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Author Topic: Is Futurama losing it's edge?  (Read 275 times)
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Warrzie

Crustacean
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« on: 08-24-2003 20:07 »

 Let's be honest, the last couple of episodes have not been the cream of the crop as far as quality goes. I hate to say it, but I'm beginning to see why the people upstairs at Fox might want to cancel our beloved Futurama. These last episodes have continually brought up past material (the holophonor,nibbler and the brains,and ofcourse Leela and Fry's relationship).

 It hurts to see it happening,but it seems the writers are running out of juice by resurrecting rather stale subjects from old episodes (and even going as far as to alter the first episode). Just like the Simpsons..it's like watching a train wreck and not being able to do anything about it. Anyone feel the same way?
El Zilcho

Professor
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« Reply #1 on: 08-24-2003 20:11 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:11 »

They resurrected old topics because they had always planned to, ever since they made the first ep. They had to cram all of the resurrections in one season because they had an inkling FOX was going to cancel them.

At least that's what I was told.

EDIT: They didn't alter the first ep, check it out, Nibbler's shadow is in it and always has been. They planned it out from the beginning.
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #2 on: 08-24-2003 20:12 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:12 »

It's not because they're running out of ideas the return to those plotlines, that was the plan all along.

Leela and Fry's evolving relationship have been planned right from the start, the Nibblonians was alwasy intended to come back, etc. These running story-archs are actually a large part of what set Futurama apart from standard animated shows.

Plus when FOX decided to cancel the show, they we're still airing 3ACV episodes, so the decision was not made based on the 4ACV production.

Welcome to PEEL, Warrzie. Enjoy it here.
Futurama_Hil

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 08-24-2003 20:13 »

This sin't the reason they cancelled it. They hated from the start. Not because it as going downhill, whih, IMO, it wasn't really.

I think some of the eps have been the worst, but the good ones have been some of the best recently. They've just been a little low in jokes, but the emotions have grown. Which, IMO, is just as good as laughs.  So I agree and disagree, in comedy it was going down, but otherwise it's as good as ever. And the reason they had tose type of eps is cause they had to somehow close the series up.  It doesn't really mater anymore, sadly. But I would still watch without a doubt if they kept going.  I find the Simpsons still watchable.
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #4 on: 08-24-2003 20:13 »

Did you WATCH the final epsiode?
Cube_166

Professor
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« Reply #5 on: 08-24-2003 20:14 »

No. The first episode wasn't being referenced in twof, the first episode was leading up to it, as have been all flashbacks since. Just watch it slowly. And as for having to bring back fry and leelas relationship? thats one of the main points of the show. I think that some of the recent episodes have been the best. The Farnsworth Parabox, Devils Hands Are Idle Playthings, The Sting, The Why Of Fry (I also quite liked Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV, Although I didn't like him saying the full phrase in the episode) to name but a few.
And as for you empathising with FOX? are you a fox plant or something because you sure as hell ain't a futurama fan.
Warrzie

Crustacean
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« Reply #6 on: 08-24-2003 20:15 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:15 »

Makes sense, but it really cheapens the series. It would be nicer for them to make a final episode and continue making ones with new content.
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 08-24-2003 20:16 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:16 »

Well, that's a matter of opinion.

Personally, I think that ignoring the storyarchs would cheapen the show. Then it would just be another standard animated something.

Futurama is about emotions, jokes, sci-fi references and good stories. Not necessarily in that order.

Case in point: "Luck Of The Fryrish"
El Zilcho

Professor
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« Reply #8 on: 08-24-2003 20:18 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:18 »

Futurama has been cancelled for a while. FOX, TBS and CN are showing reruns.

They have made plenty of eps with new content (The Sting, Parabox, Taste of Freedom, Spanish Fry). They just didn't want to end the show with cliffhangers, so they did Leela's Homeworld, Devil's Hands, etc.

EDIT: Cube, lay off him. He didn't say "Futurama sucks because of the new eps, it deserved to be cancelled," he was just uninformed, and he figured if FOX cancelled it because of the resurrections, he understood their desicion. It's just a matter of opinion.
Cube_166

Professor
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« Reply #9 on: 08-24-2003 20:21 »

Imagine if the show had ended without the why of fry and nibblers shadow was never explained. People would be furious I tell you. Furious!
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #10 on: 08-24-2003 20:21 »

Personally I think Futurama jumped the shark ten seconds after "The Devil's Hands..." finished.
Warrzie

Crustacean
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« Reply #11 on: 08-24-2003 20:22 »

 Not a Fox fan Cube, I actually think it's a very tawdry network that airs crap like the long outdated Simpsons and the ridiculously stupid Pitts without a care for quality series like Futurama.

 But in any case, I think Futurama should maintain a very comical aspect. Leela and Fry's relationship seems very tacked on since it wasn't emphasized as strongly as it is now. Instead of trying to tug at the heartstrings with episode after episode based completely off of Fry's attraction to Leela, I would like to see some much more playful,fun episodes like the early half of the series which gives a larger opportunity for comedy.
alexvilagosh

Goose Patrol
Space Pope
****
« Reply #12 on: 08-24-2003 20:50 »

I've been saying it all along, season 5 was nowhere near season 2 and 3.
Lionel Hutz Esq

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 08-24-2003 20:55 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 20:55 »

Just a suggestion, but to really get a feel for the shows emotional depth, watch them in the production order serially.  Because of the timing, for the longest time I only caught Futurama occasionally, and even then, it was often broken up by four month voids.  With the DVDs and my videos, I have been able to re-watch everything and really get a feel for the story arcs.  The humor is still good, and in some case highten by the arcs, but the arcs make it a great series.

Watching it in bits, as it was tortured by FOX, took a lot of this out of it.

And I agree with Cube, of the last ten shows, four are as good as anything they ever did (Teenage Leela, The Why of Fry, The Farnsworth Parabox, and Devil's Hands), and The Sting is perhaps one of the best SF episodes of any series ever.  The other five only pale in comparison to these. 

If you want to look for low points in production, look at the end of production season 2 (Probably just exhaustion on everyones part), and the third quarter of production season 3 (no idea on this, unless their rocky fate with fox was effecting everything). 

That being said, I think even the panned episodes of Futurama are better than most things on TV, and especially on FOX  (Only the Simpsons KOTH and Malcome come close in quality, and all three are showing their age).
VelourFog

Space Pope
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« Reply #14 on: 08-24-2003 20:56 »

Futurama HAS really been losing it's edge since the final episode, IMHO
Warrzie

Crustacean
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« Reply #15 on: 08-24-2003 21:08 »

 It's sad to see it go..especially because the producer's had to cram all the emotional aspects into the last few episodes because of it. But to throw something into the air..is it possible that someone else could buy the producing rights to Futurama and pick up where Fox left off? I'm not much of a copyright buff, so I don't know of the legal aspects this might have.
El Zilcho

Professor
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« Reply #16 on: 08-24-2003 21:37 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 21:37 »

Since you seem like a nice guy, I'll beat this dead horse for you.

Ahem... Cartoon Network would love to make new eps of Futurama. The problem is money. It costs about $1.3 million to make just one ep, so if CN picked it up, it would probably be Flash-imation. More likely than the show being picked up is FOX doing a finale movie, but both are real long-shots.
MrB

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #17 on: 08-24-2003 23:20 »

Futurama has 3 arcs.  Episode Arcs, which are summed up in the half hour.  Season arcs, which take the season.  And (my favorite) The series arc.  The summation of the entire run of the series. 
So when all was said and done, and Futurama was 'retired' rather than 'canceled', Matt and David could have resolved everything they planned to, in the brilliant way they thought of.  However, because they were being canceled they rushed a few things and some things didn't get resolved at all.  'Nuff said.
Kryten

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 08-24-2003 23:33 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 23:33 »

 Edit: Perhaps that was a bit harsh of me.
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #19 on: 08-24-2003 23:34 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2003 23:34 »

Dammit Kryten, now I need to edit my post as to not confuse people.

@MrB: For instance, "The Other" in Nibblonian prophecy.
starone

Starship Captain
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« Reply #20 on: 08-25-2003 01:03 »

If fox had not canceled Futurama, the returning elements would not have appeared for MUCH longer i'm thinking season 9

thinking of things that never were  cry
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #21 on: 08-25-2003 01:44 »

If you want to get technical too, its not like referencing past episodes neccasarily means you've run out of ideas.  Looking at the Simpsons, Sideshow Bob came back as early as season three.  Hell, the TENTH episode in the series references a previous episode (in this case the third).  And on Futurama, they were referencing previous episodes as early as late in the first production run.

Anyways, even if people don't like seasons 3+ as much, I think they need to admit this: a show like seasons one and two would get old after a while.  Seriously.  In seasons one and two the characters had almost not depth.  A lot of stories repeated themselves (like all the "Fry dates/has affairs" episodes in season two) and very few of them had any depth either.  It was a hilarious parody of science fiction, but a show like that can only last so long before it gets grating.  It needed to evolve to survive.  And personally I like seasons 3 and up better.  Much more interesting characters and stories, better satirical depth, even better humor IMO. 

That said, 4ACV suffers a little from unevenness.  The weakest episodes ("300 Big Boys", which is the only episode I absolutely don't like, "Less then Hero", "Obsolutely Fabulous" etc) were generally among the weakest of the whole show, yet the best ones ("Devil's Hands", "Bender Should Not...", "The Sting", "Where No Fan...", "Leela's Homeworld"  and the best...episode..ever..."Jurassic Bark" ) were among the absolute best.  It was a problem not so apparent in 3ACV, so 4ACV was bogged down a little in comparison.  But I still think it was better then the first two.
Spamwise Gamgee

Crustacean
*
« Reply #22 on: 08-25-2003 04:27 »

Has Futurama lost it's edge?
Has Fururama lost it's freakin' edge!?
Is the Space Pope warm-blooded!!?

The answer is no, no, no!  I'm madder than I've ever been!  What a question!

Futurama didn't just bring back old stuff, it expanded upon it and showed it from different angles and made it new again.  And the people at #@% cancelled the show because that's what you do after you've run a show into a ground.  The cancellation had nothing to do with quality.  Sheesh.

Well, I'm done venting.  Now I'm gonna go upstairs and spam myself silly.
ThreeDLou

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #23 on: 08-25-2003 12:18 »

Honestly, would any one of us had watched this long if this was another everything-the-same-at-the-end series?  I would have watched for a while and then moved on with my life.  Besides long and sometimes laborious character development in some anime, Futurama gave the characters not only faces, but gave them all souls that every other cartoon lacks. 

Futurama lost its edge, Hrumph!
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #24 on: 08-25-2003 12:40 »

I don't think Futurama was losing it at all.  True, there were some lesser episodes there towards the end in my opinion, but I think there are a number of potential factors in this:

1) The order FOX showed the episodes. 
FOX never liked sticking to the intended schedule.  I don't think cramming a bunch of Bender-centric episodes together was the intention of the writers.  The order does affect the impact of the show to a point because they do continuing story lines.  We'll have to wait until we get the DVDs to make a final judgement on this.

2)It was apparent to everyone well before season four was made what attitute FOX took with Futurama.
The prospect of canellation was there early. As other have stated, this may have resulted in the need to wrap up loose ends sooner than intended.  I think these story arcs would have been even better than they are had Futurama been allowed to go for more seasons.  I also think some of the writing may have been sacrificed in order to push the limits of FOX during the final season.

My verdict: no Simpsonesque writing proplems with Futurama
Damitol

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #25 on: 08-25-2003 13:26 »

To answer the original question, no, Futurama never lost it's edge.  The fact that the producers and writers revisited previous characters and situations is what fleshed out the PE crew and their universe, making them a little more real and making you (the viewer) care about them.  It's what makes a show memorable.

Is every episode going to be a 10 out of 10 for every viewer?  Of course not.  As I've stated before in various threads, Futurama's staff if smart and diverse.  Each script contained jokes that any given person may not catch based on whether or not you share the same frame of reference.  A Mac joke will fall flat with you if you have only used Windows machines, while across the hall a Mac-head is spewing milk through his nose at the same joke.

Personally - I've always considered "The Honking" as my least favorite episode, but you know what?  When I got the S2 DVDs a couple of weeks ago I watched it and laughed at a few of the jokes.  It just goes to prove again that the "worst" Futurama is better than virtually any given episode of most other TV comedies. It's like when Wermstrum gave Farnsworth's Smell-o-Scope the worst grade imaginable - A minus minus!  A bad Futurama deserves the same grade, and then only when compared to some of the truely genius episodes that came before and after.

So - did Furturama ever lose it's edge?  No.  It can still slice, dice and make julian fries out of any other television comedy out there, and would have for at least another 3 production seasons if it was given the chance. 
aslate

Space Pope
****
« Reply #26 on: 08-25-2003 13:38 »

Code:
Rank CGEF Rank CGEF % ACV Code Episode
1 1 94% 4ACV18 The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
2 6 92% 4ACV10 The Why Of Fry
3 6 92% 3ACV19 Roswell that Ends Well
4 17 88% 3ACV20 Godfellas
5 2 93% 3ACV04 The Luck of the Fryrish
6 2 93% 3ACV02 Parasites Lost
7 6 92% 3ACV01 Amazon Women in the Mood
8 12 91% 4ACV15 The Farnsworth Parabox
9 30 85% 4ACV07 Jurassic Bark
10 30 85% 4ACV03 Love & Rocket
My top 10 lists 5 from 4ACV and 5 from 3ACV if anything doesn't this prove it got better?

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