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Author Topic: Minor Things That Spoil Episodes  (Read 1170 times)
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Boxy Robot

Starship Captain
****
« on: 08-05-2014 17:22 »
« Last Edit on: 08-05-2014 17:48 »

Any jokes, character traits, story points, endings, etc. that taint your view of an otherwise enjoyable episode?


"A Farewell to Arms" is one of the most entertaining episodes of 7A - once the gang find the Martian calendar. Everything before (Fry's pants, badger, grease) falls completely flat for me humor-wise, spoiling what could have been a classic episode with a few too many poor gags.

The ending of "Ghost in the Machines" ruins the episode for me and may be my least favourite resolution to a Futurama episode. After having the whole episode focused on how Bender must live as a ghost for eternity, having him suddenly ascend to heaven, get kicked out by God and go back to his old body for whatever reason, in a matter of seconds, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth whenever I watch it.

Finally, "Three Hundred Big Boys" is a consistently funny episode but I just cannot stand the Roseanne hologram scene and it's use in the credits. It just falls completely flat for me and I usually turn off after Bender is beaten at episodes end.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #1 on: 08-05-2014 19:34 »

There's going to be a lot of season 7 on this list:

"The Cryonic Woman"
This episode isn't amazing, but it wouldn't be my least favourite from the original run if it weren't for the awful ending that just sticks a finger up to the show's usually pretty decent continuity. It's kind of the straw that broke the camel's back as to why I'm not a big fan of the episode, except that the straw is more like an anvil.

"The Sting"
Whilst I do think this is a good episode, the fact that it ultimately comes down to an "it was all a dream" cop out ending, which is famously the laziest possible ending imaginable, prevents me from being able to think of it as a masterpiece like many others do.

Into the Wild Green Yonder
Whilst I have a lot of problems with this movie, one of the largest things that bugs me every time I watch it is that I'm not so sure that it's a good idea to bring all of these extinct animals back to life. Fry even says that they "failed nature's test". And on top of that, the dark ones aren't exactly threatening life in the universe in any real immediate way. Sure, life might eventually die out because species will go extinct and they'll prevent new ones from existing, but it's going to take billions of years for that to happen and everyone alive will still live their lives, fully, without any interference. Who cares if life ends billions of years on? It's going to happen, regardless, as seen in "The Late Philip J. Fry".

"Attack of the Killer App"
Once again, the ending completely ruins what could have been quite a nice, fun episode. The stage is set for a thrilling conclusion in which Fry and Leela reconcile their problems whilst fighting off hordes of Mom's zombies on the way to save the day, but instead they just sit and talk and Mom's subplot is left completely unresolved. I could take that as something of a downbeat ending if it felt intended that way, but it just feels like the writers couldn't figure out a better way to finish things. Plus the eyePhones never make another appearance beyond that episode despite being a huge deal that everyone is obsessed with.
Also, Susan Boil.

"Proposition Infinity"
This would be a pretty good episode if it weren't for the completely unneeded and out-of-character relationship between Amy and Bender. I realise that that's the basic premise that the episode is built around, but I stand by how I feel about it.

"Ghost in the Machines"
I have a lot of issues with this one, but my biggest problem and the problem that leaves this as one of my least favourite episodes from seasons is the ending, too. The fact that he can just go back into his old body and it somehow works completely undermines the rest of the episode. I mean, why didn't he just go back into his old body before? Robot God surely can't have legitimately supernatural powers and if he does, then that's something they should have explored in an episode.

"All the Presidents' Heads"
I do like this episode, but I have to agree that the rushed ending could have been handled much better than it was. Not seeing them go back in time and fix things in any capacity just leaves you feeling cheated. This isn't a Coen brothers film; it's Futurama.

"Cold Warriors"
Similarly to Into the Wild Green Yonder, this episode ruins itself for me on its complete failure to adequately establish its peril. The common cold infecting everyone in the world after thousands of years of not having to grow immunity to it is a very real threat that the episode sets up nicely. Then everyone catches a cold and it's just a normal, modern-day cold and people just have to stay in bed for a few days and they'll get over it. So what? It's an inconvenience, but it's not an apocalyse. Then Zapp Brannigan steps in to create some peril, but by that point... it's all just wishy washy and stupid.

"Overclockwise"
Leela's characterisation is really weak throughout this episode and manages to ruin a pretty fantastic plot. I get that it's most likely, largely, down to them not having enough time to adequately explore why she has the crisis that she does and suddenly gets over it, but it's still a valid complaint.

"The Bots and the Bees"
This is a pretty crappy episode from start to finish, but the awkward either racist or racially insensitive joke about URL loving grape soda loses it extra points for me. I mean... racist jokes? Really Futurama?

"A Farewell to Arms"
I agree that the start isn't amazing, but I think this would be a really good episode if it wasn't for the god-awful bit at the end where Fry and Leela's arms come off. I mean, what the actual fuck was that all about? It's obvious that they needed something really bad to happen given the running gag about Fry's attempts to do nice things for Leela backfiring, but that's the best they could come up with as a climax? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, it completely destroys the world of the show, leaving it as something that only plays as a stupid cartoon, and it's just really, really unfunny. I think, more than any other episode on this list, this is the best example of a specific little moment that single-handled brings down an episode for me.

"Decision 3012"
This is another pretty good episode up until the ending which completely shits all over the continuity regarding how the time-code works. If they had to go for that crappy time-travel paradox ending (that makes no sense and leaves the show as a world in which Richard Nixon will soon cause a robotic uprising, meaning that our beloved characters probably all died shortly after the events of the last episode), then couldn't they just come up with a different means of time-travel instead of using the time-code that has very specific rules?

"The Thief of Baghead"
I don't care if they make a joke out of it, bringing the concept of "life force" and other similarly bullshit bits of magic into the sci-fi of Futurama is more than enough to ruin this, otherwise fairly funny, episode for me.

"Viva Mars Vegas"
It isn't enough to ruin the episode for me, but the lack of continuity after the events of "A Farewell to Arms" bugs me to no end. If they're going with the idea that Mars just returned to its previous orbit, then that completely undermines the apocalyptic scenario in "A Farewell to Arms", begging the question of why the Martians warned anybody about the event as an end-of-world scenario in the first place. I'd be fine with it if there was a line of dialogue referencing it and I know that they cut a line about it, but I'm judging these on the finished episodes, not lines cut from the script.

"The Inhuman Torch"
I like this episode a lot but the deus ex machina of an ending where the sunbeams come to take the evil flame away is really lazy. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I watch it.

"Murder on the Planet Express"
Once again, the ending really does a lot of damage to this episode for me. The annoying thing is that they only set the thing up that needs resolution in the last scene, too. I get that they were doing it as a joke, but the lack of a resolution to it is really frustrating.

"Meanwhile"
I adore this episode but, now that the show is officially dead and seems to be that way forever", I just wish that the Professor didn't show up and allow them to reset everything again at the end. I wish that Fry and Leela had lived out their old lives and that had been it. It would have been perfect. Still, "Meanwhile" is an amazing episode so never mind.
Boxy Robot

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #2 on: 08-05-2014 19:56 »
« Last Edit on: 08-05-2014 20:02 »

I agree with most of your points, but I'd have to argue and defend the endings of both "Attack of the Killer App" and "Meanwhile".

I'm not a huge fan of the former, but I think the ending works well as a way of showing how in our world, and in New New York, everyone acts like drones in order to purchase the most recent product from Apple/Mom. It may not be very subtle in it's execution, but I do feel it ends the episode on an appropriate note and I wasn't left feeling that there needed to be any extra scenes afterwards.

My main problem with the ending for "Meanwhile" is that it feels a little rushed and under-developed. I do however like the idea of the Professor, the character who brought the three main characters together, returning to bring Fry and Leela back as it ends the series on an uplifting moment as we are left to believe that Fry and Leela get to experience their lives together again (it also leaves the show open to a return), I just wish it was given a little more time to sink in and that the explanation wasn't so half-assed.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #3 on: 08-05-2014 20:13 »
« Last Edit on: 08-05-2014 20:20 »

The ending of "Ghost in the Machines" ruins the episode for me and may be my least favourite resolution to a Futurama episode.

It's nowhere near as bad as the ending of "The Butterjunk Effect". That's the worst ending to any Futurama episode there is, in my opinion.

"Decision 3012"
(that makes no sense and leaves the show as a world in which Richard Nixon will soon cause a robotic uprising, meaning that our beloved characters probably all died shortly after the events of the last episode)

That didn't happen though, the effects of Chris' actions altered the timeline. If the uprising was still going to happen, then he wouldn't have disappeared.

"The Sting"
Whilst I do think this is a good episode, the fact that it ultimately comes down to an "it was all a dream" cop out ending, which is famously the laziest possible ending imaginable

I agree that this is a terrible way to end a story, but the way "The Sting" does it is acceptable imo, since they do it in a twist-y kind-of way.
Boxy Robot

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #4 on: 08-05-2014 20:16 »
« Last Edit on: 08-05-2014 20:18 »

The ending of "Ghost in the Machines" ruins the episode for me and may be my least favourite resolution to a Futurama episode.

It's nowhere near as bad as the ending of "The Butterjunk Effect". That's the worst ending to any Futurama episode there is, in my opinion.

I'm not so sure. I also dislike the ending of "The Butterjunk Effect" but at least they did not revolve the whole episode around Fry becoming a butterfly and the fact that he could not return to his former self, then have him return to his former self at the end of the episode making the the entire episode feel completely pointless. It's still a bad ending, but I still think "Ghost in the Machines" is worse.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #5 on: 08-05-2014 20:24 »
« Last Edit on: 08-05-2014 20:25 »

One is Free Will Hunting that I like very much except for the cartoony gags when breaking in to MomCorp.

"Murder on the Planet Express"

The annoying thing is that they only set the thing up that needs resolution in the last scene, too. I get that they were doing it as a joke, but the lack of a resolution to it is really frustrating.

I just like that it's the classic game theory situation and is so perfect for further distrust between Fry and Bender.

It's nowhere near as bad as the ending of "The Butterjunk Effect". That's the worst ending to any Futurama episode there is, in my opinion.

I would agree, but it's (purposefully) cop out so much that it's the joke. So I'm not sure about it.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #6 on: 08-06-2014 00:41 »

I'm fairly certain we established that Decision 3012 didn't contradict anything from Bender's Big score.

I'll give my answers to the question later.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #7 on: 08-06-2014 01:00 »
« Last Edit on: 08-06-2014 01:01 »

I'm fairly certain we established that Decision 3012 didn't contradict anything from Bender's Big score.

Not to go off-topic, but I thought that too.

Chris changed the timeline so that he would never even have to use the code, meaning he never travelled back in time, thus erasing him before the paradox-correcting part of the time code could kill him. It was established in BBS that the time it takes for the time code paradox-correction to kill you can range from 24 hours (Nudar) to 17 years (Lars (over 900 years if you believe he could have been killed by it while frozen)), so it makes sense that he'd be around for a good few years in time to compete against Nixon.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #8 on: 08-06-2014 02:20 »
« Last Edit on: 08-06-2014 02:26 »

Overclockwise would be one of my favourites if it weren't for the Leela plot, which felt tacked on, made the episode bloated and gave us the worst fucking dialogue in the history of the show (despite a nice ending scene).

The Tip of the Zoidberg would also be a much better episode if they revised the first act. Far too much cartoony violence which just destroyed the show's internal logic for me.

"Meanwhile"
I adore this episode but, now that the show is officially dead and seems to be that way forever", I just wish that the Professor didn't show up and allow them to reset everything again at the end. I wish that Fry and Leela had lived out their old lives and that had been it. It would have been perfect.

I disagree. I think the final scene is ambiguous enough that it doesn't necessary have to be interpreted as a "reset button" ending (you know, unless the show does come back, of course).

I completely agree with your gripe about Viva Mars Vegas, however. Apparently the writers had an explanation in the script but took it out as they "didn't have time for it." I'd have much preferred to just sacrifice a joke or two in favour of actually explaining what the fuck happened to Mars.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #9 on: 08-06-2014 08:34 »
« Last Edit on: 08-06-2014 08:41 »

Fear of a Bot Planet

This isn't something specific to this episode, but it's the most glaring example I can think of. It really bothers me when the characters are in serious danger, and they deal with it by... running away. Not hiding, fighting or doing anything smart, just running. It irks me far more than it should, especially in FOABP.

A Big Piece of Garbage

The garbage ball is supposedly large enough to destroy NNY, and yet they create a duplicate garbage ball in a stupidly short amount of time. Also, people were just dumping rubbish in any old place and yet they still somehow managed to get it all together in the end.

Put Your Head on My Shoulders

Again, this isn't a problem I have with this specific episode, but I feel like addressing it anyway. I hate how Sal has two different designs they flip between (darkish skin with blue uniform and light skin with singlet). I recall an episode in season 7 that even used them both. mad

Love and Rocket

The cape worn by the Omicronian that tells Lrrr about the delivery changes colour between shots. mad

The Sting

Like cyber_turnip, I'm really not a fan of the "dream" cop-out. The rest of the episode was pretty damn fantastic, but the crummy twist prevents me from taking it seriously.

Obsoletely Fabulous

Same as The Sting, only this episode isn't anywhere near as good. It also doesn't help how they're both so damn close together!

Bender's Big Score

I think BBS is a great movie, but it's much less special when you think about the time travel logic. Because the time code doesn't create any kind of "spin-off universe", it basically undoes the endings of "The Luck of the Fryrish" and "Jurassic Bark". It just really muddles up the timeline and it's better the just erase those parts of the movie from existence.

The Beast with a Billion Backs

I hate how this movie started Fry's "suicidal crybaby" phase. It's not fun watching Fry act super depressed and attempt to kill himself over trivial crap.

Rebirth

Whilst I think it was a great opener for the new run, I dislike the idea of the Professor being able to bring people back from the dead. It pretty much eliminates any kind of fear of danger if you know they can just take a bath in some stem cells.

Proposition Infinity

It felt incredibly forced having Amy and Bender together, especially with that stupid break-up scene at the beginning and the even stupider ending. I'm certain the episode would've been $ times better if they just introduced a new character for Bender to get nasty with.

Lethal Inspection

The idea of the "back-up copy" for robots is neat, but I find it really jarring that it hadn't been brought up until now... or ever again. Where was it during "Calculon 2.0", for example!?

Law and Oracle

The start and end both feel a bit too fast. Not really "rushed", but it definitely feels weird.

Overclockwise

The subplot with Fry and Leela was total crap. I understand they wanted them to invloved in the potentially last episode, but it's alarmingly obvious the episode wasn't built around that idea.

The Bots and The Bees

Speaking of bad subplots, the shit with Fry in this episode was embarrassing. I mean, it could've been okay, but they tied it into the main story in the most awkward way possible. Also, as much as I liked the way they explained robot reproduction, it's annoying how inconsistent the show seems to be about it. We know Bender was "built" rather than "born", yet he's seen as a baby in a few episodes.

A Farewell to Arms

The farewell to arms. That turned an otherwise great episode into a huge disappointment.

Zapp Dingbat

The divorce at the start came out of nowhere and made no sense. And although it's a deleted scene and not part of the final cut, I despise that random musical segment they originally did.

Free Will Hunting

I hate how excessively long and meaningless the opening act is. I understand they want to show Bender making a lot of bad decisions, but that could've easily been done in a much shorter montage, or in a way similar to what they did later in the episode with Bender choosing the different paths.
Additionally, I hate the ending. Not because it's rushed, but because it feels so wrong. Bender's a massive asshole, but it's not like him to fucking murder his boss of 10 years, for no fucking reason. It baffles me how people consider Leela hunting a whale to be out of character, yet I've never seen a mention of this. He's no longer a lovable jerk, but a sadistic prick. It all feels very empty and meaningless in the end, like the entire episode was a waste.

31st Century Fox

The twist at the end was... pointless. That said, it's still one of my favourites.

Viva Mars Vegas

Like others have mentioned, I really wish they addressed the status of Mars. Seriously, a single line would have sufficed.

2-D Blacktop

I'm only the 1000th person to complain about it, but the verbal abuse "joke" was really bad. It also annoyed me how the whole episode felt like a build-up to the 2-D world, yet it only lasted a few minutes. The street-racing and 2-D world should've been separate episodes.

Stench and Stenchibility

I'm not bothered by the fact that they brought Roberto back to life without explaining it, but I am bothered by the fact that it was such a pointless and uninteresting final appearance. They could've used any old generic mugger. I also wish the two plots had some kind of connection.

Meanwhile

Professor Ex Machina.
Also, since it was the final episode, I kind of wish Bender had a bigger role.

Now, I didn't mention these episodes because they all have the same problem, so I'll do it now:

Episodes that have a really, really rushed ending that kills the immersion:

The Cryonic Woman
Bender's Game
Ghost in the Machines
Neutopia
Yo Leela Leela
All the Presidents' Heads
The Thief of Baghead
The Butterjunk Effect
Leela and the Genestalk
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #10 on: 08-06-2014 09:04 »
« Last Edit on: 08-06-2014 09:07 »

The "it was a dream" ending of The Sting isn't exactly a cop-out, though. The entire episode was based around it - they lay the seed in the first act as to what's really happening (when we see the stinger go through Fry and into Leela), and the rest of the episode keeps us questioning what exactly is a dream and what is reality. The plot device itself may be tired and lazy, but as far as execution goes, this is about as well-done as it can possibly be.

The Sting - Good example of this trope
Obsoletely Fabulous - Bad example of this trope

Also to add to the list: It really bothers me that the Cyclops Eater in Rebirth is, itself, a cyclops. Especially since one of the most important aspects of Leela's ongoing "search for her true identity" story is the fact that she is the only cyclops in the universe (save from the sewer mutants, of course). It didn't even need to be a cyclops, so why bother with such a jarring detail anyway?

Also: It really bothers me when characters other than Fry make current-day pop culture references. There are too many instances to name, and it was never quite bad enough to ruin an entire episode (save from maybe Attack of the Killer Ap, though between the iPhone and YouTube jokes, the vomiting/shitting goat and Susan Boil, that episode was pretty much unsalvageable anyway), but god damn does it piss me off.
Boxy Robot

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #11 on: 08-06-2014 09:16 »

Also to add to the list: It really bothers me that the Cyclops Eater in Rebirth is, itself, a cyclops. Especially since one of the most important aspects of Leela's ongoing "search for her true identity" story is the fact that she is the only cyclops in the universe (save from the sewer mutants, of course). It didn't even need to be a cyclops, so why bother with such a jarring detail anyway?

What bothers me is the fact that the Cyclops Eater would have obviously starved by the time the crew discovered it.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #12 on: 08-06-2014 11:51 »

Also to add to the list: It really bothers me that the Cyclops Eater in Rebirth is, itself, a cyclops. Especially since one of the most important aspects of Leela's ongoing "search for her true identity" story is the fact that she is the only cyclops in the universe (save from the sewer mutants, of course). It didn't even need to be a cyclops, so why bother with such a jarring detail anyway?

What bothers me is the fact that the Cyclops Eater would have obviously starved by the time the crew discovered it.

Well, we don't know anything about their metabolism. It might take nibbles off it's own flesh every few weeks and that's enough to keep it alive. tongue
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #13 on: 08-06-2014 12:02 »

Viva Mars Vegas

Like others have mentioned, I really wish they addressed the status of Mars. Seriously, a single line would have sufficed.

This really peeves me off too. Couldn't they have shown them moving Mars away from the Earth's orbit in that shot of it next to the Moon near the end of "A Farewell to Arms"?
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #14 on: 08-06-2014 15:21 »
« Last Edit on: 08-06-2014 15:22 »

Huge post ahead!

I agree with most of your points, but I'd have to argue and defend the endings of both "Attack of the Killer App" and "Meanwhile".

I'm not a huge fan of the former, but I think the ending works well as a way of showing how in our world, and in New New York, everyone acts like drones in order to purchase the most recent product from Apple/Mom. It may not be very subtle in it's execution, but I do feel it ends the episode on an appropriate note and I wasn't left feeling that there needed to be any extra scenes afterwards.

I more or less agree, I just don't like it. It feels like they got the point across adequately with the 21 minutes leading up to the ending and I would have preferred something resembling a plot resolution, especially given that, as I said, the stage is set for such an exciting finish.[/quote]

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My main problem with the ending for "Meanwhile" is that it feels a little rushed and under-developed. I do however like the idea of the Professor, the character who brought the three main characters together, returning to bring Fry and Leela back as it ends the series on an uplifting moment as we are left to believe that Fry and Leela get to experience their lives together again (it also leaves the show open to a return), I just wish it was given a little more time to sink in and that the explanation wasn't so half-assed.
I completely agree. I think this is a part of what bugs me. I'm not saying that the ending to "Meanwhile" is bad, but it's probably the worst part of an otherwise exemplary episode. It's enough to irk me whenever I watch it.


"Decision 3012"
(that makes no sense and leaves the show as a world in which Richard Nixon will soon cause a robotic uprising, meaning that our beloved characters probably all died shortly after the events of the last episode)

That didn't happen though, the effects of Chris' actions altered the timeline. If the uprising was still going to happen, then he wouldn't have disappeared.
If that's true then Bender's comment about nothing changing doesn't work any more so the ending still doesn't work. There's nothing to suggest that the uprising won't happen other than wishful thinking that the time-code has changed how it operates to accommodate bad writing.

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"The Sting"
Whilst I do think this is a good episode, the fact that it ultimately comes down to an "it was all a dream" cop out ending, which is famously the laziest possible ending imaginable

I agree that this is a terrible way to end a story, but the way "The Sting" does it is acceptable imo, since they do it in a twist-y kind-of way.
What helps it get away with it is that the episode is full of set-ups and hints that it's all a dream. It's woven throughout the plot rather than just being pulled out of their arse at the last minute. That said, it still doesn't sit well with me.


I'm fairly certain we established that Decision 3012 didn't contradict anything from Bender's Big score.

Not to go off-topic, but I thought that too.

Chris changed the timeline so that he would never even have to use the code, meaning he never travelled back in time, thus erasing him before the paradox-correcting part of the time code could kill him. It was established in BBS that the time it takes for the time code paradox-correction to kill you can range from 24 hours (Nudar) to 17 years (Lars (over 900 years if you believe he could have been killed by it while frozen)), so it makes sense that he'd be around for a good few years in time to compete against Nixon.

If it worked how things worked in Bender's Big Score, then Chris would have gone back in time and the only obvious remnant of the time-travel that would need "paradox correcting" would be the time-duplicate which would be the newborn him that he televises the birth of seeing as BBS makes it pretty clear that the person traveling back in time isn't considered the duplicate, but rather, the "passive" individual that encounters themselves from the future is the duplicate. I don't mind that we don't see his newborn self get killed or anything.

If the time-code worked in Bender's Big Score the same way in which it works in "Decision 3012", then Bender would have gone back in time to steal pieces of art before they became valuable, then they would have never become valuable, then he wouldn't have ever had any motive to go back in time to steal them.

Nudar would have gone back in time, spent the night with himself, keeping himself too busy to go back in time and meet himself in the first place, meaning that he would never have gone back in time and met with himself in the first place.

Bender would go back in time to steal Hermes' body from the past and then Hermes would be dead, meaning that he could never have asked Bender to go back in time to steal the body from his past self.

In Bender's Big Score, the time-travel code essentially creates a new timeline which is how it's able to circumvent these inevitable paradoxes of time-travel. In "Decision 3012", it just sends you back along the same timeline, meaning that paradoxes are a huge problem and the paradox-correcting just undoes the time-travel outright. It's completely inconsistent.

The Tip of the Zoidberg would also be a much better episode if they revised the first act. Far too much cartoony violence which just destroyed the show's internal logic for me.
Oh god, I forgot about the cartoony violence in that one. I agree with that. It's a perfect example of a small detail that somewhat ruins an episode for me.

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I completely agree with your gripe about Viva Mars Vegas, however. Apparently the writers had an explanation in the script but took it out as they "didn't have time for it." I'd have much preferred to just sacrifice a joke or two in favour of actually explaining what the fuck happened to Mars.
Me too. The weird thing is that I'm pretty convinced, had they made that episode in the original run, they would have sacrificed some jokes to explain things. It felt like they stopped caring so much about the internal logic of the show once it came back from the dead.


Rebirth

Whilst I think it was a great opener for the new run, I dislike the idea of the Professor being able to bring people back from the dead. It pretty much eliminates any kind of fear of danger if you know they can just take a bath in some stem cells.

The annoying thing is that it's not even like they needed to be killed in the first place. Into the Wild Green Yonder ends with them making an escape, so it's weird that they chose to kill them off and resurrect them again within minutes in the opener. I get that it's a metaphor for the show's comeback, but I agree with you. It causes more problems than it was worth.

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Lethal Inspection

The idea of the "back-up copy" for robots is neat, but I find it really jarring that it hadn't been brought up until now... or ever again. Where was it during "Calculon 2.0", for example!?
I thought it came into play in "Calculon 2.0". I mean, Calculon's back-up is floating around in Robot Hell and that's how they're able to resurrect him in the first place, right?

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The Bots and The Bees

Speaking of bad subplots, the shit with Fry in this episode was embarrassing. I mean, it could've been okay, but they tied it into the main story in the most awkward way possible. Also, as much as I liked the way they explained robot reproduction, it's annoying how inconsistent the show seems to be about it. We know Bender was "built" rather than "born", yet he's seen as a baby in a few episodes.

I completely agree. Also, the subplot is all the more annoying given how similar it is to Fry's story in "Three Hundred and One Big Boys" - whilst also not being nearly as good.

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Zapp Dingbat

The divorce at the start came out of nowhere and made no sense. And although it's a deleted scene and not part of the final cut, I despise that random musical segment they originally did.
I agree. I would have listed this episode myself except I dislike it from start to finish as opposed to it just being a minor thing that spoils it.

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2-D Blacktop

I'm only the 1000th person to complain about it, but the verbal abuse "joke" was really bad. It also annoyed me how the whole episode felt like a build-up to the 2-D world, yet it only lasted a few minutes. The street-racing and 2-D world should've been separate episodes.
The 2D world should have been a separate episode and the street-racing story shouldn't have made it past a suggestion in the writers' room.


The "it was a dream" ending of The Sting isn't exactly a cop-out, though. The entire episode was based around it - they lay the seed in the first act as to what's really happening (when we see the stinger go through Fry and into Leela), and the rest of the episode keeps us questioning what exactly is a dream and what is reality. The plot device itself may be tired and lazy, but as far as execution goes, this is about as well-done as it can possibly be.

The Sting - Good example of this trope
Obsoletely Fabulous - Bad example of this trope
I agree that "The Sting" does it about as well as can be done. Like I said, it works because the emotional core of the story isn't reset by it being all a dream and because there are set-ups and hints throughout. That said, it still irks me too much for me to consider it one of the very best episodes of the show's run like others do.

To be honest, I also think that "Obsoletely Fabulous" does a pretty good job of it. It works within the context of the story.

Quote
Also to add to the list: It really bothers me that the Cyclops Eater in Rebirth is, itself, a cyclops. Especially since one of the most important aspects of Leela's ongoing "search for her true identity" story is the fact that she is the only cyclops in the universe (save from the sewer mutants, of course). It didn't even need to be a cyclops, so why bother with such a jarring detail anyway?
I think it's pretty clear that her issues with being the only cyclops were more with being the only one of her specific species that she was referring to as "cyclops".


What bothers me is the fact that the Cyclops Eater would have obviously starved by the time the crew discovered it.
Why couldn't it survive on a diet of cycloptic insects and rats that live on its planet or something like that?
Lambda

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 08-06-2014 17:32 »

I agree with most of what is said here.

In "All the Presidents' Heads" what bugged me was not only that thay revealed what in the jars it is that preserves the heads (and keeps them alive?), but also that the resource then was depleted . In other words: no more new "heads in jars" can then be created (at least this way)
The time traveling was much more believable in "Roswell that Ends Well".

To think: It would probably have been enough to have one person point out most of these flaws to make the writers aware of them before hand
AdrenalinDragon

Starship Captain
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« Reply #16 on: 08-07-2014 00:49 »

I think rushed endings really hurt good episodes. I took off quite a few points in All The Presidents' Heads' because it became clear the writers had no time to put an actual ending to that episode. Same with Attack of the Killer App and Neutopia. A Farewell to Arms biggest problem was the arms falling off. It was too cringeworthy for me in an otherwise decent episode. The Sting is one of the best "Dream Sequence" episodes that builds up to an emotional climax and makes sense within the context so the pay-off works IMO.

Meanwhile's ending doesn't really bother me because they used the Professor as a way to revive the series if required. The Cryonic Woman and Murder on the Planet Express both have abrupt endings, but their main plots are resolved and the remaining loose end finishes both episodes on a funny note (IMO) so those two get a pass.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #17 on: 08-07-2014 03:01 »

I think rushed endings really hurt good episodes. I took off quite a few points in All The Presidents' Heads' because it became clear the writers had no time to put an actual ending to that episode.

Honestly, I don't think that episode could be saved just by fixing up the ending. The entire logic behind the time travel - from the much looser time rules to the actual way in which they travelled through time - the whole thing was a mess, really. Easily the clumsiest time travel outing the show ever did, which is quite disappointing as the show usually handled it really, really well.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 08-07-2014 03:07 »

If it worked how things worked in Bender's Big Score, then Chris would have gone back in time and the only obvious remnant of the time-travel that would need "paradox correcting" would be the time-duplicate which would be the newborn him that he televises the birth of seeing as BBS makes it pretty clear that the person traveling back in time isn't considered the duplicate, but rather, the "passive" individual that encounters themselves from the future is the duplicate. I don't mind that we don't see his newborn self get killed or anything.

If the time-code worked in Bender's Big Score the same way in which it works in "Decision 3012", then Bender would have gone back in time to steal pieces of art before they became valuable, then they would have never become valuable, then he wouldn't have ever had any motive to go back in time to steal them.

Nudar would have gone back in time, spent the night with himself, keeping himself too busy to go back in time and meet himself in the first place, meaning that he would never have gone back in time and met with himself in the first place.

Bender would go back in time to steal Hermes' body from the past and then Hermes would be dead, meaning that he could never have asked Bender to go back in time to steal the body from his past self.

In Bender's Big Score, the time-travel code essentially creates a new timeline which is how it's able to circumvent these inevitable paradoxes of time-travel. In "Decision 3012", it just sends you back along the same timeline, meaning that paradoxes are a huge problem and the paradox-correcting just undoes the time-travel outright. It's completely inconsistent.

Good points. However, if there's one thing I got from this post, it's that it's not just inconsistent between BBS and D3012, but inconsistent in general. Bender's art theft, Nudar's self-affair and Hermes' body all should have made alternate timelines, but it's quite clearly established that it doesn't do that.

The biggest example is The flying saucers destroying (a section of) New York which we saw way back in the very first episode. If the "new timeline" idea came into play here, then we wouldn't have. It would've essentially never happened until the point when Bender went back in time to do it. Another smaller example is the part where Bender comes back from "way at the end" to give Fry the tattoo. It clearly didn't create an alternate timeline because we saw him at the point he arrived.

So yeah... it's all a real mess, in the end.

I thought it came into play in "Calculon 2.0". I mean, Calculon's back-up is floating around in Robot Hell and that's how they're able to resurrect him in the first place, right?

facepalm You're right, that was a bad example. "The Honking", then. Uncle Vladimir legitimately "died" and there was no mention at all of any backup units.

The 2D world should have been a separate episode and the street-racing story shouldn't have made it past a suggestion in the writers' room.

I actually enjoyed most of the street racing (partially because the visuals were so nice). It definitely had some potential.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #19 on: 08-07-2014 03:32 »

The street racing story definitely could've worked as a B story in a totally different episode. But the A story in an episode where the focus should have been on the 2-D universe? Just plain messy.
Motor Oil

Starship Captain
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« Reply #20 on: 08-07-2014 05:39 »

I'm not satisfied with Leela's satisfaction in "Meanwhile". Leela, who has always had doubts about her relationship with Fry, does not seem like the sort of person who would be content to live with him forever with absolutely no one else around. I can believe that it would have been an enjoyable existence for her, but I don't buy that she never would have felt lonely.

As for "Murder on the Planet Express", my trouble with that is the unresolved ending. I know it's a cartoon and the ending was for all intents and purposes purely a gag, but I wouldn't think Fry the sort to not be bothered by murdering an innocent person. I don't mind the reward for turning in the other at all, and in fact would be very interested to see how that played out in another episode and/or fan fiction. I just don't like the fact that they actually killed a guy and thought nothing of it, even if it was for a justifiable purpose.

The end of "Neutopia" bugged me, not because of how rushed it was, but because Scruffy was still a female at the end of it. If the Borax Kid was able to summon other victims of reverse genetalia, why couldn't he have summoned Scruffy from just a room away? It would have been embarrassing, sure, but that would've worked better as an ending gag than Scruffy not being set right at all.

Lethal Inspection

The idea of the "back-up copy" for robots is neat, but I find it really jarring that it hadn't been brought up until now... or ever again. Where was it during "Calculon 2.0", for example!?
"The Honking" says Calculon is, like, really old, right? He was likely originally created before back-up copies were mandatory. It's a bit weird how the Robot Devil doesn't have one, though, and it'd be nice if the relationship between back-up copies and robot ghosts could be explained.
I thought it came into play in "Calculon 2.0". I mean, Calculon's back-up is floating around in Robot Hell and that's how they're able to resurrect him in the first place, right?
Nope. Calculon was a robot ghost, the same thing that Bender (and Vladimir) was when he died without a back-up copy. I think that Calculon just didn't have another copy of himself, for whatever reason.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #21 on: 08-07-2014 13:33 »
« Last Edit on: 08-07-2014 13:35 »

I'm not satisfied with Leela's satisfaction in "Meanwhile". Leela, who has always had doubts about her relationship with Fry, does not seem like the sort of person who would be content to live with him forever with absolutely no one else around. I can believe that it would have been an enjoyable existence for her, but I don't buy that she never would have felt lonely.

As for "Murder on the Planet Express", my trouble with that is the unresolved ending. I know it's a cartoon and the ending was for all intents and purposes purely a gag, but I wouldn't think Fry the sort to not be bothered by murdering an innocent person. I don't mind the reward for turning in the other at all, and in fact would be very interested to see how that played out in another episode and/or fan fiction. I just don't like the fact that they actually killed a guy and thought nothing of it, even if it was for a justifiable purpose.


Having only Leela around was probably also not 100% of joy wink

My quarrel with Meanwhile -though it's a general stance towards a change during the run, and not solely aimed at Meanwhile- was that early Futurama showed grave events as...well..."grave". While similar events were turned to a mere nuisance in the later run.
E.g. Fry getting hurt in PYHOMS* was treated as severe, non-trivial injury. While such a huge rock dropping on Fry in "Butterjunk Effect" was treated as mere slapstick.
Running out of oxygen in "Love and Rockets" shown as a life threatening situation, while Hermes standing on the hose and blowing up Fry in the vacuum of space was a mere gag.
"Time keeps on slipping" treated the end of the Universe as Doomsday, greeted with appropriate fear. A similar end of the Universe in "Meanwhile" shrugged off as "Hm...so what? At least we have some time for ourself".

The whole treatment of events was given a more random nature, on a "whatever we consider fitting right now" basis. Yet (going back to meanwhile), the girlfriend being 30 minutes late for a date is not eligible to cause a major uproar, but finding oneself in a frozen universe certainly is.  Fry announcing the 30 minutes delay as suicide worthy catastrophe, and the frozen universe did not REALLY give the dealy a deep meaning, nor rendering the universe freezing into a trivial nuisance. The treatment of both events in the episode feels wrong and unnatural.


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cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #22 on: 08-07-2014 23:40 »

So yeah... it's all a real mess, in the end.
You also make some very good points. I think the writers were probably aware of how little sense the whole thing made and just called it a "paradox correcting time-code" because that's kind of a get out of jail free card on their part.

Nope. Calculon was a robot ghost, the same thing that Bender (and Vladimir) was when he died without a back-up copy. I think that Calculon just didn't have another copy of himself, for whatever reason.
Who's to say that robot ghosts aren't just what happens when a robot's backup data gets "lost" on the cloud due to it not having a body to inhabit? I still don't see any real continuity issues with it beyond the silly idea that any robot could ever die given how cheap and readily available blank robots are implied to be in "I Dated a Robot".

"Time keeps on slipping" treated the end of the Universe as Doomsday, greeted with appropriate fear. A similar end of the Universe in "Meanwhile" shrugged off as "Hm...so what? At least we have some time for ourself".
I don't think that "Meanwhile" is meant to portray the end of the universe so much as Fry and Leela being displaced from the same time as the rest of the universe. The implication is that Fry and Leela's events would happen in a literal instant which was - for them - slowed down to infinity, but for everyone else, life would go on and they would basically just have vanished.
As for Fry's way of handling the events - one way he gets to be with Leela and the other way, he doesn't. He obviously just prioritises being with Leela over a lot of other things. I don't see a problem with that, though his decision to commit suicide does come a bit too easily and without question... but I just kind of accepted it because by "Meanwhile", it was sort of established as one of Fry's character traits that he attempts to commit suicide like a baby whenever anything goes wrong between him and Leela.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #23 on: 08-08-2014 00:12 »

The implication is that Fry and Leela's events would happen in a literal instant which was - for them - slowed down to infinity, but for everyone else, life would go on and they would basically just have vanished.

I still don't agree with that theory at all. They literally froze everything, everything is stuck like that for everyone/everything except them.

I'd say that from the perspectives of everyone else, they were getting on with their daily business until the exact moment the universe was frozen, then they suddenly appeared with their memories reset at the exact moment the Professor's modded time button takes the universe back to at the end of the episode.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #24 on: 08-08-2014 01:40 »
« Last Edit on: 08-08-2014 01:41 »

Yeah, I'm not sure if everything just stopped in that moment being the end point of universe, because the button broke in the middle of process before sending everything back in time. Or is it that everything just continued without going back in time as it broke before it happening and only affected to those inside the sphere resulting only them getting trapped in the process.

From the story point of view it doesn't matter, though and logic with time button seemed to be contradictory anyway.
futz
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #25 on: 08-08-2014 04:57 »

You really can't get too serious about a story about stopping time without realizing that there would be no heat or light to see with among dome other pretty dire stuff. Even if you were in a personal bubble of progressing time it's doubtful you'd last very long. It's difficult to say if anything can exist without being in a "zone" of forward moving time.
FleeingSomewhere

Crustacean
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« Reply #26 on: 08-08-2014 11:25 »

I agree with all the points that you have made, but one thing in an episode that I haven't seen mentioned is "The Six Million Dollar Mon". Look, this episode was good, but it wasn't great. There were great references and many laughs, but the ending was EXTREMELY lazy. I refer to Roberto coming back, which might have been fine, but it makes no sense. The Professor had not given him his new brain, and yet we watch the robot, now Roberto, place the brain in his head. That was Roberto's brain! How the hell could he put the brain! He wasn't Roberto yet! That was just lazy!
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #27 on: 08-08-2014 11:42 »

I always viewed that as a really weird joke.

We, as the viewer, were obviously expecting the brain to go in cause havoc. Just when it looks like everything's fine, it does something we weren't expecting: putting it in itself.

I might be completely wrong, but that's how I saw it.
FleeingSomewhere

Crustacean
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« Reply #28 on: 08-08-2014 11:44 »

The thing is though, robot just activated itself? I mean, how did it do that? In-joke or not, I would have liked a better explanation. And then he melts, and once again comes back without explanation.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #29 on: 08-08-2014 11:56 »

I agree that it wasn't very good, it's just the way I interpreted it.

Aside from some of the stuff near the end, I enjoyed that episode quite a bit.
FleeingSomewhere

Crustacean
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« Reply #30 on: 08-08-2014 12:04 »

Yeah it was pretty enjoyable, though it did go a little fast.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #31 on: 08-08-2014 13:31 »

I refer to Roberto coming back, which might have been fine, but it makes no sense. The Professor had not given him his new brain, and yet we watch the robot, now Roberto, place the brain in his head. That was Roberto's brain! How the hell could he put the brain! He wasn't Roberto yet! That was just lazy!

They say on the audio commentary that the brain can wirelessly connect to the robot body, although they do say it in a joke-y way in an attempt to hide the fact that it's a goof.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #32 on: 08-08-2014 13:37 »

I forgot about that robot activating itself out of nowhere. That moment really annoys me, too.

The implication is that Fry and Leela's events would happen in a literal instant which was - for them - slowed down to infinity, but for everyone else, life would go on and they would basically just have vanished.

I still don't agree with that theory at all. They literally froze everything, everything is stuck like that for everyone/everything except them.

I'd say that from the perspectives of everyone else, they were getting on with their daily business until the exact moment the universe was frozen, then they suddenly appeared with their memories reset at the exact moment the Professor's modded time button takes the universe back to at the end of the episode.

Hmm, ordinarily time-travel just separates someone from the mainstream timestream, but I suppose, when you think about it, the time-proof bunker that the Professor builds does heavily imply that the button doesn't send you back in time so much as it sends the entire universe back in time with only the person that pressed the button retaining knowledge of the fact. Yeah, you're probably right.
Lambda

Bending Unit
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« Reply #33 on: 08-08-2014 16:22 »

 
I agree with all the points that you have made, but one thing in an episode that I haven't seen mentioned is "The Six Million Dollar Mon". Look, this episode was good, but it wasn't great. There were great references and many laughs, but the ending was EXTREMELY lazy. I refer to Roberto coming back, which might have been fine, but it makes no sense. The Professor had not given him his new brain, and yet we watch the robot, now Roberto, place the brain in his head. That was Roberto's brain! How the hell could he put the brain! He wasn't Roberto yet! That was just lazy!
I thought of it as his ghost controlling the body like Bender did in Ghost in the Machines. It's been a while since I saw either, so it may not be the same way
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