Ain't got no cash. Ain't got no style. Ladies vomit when I smile. But does Zoidberg worry? Feh! You wish! Bee happy!Story
The story overall managed to be cute and cruel at the same time. I really like how we got to see two story arcs play out parallel to each other, especially since they connected to each other at certain points. These connections were particularly strong at the beginning and the end of the episode.Plot
I really like what Inquisitor Hein said earlier about how this episode played on the viewer's incorrect expectations. I was expecting Bender's bug bomb that resembled a grenade to kerplode while Fry was distracting him. I was expecting Dr. John Zoidberg, "M"D, to botch the operation that requires a "skilled surgeon." I was also expecting the smell-bound Marianne to dislike Zoidberg's stench at the end of the episode and I especially was not expecting her to dislike the smell of flowers.
Marianne's inability to smell was pretty predictable, but that's not necessarily a problem. The fact that Marianne started off anosmic and later discovered her disgust for the smell of flowers fits the bill for comedy. Leela is a spaceship captain that is a cyclops and therefore has no depth perception. Bender is a bending robot that rarely serves his primary function of bending. Zoidberg is a terrible doctor that does not know human anatomy and has claws instead of hands. The Professor is a senile genius that does not know how to teach.Funny
This episode, while not the funniest, definitely bore a lot of humor that I strongly appreciated. Zoidberg is usually a character that serves as a plot device for other characters' story arcs, but his weirdness really gets a chance to shine when a story revolves around him. I verily vaunt the vermilion vermin's vivace verbage: A real live date in a physical place that exists!
Outside of the giant crab's quotes, I found it funny to see Leela overly excited at Randy's appearance. Although I'm displeased with the lack of handling on the matter of his return, I thoroughly enjoyed how Roberto, the crazed criminal, pled for cooperation under the Geneva Convention.
My favorite line from this episode: It's Gardenia imperialis. You can brew it into a tea, if you like severe stomach cramps.
I think this line appeals to me the most since I currently live in the third world and stomach cramps are a little more frequent than I would prefer.
Bender was true to his evil form throughout this episode. I loved his Destroy All Humans-esque stance while decreeing his will to be the best tap dancer "of all time!" His evilness may have seemed like a bit much at some points, like when he merrily danced directly a six year-old's dead body. I think it was well-justified, though, as it drove the plot forward, especially since we eventually learned that adorable little Tonya is even more evil than Bender. In the DVD commentary for Amazon Women in the Mood, David X. Cohen explained that you can get away with socially unacceptable things in comedy so long as the perpetrating character is chastised by the other characters.
They certainly did a great job at making Tonya cute at some parts while giving her an evil grin at other parts. Speaking of new characters, Marianne looked, sounded, and acted like a Disney princess. Zindy played a role in the plot but obviously wasn't very well-developed due to her short amount of time on screen. I found it fitting, though sad, that even Zindy was disgusted by Zoidberg and dumped him almost as soon as they met.Classic
Watching concurrent storylines play out parallel to each other seems like and element they haven't used much since the original run. The confluence of the multiple storylines wrapping up in the same location at the same time felt remeniscent of season 4.
There were also a couple of nice callbacks to season 1. The Parolee's Choice buses had Lightspeed Briefs advertisements on the rear. Randy also repeated one of his lines from I, Roommate like he did in Calculon 2.0: The robot has to go!Visuals
The Futurama artists must have a fun job, since they constantly get to create new characters, new designs or outfits for existing characters, and new locales. I really enjoyed the tap dancing portions of the episode, especially when we got to see interesting creatures move about vigorously, often in interested outfits. I think it could have been a bit better, though, since most episodes of the new run have wowed me at a few points. For example, they should have given Bender's footcups tap dance shoe-style modifications.
There were a couple of nice vistas, though, despite the lack of adventures to strange, exotic places. For one, Bender's finishing pose after tap dancing in the Planet Express conference area exhibited an interesting sense of perspective that we don't normally see in tradionally-animated cartoons. (One of Bender's hands was larger than the other, since it was closer to the camera.) Additionally, we watched Randy watching the gelatinous blob dance by looking through the transparent blob from backstage.
Also, in this episode I could actually see Zoidberg's stench. Does that mean that I now possess the sense of smision? Gripes
The only joke that didn't really work for me was Zindy's line about the stench being "like Comic-Con in a submarine." I think this joke could have worked fine in a different context by a different character, but a first date seems like an odd place to put this line. Overall, it seemed a little too niche and juvenile to be thrown into a contextually irrelevant situation.
As for the story, I am a little bothered by Roberto's unexplained return. I'm glad that he returned, but I'm un-glad that his return is unexplained. As for Roberto being able to smell Zoidberg, I wouldn't mind seeing a robot smell something in Futurama if it were a one-off joke, as the rule of funny permits such lapses of logic. I don't like seeing this as an important plot point, though, especially since they only used Roberto for one scene and didn't explain his resurrection or return.
I don't really buy into the explanations that Roberto was revived through a back-up unit and that he must have had some sort of smelling function installed. It already annoys me how they constantly tweak the mythology in this show, but to completely avoid any attempt at an explanation just seems like lazy writing.
Also, you don't learn a good smell from a bad smell. We are neurologically programmed to detect certain elements of smell and taste as pleasant and others as unpleasant. That is why poisonous foods tend to taste bad. Sure, there is some room for variability between species and between individuals within a species, but 99.9% of humans would dislike Zoidberg's stench, regardless of conditioning.Highlights
• "Not The Episode With The Dead Dog"
• We got to see a classic cartoon in the opening sequence again!
Why is that so rare lately, even in episodes with the longer version of the opening?
• Greetings, merchant! I need something beautiful and cheap for a lady who is one of those things.
• Oooh, I like the way you hit!
• Pigs and skunks, limburger cheese, and New Jersey. Haha, another New Jersey joke.
• "NNY Recreation Center: Please Give Back Our Basketball"
• The Professor inexplicably referring to Fry as Orange Joe.
• Uh... It's like summer... with a dab of vanilla and honey... or maybe winter with some gravy on it.
• Fry's indifference to the evilness of Bender's plan to sabotage/maim Tonya or Leela's outrage over said plan.
• Tonya... Harding.
• Why? Whyyyyy?! What did I not do yet to deserve this?!
• "Nose Transplant In Progress: Don't Blow It!"
• I revelled in the simultaneous, head-to-head tap-off ragtime score, which I assume was an original piece of music made for this episode.
• The juxtapostion of Bender blithely eating a hotdog while everyone else witnesses Tonya's heart attack in fear.Overall
This episode will probably not stand out in memory, but it will be consistently enjoyable upon repeat views.8/10Smell you later.
I can't believe "smell ya later" replaced goodbye.