Futurama   Planet Express Employee Lounge
The Futurama Message Board

Design and Support by Can't get enough Futurama
Help Search Futurama chat Login Register

PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    Human Resource Department    AM I THE THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS FRY IS A WEAK MAIN CHARACTER? « previous next »
 Topic locked! 
Author Topic: AM I THE THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS FRY IS A WEAK MAIN CHARACTER?  (Read 3334 times)
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print
gaschief

Professor
*
« on: 06-09-2007 19:45 »

i HAVE SUGGESTED THIS IN A NUMBER OF MY OTHER SUBMISSIONS. But I cant help feeling that Fry is quite a weak character up against the likes of Bender and Leela!
Is this view sacrilige on this site?
Its something Ive always fealt quite strong about and Im a really big fan of Futurama.



Gaschief AKA Karl Marx on acid!
Trombonist

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #1 on: 06-09-2007 20:10 »

Why do you think Fry is a weak character?
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #2 on: 06-09-2007 20:15 »

Weak physically?
Weak intellectually?
Weak emotionally?
All of the above?

Futurama is a comedy, and as such it focuses more upon the failings (weaknesses) of the characters than a serious show would do. Weaknesses or flaws are a source of comedic material, whereas strength and virtue relate more to heroic escapism - if that's what you're looking for in your sci-fi then you'd do better to watch Stargate or Battlestar Galactica or something that isn't actually supposed to be a comedy.

Fry is supposed to be funny, in the same way as Homer Simpson is. I'd have thought this to be blatantly obvious.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #3 on: 06-09-2007 21:06 »

I can see the analogy with the homer simpson idea, but somehow it just doesn't work the same for me. I think homer is hilarious, but fry just doesnt do it for me, the thing is the other characters in Futurama are so good that this failing is rendered irrelevant.
There seems so much more to homer, even though he is incompetent, fry just seems like a lazy kid, who doesnt really care about anything...that is with the exception of his drive to win leela, that is perhaps the one exception to my position on fry, his determination and passion for leela is relentless!
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #4 on: 06-09-2007 23:15 »

Fry is an everyman. That's the whole point of the character - he's an extratemporal anachronism, effectively he's meant to embody the show's target audience as a typical post-adolescent Generation X or Y lout born in the late 20th century. He is us, and the reason his stereotypical traits (sloth, ignorance, general ineptitude) are magnified to such extent is because they are contrasted and compared dramatically with the future setting that he is imposed upon, and this juxtapositioning forms the comedic and commentative backbone of the series.
Nicky boy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #5 on: 06-10-2007 06:08 »

fry is a great main charcter, he suites the show perfectly.
Writer unit32

Professor
*
« Reply #6 on: 06-10-2007 06:30 »

No. Fry's great.
Leela, on the other hand...
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #7 on: 06-10-2007 06:38 »

There's a weakest character thread on this forum. Go post on that.
Writer unit32

Professor
*
« Reply #8 on: 06-10-2007 07:18 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Decapodian:
There's a weakest character thread on this forum. Go post on that.

Dude... Not physically weak.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #9 on: 06-10-2007 09:32 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by coldangel_1:
Fry is an everyman. That's the whole point of the character - he's an extratemporal anachronism, effectively he's meant to embody the show's target audience as a typical post-adolescent Generation X or Y lout born in the late 20th century. He is us, and the reason his stereotypical traits (sloth, ignorance, general ineptitude) are magnified to such extent is because they are contrasted and compared dramatically with the future setting that he is imposed upon, and this juxtapositioning forms the comedic and commentative backbone of the series.

I understand the theory, it similair to the homer simpson character, except as you say for the contrasting setting.
He just doesn't do it for me, thats a subjective thing and i'm not going to try and put forward some clever art wank argument to support my position. You either like something or you dont, its a shame really cause otherwise its a brilliant show.
Dr zoidberg on the other hand is a way under rated character, he is definetly the stereotypical underdog and would perhaps have served better in the role you suggest for fry, apart from the obvious flaw that he is an alien from the future!



Gaschief AKA Karl Marx on acid!
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #10 on: 06-10-2007 12:22 »
« Last Edit on: 06-10-2007 12:22 by JustNibblin´ »

I see where you're coming from, gaschief.  When I watched some of the very early episodes of Futurama, I was a bit turned off by Fry, and because I didn't sympathize with him, I never found him that funny.  (Although his behavior in the first two episodes are much more that of a naive innocent than what happened later in Season 1 and 2). 

My Commonwealth friends have commented that British and US humor tastes tend to be a little bit different in this respect.  Looking at popular Brit comedies like Fawlty Towers, it seems that our Anglican friends have no problems laughing at completely unsympathetic characters.  I speculate that US tastes tend to run to wanting at least something in a comedic character to identify or sympathize with.  (Chaplin's tramp comes to mind as an archetype, as well as Homer Simpson).

Terrible, terrible, overgeneralizations on taste I know. 

So back to my own personal take-- I personally found the show much more interesting in the later seasons, when Fry became more involved in the plots, was revealed to lack a delta brainwave, and was given more of a backstory with Yancy and Seymour.  Even if Fry screwed up from lack of intelligence or courage in these later episodes, he screwed up because at least he was trying to acheive something.  There may have even been a long-term plan by the producers to have Fry evolve in this direction.

Certainly, others may violently disagree, but I always thought "Parasites Lost" was a major turning point in the series with regards to the role of Fry in the show, although glimmers of change can be seen in "Bicyclops" and "War is the H-word" and "Slurm".

If you look at the episode rankings on CGEF, I think it's fair to say the top episodes involve Fry demonstrating some "strength of character," vs. him being the weak one being rescued.  That is, I think a lot of people do appreciate it when Fry is a stronger character.

Once again, it's all a matter of taste in humor.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #11 on: 06-10-2007 13:26 »

I must admit I have not seen the episodes from season 3 onwards as many times as the first two seasons which I own on DVD.  rely on Sky TV here in the UK to broadcast later episodes which they tend to show in random order.
It underscores the point that I really need to buy the later series, although im not sure if season 5 is available in the UK yet.
I sort of get the inkling that Fry does evolve as the series progress, in much the same way as Dave Listers character develops as red dwarf progressed into later series. ( see my other thread on Futurama and red dwarf )
 Would I be right in saying that 'Parasites Lost' was the one in which Fry learns to play the holophone and impresses leela to fall for him in a more substantial sense? I seen this recently and I would agree that this episode certainly does add extra dimensions to Frys character that were very much absent in the earlier days.
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #12 on: 06-10-2007 14:50 »
« Last Edit on: 06-10-2007 14:50 by JustNibblin´ »

The holophoner appears in two episodes, Parasites Lost and Devil's Hands are idle playthings.  If the episode you saw involved intelligent parasites and purple sea otters, that was Parasites lost.  If you saw the major characters singing in an opera, including the Robot Devil, that was "Devil's Hands", the last episode prodcued.

I would highly recommend you get Season 3 and 4 (the latter also includes Season 5, since only 4 production seasons were made).  If you look at the list of greatest episodes, they tend to cluster in Seasons 3 and 4.  I think once you see those you'll see Fry's role has evolved slightly.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #13 on: 06-10-2007 15:59 »

Just by a stroke of good fortune Sky showed 'devils hands' tonight shortly after I posted my last comment. Yeh the one I was referring to earlier was definetly Parasites lost but I would agree 'devils hands' adds another dimension to the evolution of Frys character.
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #14 on: 06-10-2007 22:02 »
« Last Edit on: 06-10-2007 22:02 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Writer unit32:
 Dude... Not physically weak.

I know. The weakest character thread means both mentally weak and physically weak.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #15 on: 06-11-2007 00:12 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by gaschief:
 i'm not going to try and put forward some clever art wank argument to support my position.


You're discussing characterization in a fictional television program, so it already is an 'art wank argument', a term that as a writer and illustrator I find somewhat demeaning, even insulting. Nevertheless... the point of the character isn't necessarily that we *like* him, but that we laugh at his ridiculous antics and perhaps see a reflection of ourselves in his failings.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #16 on: 06-11-2007 09:52 »

WOW Coldangel "Don't have a cow" as bart Simpson used to say! I didnt realise folk on this site took these arguments so seriously, this is just a bit of entertainment for me. Part of the motivation behind the Is fry a weak character thread was top try and fire up a bit of heated discussion, no real offense was intended to any parties!
Trombonist

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #17 on: 06-11-2007 10:38 »

You have succeeded in causing a heated discussion, it's just the term used in this discussion that upset coldangel, not the discussion itself. 
JustNibblin

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #18 on: 06-11-2007 10:45 »
« Last Edit on: 06-11-2007 10:45 by JustNibblin´ »

Gaschief, I do agree with coldangel and Trombonist that the phrase "art wank argument" can be taken as an  ad hominem that didn't help your argument. 

If you look at Coldangel's fanfics you'll see he likes when Fry acts as a more assertive character as well, so fundamentally you guys are rowing in the same direction. 

But I'm glad someone is discussing the show on PEEL--most of the regulars seem a bit talked out on the show right now, and are waiting for the new episodes next.

So in my interpretation, Fry appears as a weak character early in the series, but this changes about halfway through and by the end of the series I'd say he holds his own against Fry and Leela.  They still have work to do with Amy and Hermes, though.  And I agree with you that Zoidberg has grown on me.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #19 on: 06-11-2007 11:05 »

A bit off the topic but I liked that term 'ad hominem', I guess you could say that is the principle modus operandi of politicians! They skip around the substance of arguments by attacking one anothers personal failings.....not really a very dignified form of debate and not something I would certainly be inclined to do in my professional life.
When it comes to debating with the wife on the other hand, ad hominem is unaviodable!
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #20 on: 06-11-2007 17:49 »

JustNibblin' is right about the depiction of Fry in my fanfics as more assertive than usual. Part of the appeal of a 'weak' character is that you can show that character taking leaps of courage or faith and going out on the proverbial limb, and it means a lot more than it would if the character was some kind of fearless superhero who did that all the time and thought nothing of it. One of the more insiprational facets of Matt Groening's shows is that, although the protagonist is an incredibly flawed antihero (Fry, Bender, Homer), often an embodiment of everything that's wrong with humanity, they still find the inner strength to rise above their failings and do the right thing in the end. This carries a message of hope that, though we may not be able to change ourselves, we probably don't need to, because we all have the strength to transcend the petty trivialities of our faulty human nature.
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #21 on: 06-11-2007 22:31 »

Your right about matt Groaning Cartoons there, Coldy.

A character such as Bender who drinks, steals, smokes, kills and apparently uses cats from the cat-shelter to make into BenderBurgers is by anyone's definition, bad. Yet, even Bender does the right thing most of the times, such as rescuing Fry's dog.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #22 on: 06-11-2007 23:44 »

Indeed.
One can see a lot of the same in Homer, who is very much a fleshy incarnation of Bender, when he goes to great lengths to right wrongs, and not always of his own making. Like when he found Lisa when she was lost and then helped her get into the museum exhibit... and that other time when he got the crap beaten out of him by a herd of Reindeer to save bart... and when he guzzled that sixpack of Duff to stop Barney falling back into alcoholism... etc etc... Damn, wrong forum. But my point remains valid!

Fry, like Homer and Bender, is a lazy dim-witted loser with a heart of gold who'll always do the right thing eventually.
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #23 on: 06-12-2007 00:53 »

I agree with you 100% Coldy!

Finally I get to save the earth with deadly lasers instead of deadly slide-shows. 'Al Gore, Bender's Big Score'

Oh ya, Happy Holidays too!
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #24 on: 06-12-2007 04:54 »

Homer isn't exactly a flesh and blood Bender. Bender behaves much much more worse then Homer. Sure they're both lazy alcoholics but their the resemblence ends. Homer isn't a chain-smoking whoremongering gambler but Bender is.

In one episode, Grampa gets rich and goes off to gamble. Homer tries to stop him because deep down he loves Grampa and doesn't want to see him lose his fortune. Homer didn't even care when Grampa said he wasn't giving it to him.

Bender, on the other hand would either

A) Let Grampa gamble it all away

or:

B) Beat the crap out of the old man in an alleyway and steal his money. (possibly killing him)
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #25 on: 06-12-2007 08:41 »

Still. Bender's a robot. 'Excess' is a relative thing.
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #26 on: 06-12-2007 12:51 »

Benders role as a robot allows for him to be a much darker anti hero. Somehow the darkest qualities of human nature rather than being abhorant become laughable, in this incarnation.
But yeh essentially there are elements of Homer to both Fry and Bender.

I liked this comment by Coldangel
"Part of the appeal of a 'weak' character is that you can show that character taking leaps of courage or faith and going out on the proverbial limb, and it means a lot more than it would if the character was some kind of fearless superhero who did that all the time and thought nothing of it."
One good example of fry transcending the norm was in the second episode of futurama when they are on the moon and he is trying to convince Leela just how amazing the idea of going to the moon is to him, she gets it in the end!

Once again appologies for any offense caused by previous comments.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #27 on: 06-12-2007 13:10 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by gaschief:
she gets it in the end!

Hi-oh!

And to say something relevant, it's Fry's flaws (or weaknesses as you may call them) that make him what he is, and also bring about his strengths ("I love his boyish charm, but I can't stand his childishness" ). I would also like to cite the creation of kryptonite for Superman, as an invincible character is pretty boring after a while.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #28 on: 06-12-2007 20:38 »

Yes. Superman. Totally. Boring as fuck. Whereas Spiderman comics are a damn sight more interesting, because he's a dweeb who freqently gets the snot kicked out of him.
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #29 on: 06-13-2007 02:40 »

I never liked Superman. He's got too much power!
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #30 on: 06-17-2007 17:07 »

Superman did give up his powers for the woman he loved in Superman 2. This I think is a decidedly Fryish thing to do.
Any thoughts?
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #31 on: 06-18-2007 02:01 »

Yeah but he had his powers back again in Superman 3.
FuturamaPac

Professor
*
« Reply #32 on: 06-18-2007 08:24 »

Congrats on your new rank, Deca. And also, how did this discussion turn into a Superman discussion?
gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #33 on: 06-18-2007 09:14 »

Superman was just an example of the traditional flawless hero. This type of character has fallen into disripute, I think largely down to wider changes in society at large.
We are all that much more aware of the real flaws in human nature through increased communication on all levels. An omnipotent superhero therefore seems far more removed from out current notion of humanity, whereas say 50 years ago people were still naive enough to believe in supermen / women. People trusted there leaders, the police even Banks! back then, now we have a far grittier probably more realistic notion of what these previously great individuals were really like.
Also cutting to the chase, a flawless hero isnt funny!
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #34 on: 06-18-2007 09:33 »

Added to which, the advent of the antihero archtype can be attributed to a loosening of moral strictures as the church and state have lost their stranglehold on the dreams and desires of the general public. Strength, honour, goodness, and nobility - all these were elitist ideals removed, as gaschief said, from the reality of who we really are.
It's quite appropriate, I think, that Superman was made an alien, being that his embodiment of truth and justice which stands invulnerable and immortal is something cannot exist in humanity. We are defined by our failings, and idealized goals of ultimate perfection are the product of external influence.
In the modern age we're a lot more free in our thinking, and so the propoganda of super-men and other untainted ziggaruts of perfection no longer appeal as something engaging to be identified with. It's because a perfect person has no real obstacle to rise above, and as such there can be no real heroism in their deeds. Superman saves a kid stuck in a burning building because it's the only thing he knows to do and there's no danger to himself in any case. Someone like Fry could be afraid, or feel it's not his concern, or be physically ill-equipped to the task... and would then go on to do it anyway. That's the new-age superhero - it's us; flawed, faulty, utterly fucked-up, and in the end still noble and heroic, despite all the imperfections, maybe even IN SPITE of them. We're vicious and we're stupid, we're cowardly and we're dishonist, we're weak and fractured and we hurt and we suffer, and even carrying that weight we're beautiful wonderful human beings.

And that's the most optimistic thing you'll ever hear me say.
Decapodian

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #35 on: 06-18-2007 19:04 »

That means you must be the most human of us all, Coldangel. You're right though.
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #36 on: 06-25-2007 08:21 »

He's human! Oh, thank heavens, he's human!

gaschief

Professor
*
« Reply #37 on: 06-25-2007 15:18 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by coldangel_1:
Added to which, the advent of the antihero archtype can be attributed to a loosening of moral strictures as the church and state have lost their stranglehold on the dreams and desires of the general public. Strength, honour, goodness, and nobility - all these were elitist ideals removed, as gaschief said, from the reality of who we really are.
It's quite appropriate, I think, that Superman was made an alien, being that his embodiment of truth and justice which stands invulnerable and immortal is something cannot exist in humanity. We are defined by our failings, and idealized goals of ultimate perfection are the product of external influence.
In the modern age we're a lot more free in our thinking, and so the propoganda of super-men and other untainted ziggaruts of perfection no longer appeal as something engaging to be identified with. It's because a perfect person has no real obstacle to rise above, and as such there can be no real heroism in their deeds. Superman saves a kid stuck in a burning building because it's the only thing he knows to do and there's no danger to himself in any case. Someone like Fry could be afraid, or feel it's not his concern, or be physically ill-equipped to the task... and would then go on to do it anyway. That's the new-age superhero - it's us; flawed, faulty, utterly fucked-up, and in the end still noble and heroic, despite all the imperfections, maybe even IN SPITE of them. We're vicious and we're stupid, we're cowardly and we're dishonist, we're weak and fractured and we hurt and we suffer, and even carrying that weight we're beautiful wonderful human beings.

And that's the most optimistic thing you'll ever hear me say.

Iam immensely honoured that you posted this on my thread I think this is an excellent statement on the human condition!



Gaschief AKA Karl Marx on acid!
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #38 on: 06-25-2007 17:43 »

Mmm.
Always been amused by that term, 'the human condition'. Condition, as though describing some kind of illness. Maybe that's appropriate.
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #39 on: 06-25-2007 18:02 »

Or maybe it's not! Whoooo!

Pages: [1] 2 3 Print 
 Topic locked! 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2006, Simple Machines | some icons from famfamfam
Legal Notice & Disclaimer: "Futurama" TM and copyright FOX, its related entities and the Curiosity Company. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials in any form is expressly prohibited. As a fan site, this Futurama forum, its operators, and any content on the site relating to "Futurama" are not explicitely authorized by Fox or the Curiosity Company.
Page created in 0.19 seconds with 17 queries.