Originally posted by Ralph Snart:
i've often stated that she's them most intricately, realistically written character in the series. i'm rather fond of leela not because of the way she's drawn, but becase of the way she's portrayed.
Okay. But... (plaintively) you refer to her as "bitchy" an awful lot, and accuse her of not caring about the people around her.
I can see that she's sometimes a bitch, but that particular usage of "bitchy" is more accurate for Michelle or Morgan, who cared only for themselves, than for Leela, who cares deeply for others.
Name me one time Leela hurt Fry physically...that he didn't deserve it.
i didn't state fry - i said anybody.
Fair enough. When did they not deserve it?
she slapped bender hard enough to knock his eyes out in 'AOI-2'
He totally deserved it.
she slapped the professor in 'bend her'
Deserved it. (And Amy slapped him in a similar situation in "Insane/Mainframe" )
she jumped to conclusions and was ready to kill her parents in 'leela's homeworld'
...and she just happened to be chasing two people who had a creepy stalker-type shrine to her in their living room, who wouldn't answer any questions, who she had no reason to expect to BE her parents, and who had just told
her outright that "Yes....we killed them. You guessed the truth."
If I met my parents' murderers with a gun in my hand, I'd be real tempted to kill them, too.
she murdered the entire PE crew (except for fry - she seduced him) in 'AOI'
That didn't really happen, and so it doesn't count! If you recall, she also skewered Nibbler in that segment, and I have a hard time believing she would do any such thing. Leela loves
Nibbler. Also, she broke down and cried over a random penguin she thought she shot, and she's supposed to cold-bloodedly stab her beloved pet?
Therefore, the "What If" machine just doesn't have a really good grasp on her true character. Q.E.D.
she tells zoidberg about liking fry's boyish charm but not his immaturity, but does she ever tell fry?
How do we know she hasn't? And she may not have stated it outright that we know of, but since she reacts positively to him when he's being boyishly cute but negatively when he's being irresponsible and careless, it's not like it would be hard to figure out.
does she ever give him a reason to 'grow up'?
Ahem. She's not his mother. She's not responsible for him growing up, HE is.
she gives fry a lot of mixed messages. one moment she's an ice queen to him and the next she's drinking buddies with him.
...which is totally consistent with her overtly stated sentiment that "I'm your friend and I like you but I'm not romantically
interested in you." So, how exactly is that mixed? Unless you think that not wanting a romantic relationship with him means she should stop being his friend at all.
obviously he has grown on her more than she realizes, because she was ready to commit suicide in 'the sting' so that she could be with him. towards the end of the series, he had matured some and she was much more tolerant of him.
I agree with you there. Though there were issues of guilt and fear of encroaching insanity at work, too, and though I personally am a diehard shipper, I can totally see see Leela feeling the same way in that ep even if it were "just" deep friendship she felt for Fry (IMHO, friendship is in no way less strong than erotic love, just different in kind).
I love Fry dearly, but he's relentlessly pushy and refuses to take "no" for an answer...
in other words - he's a man.
Uh-huh. And how does that make his behavior less annoying to her
? Should Leela not feel
irritated, or should she just not express it? Is she supposed to shrug and say, "Oh, well, he just can't help being pushy and not respecting my stated wishes, he's just a man, after all, he has no control over his own behavior." That would be an incredibly demeaning thing for her to think, about men in general or about Fry in particular. How could we respect her
as a character if she didn't regard Fry as an adult human being, responsible for the choices he makes?
...just as an experiment, stop imagining what it's like to be rejected by Leela and try imagining what it's like to BE Leela
tough call. being a guy, i see things though testosterone eyes.
You're a science fiction fan. I know your imagination is up to it.
however, leela could tell fry there is no chance for a relationship between them
Um...she has. In "Time Keeps on Slippin'." And also less formally, in several other episodes.
...and not give him conflicting messages.
I still don't see how her messages conflict. She may have moments of physical attraction and feel twinges of jealousy here and there, but she never (for example) tried to break up Fry and Amy when they had their fling (in fact, she defended their relationship to Bender and tried to tell Fry he was overreacting). And in "Parasites Lost," she wasn't conflicted, she was really falling in love with the new Fry - not, in my opinion, because he was smarter or stronger, though that surely added to the physical attraction part, but because he was finally acting as though she really mattered
a lot to him. If you'll notice, in all the shippy episodes, Leela is surprised
to see how much she matters to Fry. She knows he likes her, knows he'd love to have sex with her (but then, she knows he'd love to have sex with most humanoid females) but has no way of telling, from Fry's erratic behavior, if would love her in a lasting relationship - and Leela has no interest in "just for fun" dating, unlike Amy.
if she sees something likable and even redeeming in fry, as a friend she should help him stregnthen those qualities.
She does try, but Fry is a dedicated slacker, and consistently shows zero interest in "improving himself" and reacts with irritation if he's prodded in that direction. Leela has no experience of the cultural and social pressures that produced the entrenched hopelessness of the post baby-boom slacker generations, she doesn't "get" how someone could not want to achieve anything - for her, achievement was her only
hope of a life above the "dreadful" level, the only path to happiness. She can't understand that for Fry, being a non-achiever was as much as survival instinct as being an over-achiever was for her.
For Leela to help Fry get stronger, he
has to first indicate that he wants such help. The only thing he's done along those lines were teach himself to fly the ship (and she was impressed, though she did not feel obligated to give him a date just because of it) and take holophoner lessons (which he kept secret from her). Leela did encourage him in "Time/Slippin'" - she let him pilot the ship, showing him she trusted him. Ironically, that ended up causing his final heartbreak, but she could no more know that than Fry could know what his decision meant for Seymore in "Jurassic Bark".
however, fry's devotion to her is borderline pathological for both of them; some of his tendancies could be considered obsessive bordering on stalking
Personally, I make allowances for the fact that Futurama is an animated comedy, and contains a great deal of comedic exaggeration. It operates in a universe where greater extremes are allowable before the pathological borderline is actually crossed.
what the future movies show - we don't know yet. either make them an item or have a blow-out between them and get it over with. with the way the series ended, i'd like to think that they connected and she gave him the maturity that he needed to move forward and he gave her the self-esteem she lacked and filled the hole of loneliness in her life.
See, I think maturity and self-esteem can only come from within. Fry's found reason to become more mature (would first-season Fry have taken holophoner lessons?) and Leela is beginning to realize that she can trust others and they won't abandon her. I believe they are good for each other in that they each encourage this process in each other, just by being who they are. That is why I think they are right for each other.
But I don't actually feel this burning need to resolve the romantic tension or end it. Unanswered questions are what keeps TV shows (and fandoms) going - I'd much rather have it eternally unconsummated than consummated badly. However, I have complete faith in Matt & David & crew, and so I'm less afraid of a "final answer" in Futurama than I would be in almost any other series.