that they never had when they were younger, and compound that with Fry having "lost" his family.

I had a dream about my aunt a few nights ago--she died about a year ago--and on rare occasions I will dream of my grandmother (who died in 2007); you're definitely right that such reveries can come completely unbidden, seemingly at random. That's how real life works; real life is full of inexplicable stuff. However, in some respects a work of fiction has to be, you know, more tightly-plotted than real life. And, in the case of this episode, I definitely needed some set-up for Fry to be so hung-up on his mom. I can appreciate, on an emotional level, the notion that people can miss their loved ones more strongly at certain points than they had in the past for no real reason; however, on an intellectual level, I cannot take this for granted in a work of fiction and need some kind of in-story explanation for why a character is feeling a certain way at a certain time. 

And CW--talk about an ending coming completely out of left field. I hated that ending. I said so in my review when it first came out, and I'll say it now: Fry's dad getting abruptly emotional and affectionate was preceded by belittlement and mistreatment of his son. I saw no sign of his dad feeling anything that he expressed at the end. I felt it was a fake and cheap resolution to the episode; I do not feel that way about this one.

I disagree. If anything, the ending of CW is more poignant because Fry's dad had been treating him so poorly throughout the episode. That ending, to me, is about deconstructing Fry's feelings for his father by presenting us with a story where his dad treats him like crap--and then showing us that, preceding this abuse, his dad explained the reasoning behind being so tough on his son and expressed his love for him.

Therefore, what we had been led to believe was a sad story about Fry being unable to connect with his father is rendered into a story about Fry learning to live with his less-than-fuzzy relationship with a dad who, at heart, loves him and wants what's best for him. I know that the end of the episode is, chronologically, the beginning of the story in the past about Fry catching a cold and not getting to send a guinea pig to space, but that's what makes it so good; if the episode had ended with Fry's dad consoling him about his loss at the science fair, that would have felt false to me. The fact that he felt such tenderness for his son when the two of them were on fishing trip where one of them almost froze to death, is far more believable to me than his dad showing him some compassion after losing a silly contest.

So, yeah, I really love "Cold Warriors" and would rate it above this episode. If nothing else, CW presents us with a new take on Fry's relationship with his father, without turning his dad into an overly-sympathetic character; "Game of Tones," meanwhile, kind of picks the sweetest aspects of Fry's mom's character and glosses over what we have seen in past episodes to be a relationship just as emotionally neglectful as Fry's relationship with his dad. I guess what I'm saying is that Fry's connection to his mom in this episode rings a bit false to me, whereas his relationship with his dad in CW is spot-on. The ending of that episode, to me, does not negate the fact that Fry had a kind of shitty upbringing; instead, it demonstrates how Fry might have been able to survive in a household that, on the outside, seemed loveless--because, you know, he got that his dad loved him despite being unable to necessarily express it properly.
Beamer

Space Pope
****
« Reply #149 on: 08-21-2013 16:08 »

I still feel that the emotional aspect of CW was forced and far from eloquently-written. Though maybe that's just the cynic in me talking, coupled with the fact that I have little to no relationship with anyone in my family. Regardless, Futurama's done it better, and the story beats/structure were pretty much copied verbatim from those very episodes.
SolidSnake

Professor
*
« Reply #150 on: 08-21-2013 17:40 »

Well, it looks like the score for this ep on CGEF has finally dropped. But it was by 3 reviews.

One was claiming to be Beamer, who complained about "Too Many Plotholes", one was someone named Shane, which had a reasonable review about giving it a 2/5, and one was obviously a kind of spammer, since his name was "Cancel IT FAAASSTER!".
SilverWolf

Crustacean
*
« Reply #151 on: 08-21-2013 19:52 »

coupled with the fact that I have little to no relationship with anyone in my family.

This is how I feel about all these kinda episodes. I have no relationship with my parents at all (they're alive lol) and I liked Fry because we were similiar, and than connection with the character happened about 10 years ago. So now it feels weird, but I'm projecting, I know.

Tachyon

Space Pope
****
« Reply #152 on: 08-21-2013 22:46 »


All my life I had a terrible relationship with my (first) mother.  It wasn't until about six months before she got cancer that we started getting along.  So after a lifetime of hell we had a good relationship for half a year.  But the primary reason the ep got to me is that I'm an empath, and strongly mirror the emotions that I perceive in others.

(10/10)

JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #153 on: 08-21-2013 23:56 »
« Last Edit on: 08-22-2013 00:02 »

I would consider myself an empath as well...that said, characters on Futurama are not real people, so it's harder for me to care when one of them shows a blanket emotion like saying "I'm sad" or "I miss this person." Now hear me out: I'm not saying that I can't identify with those characters and their emotions to the point of being moved. It's happened before and it could happen again. But in order for that to happen I need a little more to chew on than a simple display of basic emotions without much depth or information to back up those feelings. That was what the ending of this episode lacked; it painted a cheap broad stroke of emotions without letting us in enough on the details behind them to actually have to process anything difficult. It might have been able to make me feel but it didn't make me think. And that's what I find to be most important when it comes to empathizing with fictional characters as opposed to people in real life. Showing us that a character has emotions is easy, making us understand why and how in a way that may not have occurred to us otherwise is what makes good original writing.
MYK

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #154 on: 08-22-2013 00:01 »

Way to go Futurama. This was as good, if not better than Fun on a Bun. Really happy to see the Nibblonians back, and the sentimentality of this episode will enter that plateau with the episodes about Fry's Dog/Brother/Dad, Leela's parents, and the original series finale.

Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #155 on: 08-22-2013 00:12 »

Well, it looks like the score for this ep on CGEF has finally dropped. But it was by 3 reviews.

One was claiming to be Beamer, who complained about "Too Many Plotholes", one was someone named Shane, which had a reasonable review about giving it a 2/5, and one was obviously a kind of spammer, since his name was "Cancel IT FAAASSTER!".
As well as one totalnerduk, with a pretty unsurprising review.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #156 on: 08-22-2013 00:45 »

I just looked through them, and there was a 1/5 review from somebody called "Beamer", which seemed pretty contradictory to what the PEELer has said here.
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #157 on: 08-22-2013 00:52 »

Looking through CGEF reviews is like masturbating. I try and tell myself I'm better off without it, and immediately hate myself once I've finished.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #158 on: 08-22-2013 00:58 »

Lawl.

Also, I actually was surprised by tnuk's review. Normally I somewhat agree with him on most points, but that certainly wasn't the case here.
cartoonlover27

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #159 on: 08-22-2013 01:01 »

Looking through CGEF reviews is like masturbating. I try and tell myself I'm better off without it, and immediately hate myself once I've finished.

Amen.
Anyway, CGEF is just fans reviewing anyway, so I try not to let it bother me too much if I don't agree.
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