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Author Topic: Thoughts on [3ACV19] - Roswell that Ends Well  (Read 15846 times)
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Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #160 on: 10-05-2013 17:51 »
« Last Edit on: 11-25-2013 03:00 »

This episode had a great storyline, which was very immersive and believable, along with some laugh-out-loud humor. I loved the decision the writers made to only have Fry, Leela, Bender, Farnsworth and Zoidberg go to the past instead of the entire PE crew, because it helps give us multiple storylines without giving us way too many. The story of the crew and their ship being the Aliens that landed in Roswell with no way to get home, along with the 'Fry is his own Grandfather' story were both very creative and original, to the point that I think it could've been extended to a movie-length episode and still would've been awesome.

 This is by far the best episode of season 3, and quite possibly one of the best from the entire series! A very, very solid 10/10.
Gorky

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« Reply #161 on: 09-02-2023 05:13 »

Just rewatched this episode for the first time in probably 7 or 8 years and Jesus fucking Christ is it delightful. Still as funny, clever, and enjoyable as I remember. I donít know if itís my favorite episode, but itís gotta be one of the top two or three things the showís ever done.

A few things that did strike me this time around, in light of various conversations weíve recently had about the Hulu episodes:

1. That Greg Kinnear joke is horrible, trulyólike, Iím pretty familiar with the guyís work, but I donít get the gag and can only appreciate it as a total nonsensical non-sequitur. Proof that forced pop culture references have always been part of Futuramaís DNA; I think my level of tolerance for such jokes is entirely dependent on their delivery, and in this case Fry says it pretty quickly and then moves on, so itís not too conspicuous in its awfulness.

2. The episode provides no explanation for why the crew is watching the supernova, or why Hermes and Amy are absent from the adventure. (Is this something they address in the commentary? I canít remember.) How I long for the days when not every secondary/tertiary character had to factor in to every plotÖ
Svip

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« Reply #162 on: 09-02-2023 08:28 »

1. That Greg Kinnear joke is horrible, trulyólike, Iím pretty familiar with the guyís work, but I donít get the gag and can only appreciate it as a total nonsensical non-sequitur. Proof that forced pop culture references have always been part of Futuramaís DNA; I think my level of tolerance for such jokes is entirely dependent on their delivery, and in this case Fry says it pretty quickly and then moves on, so itís not too conspicuous in its awfulness.

Honestly, having no familiarity with popular culture still makes Futurama enjoyable.  The references have always been little sprinkles for the people in the know, but they never play into a major part of the plot.  Lucy Liu might be the only exception to the original run, but even having no familiarity with her, it should quickly dawn on the viewer, that she is a celebrity.

Point being, Futurama has always had popular culture references, some more forced than others, but they were never truly integral to the plot.  Indeed, when people reference Futurama, it's primarily the original jokes.  You also highlight this, as Fry quickly moves on.

2. The episode provides no explanation for why the crew is watching the supernova, or why Hermes and Amy are absent from the adventure. (Is this something they address in the commentary? I canít remember.) How I long for the days when not every secondary/tertiary character had to factor in to every plotÖ

I honestly think this is another popular culture reference, although a little more obscure.  I get strong TNG vibes, when I watch this opening.  There are numerous episodes in TNG, where they are watching some natural phenomenon, like a supernova or whatever, and it always turns into some sort of disaster.  In fairness to TNG, Captain Picard does explain why they are at the supernova.  But we all know why; so the plot can unfold.  So the unexplained watching of the supernova is just a funny dig at Star Trek.
pete_i

Bending Unit
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« Reply #163 on: 09-02-2023 13:28 »

Yeah its a top tier episode for sure. Loved the bizarre calendar gag as well, like who is that marketed for? :laff: Oh no, its August again.

As for Hermes and Amy missing? I don't think it's necessary to explain that, I'm just going to assume Hermes had some bureaucratic stuff to do and Amy was preparing her dissertation since it which would be due in about a decade.


transgender nerd under canada

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« Reply #164 on: 09-02-2023 13:52 »
« Last Edit on: 09-02-2023 13:54 »

Just rewatched this episode for the first time in probably 7 or 8 years and Jesus fucking Christ is it delightful. Still as funny, clever, and enjoyable as I remember. I donít know if itís my favorite episode, but itís gotta be one of the top two or three things the showís ever done.

This is definitely a top ten episode. I could maybe agree with top three. But the problem is that when Futurama hits it out of the park, it really does so fantastically. I mean, this is on the same level for me as the handful of truly great episodes but at the same time, I'd struggle to pick between my top five (and I've struggled to do so before). I'd have to say that there's a certain level that Futurama episodes get to where you can't really give them a solid numerical ranking beyond that they deserve inclusion within the top few. Because there's always something that when you rewatch it makes you think that for that specific moment, for the duration of that episode, this is your favorite piece of the Futuramaverse.

And then you go watch another one and feel the same way about that one, and you'll spend the rest of the day conflicted if you don't just group them together and agree that any episode that makes you feel that way should probably just be on the top shelf, rather than assigned any specific numerical spot.

Loved the bizarre calendar gag as well, like who is that marketed for?

There's a lot of stuff from the 40s like that. There was a fair bit of male pinup art intended for the female gaze. Stuff like this.

And it's overshadowed by the sheer volume of stuff like this.
Which was obviously produced for the male gaze and much more popular. Therefore many more examples survived.

But the early twentieth century was rife with racy photos and merchandise based on objectification of attractive bodies, and there wasn't any market segment overall that wasn't catered to. Especially when it comes to just straight-up pornography.

And if the modern internet is any indication, the major market share for a calendar featuring pin-up boys as well as pin-up girls may have been closeted military bisexuals. Which is apparently a real market that companies make decent money from catering to. And I learned that today whilst asking google if there were any examples of 1940s pin-up art featuring men.

Honestly, having no familiarity with popular culture still makes Futurama enjoyable.

I have to agree with Gorky in that a lot of pop culture references that are unfamiliar land horribly though, and for me it marks a little bit of a failure from a writing perspective. If you can't say something that's funny without needing a ton of cultural context, then perhaps don't say it in something that's going to outlast the cultural context based on an ever-shifting zeitgeist, y'know?
Svip

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« Reply #165 on: 09-02-2023 20:25 »

Honestly, having no familiarity with popular culture still makes Futurama enjoyable.

I have to agree with Gorky in that a lot of pop culture references that are unfamiliar land horribly though, and for me it marks a little bit of a failure from a writing perspective. If you can't say something that's funny without needing a ton of cultural context, then perhaps don't say it in something that's going to outlast the cultural context based on an ever-shifting zeitgeist, y'know?

Oh, I don't disagree.  The joke Gorky mention isn't good.  However, I credit the Futurama writers with at least the restraint to not overly rely on the references.  Though, they would probably be more deserving of credit if they had stripped some of the weak attempts (like the highlighted one).  But this is a classic case of a writer living in a bubble, or worse still, writing just for their own amusement.

Maybe I am just blinded, but I feel like later sitcoms following Futurama overly relied on popular references, so if you did not get them, not only wouldn't you get the joke, but also wouldn't get the plot.  That was my point.  The Futurama plots don't rely on references.
Gorky

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« Reply #166 on: 09-04-2023 19:28 »

Yeah, I think that's largely true: most of the pop culture references on the show, even when they're ham-fisted or otherwise forced, can be easily ignored without impacting one's understanding of the plot. I think this also goes for episodes whose plots themselves are references to other TV shows, books, or moviesólike, I know shit-all about Dune but that didn't adversely affect my enjoyment of "Parasites Regained." It can be satisfying to recognize a reference, and surely such familiarity with the source material can increase one's enjoyment of an episode, but for those of us who are ignorant of the reference its effect is generally neutral or negligible.

This is definitely a top ten episode. I could maybe agree with top three. But the problem is that when Futurama hits it out of the park, it really does so fantastically. I mean, this is on the same level for me as the handful of truly great episodes but at the same time, I'd struggle to pick between my top five (and I've struggled to do so before). I'd have to say that there's a certain level that Futurama episodes get to where you can't really give them a solid numerical ranking beyond that they deserve inclusion within the top few. Because there's always something that when you rewatch it makes you think that for that specific moment, for the duration of that episode, this is your favorite piece of the Futuramaverse.

Amen, sister friend. I also think an episode's greatness is related to how singularly Futurama-y it isólike, whether it's a story that could only exist (and be effectively executed) in the Futurama universe. That definitely applies to "Roswell that Ends Well," I'd say.
transgender nerd under canada

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« Reply #167 on: 09-05-2023 00:36 »

And that's probably another reason why, for me at least, WMIBACIL is such a high-tier episode. It's a Futurama story. Nobody else was ever going to tell it. And it's brilliantly told, despite being a pretty grim and disturbing tale, filled with fairly dark humor.

And that's exactly what I want from my goofy sci-fi comedies. Because I'm a fucking wierdo.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #168 on: 09-09-2023 16:02 »

Quote
but I donít get the gag and can only appreciate it as a total nonsensical non-sequitur.
Fry is saying he was famous at one point but his career faded away. I think it works pretty clearly even if you don't know who he is beyond "some celebrity".
Gorky

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« Reply #169 on: 09-10-2023 02:29 »

Right, but I donít know that the early 2000s were an especially rough time for Greg Kinnear. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1998 (for 1997ís As Good as It Gets) and had a significant supporting role in one of that yearís most popular and commercially successful films (Youíve Got Mail). You could argue that he didnít have another hit until Little Miss Sunshine in 2006óso, well after this episode was written and airedóbut it still strikes me as weird for the writers, in 2000 or 2001, to take a pot-shot at Greg Kinnear of all the (ostensibly) washed-up actors out there.

Also (and I recognize that Iím being exceptionally pedantic here), at the time Fry himself was frozen he probably wouldíve known Greg Kinnear best/most recently for the aforementioned Youíve Got Mail, so in-universe the joke doesnít really make sense as a pull for Fry.

In short: I understand the intention of the joke but reject its premise; I think it is bad both conceptually and in execution. Does it make me like the episode any less? Nope. But I just wanted to make clear my objection to it, pointless and silly an exercise though that may be. :p
transgender nerd under canada

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« Reply #170 on: 09-10-2023 03:31 »

Quote
but I donít get the gag and can only appreciate it as a total nonsensical non-sequitur.
Fry is saying he was famous at one point but his career faded away. I think it works pretty clearly even if you don't know who he is beyond "some celebrity".

The thing that makes it especially egregious as a waste of a good joke is the writers didn't need to mine pop culture references at all. Plenty of things fade away.

Your parents love for you, perfume, a bad haircut, memories, there's a few areas they could have workshopped.

And Fry fading away like a bad haircut or an old stain wouldn't have been any less funny, but definitely wouldn't have dated itself as badly.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #171 on: 09-12-2023 03:19 »

I dunno... I kinda feel like "I can feel myself fading away... like a bad haircut" is less funny than taking a random pot shot at some actor.

But, in response to your comments, Gorky, maybe the issue here is that you actually know who Greg Kinnear is. I have basically no concept of him. I just googled Three Men and a Baby thinking he was the least memorable of the three men and it turns out that's Steve Guttenberg.
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