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Author Topic: Would anyone watch a Fry-less episode?  (Read 11452 times)
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UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #40 on: 03-24-2012 02:18 »
« Last Edit on: 03-24-2012 02:19 »

That may be the case... but there's no way we can know that for sure unless we cornered the writer and interrogated him.

Personally, I don't really want to do that.

Onuki

Starship Captain
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« Reply #41 on: 06-02-2012 01:17 »

It is because Kurt hates Fry and he won't admit it.

nah he doesn't hate him. he told me.

no thanks. would't watch an episode with out mr fry big grin

that. he's the reason i watch Futurama
Andromeda

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #42 on: 06-08-2013 21:33 »

It wouldn't be too bad if it was only one episode, and it would depend on what the episode would be about. Overall, I think we could all survive one time without Fry.
Lyra405

Bending Unit
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« Reply #43 on: 06-09-2013 00:55 »

Yes, I would watch a Fry-less episode. I wouldn't mind at all, it really wouldn't be the end of the world.
MeatablePie

Professor
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« Reply #44 on: 06-09-2013 17:48 »

I can take a Fry-less episode.
Barely even notice him in episodes that don't surround him.
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
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« Reply #45 on: 06-09-2013 22:33 »

It's not an impossible thought. The Simpsons had a completely Bart-less episode. It'd have to be a pretty damn good episode though, so the lack of Fry wouldn't stick out.
Anna3000

Starship Captain
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« Reply #46 on: 06-10-2013 05:20 »

I definitely would watch it; there have been some episodes that he has such a minor role in that it wouldn't make too huge of a difference if he simply wasn't in them.
However, the Fry-less episode almost definitely wouldn't be one of my favorites since I view him as the "heart" of the show, and he's heavily-involved in all of my favorite episodes.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #47 on: 06-10-2013 08:27 »

I definitely would watch it; there have been some episodes that he has such a minor role in that it wouldn't make too huge of a difference if he simply wasn't in them.
I agree, that's exactly what I was going to say.
HIGHasFRY

Starship Captain
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« Reply #48 on: 06-15-2013 03:40 »

Defiantly a watch... I'd watch any futurama episode after all.
Lost My Phone

Professor
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« Reply #49 on: 08-20-2013 18:08 »

I would be willing to watch any Futurama episode, as long as it didn't sound absolutely terrible. But it would be funny if something crazy happened in the episode, and Fry showed up at the end and said something like, "Hey, what'd I miss?".
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #50 on: 08-22-2013 02:51 »

Fry doesn't always have to be the focus of the plot - there are some episodes where he's there just for the sake of being there, so this wouldn't be all that different. But of course, it would depend on the quality of the episode above anything else.

They were planning on doing an entirely Zapp & Kif-centred episode at one point, with little-to-no screentime with any of the PE crew.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #51 on: 08-24-2013 01:48 »

Somehow, I don't think anyone in this thread ever commented on the fact that Fry has almost no lines in Kif Gets Knocked up a Notch. He's around a lot, but mostly in the background.
cartoonlover27

Professor
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« Reply #52 on: 08-24-2013 03:30 »

Somehow, I don't think anyone in this thread ever commented on the fact that Fry has almost no lines in Kif Gets Knocked up a Notch. He's around a lot, but mostly in the background.

Lethal Inspection, too. If Fry isn't in an episode, I think some people get scared that something happened to him, or the show just feels weird.
SolidSnake

Professor
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« Reply #53 on: 08-24-2013 05:07 »

I'd see a Fry-less episode. IF it was the Zapp Brannigan centered one they were going to do.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #54 on: 08-24-2013 17:05 »

Lethal Inspection has a few more Fry lines IIRC, or at least they're more substantial. Most of Fry's lines in Notch are just incidental lines that aren't even jokes (one or two is just one or two word lines like "over here!"). Also, I think in Notch it's more jarring because he's still actually around through much of the episode, but he just doesn't talk most of the time.
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #55 on: 08-24-2013 21:56 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2013 21:57 »

I'd be as willing to watch a Fry-less episode as any other ordinary episode. Just because Fry would be absent from the entire episode doesn't mean it'd be a bad one.

Heck, there are many, many episodes, especially in the original run, where Fry says almost nothing at all. To name a few, there's That's Lobstertainment, Raging Bender, The Honking, Kif gets Knocked up a notch, Obosletely Fabulous, etc. and most of those episodes had a pretty good response (other than Lobstertainment). Would have giving Fry a larger role in these episodes helped their quality? Most likely no.

Saying you wouldn't watch an episode of Futurama that's Fry-less is like saying you wouldn't watch an episode of The Simpsons simply because it was Homer-less. Would having Homer in it really even make a difference in the episode's quality? Probably not.

Although Fry is essentially the main character, the show is basically about the entire Planet Express crew, not just Fry. So really, Fry-less or Fry-ful, His presence in an episode doesn't make a difference to me, although he is an exellent character, and my favorite after Zoidy and Farnsworth.
Mr Snrub

Urban Legend
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« Reply #56 on: 08-24-2013 23:10 »

I agree, aside from The Honking. He has a pretty important role in that episode.
WitchRaven

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #57 on: 04-16-2014 18:26 »
« Last Edit on: 04-16-2014 19:52 »

Guess I would watch an episode like this.  Doesn't matter to me.  Even would watch one with Leela or Bender.  Hermes, Amy, and Zoidberg aren't in some.   If Fry wasn't in one episode....  What would the reason be?  Unless there was a reason for his absense....

That's how meaningless the characters are to me.

Motor Oil

Starship Captain
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« Reply #58 on: 04-16-2014 20:49 »

Of course. I'd actually look forward to an episode without Fry more than an ordinary one—what's the reason for his disappearance? Who will be the star of the episode?
An episode with no Fry whatsoever would be for a purpose. They wouldn't just leave out something like that. I'm sure it would be interesting.
An episode with a Fry having very few lines and no major part is not something that I would enjoy less. But I am all for an episode like that. I would love getting to see what the crew is like without Fry around.
Stefanie

Crustacean
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« Reply #59 on: 04-26-2014 21:07 »

I would definitely watch an episode without Fry.
lackofmops

Crustacean
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« Reply #60 on: 07-21-2014 18:30 »

No, it wouldn't be Futurama.
ShinyMetal***

Professor
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« Reply #61 on: 06-26-2015 21:41 »

That's like asking "would anyone want some lemonless lemonade?"
And it's replaced with the artificial stuff. Which is still good, but not as good as the lemon ones. So therefore, I would watch one, with the expectation of it being not as good as the ones with fry in it.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #62 on: 06-27-2015 03:21 »

That's like asking "would anyone want some lemonless lemonade?"
And it's replaced with the artificial stuff. Which is still good, but not as good as the lemon ones. So therefore, I would watch one, with the expectation of it being not as good as the ones with fry in it.

The thing is, more than a third of Futurama episodes feature Fry as the protagonist, and at least another third involve a Fry B-plot. I understand that early in the series it was necessary to have Fry help drive the story for the then-less-developed characters (Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love, How Hermes Requisitioned his Groove Back, etc).

Toward the end of the show it really wasn't necessary. Amy, Professor and Zoidberg were strong enough characters to drive episodes on their own but they rarely did, which was a bit unfortunate. I would've loved it if Hermes became less of a one-note character, and had something to do other than make bureaucracy and weed jokes.

I'm not sure if they always planned on keeping the show focused on the three primary characters; Fry, Bender and Leela, but having it evolve into more of an ensemble cast would've been cool to see unfold.
cartoonlover27

Professor
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« Reply #63 on: 06-27-2015 03:35 »

Agreed, but I always kinda liked the Fry/Leela/Bender focus. I think they all compliment each other, and in episodes where all the characters are heavily featured, it always feels like too much to me.
ShinyMetal***

Professor
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« Reply #64 on: 06-27-2015 03:43 »

I hear what you're trying to say Unreal, and I agree I mean I feel like they didn't let some of the other characters reach their potential.
cartoonlover27

Professor
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« Reply #65 on: 06-27-2015 15:00 »

I hear what you're trying to say Unreal, and I agree I mean I feel like they didn't let some of the other characters reach their potential.

I actually feel like they did a lot to give all the characters a chance to shine. The show was on for a longggggg time, and I feel like all the characters have a few episodes where they get to be a central part of the plot.
                                     
ShinyMetal***

Professor
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« Reply #66 on: 06-27-2015 16:07 »

Yeah, but more towards the end of the series some stronger characters such as Zoidbeeg and the professor, ect, could have held the show up just fine and had more episodes based around them too. The fry, leela, and bender basis was also a huge success though so I'm not complaining. I see both point of views here
cartoonlover27

Professor
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« Reply #67 on: 06-27-2015 16:27 »

Zoidberg actually had pretty much an entire episode dedicated to him under his belt during the final season. But I get what you're saying.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #68 on: 06-27-2015 16:36 »

I just don't see how much different this would be to any of the episodes where Fry's barely featured at all. There are some episodes where he only has a handful of lines, and these episodes aren't regarded any differently because of it. Futurama's an ensemble show - any character could be left out for one episode every now and then and it'd still work. Like every other episode of the show, a Fry-less episode would ultimately be judged on its overall quality, rather than on which characters it does and doesn't feature.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #69 on: 06-28-2015 04:19 »

Zoidberg actually had pretty much an entire episode dedicated to him under his belt during the final season. But I get what you're saying.

He's had a few throughout the show. Off the top of my head: WMIBACIL, TL, ATOF, TTOTZ, VMV, SAS (Man, those are shitty acronyms). tongue

Futurama's an ensemble show - any character could be left out for one episode every now and then and it'd still work.

This is true, but with my previous post I was hoping it could've been more of an ensemble show. It became a bit more relaxed toward the end of the show but It would've been nice to have more episodes focusing of the lesser characters, and fewer dumb ones like Yo Leela Leela.
athena1999

Starship Captain
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« Reply #70 on: 06-29-2015 03:16 »

I also noticed how the series drifted toward becoming more of an ensemble show, particularly how some episodes (Lethal Inspection and The Tip of the Zoidberg come to mind) fleshed out other characters by giving them not only a backstory, but the opportunity to interact with characters they don't spend much screentime with. Ultimately, the plot and the dynamic between the characters determine whether or not an episode is bound to have a strong story.

The reason why Fry works so strongly as a character is that he can essentially balance out any other character who is on the more extreme end of any spectrum. For instance, he doesn't have Bender's inclination toward chaotic evil, and he isn't as prone to Leela's emotional outbursts. However, he isn't as passive or naive as, say, Zoidberg. Fry serves as a neutral straight man to everyone else in the series, which is why you could pair Fry up with anyone and create a good balance between the characters.

However, most of the other main characters do seem fleshed out enough to hold up the show on their own, and several episodes mentioned above (Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch seems to be the prime example) basically have Fry relegated to a background character but still manage to have a strong, well-paced plot that elicits good emotional reaction from the viewer.

It's definitely doable, but it would require just the right combination of characters (preferably those who complement each other), the right plot, and possibly some meaningful character development. It seems to work best with Fry because of his role as a relatively neutral character-- not only does he complement any character, but it also gives him a greater opportunity for character development without taking him massively out of character.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #71 on: 06-29-2015 07:33 »

That's a solid analysis, athena, and I think I agree to a certain extent. But I feel like a lot of early episodes that paired Fry with a secondary character, such as "Put Your Head on my Shoulders", have Fry acting really wacky and irrational for some reason. This was one of the first episodes to start fleshing out the other Planet Express staff (and curiously, the episode that establishes Zoidberg's poverty) and at this stage Amy just kind of floated around without doing much. In this case, Fry was the one being outrageous and had the comparatively passive and "normal" Chinese Martian Physicist balance the duo out.

I think I've forgetten what I was even trying to say. I need to let my brain do the talking rather than my fingers. facepalm
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #72 on: 06-29-2015 12:35 »

However, most of the other main characters do seem fleshed out enough to hold up the show on their own, and several episodes mentioned above (Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch seems to be the prime example) basically have Fry relegated to a background character but still manage to have a strong, well-paced plot that elicits good emotional reaction from the viewer.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I doubt the writers ever sat down and decided "let's make an episode with very little Fry" before writing any such episodes. There was definitely a conscious effort made to flesh out the supporting characters in season 2 (note that Amy, Hermes, Zoidberg and Farnsworth each get their own episode this season), but other than that, the show comes about very organically, and a character's involvement in any given episode is usually determined by how the story develops - and, to a lesser extent, how much time they have for the characters who are inavdertently marginalised by the plot.

This, of course, begs the question: Is this hypothetical Fry-less episode some sort of stunt - or, at the very least, something consciously decided by the writers going into it - or is it simply "an episode that just happens to not feature Fry?"
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #73 on: 06-29-2015 20:57 »

Yes.
Chris9000

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #74 on: 12-04-2015 12:52 »

Yes why not. There have been episodes where he was basically just in the background. Maybe had a few lines.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #75 on: 03-25-2019 20:14 »

Weird bump, don't ask me how I ended up in this thread, but I saw the title and was just thinking about the few South Park episodes that don't feature any of the 4 main boys (yup, I am aware that Kenny is pretty much a nonentity in the later seasons, but you get my point), and the vast majority of them are always pretty meh ("Butters' Very Own Episode", "Erection Day") or downright awful ("Pip", "A Million Little Fibers" (I don't mind the latter, personally)).
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #76 on: 03-31-2019 01:10 »

Yeah, I've always sort of felt that way about episodes of The Simpsons where the focus is on a character outside of the core nuclear family. Like, there are definitely characters among the main five who I like best (Homer and Lisa episodes tend to be my favorites, or ones that concern the entire family as a unit, a la "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily"), but my level of interest drops off precipitously when the A-story in a given episode is about, say, Mr. Burns or Krusty or whoever.

This is probably an unpopular opinion, and of course one of the show's strengths is its ability to draw nuance out of seemingly one-dimensional characters like Burns, Krusty, and their ilk, but I also think there comes a point where trying to explore the rich inner life of, you know, Lenny and Carl is just an exercise in self-indulgence and tomfoolery. The Golden Age of the show always made a good faith effort to include the family in stories about secondary characters (like, "Flaming Moe's" is as much about Moe as it is about his friendship with Homer; "Bart the Lover" is a wonderful exploration of Mrs. Krabappel's home life and a story about Bart learning not to be a little asshole), and maybe that's also true of latter day episodes (I wouldn't know)--but the heart of the show is the titular family, and there's nothing wrong artistically with acknowledging that and playing to it (commercially, of course, the problem is that the show would've ended decades ago if it had just remained at its core a family sitcom).

Futurama, of course, is a fundamentally different beast: the workplace comedy. I will say that I never really considered the show as such until the new run, maybe because it returned at the height of the popularity of The Office, when workplace comedies were at the fore of our collective cultural consciousness--or maybe because the show never really conformed to the typical tropes of a workplace comedy until the new run. I mean, Planet Express was always the show's main setting, and most episodes included a delivery or some other job-related plot point, but...I don't know, those first four seasons never really felt like an ensemble show to me. Fry, Leela, and Bender were pretty much co-equal protagonists, with the rest of the PE crew functioning as secondary characters who occasionally got A-plots of their own but were mostly just there because, you know, the show takes place in an office, and offices contain co-workers. But, in the first four seasons, you'd never confuse Farnsworth, Amy, Hermes, or Zoidberg for main characters--whereas, in the new run, you might not have automatically assumed Fry, Leela, and Bender were the three leads.

My tone probably gives me away here, but I was never a fan of the show's eventual evolution into an ensemble piece. The dynamic between Fry, Leela, and Bender was always the heart of Futurama to me (I mean, the beer-brewing subplot in "The Route of All Evil" might just be the most delightful thing the show ever did), and while I can appreciate the impulse to delve into the backstories of other characters and try to flesh them out a little, I feel like the new run often did that at the expense of a deeper exploration of the show's established dynamics and themes--Fry and Leela's relationship, Fry's ambivalence about being frozen in the first place, Bender's misanthropy at odds with his clear affection for most of his co-workers, etc. Not to say the new run didn't give us some solid episodes about Fry and Leela's relationship ("The Late Philip J. Fry"), Fry's past ("Game of Tones"), and Bender's emerging humanity ("Lethal Inspection"), but it too often defaulted to tired tropes (most notably the Fry/Bender bromance as shorthand for Bender's softer, more human side) instead of taking genuine risks. There is no episode quite as daring as "The Sting," "The Luck of the Fryrish," or "Godfellas" in the new run, at least in terms of the emotional, thematic, and/or philosophical range they cover.

I'm laying it on a bit thick here, I know--and I actually really do like the new run, when taken as a whole, though there are some real clunkers in there--but, suffice it to say, while I would certainly watch a Fry-less episode, I doubt I would enjoy it. tongue 
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #77 on: 03-31-2019 13:01 »

(I mean, the beer-brewing subplot in "The Route of All Evil" might just be the most delightful thing the show ever did)

Funny example, since that episode is one of the few in the original run that doesn't heavily involve at least one of the main trio in the main part of the episode's story. (Think about it... Fry has very important roles in "Why Must I be a Crustacean in Love?" and "How Hermes Requisitioned his Groove Back", just off the top of my head.)

Obviously "The Route of All Evil" is mostly about Hermes and Hubert, but it doesn't really use put the main three in the spotlight at any point.
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