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Author Topic: Shipping high into the sun.  (Read 37422 times)
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Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #280 on: 08-25-2009 19:38 »

The disturbingly high number of Bender/Fry shipper fics also speaks to the whole "two people who share a close bond that may transcend the boundaries of gender are, by default, interested in boning one another" thing that Arch is talking about. I agree that the media has sort of forced the idea down our throats, that proximity breeds affection breeds baby-making. It's nice to see platonic relationships between men and women that don't lead to anything romantic (and I know I'll probably be flamed like mad for daring to make this comparison, but for as insipid a show as Friends was, it at least made an attempt to explore dynamics between men and women that were decidedly non-romantic. And I think Futurama made similar efforts).

I mean, I enjoy Fry and Leela's friendship, and I consider it to be separate from their would-be romance. Episodes like "The Series Has Landed", "Leela's Homeworld" and even "The Sting" showcase the bond they share--how important they are to one another--without necessarily bringing a romantic aspect into it. And then you have the buddy-comedy aspects of, say, "The Route of All Evil", "Less Than Hero", and "Spanish Fry", which I find equally as compelling (and amusing). Their friendship has been developed as its own entity, and not just as padding for an endgame of romantic entanglement.

Are the writers kind of pandering to a TV cliche by deciding to link the two romantically? Sure. But at least they've developed Fry and Leela's friendship as something separate from their romance, so that, if the two of them were to break up, their platonic relationship would still be engaging for the viewers and just as meaningful and beneficial to the two of them. It's not like the writers set up two characters with a tempestuous relationship that is really only based on a mutual (but repressed) sexual attraction (like, for example, Sam and Diane on Cheers); Fry and Leela's relationship is grounded in genuine affection. It's a friendship that is organically budding into romance, as opposed to a superficial bond that a roomful of writers contrived just to resolve the apparent sexual tension somewhere along the line.
FistfulOAwesome

Starship Captain
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« Reply #281 on: 08-25-2009 21:02 »
« Last Edit on: 08-27-2009 02:20 »

Great Post, Archonix and Gorky. Most shows and movies do tend to pair people off for no other reason other than they have no idea how to finish a plot or develop characters otherwise. It's not particularly respectful to the "shocking" concept of a man and woman being friends without sex being a factor.

The large amount of "Bromance" films certainly aren't helping the idea that two male friends can be extremely close to each other and not have it be "gay", especially since most of them go for gay jokes. At least I Love You, Man and the Clerks movies treat close male friendships with respect.

Off that point, Fry and Bender's relationship has been written just as well (if not better: http://www.peelified.com/index.php?topic=16354.msg1031348#msg1031348) than Fry and Leela's. I'm glad the writers never went the easy route (although it probably helped that one of them is a robot) and condensed their friendship to gay jokes (not that that would have happened, considering the mostly high-quality of the show).

I like Gorky's point of the romance not being the sole point of F/L's relationship. There are plenty of times when we can see the importance of their friendship on both their lives (nice call mentioning shippy favorite The Sting as a great friendship episode in addition to a great shippy episode). The great things about the characters (of the show in general as well) is that different relationships bring different facets of their personality's into play. More relationships mean more parts of the characters we get to observe. That's why it's so great that F/L are friends as well as romantically interested. It lets us see more of them, where only one aspect would have left them feeling a little empty.

I know that seems like a strange statement. I mean that a sole focus on romance would have made us wonder if they even would work as a couple if they can't even hang-out (and it would have been taxing on the viewer and this primarily comedic show). However, a sole focus on friendship, while definitely better than a sole focus on romance, would have felt a little empty. I don't know how to adequately explain it (even with 5-paragraph longer posts),  but the romance gives the show and characters a Heart that they need. It makes it more than just simple fun for 22 minutes a week.

One of the better things the writers did was setting up the friendship and the romance from the get-go. From that first episode you had a closeness to the characters that wasn't forgotten as the series went on (primarily that they both didn't have a family for different reasons and later, once Leela found her's and Fry ended up having several living family members (the Farnsworth's), their surrogate family at Planet Express).

It's a good thing that the writers occasionally devoted a moment or episode to Fry and Leela's friendship (and light crushes) in the first two seasons so that once they decided to have episodes devoted to their romance in S3 onwards it didn't feel like a rug pull. It felt like a natural evolution of the characters (not that it couldn't have been done a little better, as my linked post wishes, but It was still done well).
Curious Gorge

Bending Unit
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« Reply #282 on: 08-27-2009 01:57 »
« Last Edit on: 08-27-2009 01:58 »

It would be a mistake for them to revert things back to normal after ITWGY, we've already been down that road many a time and there's little left to explore. Having them dating the new recurring background theme to the show would be the best move providing it is well executed...which I believe it will be given the standard of the writers.

I'd also like to see more episodes dealing with Leela's thoughts and feelings about Fry. It's well established that Fry loves her to the extent that he'd toss his own life away at a moments notice for her benefit but aside from The Sting and ITWGY (and possibly TWOF to a small extent) you don't often get to see the development of Leela's feelings first hand like you do with Fry. Could make for some interesting episodes if nothing else.

I've worded that incredibly badly but hopefully you'll get the idea.
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #283 on: 08-27-2009 02:35 »
« Last Edit on: 08-27-2009 02:36 »

It would be a mistake for them to revert things back to normal after ITWGY, we've already been down that road many a time and there's little left to explore. Having them dating the new recurring background theme to the show would be the best move providing it is well executed...which I believe it will be given the standard of the writers.

I'd also like to see more episodes dealing with Leela's thoughts and feelings about Fry. It's well established that Fry loves her to the extent that he'd toss his own life away at a moments notice for her benefit but aside from The Sting and ITWGY (and possibly TWOF to a small extent) you don't often get to see the development of Leela's feelings first hand like you do with Fry. Could make for some interesting episodes if nothing else.

I've worded that incredibly badly but hopefully you'll get the idea.

I get it, and you're right. They can't just throw away everything that they've done to devolop Fry and to some extent Leela. We now know for sure that she loves him, breaking up the two or ignoring the 'ship all together would be a huge mistake. And some episodes dealing with Leela's feelings rather then Fry's would be great.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #284 on: 08-27-2009 02:40 »

To an extent it may depend on the level of creative freedom allowed by the head honchos. They may be uncomfortable with the show depicting anything more serious than ZOMG! ZANY ALIEN SHENANIGANS! EXPLOSIONS! FART JOKES!!
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #285 on: 08-27-2009 02:51 »
« Last Edit on: 08-27-2009 03:25 »

To an extent it may depend on the level of creative freedom allowed by the head honchos. They may be uncomfortable with the show depicting anything more serious than ZOMG! ZANY ALIEN SHENANIGANS! EXPLOSIONS! FART JOKES!!

I don't want alot of serious episodes, in fact I do love random humour. No matter how serious a moment in Futurama gets, Bender is always there to ruin the moment.
coldangel

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« Reply #286 on: 08-27-2009 02:58 »

Serious. Spelled with an e.
Yes, you're right though.
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #287 on: 08-27-2009 03:24 »

Serious. Spelled with an e.
Yes, you're right though.

Fixed it.
Wonderpants

Bending Unit
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« Reply #288 on: 08-27-2009 09:54 »

They may be uncomfortable with the show depicting anything more serious than ZOMG! ZANY ALIEN SHENANIGANS! EXPLOSIONS! FART JOKES!!

Remove the word 'aliens' and you could be talking about Family Guy.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #289 on: 08-27-2009 15:07 »

And if you leave the word "aliens", you could still be talking about American Dad...

Also: I agree that seeing the ship from Leela's point of view might be interesting, especially because I fear--and, granted, this is a minute fear--that without some insight into why she feels how she feels for Fry, we'll just be given mindless affection on her end. Which doesn't fit with her character, and would most likely piss off the non-shipping community with its banality. To be fair, I don' t think the writers plan on making the ship such a huge part of the upcoming season that we'll be treated to a number of saccharine and boring moments between the two--but I do think that, if written lazily (because, hey, since Leela loves Fry back now, she doesn't have to be as angry all the time!), the ship will be totally pointless. It has to be set-dressing, but complex and interesting set-dressing that does justice to both characters. Not the focus of the show by a long shot, but an aspect that adds to, rather than detracts from, the overall story. I just hope the writers put the appropriate amount of effort into it to make that possible (which I'm pretty confident they will).
Wonderpants

Bending Unit
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« Reply #290 on: 08-27-2009 15:25 »

Well, if the first episode of S6 does focus on Fry and Leela, no doubt we'll get some of her POV (hopefully rather more than the threadbare "you're you" and 'I love you' from ITWGY).

And if the writers really wanted to throw a cat among the pigeons, they could really put things to the test by bringing in an intelligent, charming character who has an eye for Leela, and who isn't a duplicate of Fry, a sex-mad buffoon or a shallow wanker like Chaz and Adlai.
Archonix

Space Pope
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« Reply #291 on: 08-27-2009 17:26 »

And voice by George Clooney for added swoon factor.

What?
Frisco17

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« Reply #292 on: 08-27-2009 18:16 »

Why stop there? Just make it Antonio Banderas.
Svip

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« Reply #293 on: 08-27-2009 18:17 »

Why stop there? Just make it Antonio Banderas.

Or a combination of both!  I mean -- it's the future!
Wonderpants

Bending Unit
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« Reply #294 on: 08-27-2009 19:20 »

No no no no no! Are you all mad??

It has to be a Brad Pitt lookalike with a Morgan Freeman voice and the body of Scarlett Johannsen!
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #295 on: 08-28-2009 14:10 »
« Last Edit on: 08-28-2009 14:11 by Futurama_Freak1 »

Why stop there? Just make it Antonio Banderas.

Or a combination of both!  I mean -- it's the future!

They could voice one word each sequentially or two mouths with different voices.
CookiesOnTheFloor
Bending Unit
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« Reply #296 on: 09-21-2009 03:56 »

Leela made Fry a more interesting character to me, because of his pursuit of her. God knows the little slacker doesn't have anything else going for him. He's kinda dumb, lazy, selfish, unambitious, untalented, underachieving (yeah, yeah, I know. And you're right. Maybe I laid it on a bit too thick with the "kinda"). But his devotion to Leela makes him a warmer character. For her he transcends himself. Which is fun to watch. And I admit it: sweet. There's a video on a certain website that combines scenes between the little slacker and Leela set to the song "Happy Ending". While watching it, I was struck by how many times Fry has actually made a play for her. The dude just doesn't give up. And I find that endearing. FWIW.
coldangel

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« Reply #297 on: 09-21-2009 04:06 »

Whereas others would apply the label 'obsessive stalker'.
CookiesOnTheFloor
Bending Unit
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« Reply #298 on: 09-21-2009 04:10 »

Well, it's not like he follows her home and sends her weird creepy emails and stuff. He just hits on her at work. Perfectly normal loser behavior.

But it's cute loser behavior. big grin
coldangel

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« Reply #299 on: 09-21-2009 04:12 »

We don't see what goes on the rest of the time.
I assume he has a weird shrine to her in his closet, with hair clippings and such. And he probably cuts himself in front of it, chanting about how he and Leela will be together in death.
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #300 on: 09-21-2009 04:12 »

Leela made Fry a more interesting character to me, because of his pursuit of her. God knows the little slacker doesn't have anything else going for him. He's kinda dumb, lazy, selfish, unambitious, untalented, underachieving (yeah, yeah, I know. And you're right. Maybe I laid it on a bit too thick with the "kinda"). But his devotion to Leela makes him a warmer character. For her he transcends himself. Which is fun to watch. And I admit it: sweet. There's a video on a certain website that combines scenes between the little slacker and Leela set to the song "Happy Ending". While watching it, I was struck by how many times Fry has actually made a play for her. The dude just doesn't give up. And I find that endearing. FWIW.

Very true. But I wouldn't call him selfish, not season four/five Fry anyway. Take a look at season one and two Fry vs season four and five Fry and you'll notice the difference. In season one and two he's not all that interested but in season four and five you get eisodes like The Sting, The Why Of Fry, The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings and so on. But you're right, the guy tries very hard but he IS an idiot. Still, he's better then all the guys Leela's gone out with.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #301 on: 09-21-2009 22:42 »

Well-put, CookiesOnTheFloor new person. I agree that Fry's pursuit of Leela added a dimension to his character that made him more sympathetic. I've said this before, but the Fry of seasons one and two (with a few exceptions) was selfish and not particularly endearing; by giving him a goal to work towards (even if it's something as superficially demeaning as "get that girl to like me"), it enabled the writers to explore the more charming and endearing aspects of Fry's character (his determination, compassion, devotion, strength). This is symptomatic of the general  shift in season three, where the episodes began to focus on the characters, as opposed to little more than a wacky premise (albeit, brilliantly executed).
CookiesOnTheFloor
Bending Unit
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« Reply #302 on: 09-21-2009 23:00 »

Leela made Fry a more interesting character to me, because of his pursuit of her. God knows the little slacker doesn't have anything else going for him. He's kinda dumb, lazy, selfish, unambitious, untalented, underachieving (yeah, yeah, I know. And you're right. Maybe I laid it on a bit too thick with the "kinda"). But his devotion to Leela makes him a warmer character. For her he transcends himself. Which is fun to watch. And I admit it: sweet. There's a video on a certain website that combines scenes between the little slacker and Leela set to the song "Happy Ending". While watching it, I was struck by how many times Fry has actually made a play for her. The dude just doesn't give up. And I find that endearing. FWIW.

Very true. But I wouldn't call him selfish, not season four/five Fry anyway. Take a look at season one and two Fry vs season four and five Fry and you'll notice the difference. In season one and two he's not all that interested but in season four and five you get eisodes like The Sting, The Why Of Fry, The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings and so on. But you're right, the guy tries very hard but he IS an idiot. Still, he's better then all the guys Leela's gone out with.

Oh HELL yeah.
CookiesOnTheFloor
Bending Unit
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« Reply #303 on: 09-21-2009 23:06 »

Well-put, CookiesOnTheFloor new person. I agree that Fry's pursuit of Leela added a dimension to his character that made him more sympathetic. I've said this before, but the Fry of seasons one and two (with a few exceptions) was selfish and not particularly endearing; by giving him a goal to work towards (even if it's something as superficially demeaning as "get that girl to like me"), it enabled the writers to explore the more charming and endearing aspects of Fry's character (his determination, compassion, devotion, strength). This is symptomatic of the general  shift in season three, where the episodes began to focus on the characters, as opposed to little more than a wacky premise (albeit, brilliantly executed).

YES! And like you, (I presume), I'm so glad they did. Futurama has such wonderful characters, doesn't it? It's so great that, in time,  the writers did shift their focus a little more towards character development. And they did a terrific job IMO, especially with Fry. One assumes that he's more-or-less the main character, and it's a bummer when the show's main character is just a talking prop with no depth or personality (Yes, I'm talking about YOU, Peter Griffin!) I was sooooooo happy to read that the show was coming back! Now it has a chance to achieve its full potential (whatever that may be; I'm not speculatin'. I'm just going to wait in wild anticipation..)
coldangel

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« Reply #304 on: 09-22-2009 01:58 »

Don't double-post.
FistfulOAwesome

Starship Captain
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« Reply #305 on: 09-22-2009 03:01 »

CookiesOnTheFloor, you are the *checks Cookies profile* GENDER NOT LISTED!

I know that there are a good bit of Futurama fans who think that the show should return to being just a wacky story every week. I don't think those fans understand how focusing more on characters made the show more endearing and actually funnier (screw you, English Teachers!).

If the characters aren't developed, it just ends up a series of skits by these base personalities. By developing the characters, it became funnier because it became closer to the viewer. The jokes became better because the characters became better. They could make jokes about each other and their situations and we'd laugh because we knew them so well, and yet we still had so much more to know. Jokes are almost always funnier coming from a friend or a genuine human being (someone you feel some closeness to/care for) than from something/someone you have a disconnect to.

As lame as this sounds, I identify with Fry's speech in 411. For half-an-hour a week, I get to enjoy the adventures of characters that I think very dearly of. I can't think of how much better a series can do than that.
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #306 on: 09-22-2009 04:53 »

Agreed. People can identify with Futurama. Such as in Godfellas when "God" says "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." some fans see it as a joke at the end of the episode but if you think about it it's very true. That's one of the reasons why Futurama is a smart show, sometimes you can watch it mindlessly but other times you might have to think a moment.

Fry is a good character, he's one of the most developed characters in the whole serise. Look at season four/five, alot of the really good episodes from it are Fry-centered. He isn't just a random idiot who just happens to be on-screen alot of the time (he IS an idiot, just not like Peter). Alot of people really can relate with him.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
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« Reply #307 on: 09-22-2009 20:07 »

We don't see what goes on the rest of the time.
I assume he has a weird shrine to her in his closet, with hair clippings and such. And he probably cuts himself in front of it, chanting about how he and Leela will be together in death.

I use to work with a woman like that.  After 5 suicide attempts (a desperate attempt to win sympathy), she fucked-up and it was successful.

Those people really exist.
coldangel

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« Reply #308 on: 09-23-2009 02:40 »

Heh. One of my sister's emo friends was always talking about how he wanted to die. Then one day I was over there seeing my sister about something and I heard him start moaning about death, I pulled my switchblade and held it to his throat. Asked him if he wanted a hand. He shit. I asked what was wrong, didn't he want to die? He didn't. Though he made a point of appearing bright and happy whenever I was around from then on.
Fun for the whole family.
Frisco17

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« Reply #309 on: 09-23-2009 06:01 »

Bravo Coldy, well done! laff

Are switchblades legal in Australia?
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #310 on: 09-23-2009 06:47 »

The best I can do is ask an emo if words hurt then throw a phone book at his head and watch him cry.

You have much to teach me.
Frisco17

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« Reply #311 on: 09-23-2009 06:49 »

Even better, just whip out a .44 and ask if he feels lucky.
coldangel

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« Reply #312 on: 09-23-2009 08:07 »

Are switchblades legal in Australia?

No. Shhh.
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #313 on: 09-24-2009 00:18 »

Heh. One of my sister's emo friends was always talking about how he wanted to die. Then one day I was over there seeing my sister about something and I heard him start moaning about death, I pulled my switchblade and held it to his throat. Asked him if he wanted a hand. He shit. I asked what was wrong, didn't he want to die? He didn't. Though he made a point of appearing bright and happy whenever I was around from then on.
Fun for the whole family.

My cousin had a friend like that only she fixed him by asking if he wanted to be pushed off the balcony (he lived in an apartment five stories up) and when he hesitated she pushed him farther off to the side untill he broke down and started whining about NOT dying. I wish people like that would make up their minds.
coldangel

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« Reply #314 on: 09-24-2009 01:48 »

Soon the point will be moot. All will die, like it or not.
Frisco17

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« Reply #315 on: 09-24-2009 04:50 »

Meh, I always planned on becoming the Highlander.
CookiesOnTheFloor
Bending Unit
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« Reply #316 on: 09-24-2009 06:30 »

Getting back to the ship (anyone remember where we parked?), while I'm all for Fry/Leela, I admit I'm a bit worried also about where they go from Wild Green Yonder. I really believe that Fry being lovelorn enriched him as a character. If he gets what he wants from Leela, how does that change him? And the show? Are we going to get a Homer/Marge-type coupling, where the guy effs up all the time and the gal puts up with it - until she's pushed too far and she dumps him and then the guy bends over backwards to win her back? Or what?

It's a tricky thing, this will-they-or-won't-they game. It can push a show to new heights or sink it like a stone. For my part, I think that Fry and Leela should get a little closer, certainly start dating, but that Fry should remain insecure, not because of anything Leela does but because he's easily threatened by other men and jealousy-prone. Also he should slip up now and then and cause at least one big breakup between them. As for Leela, she should warm up to Fry but still remain (understandably) cautious. Anyway that's my take.
coldangel

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« Reply #317 on: 09-25-2009 02:21 »

....



Meh, I always planned on becoming the Highlander.

There can be only ONE!
Go-a-Green-a

Bending Unit
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« Reply #318 on: 09-25-2009 05:29 »

Getting back to the ship (anyone remember where we parked?), while I'm all for Fry/Leela, I admit I'm a bit worried also about where they go from Wild Green Yonder. I really believe that Fry being lovelorn enriched him as a character. If he gets what he wants from Leela, how does that change him? And the show? Are we going to get a Homer/Marge-type coupling, where the guy effs up all the time and the gal puts up with it - until she's pushed too far and she dumps him and then the guy bends over backwards to win her back? Or what?

It's a tricky thing, this will-they-or-won't-they game. It can push a show to new heights or sink it like a stone. For my part, I think that Fry and Leela should get a little closer, certainly start dating, but that Fry should remain insecure, not because of anything Leela does but because he's easily threatened by other men and jealousy-prone. Also he should slip up now and then and cause at least one big breakup between them. As for Leela, she should warm up to Fry but still remain (understandably) cautious. Anyway that's my take.

Well, we don't want the 'ship to turn out like the one in Cheers (A TV show you probably haven't heard of) and have Leela or Fry become obsessed with it and the other ignore him/her, deside to marry him/her then the other deside he/she doesn't want it. Cautious is good, but I'd rather the 'ship to have them together, take it slow, and if they do break up it'd be because Fry can't meet with Leela's high standerds and we all know that he'd probably try to do something amazing to win her back, but once again the writers have to be careful with that. We don't want a Simpson-style relationship either.
Frisco17

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« Reply #319 on: 09-25-2009 05:38 »

Meh, I always planned on becoming the Highlander.
There can be only ONE!

Exactly. evil laugh
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