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PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    Re-Check/Weird Scenes    Solving the Timeskips in "Time Keeps On Slipping" « previous next »
Author Topic: Solving the Timeskips in "Time Keeps On Slipping"  (Read 1385 times)
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Simple

Crustacean
*
« on: 09-23-2006 22:31 »

Posted to the Noise to Signal media site, for anyone who might be interested:
 http://www.noisetosignal.org/tv/2006/09/the-science-of-romance-solving-the-timeskips-in-futuramas-time-keeps-on-slipping.php
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #1 on: 09-24-2006 08:30 »

That is the most uplifting thing I've read all day.

Simple

Crustacean
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« Reply #2 on: 09-24-2006 11:47 »

Glad you enjoyed it.  I'm hoping to get some feedback as it took a while to write...but I certainly do believe you can view the timeskips are more of a romantic tragedy than a temporal one.
Tim B

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #3 on: 09-24-2006 12:32 »

I really liked the article.  The thought that it was Fry causing the timeskips was an interesting idea.  I don't really agree with the idea that it was Fry causing the timeskips, though I see the reasoning behind it.  I do agree that Time Keeps on Slippin is definitely an episode with the relationship between Fry and Leela at its core.  I agree with Simple that the timeskips can be viewed as a romantic tragedy.
    Here's an interesting thought:  If Fry is really causing the timeskips, then why don't they continue later in the series when he once again resumes his advances on Leela?
    @Simple:  Did you write the article? 
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #4 on: 09-24-2006 13:55 »

Wow.

That's the most detailed analysis of a Futurama plot I think I've ever read.
Simple

Crustacean
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« Reply #5 on: 09-24-2006 14:22 »

>That's the most detailed analysis of a Futurama plot I think I've ever read.

I have some other episodes in mind that I'd like to do in a similar fashion...but this one's been on my mind for a while so I thought it'd be a good debut.  The feedback so far as been good...if it seems people enjoy these (or are at least interested in them) I'll gladly do more.

>I really liked the article.

Thanks, much appreciated.

>I don't really agree with the idea that it was Fry causing the timeskips, though I see the reasoning behind it.

Yeah.  I'm a literature student so I'm sort of used to looking deeper into things to find what's there, even if the author didn't intend it.  Did Ken Keeler intend for Fry to cause the timeskips?  Well, probably not, I admit...but that doesn't mean it's not there.

The mark of any great literature (or in this case television program) is that different people can see different things...without it seeming like a stretch.

>If Fry is really causing the timeskips, then why don't they continue later in the series when he once again resumes his advances on Leela?

I wondered about this myself, and all I can figure is that the chronitons must function in a limited way.  "As necessary," is how I phrased it in the article.

That is to say that the professor wanted the supermen to grow...and they did.  But they grew to a certain point (their necessary point) and then stopped.  Right?  They didn't just keep growing forever...

So for Fry's romantic anticipation, the chronitons will function, again, as necessary.  There's no reason for them to continue to accelerate time if Fry's story is brought to a conclusion...which, at the end of the episode, it was.

Which still doesn't quite answer your question of why it doesn't resume later on (say, in "The Farnsworth Parabox" ) when romance is again on Fry's mind.  I'd have to assume that once the chronitons stop working, they stop for good.  Entropy, maybe?

Another visit to the Tempus Nebula would resolve this once and for all.

Oh, and yes, if you didn't figure it out yet, I wrote it.  Haha.
Tim B

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #6 on: 09-24-2006 14:37 »
« Last Edit on: 09-24-2006 14:37 »

   
Quote
Originally posted by Simple:
Yeah. I'm a literature student so I'm sort of used to looking deeper into things to find what's there, even if the author didn't intend it. Did Ken Keeler intend for Fry to cause the timeskips? Well, probably not, I admit...but that doesn't mean it's not there.

The mark of any great literature (or in this case television program) is that different people can see different things...without it seeming like a stretch.

Exactly.  I think it's a really cool idea to think about(Fry causing the timeskips), past whats presented there on the surface.  What's cool about Futurama, is that there are many other instances like this one, where different people can have different explainations or see different meanings under the surface of whats actually there.

   
Quote
Originally posted by Simple:
 I have some other episodes in mind that I'd like to do in a similar fashion...

I am definitely interested in reading any more of these you come up with.  Be sure to keep us posted!    smile
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #7 on: 09-24-2006 15:01 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Simple:
I have some other episodes in mind that I'd like to do in a similar fashion...but this one's been on my mind for a while so I thought it'd be a good debut.  The feedback so far as been good...if it seems people enjoy these (or are at least interested in them) I'll gladly do more.
If you give similar treatment to the other ep’s you... uh... analyse, I’d read your essays with keen interest - and I’m certain there are at least a few people on this board who would too.
Quote
Yeah.  I'm a literature student...
Ah HA!

[*Ahem*]

Sorry...

Careful; you’ll lose your amateur standing.  wink
Quote
so I'm sort of used to looking deeper into things…
That is apparent! Keep it up.
Quote
I wondered about this myself, and all I can figure is that the chronitons must function in a limited way.  "As necessary," is how I phrased it in the article.
A fine plot device they’d be if they didn’t!  wink
Quote
Oh, and yes, if you didn't figure it out yet, I wrote it.  Haha.
[*GASP!*]

Oh , oh say it ain’t so!  laff

Please, do more.

While I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do, if you do choose to write more essays (sic), I suspicion a lot of people her have a strong desire to see “The Sting,” similarly analyzed.

For a noob, you’ve sure hit the bricks running!
Welcome to P.E.E.L! Enjoy your stay here in ‘nerd-world’!  big grin
P.E.E.L: A more wretched hive of nerds and geekery you will not find!
Simple

Crustacean
*
« Reply #8 on: 09-24-2006 16:39 »

>What's cool about Futurama, is that there are many other instances like this one, where different people can have different explainations or see different meanings under the surface of whats actually there.

Definitely.  I do intend to do more of these...but they take time, and obviously require a good deal of inspiration.  It's good to hear from likeminded fans, too...I don't expect to have thousands of people saying the essay is great...even a few makes it worth while.

>Please, do more.

I intend to.  I'm not really sure which to do next...I'll wait and see what kind of feedback I get on this one first.

>I suspicion a lot of people her have a strong desire to see “The Sting,” similarly analyzed.

Yes, that would be an excellent one to do next.  It's definitely one of the deeper episodes of the show, and one of the few truly deep ones that Ken Keeler didn't write.  (haha)

>For a noob, you’ve sure hit the bricks running!

Not entirely a noob...just a very, very quiet lurker.  I'll try to speak only when I have something to say...and I figured this qualified.  Ha.

If anyone's interested, I've done similar essays about an episode of I'm Alan Partridge: http://www.phil-reed.com/2006/04/15/alan-patridge-and-the-maturity-paradox/

and the film Shaun of the Dead: http://www.phil-reed.com/2005/08/01/essay-the-friendship-dynamic-in-shaun-of-the-dead/

It's just a hobby of mine, when the inspiration strikes.  Thanks again for the kind words, and don't be afraid to offer a rebuttal.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #9 on: 09-24-2006 19:13 »

You're a genius. I've left some feedback. Let me say that you're a genius one more time: you're a genius. That was wonderful.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #10 on: 09-24-2006 19:38 »

@ tnuk:  Nobody likes an asskisser.   smile

That aside - that's a strong compliment coming from tnuk - one of the most caustic (yet insightful and intelligent) PEELers' around.  He doesn't give very many compliments - I think an average of one a year.

Anyway, I've read the disertation of the 'Time Slips', and after I've ingested some caffiene and grease, I'll come back and give my opinion.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #11 on: 09-24-2006 20:12 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Ralph Snart:
@ tnuk:  Nobody likes an asskisser.    smile

Not only did he write the above linked article on TKOS, he also wrote Larry Vales. The man deserves a fucking medal. Also, the man deserves to be shot (although only slightly) for not producing Larry Vales III.
TriggerHappyJim

Professor
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« Reply #12 on: 09-24-2006 20:35 »
« Last Edit on: 09-24-2006 20:35 »

*Desperately trys to keep eyes open to read the damn thing.*

*Fails*

I'm sorry, but I'm falling asleep here (Not a result of reading your article, I can assure you). I'll read it tomorrow. When it isn't so blurry.

EDIT: See? Look how tired I am. A spelling disaster.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #13 on: 09-25-2006 00:48 »

I would mention how awesome that article is, but everyone beat me to it. Damn work schedule!

I would love to see you analyze 'The Sting'. Lot's of fun subconscious stuff going on there.

Thanks for bringing this thread to my attention Spacecase, i'd have completely overlooked it.
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #14 on: 09-25-2006 01:16 »
« Last Edit on: 09-25-2006 01:16 »

I love analysis of fiction, especially of story structure as it relates to character (or vice versa).  Naturally, I would now like to have your baby. 

But if asskissing is looked down upon, I suppose that would be, too.    hmpf

May I then just say that was one of the most fascinating examples of said analysis I've ever read?  I don't think I've ever come across one where the physical plot McGuffin itself was attributed by the analysis to the emotions of the people in the story (without that being an overt part of the plot concept, as in Forbidden Planet).  That's a whole new and fascinating concept.

I'd like to comment further, but I gotta sleep.  But thank you for writing that; I look forward to seeing more, if you are able. 

(And I second Venus's request for you to do "the Sting," if that possibility interests you.    big grin )   
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 09-25-2006 02:12 »

Now that I've re-read the analysis of TKOS, I agree that it was rather enjoyable except for one little point stated by tnuk:  Leela has always been static - it was planned almost from the beginning that she would be a mutant - her parents appeared in an episode from the early part of the second season.  The shift from being an alien to a mutant did nothing to subtract from the fact that she's different from the rest of the people that surround her.  It didn't do anything to change her except relieve some of the crushing loneliness that she suffered because she now knows her parents and knows that she was loved by them.

Phil Reed put a lot of effort in this analysis that can only be equaled by my college literature professor's obsession with Flannery O'Connor - that's a lot of effort.  It's an enjoyable read - this is one of the three saddest episodes in my eyes (Jurrassic Bark and Devil's Hands being the other two) and Mr. Reed has managed to parley the amount of sadness and despair that Fry felt at the end (along with Bender's despair).  The difference between the two was Fry held his in while Bender let the world know about his sadness for being denied a position with the Globetrotters.

If we live long enough, almost all of us will have to deal with the ugly spectacle of unrequited love.  TKOS showed this in spades.  As Shiny has pointed out in the past, Leela knows how Fry feels and she feels sad for him.  That's why she shows him that she trusts him to pilot the ship without her supervision.  She values him dearly as a friend but that's all (at this point).

Now, the critism of the analysis (I'm going to have the hatred of all the shippers on me):

If the Leela/Fry marriage were successful, then the skips should have ended there.  Instead they continued.  Either Fry was not responsible for the skips or even worse, the marriage with Leela was doomed from the start because she may have been honored and amazed with the gesture that Fry made, but she never truely loved Fry and realized that during the wedding, thus triggering the skips again.

That said, I did enjoy the analysis and do wish to see more.  The Sting is a favorite for people interested in the Fry/Leela dynamic - everything after Leela slipped into a coma was her subconscious - it came out in spades when Leela was willing to commit suicide because the only time she was happy was shen she was with Fry.  Throughout the entire series, we have never heard Leela use the phrase 'I love you' to anybody.  For her, this was the closest that she would come to realizing that somebody was worth dying for.  She may not recognize it as love, but it's definitely a huge step for her. 

So, add my voice to the others giving you a big 'Thumbs Up' for sharing your analysis with us and I hope to see more in the future.

Ralph 'long-winded and rambling' Snart
Simple

Crustacean
*
« Reply #16 on: 09-25-2006 06:59 »

>Leela has always been static
It was poor phrasing on my part.  "Rewritten" was very much the wrong word, I admit...I meant it metaphorically and not literarlly.  But, again, it was a poorly chosen phrase.

>It didn't do anything to change her except relieve some of the crushing loneliness

Again, agreed.  My only point was that it was a LITERAL humanizing of a character (whereas Zoidberg and Bender, my other examples, display very human qualities in spite of their sci-fi gimmick roots, Leela actually became--or was revealed to be--human).

>If the Leela/Fry marriage were successful, then the skips should have ended there.

Ah, but it wasn't "successful," because Leela's first reaction upon seeing the wedding is one of shock...and not pleasant shock at all.  Therefore the chronitons still do have something to do...it's clear enough to Fry that he may well have work ahead of him in convincing Leela they are right for each other, even if they are married already...and wouldn'tchaknowit, the very next skip lands them in divorce court.

>That said, I did enjoy the analysis and do wish to see more.

Thanks, I do appreciate it.  And kudos for calling me out on my poor phrasing with Leela (TNUK did a similar thing at the NTS link above, and rightly so.)

>That's a whole new and fascinating concept.

Thank you.  I don't know exactly what triggered it in me...I hadn't seen the episode in some time.  But for some reason I had the story in my mind...and I don't know.  It just seemed to fit.  All three of the "stories" in the episode (the skips, the romance, the Globetrotters) were just too perfect not to attempt some analysis...

>Naturally, I would now like to have your baby.

I'm free Wednesday.
Shiny

Professor
*
« Reply #17 on: 09-25-2006 08:13 »

Ralph offered to have your baby, too?! 

...

Copycat.

~

( wink)
Tastes Like Fry

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #18 on: 09-25-2006 09:08 »

I think I said this in another thread... but that's a fantastic theory!
I put my vote in for 'The Sting' as well.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #19 on: 09-25-2006 14:53 »

Interesting stuff, and an excellent literary (as opposed to scientific) analysis.  I can't find any real fault in your analysis, although you do seem to miss one potential counterpoint: in Futurama, the science (and I use that term loosely with regards to this episode) nearly always works "as necessary," whether for the plot or a joke.  Time skips occur at moments of anticipation so we can skip to the punchline (as in the case of Zoidberg's birthday and Fry's cheesy "time will stand still" ) or situational irony (as in the wedding.)

As for the science, it's poorly explained because, well, Futurama's a parody of poorly explained science-fiction, where the characters throw technobabble at the audience until they stop asking questions and accept the resolution (see "every episode of Star Trek ever made".)


Now, I'm not meaning to trash your article; it's great, very insightful, and much better thought-out than this post.  I just enjoy playing Devil's Advocate, and have trouble believing that the writers of the show put as much thought into it as we do.
Simple

Crustacean
*
« Reply #20 on: 09-25-2006 16:00 »

>Now, I'm not meaning to trash your article

Oh, I don't see it that way at all.  You make very good points, and it underscores the greater point:  Futurama, whatever else it may have going on inside, is still a half-hour comedy show.

Which means, for the most part, this stuff DOES still have to function as a "setup-joke" arrangement.  So on the whole, you're exactly right.

But within the context of the episode, I do believe there's enough going on that you can actually take the setup-joke formula and have it fit a somewhat deeper scheme.  (It's Ken Keeler, after all, who clearly put a lot of thought into his episodes.)

>I just enjoy playing Devil's Advocate

As I say, you made good points, and they deserve to be remembered.  No need to apologize.

>have trouble believing that the writers of the show put as much thought into it as we do.

That's something else I learned as a lit student:  just because the author doesn't intend something doesn't mean it isn't there.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #21 on: 09-25-2006 21:10 »
« Last Edit on: 09-25-2006 21:10 »

Oh, so that's the sort of insight you get from 120 credit hours of reading?  roll eyes

[/Engineering Major]

As much as I generally hate smilies, I feel that one was necessary.
LuvFry

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #22 on: 09-25-2006 21:25 »

I read the article, and as a Lit major newbie to the website... I'm not going to take a stand either way. This has been my spineless post.
Well, on the one hand your theory makes very good sense. I would not put it past the writers that at least some one there had this in the back of there mind, HOWEVER
I know that because this is a sci-fi comedy that is only thirty minutes long, they had to cut to the punch-lines.
In conclusion: I take no one's side.
P.S. I'm glad there are more people out there who take the time to be overly thoughtful about TV shows. For a while, I thought I was the only one. Yay! I have peers!
Simple

Crustacean
*
« Reply #23 on: 09-26-2006 06:55 »

>they had to cut to the punch-lines.

Fully agreed, I actually addressed that a few posts ago.  But that doesn't mean they can't achieve something deeper within the necessary framework of a comedy show.
Simple

Crustacean
*
« Reply #24 on: 09-26-2006 07:01 »

>Oh, so that's the sort of insight you get from 120 credit hours of reading?

Oh it'd be more like two decades of solid reading.  Going to school for it taught me how to write and express myself, but the insight--whatever insight I might have--is still personally derived.
Corvus

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #25 on: 09-26-2006 11:12 »

I think it's a great and interesting article with a different approach to that episode.

Would be fun to read your analysis of any other episode.. say.. the sting?  tongue

With that said I know next to nothing when it comes to literature. My major was computer communication. So if you want to know how information flows across the web I can bore you to tears.  smile

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."
LuvFry

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #26 on: 09-26-2006 20:33 »

Yes! Please tell us what you think of the Sting!!!
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #27 on: 09-27-2006 11:57 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Venus:
... I would love to see you analyze 'The Sting'...
Quote
Originally posted by Shiny:
... I second Venus's request for you to do "the Sting," if that possibility interests you.
Quote
Originally posted by Tastes Like Fry:
I put my vote in for 'The Sting' as well.
Quote
Originally posted by LuvFry:
Yes! Please tell us what you think of the Sting!!!
[*Gasp!*]  eek

T’would seem I’ve started a trend...
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #28 on: 09-27-2006 12:22 »

Jurassic Bark and The Luck of the Fryrish probably have a lot more potential though, what with there being larger themes to explore.
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #29 on: 09-27-2006 12:43 »

They solved the time skips by imploding them into a black hole. 
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #30 on: 09-27-2006 13:40 »

    Quote
    Originally posted by KurtPikachu2001:
    They solved the time skips by imploding them into a black hole. 
    • The time-skips were caused by “tears” in time created by the P.E. crew removing chronotons from the Tempus nebula.
    • The time-skips were stopped by imploding the Tempus nebula, and all the “time-tears” it contained, into a black hole.
    • Just in the off chance you didn’t get it, we were discussing the symbolism, and literary meaning of the plot devices in “TKoS,” not necessarily the plot itself.
    [*Crickets chirp*]  sleep

    I'll just ooze back out under the door now...
    Simple

    Crustacean
    *
    « Reply #31 on: 09-27-2006 16:37 »

    >T’would seem I’ve started a trend...

    Ah, Space Case...it sure would seem that way.  I was wondering, in fact, if so many people would have suggested that episode without you mentioning it...or if you sort of planted a seed.

    Anyway, I just might explore The Sting next.  (And I replied to your post on my site...though I must ask you how you found it since I didn't link directly...)

    >Jurassic Bark and The Luck of the Fryrish probably have a lot more potential though, what with there being larger themes to explore.

    In many ways this is exactly right...but sometimes (I'm speaking generally here, as I haven't really put much thought into my next essay yet) when the wider themes are obvious, there's less to say.  "Time Keeps on Slipping" was a good one (I think) precisely because it seemed straight-forward...but maybe was not.

    Still, that's just me hypothesizing, and either of those episodes, I'm sure, could open up into a great essay, if only the inspiration strikes.

    >They solved the time skips by imploding them into a black hole.

    Very true!  Well, case closed, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for playing. 

    Also, instead of writing my essay on The Sting I guess I can just sum it up with "Leela thinks Fry died but he didn't and then she wakes up."
    Ralph Snart

    Agent Provocateur
    Near Death Star Inhabitant
    DOOP Secretary
    *
    « Reply #32 on: 09-27-2006 16:46 »

     
    Quote
    Anyway, I just might explore The Sting next. (And I replied to your post on my site...though I must ask you how you found it since I didn't link directly...)

    Spacecase exists outside our space-time reality.  There is nothing that Spacey can't do.   big grin

    totalnerd undercanada

    DOOP Ubersecretary
    **
    « Reply #33 on: 09-27-2006 18:20 »
    « Last Edit on: 09-27-2006 18:20 by totalnerduk »

       
    Quote
    Originally posted by Simple:
    (And I replied to your post on my site...though I must ask you how you found it since I didn't link directly...)

    Your signature in the comments section contains a link to your site. Like me, Spacecase probably habitually rolled over every link to see exactly where it goes, just in case there's one to a rabbit hole or a weird mirror. Or to an alternate reality where Futurama was never cancelled, but the Fox staff hired writers from Mexico who were too scared to actually write in any jokes at all.

    Nerd-o-rama

    Urban Legend
    ***
    « Reply #34 on: 09-27-2006 20:14 »

    KurtPikachu: making realists look like morons since 2003.
    SpaceCase

    Liquid Emperor
    **
    « Reply #35 on: 09-27-2006 23:41 »

     
    Quote
    Originally posted by Simple:
    ... I replied to your post on my site... though I must ask you how you found it since I didn't link directly...
    Well... I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you...  laff 
    Quote
    Originally posted by totalnerduk:
    ... an alternate reality where Futurama was never cancelled, but the Fox staff hired writers from Mexico who were too scared to actually write in any jokes at all.
    Um... you expect to find a wormhole to a different universe, on the Internet?  confused
      hmpf
    Hmm... Well, at least if we don't hear from you for a long time, now we'll know why ...  wink
    Ralph Snart

    Agent Provocateur
    Near Death Star Inhabitant
    DOOP Secretary
    *
    « Reply #36 on: 09-28-2006 00:10 »

    @ Simple:

    Your site with the analysis is infected with the VSB/Psyme trojan.

    All others who have gone there - run your virusscans.
    Simple

    Crustacean
    *
    « Reply #37 on: 09-28-2006 06:52 »

    >Your site with the analysis is infected with the VSB/Psyme trojan.

    Holy crap.  Well, that's not MY site, right?  Do you mean Noise to Signal or my personal www.phil-reed.com?   Let me know.  If you mean NTS I'll email the webmaster.  If you mean MY site...well, let me know, I'll have to take a look.  Thanks for the heads up.
    Ralph Snart

    Agent Provocateur
    Near Death Star Inhabitant
    DOOP Secretary
    *
    « Reply #38 on: 09-28-2006 09:32 »

    The "noise to Signal" site is the infected one.
    Simple

    Crustacean
    *
    « Reply #39 on: 09-28-2006 15:50 »

    Ralph:  thank you. I emailed the webmaster this morning.  I'm sure he appreciates the heads-up.

    Anyone who wants to read the article (or re-read, of course) can also find it on my site:  http://www.phil-reed.com/2006/09/23/essay-the-science-of-romance-solving-the-timeskips-in-futuramas-time-keeps-on-slipping/

    It has a slightly longer introduction there, and this way people can actually still read it without having to fear viruses.  Again, thanks for the warning.
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