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Author Topic: So, I don't know if anybody has done this yet, but...  (Read 403 times)
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JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« on: 01-31-2014 23:43 »
« Last Edit on: 02-04-2014 00:52 »

A few months ago I went into super-OCD mode and decided to divide all the episodes up by who wrote them using the Wikipedia list of episodes page. I put this all into a Word document and used it to decide who my favorite and least favorite writers were on the show. While I don't necessarily care to share my results as it doesn't really matter, I decided to share the list in case nobody had made this kind of thing before and in case people were interested in seeing all the episodes grouped together by who wrote them. So here you go (ordered by how early their first writing credit was):

David X. Cohen: Space Pilot 3000 (cowriter), Xmas Story, Anthology Of Interest I (The Un-Freeze Of A Lifetime), The Day The Earth Stood Stupid (story cowriter), Anthology Of Interest II (Raiders Of The Lost Arcade), The Why Of Fry, Bender's Big Score (story cowriter), The Beast With A Billion Backs (story cowriter), Bender's Game (teleplay and story cowriter), Into The Wild Green Yonder (story cowriter), Rebirth (teleplay writer, story cowriter), Free Will Hunting
Matt Groening: Space Pilot 3000 (cowriter), In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela (story cowriter)
Ken Keeler: The Series Has Landed, When Aliens Attack, Put Your Head On My Shoulders, Anthology Of Interest I (Dial L For Leela), The Honking, Time Keeps On Slippin', Godfellas, The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings, Bender's Big Score (teleplay writer, story cowriter), Into The Wild Green Yonder (teleplay, story cowriter), The Prisoner Of Benda, The Tip Of The Zoidberg, Overclockwise, The Six Million Dollar Mon, Forty Percent Leadbelly, Meanwhile
Eric Horsted: I, Roommate, A Flight To Remember, The Lesser Of Two Evils, Bender Gets Made, War Is The H-Word, Bendless Love, Bendin' In The Wind, A Taste Of Freedom, Bender's Game (teleplay and story cowriter), Lethal Inspection, The Mutants Are Revolting, Yo Leela Leela, The Bots And The Bees, Near-Death Wish, Leela And The Genestalk, Stench And Stenchibility
Brian Kelley: Love's Labours Lost In Space
Heather Lombard: Fear Of A Bot Planet (cowriter)
Evan Gore: Fear Of A Bot Planet (cowriter)
Patric M. Verrone: A Fishful Of Dollars, I Second That Emotion, A Clone Of My Own, The Problem With Popplers (teleplay writer, story cowriter), That's Lobstertainment!, A Leela Of Her Own, The Sting, Bender's Game (teleplay cowriter), Attack Of The Killer App, Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences, Ghost In The Machines, Decision 3012, 31st Century Fox, Saturday Morning Fun Pit
J. Stewart Burns: My Three Suns, Mars University, A Head In The Polls, The Deep South, The Cryonic Woman, Where The Buggalo Roam, Roswell That Ends Well, Futurama: The Lost Adventure (video game), Neutopia
Lewis Morton: A Big Piece Of Garbage, Fry And The Slurm Factory, Brannigan, Begin Again, Raging Bender, Mother's Day, Amazon Women In The Mood, The Cyber House Rules, Anthology Of Interest II (I, Meatbag), Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV, The Late Philip J. Fry, Calculon 2.0, Murder On The Planet Express
Eric Kaplan: Hell Is Other Robots, Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?, A Bicyclops Built For Two, Parasites Lost, I Dated A Robot, Jurassic Bark, Three Hundred Big Boys, The Beast With A Billion Backs (teleplay, story cowriter), Bender's Game (teleplay cowriter)
Bill Odenkirk: How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back, A Tale Of Two Santas, Insane In The Mainframe, Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch, The Farnsworth Parabox
Eric Rogers: Anthology Of Interest I (Terror At 500 Feet), The Silence Of The Clamps, Zapp Dingbat, Naturama (The Salmon), Fry And Leela's Big Fling
Darin Henry: The Problem With Popplers (story cowriter)
Ron Weiner: The Luck Of The Fryrish, A Pharaoh To Remember, Less Than Hero, Spanish Fry
Dan Vebber: The Birdbot Of Ice-Catraz, The Route Of All Evil, Love And Rocket, Obsoletely Fabulous, A Clockwork Origin, Mobius Dick, Cold Warriors, The Thief Of Baghead, Fun On A Bun, The Inhuman Torch
Jeff Westbrook: The Day The Earth Stood Stupid (teleplay, story cowriter), The 30% Iron Chef, Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
Jason Gorbett: Anthology Of Interest II (Wizzin') (cowriter)
Scott Kirby: Anthology Of Interest II (Wizzin') (cowriter)
Aaron Ehasz: Future Stock, Crimes Of The Hot, Benderama, Reincarnation
Kristin Gore: Leela's Homeworld
David A. Goodman: Where No Fan Has Gone Before
Michael Rowe: Bend Her, Bender's Game (teleplay cowriter), Proposition Infinity, The Futurama Holiday Spectacular, Fry Am The Egg Man, The Butterjunk Effect, 2-D Blacktop, Game Of Tones
Carolyn Premish: In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela (teleplay, story cowriter)
Maiya Williams: The Duh-Vinci Code, Assie Come Home
Josh Weinstein: That Darn Katz!, Law And Oracle, All The Presidents' Heads, A Farewell To Arms, Viva Mars Vegas, T.: The Terrestrial
Michael Saikin: Naturama (The Pinta Island Tortoise)
Neil Mukhopadhyay: Naturama (The Elephant Seal)

Keep in mind that almost all of these writers have contributed to a whole load of episodes which they got no credit on, whether it just be jokes or whether they helped with the story in a major way but decided to cede the credit to another for simplicity's sake.
luna_m_lasercaptain

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #1 on: 02-01-2014 19:42 »

Impressive!
TheBPB11

Starship Captain
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« Reply #2 on: 02-01-2014 20:55 »
« Last Edit on: 02-01-2014 23:56 »

Very cool!  For some reason I think I briefly recall a commentary mentioning Kristen Gore writing part of another episode beside Leela's Homeworld, although I'm nkt sure.
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 02-01-2014 23:19 »

I did this for another forum as part of a hurt and heal tournament. It was a pain in the arse, so you have my respect for this.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #4 on: 02-02-2014 23:19 »

I've always considered Cohen, Keeler, and Kaplan my favorite writers--mainly because I have a weakness for alliterative trios--but, looking at that list now, it occurs to me that Dan Vebber has a pretty top-notch assortment of episodes to his name...including many of the best offerings from seasons six and seven. Bully for him!

So, yeah, that's a pretty neat revelation; thanks for facilitating it, Josh.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #5 on: 02-03-2014 22:15 »

That's great list as I'd be too lazy to properly look for writers to this extent.

Aaron Ehasz I haven't heard before and he seems to be behind very good episodes.
And Michael Rowe apparently is, maybe surprisingly, "responsible" for some worse episodes.
The Sophisticated Shut In

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #6 on: 02-04-2014 02:13 »

Does Matt Groening do any real writing these days? I know he signs off on character sketches but his input seems surprisingly minimal.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #7 on: 02-04-2014 17:40 »

I read an oral history of The Simpsons once, in which one of the interviewees mentioned that Groening's screen-writing abilities are relatively minimal, and that the scripts he turned in for that show in its early years were pretty sloppy and had to be extensively reworked by the writers' room. I personally found this hard to believe because one of Groening's few writing credits from The Simpsons--season three's "Colonel Homer"--is among my favorite episodes of the series; that said, I know both The Simpsons and Futurama are written largely by committee, so I suppose you can't put much stock in who the credited writer is.

Anyway, I've always thought of Groening as more of an idea man, and a good delegator; I think he has strong opinions about Futurama, and notions of what is and is not acceptable in that fictional universe, but I don't know that he's as sharp as the writers and animators surrounding him. Like, he's probably a really great boss, and he's obviously talented (I've read a handful of essays he's written--a lot of them are collected in one of the Simpsons comic collections by Bongo--and he's obviously a smart, pop-culturally sensitive guy who's no slouch as a prose writer)--but he probably recognizes that he should leave the writing to the writers and the animating to the animators. That approach would certainly seem to have served him well over the past couple of decades.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #8 on: 02-04-2014 18:02 »
« Last Edit on: 02-05-2014 00:18 »

Hmm....I can believe that.
Among the comic genre (Franco_Belgian fantasy, so the books will probably not be too well know on Peel), some writers face the same problems:

- Some came up with really excellent characters. With a distinct personality. When you saw that character enter a specific situation, you could see what was coming. Unfotunately, those writers were not good how to time the plot flow. The evenets happening to the characters were not too thoroughly timed, or not too interesting.

- Some came up with rather shallow characters. Not too much of a personality, and rather interchangeable. But the events happening to them were just great. Unfortunately, those adventures suffered from happening too characters about which you just did not care too much.

"Scotch Arleston" was a rare author that managed to get both things right in his first cycle of "Lanfeust of Troy", which was hailed as one of the greatest comic series, and praised as the only legitimate follower of "Asterix"*.
Well....but after the first cycle, the next ones suffered a bit. Timing, climax...it all did not go together as good as the first ones, though the characters remained excellent.

Regarding my experience, I came across more writers managing to come up with an interesting, well timed plot, than those being able to conjure up good characters.

So, Groening as a rare "Character designer" surrounded by "being able to time a plot well" writers makes sense.


*(I still feel the need to voice my confusion how little that series is known in the US, especially when TinTIn is rather known. Tachy can tell you about my shock in the chat when I heard about that...big grin )
Beamer

Space Pope
****
« Reply #9 on: 02-05-2014 04:03 »

I've always considered Cohen, Keeler, and Kaplan my favorite writers--mainly because I have a weakness for alliterative trios--but, looking at that list now, it occurs to me that Dan Vebber has a pretty top-notch assortment of episodes to his name...including many of the best offerings from seasons six and seven. Bully for him!

So, yeah, that's a pretty neat revelation; thanks for facilitating it, Josh.

Keep in mind that the episodes are still largely group-written, and the writing credits given are only indicative as to who penned the first draft of the script. Many episodes go through extensive re-writes beyond that point.

Still, very impressive. Good work, Josh! smile
AdrenalinDragon

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #10 on: 02-05-2014 20:04 »

Looks like Ken Keeler is the overall winner for me. He only has two episodes that aren't great IMO. Lewis Morton would probably be my second choice out of those episodes listed.
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #11 on: 02-06-2014 00:05 »

Matt Groening came up with the story for My Three Suns, if I recall.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #12 on: 02-06-2014 00:32 »

David X. Cohen, Bill Odenkirk, Dan Vebber and Ken Keeler are my favourites.

My least favourites are Josh Weinstein, Michael Rowe and J. Stewart Burns.

Most of them have had their good and bad moments, unsurprisingly.

Matt Groening came up with the story for My Three Suns, if I recall.

I'm also quite certain he had a lot to do with "Rebirth". I might be wrong, though.
Beamer

Space Pope
****
« Reply #13 on: 02-06-2014 02:58 »

Rebirth was Cohen's brainchild, if I recall. Groening had more of a hand in In a Gadda-Da-Leela, which followed it.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #14 on: 02-07-2014 12:22 »

I see where they tried to go with IaGGdL.

Zapp is usually a huge character: Getting a huge settting, being at the centre of events (which he considers his rightful place), dominating the scene, to mess up BIG scale.

It can be fun to see him being used in a smaller, more subtle situation. Large parts of IaGGdL were basically a two person stage play.

I just thought it was too long. Using Zapp for about 5 minutes in that unfamiliar setting. Sure. Nearly a whole episode long? Not too much.
Tedward

Professor
*
« Reply #15 on: 02-07-2014 18:58 »


Matt Groening came up with the story for My Three Suns, if I recall.

I'm also quite certain he had a lot to do with "Rebirth". I might be wrong, though.

Rebirth was Cohen's brainchild, if I recall. Groening had more of a hand in In a Gadda-Da-Leela, which followed it.

You're both right, in a way. According to the commentaries, for "Rebirth" DXC had originally wanted the characters to end up trapped in an alien zoo after exiting the wormhole (an idea which eventually was salvaged and worked into "Fry and Leela's Big Fling"), while Groening thought that the characters should end up back on Earth and at their building as soon as possible in order to establish the show's setting in a more grounded way for the new network and a potentially new audience. DXC may have had more to do with the episode's subsequent story (and Groening with the subsequent episode's story!), but it sounds like Groening pushed it towards what became its final direction.
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