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: How to make your wife like Futurama.  (Read 2043 times)
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Space Pope
« : 06-20-2018 21:19 »
« : 06-20-2018 22:04 »

I used to be a regular on this forum. I even hosted one of the largest UK-based PEEL meets ever (in my parents' garden) and some who attended might even remember me and my lovely, non-nerdy, recently-acquired girlfriend. She didn't stick around long (on the day) but thankfully she did stick around in general and 6ish years later (October 28th 2017) we were married.

Those 6 years have been good and I sort of let Futurama go by the wayside; I didn't pay much attention to series 6 and series 7 completely passed me by. Recently though I have found myself drawn back to this excellent show.

Armed with every episode, I set out to watch everything from start to finish and then the episodes I'd ignored. Naturally during this process my wife would catch a few moments (we do live together after all) and, being a sentimental sort, I'd sometimes catch her laughing and, most importantly going "aw" at sweet Fry/Leela moments.

She's hooked! But she will get bored watching 2 full days' worth of nerdy stuff.

So what I'd like anyone willing to do is: discuss which episodes are integral to the Fry/Leela relationship plot. With the aim of deciding:

The fewest number of episodes you can watch while keeping all the lovely Fry/Leela sentiment.

A note on where I'm up to: Just started series 7 and the only spoiler I know is that they are married by the end of it.
Free Hot Meal

Liquid Emperor
« #1 : 06-21-2018 00:48 »

Wow, Shepard of Shark?!? Is that really you back from the cold void that is "real life" I too slipped into?

Glad to hear your wife likes the show! For my thoughts, personally the one episode "SHE MUST WATCH" if you're looking for the Fry/Leela relationship is: The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings. The episode is entirely centered on their relationship, but not only that, is one of the best episodes of the entire series. As it was originally intended to be a series finale, the end of the episode does not aim to "reset" their feelings for one another while leaving it open-ended of the outcome.

DOOP Secretary
« #2 : 06-21-2018 01:00 »

Concur absolutely, after viewing a few choice Fry/Leela foundational episodes first (The Series Has Landed, etc.)


Space Pope
« #3 : 06-21-2018 08:09 »

I would say the following are the biggest ones:

Parasites Lost
Time Keeps on Slippin'
The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings
The Late Philip J Fry
Fun on a Bun


DOOP Secretary
« #4 : 06-21-2018 12:50 »

Marry someone who already likes Futurama.  That's why I am marrying coffeeBot.

(And numerous other reasons.)

DOOP Secretary
« #5 : 06-21-2018 15:24 »

We should all marry coffeeBot, then.


Space Pope
« #6 : 06-21-2018 19:49 »
« : 06-21-2018 19:50 »

We should all marry coffeeBot, then.

I'm in! :flirt:

Er, anyway...

So what I'd like anyone willing to do is: discuss which episodes are integral to the Fry/Leela relationship plot. With the aim of deciding:

The fewest number of episodes you can watch while keeping all the lovely Fry/Leela sentiment.

Oh, hot damn, I feel like this question was made for me. In the earliest days of my Futurama fandom, when I was like 12 years old, my mushy little preteen heart led me exclusively to Fry/Leela-heavy episodes. In other words: this is a question I've thought a lot about, for a very long time.

With all that in mind, here are a few different ways of looking at/answering your question...

Minimum Number of Episodes to Convey the Full Scope/Progression of Fry and Leela's relationship
Despite the show's ample, ample use of the reset button, there is still some mildly cohesive, gradually building "love story" to be salvaged from all the false starts (and restarts). To wit:

1.) Space Pilot 3000 - Not only does it tell the story of Fry and Leela's first meeting--it also contains one of the sweetest and most understated moments between them (and Bender!), in the ruins of Old New York.
2.) Xmas Story - I think the concept of Fry and Leela being "lonely together" is one of the most important (albeit, subtle to the point of near invisibility) emotional undercurrents to their relationship--a genuine (and poignant) point of connection between the two of them. The conflict in this episode, with Fry missing his family even though Leela never even had a family, also relates nicely to that aforementioned scene in the pilot where we first see that Fry and Leela are both dealing with some serious social isolation and feelings of abandonment.

3.) Parasites Lost - The first time Fry admits his love for Leela, even though she ultimately shoots him down in rather brutal fashion. This also establishes Fry's underlying mission for the remainder of the original run: to get Leela to love the real, de-wormed him.

4.) Time Keeps on Slippin' - Showcases multiple attempts from Fry to win Leela's heart, and also gives us a nice sense of where Leela's landing on all this, emotionally: she loves his boyish charm, hates his childishness, and will never, ever be with him. Real bummer, all things considered, but like PL it does demonstrate that under certain conditions (say, if he just so happens to move the stars for her) Leela would be more than amenable to dating/marrying Fry.

5.) Leela's Homeworld - This one might be a bit contentious, but it is one of those rare instances in the old run where Fry does something for Leela without the sole, bald intention of "making her love him" (which is, you know, gross). There's also that really lovely/funny exchange about Fry being a holding, kissing, stroking (also spanking!) machine--but, for the most part, this one makes the list because it really does demonstrate the lengths to which Fry is willing to go to make Leela happy...and, you know, keep her from unwittingly murdering her parents. It's also a nice complement to "Xmas Story," in that Fry is finally able to make good on his mission to alleviate Leela's loneliness at never having had a family, so there's that.

6.) Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles - So, in addition to just being the most adorable thing ever (and showing Fry and Leela on a totally and enthusiastically consensual date), this episode actually ends with some mild progression in the Fry/Leela ship: that half-lidded, goofy look Fry and Leela exchange at the end of the episode when she admits that she's really happy to have her adult life back.

7.) The Why of Fry - Not only is there a great kiss at the end of the episode, but it plays into the show's myth arc in just about the shippiest way possible.

8.) The Sting - The only episode from the original run where we're really seeing the ship from Leela's point of view. I am not going to enumerate the ways in which this episode is brilliant and perfect and harrowing and delightful--but, you know, it is. I defy your wife not to love it!

9.) The Farnsworth Parabox - It's fun to see parallel universe Fry and Leela be so happily married--plus, the end of the episode shows Leela's feelings for Fry (and willingness to consider him as a romantic partner) actually evolving and moving forward.

10.) The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings - Again, this one is pretty obvious. I agree completely with FHM's assessment.

11.) Bender's Big Score - The movie itself is pretty uneven, and for most of it things look pretty bleak for Fry and Leela--but, of course, the reveal at the end renders everything that precedes it retroactively The Shippiest Thing Ever, and proof positive that Leela really could (and probably does) love Fry.

12.) Into the Wild Green Yonder - In some ways I think this is actually a better would-be finale than Devil's Hands, if only because it is less ambiguous than its predecessor and (much like "Leela's Homeworld") all the wonderful things Fry does for Leela are motivated not by the desire to make her love him, but simply out of his own deep love for her. In any event, your wife probably wouldn't want to miss out on Leela's first (and, if memory serves, only?) outright declaration of love toward Fry (not worm-Fry, not Lars) in the whole series.

13.) Rebirth - This episode establishes the (irksome) on-again, off-again terms by which Fry and Leela's relationship will be governed for all of season six.

14.) The Late Philip J. Fry - Basically the shippiest episode that ever shipped. Its merits and overall importance to Fry and Leela's love story is self-evident.

15.) The Prisoner of Benda - Fry and Leela's first time having sex...albeit, in the most disturbing way possible.

16.) Overclockwise - This episode establishes the more or less stable, together-for-real terms that will govern Fry and Leela's relationship for all of season seven.

17.) A Farewell to Arms - This episode is kind of grotesque, but it also has a lot of really great Fry/Leela moments that work to solidify the fact that, yes, Fry and Leela really are a couple this time, no take-backsies.

18.) Fun on a Bun - Basically "The Sting" of the new run, at least in terms of how it approaches Leela's psychology, even if overall it's sort of underwhelming. That said, the orbital kiss at the end (and Fry's line about the blood in his head migrating...elsewhere) is pretty great.

19.) Fry and Leela's Big Fling - Fry and Leela take an honest-to-god couple's vacation together, which is pretty neat. It also introduces us to Sean, which closes the book on Leela's past relationships.

20.) Meanwhile - Not the best finale, but certainly the most overtly, single-mindedly, unapologetically shippy one.

Minimum Number of Episodes Required if You're Just Looking for the Highest of Shippy Highs
I realize that first list is a bit bloated, so here's a truncated version, which contains only the most grandiose and/or heartstring-tugging moments in Fry and Leela's relationship

1.) Parasites Lost
2.) Time Keeps on Slippin'
3.) The Why of Fry
4.) The Sting
5.) The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings
6.) Bender's Big Score
7.) Into the Wild Green Yonder
8.) The Late Philip J. Fry
9.) Fun on a Bun
10.) Meanwhile

Bonus Episodes to Add to Either List, as They Contain Some Shippy Content
These episodes can supplement either of the previous two lists: they're not overtly or even primarily shippy, but they still have some really cute/sweet/funny moments between Fry and Leela that run the gamut from ambiguously romantic to obviously romantic.

1.) Episode Two: The Series Has Landed - That scene in the lunar lander is really lovely.

2.) My Three Suns - Leela has Fry's back the whole time, and upon learning that Leela has "died," Fry is finally able to cry (suggesting that, you know, both characters are pretty fond of each other).

3.) A Flight to Remember - Fry and Leela's first on-screen kiss, even if it was just a ploy to keep Zapp from sexually harassing Leela for the entirety of their space cruise.

4.) Put Your Head on My Shoulders - Leela saves Fry from his awkward Valentine's Day date, and the ending suggests (erroneously) that Bender had wanted to get the two of them together all along.

5.) A Bicyclops Built for Two - This episode has a lot of really funny Fry/Leela moments ("Animals go in the corner"), plus Fry goes out of his way to keep Leela from making a huge mistake by marrying the wrong dude.

6.) The Problem With Popplers - Fry calls Leela beautiful, and she calls him a fat hog. Heartwarming stuff!

7.) Anthology of Interest I - The second segment, obviously.

8.) War is the H-Word - Fry admits to having a thing for a cyclops he works for, and Lee Lemon is quite intrigued by this information.

9.) The Day the Earth Stood Stupid - "Leela cried for her lost love as Fry lay dead under the heavy bookcase." Also, it's fun to see the two of them on their adventure through literature's greatest hits. (I'll admit this one is a bigger stretch than most.)

10.) The Cyber House Rules - Fry's a whiny bitch the whole way through, and Leela is rightly annoyed by his jealousy, but his reassurance to her at the end of the episode that "there's nothing wrong with anything" is oddly sweet.

11.) Insane in the Mainframe - You get that big ol' smooch (beep), plus the smaller kiss on the cheek at the end. Leela is also the most anguished of anyone on the PE crew about Fry's robotification.

12.) I Dated a Robot - Another stretch, but Fry flirting with Leela at the start of the episode, and insinuating that she is one of the things he's always wanted to do in the future, is pretty funny.

13.) A Leela of Her Own - Fry's too nervous to smack Leela's butt, even after she gives him full-throated permission!

14.) Love and Rocket - The Fry/Leela stuff is only a B story, which is why it didn't make my first list, but I'd say this is probably one that your wife would really enjoy if she's into the ship (and/or the Ship, as voiced by Sigourney Weaver).

15.) In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela - There are some sweet Fry/Leela moments at the start of the episode, even if the end of the episode is, you know, Leela boning Zapp.

16.) Attack of the Killer App - That final scene between Fry and Leela, and the way she happily leans into the hug, is pretty sweet.

17.) The Duh-Vinci Code - For the "mile-deep club" gag.

18.) Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences - Fry's comic book is basically all about rescuing Leela, and being rewarded in the end with many smooches.

19.) The Mutants Are Revolting - Lots of cute Fry/Leela moments here. She can almost stomach kissing him!

20.) Law and Oracle - Leela basically cat-calls Fry in his short shorts. It's funny.

21.) Fry Am the Egg Man - Sure, Leela's flirting with another dude for most of the episode, but Fry's decision to let Mr. Peppy go is ultimately precipitated by his love of Leela.

22.) Reincarnation - The first segment is all about Fry and Leela's relationship. It is also hilarious.

23.) Zapp Dingbat - Leela calling Fry marriage material (this could go on the first list, considering that admission, but it's not really necessary context for the eventual proposal in "Meanwhile").

24.) The Butterjunk Effect - There's a lot of boning in this episode. Some of it is even between Fry and Leela!

25.) Free Will Hunting - You see a post-coital Fry and Leela. Saucy!

26.) Near-Death Wish - This episode contains one of those "Fry, wanna fuck?"/"Leela, no means no!" moments that's kind of amusing.

27.) T: The Terrestrial - There's a considerable Fry/Leela kiss at the end of this episode, if memory serves. Otherwise, though, it's pretty underwhelming.

28.) Leela and the Genestalk - Lots of sweet Fry/Leela stuff here.

29.) Game of Tones - Leela gets jealous of Michelle, which is a nice counterpoint to Fry getting jealous of Sean in "Fry and Leela's Big Fling."

30.) Murder on the Planet Express - One of the many character beats in this episode involves Fry and Leela trusting (or not trusting) each other. There's also a pretty intense make-out session in a closet.

So, in brief: it takes between 10 and 50 episodes to get the most out of your shippy dollar. I'd say it's really closer to 25 episodes, if you sprinkle some of the episodes from the last list into the first list, but 10 is probably the bare minimum.

DOOP Secretary
« #7 : 06-21-2018 21:12 »

...this is a question I've thought a lot about, for a very long time.

I would never have guessed :)

But seriously, thanks laying it out in such an organized fashion and detailing the reasons you chose those particular episodes.


Space Pope
« #8 : 06-22-2018 07:25 »

I disagree with Overclockwise being essential in any way. It's an okay episode but the Fry/Leela stuff is so forced and obviously only tacked on because it was potentially the final episode when it was written.

Space Pope
« #9 : 06-22-2018 10:09 »

Fair point, but we may have different definitions of "essential" (and you'll note that the episode is jettisoned from my shorter list): to the overall arc of Fry and Leela's relationship, "Overclockwise" matters because it shows them tiring of the on-again/off-again stuff established in "Rebirth" and hopefully forging a new, more committed path from that point on.

The episode's quality is a separate question--though, for what it's worth, I happened to catch it on cable a few nights ago and, while it's not the strongest episode of the bunch, the ending is still very sweet and ultimately satisfying (and Bender's story is pretty funny, though I suppose that's also beside the point for purposes of this thread).

Space Pope
« #10 : 06-22-2018 23:20 »

Gorky, that was one awesome post. Now do one where you're pretending to swing a tennis racket.

I think I has all the information I need to condense it down to 2 or 3 nights' viewing.


Space Pope
« #11 : 06-23-2018 20:56 »

Glad to be of service, sir (and, as I failed to mention this earlier, it's been good to see you back on PEEL)! I hope the missus enjoys whatever playlist you curate for her.

Space Pope
« #12 : 06-23-2018 21:18 »
« : 06-23-2018 21:51 »

Since I am comparatively unfamiliar with everything post-movies, I have assembled what I think is the ideal playlist for Mrs Shark but only for episodes prior to Rebirth.

Space Pilot 3000
The Series Has Landed (these two need to be in just to bed in the characters and give her a grounding).
A Flight to Remember
A Bicyclops Built For Two
(not one of your main list but it's really in there to cement Leela's conviction that she's an alien, because I'm going to include Leela's Homeworld later because I don't want comments like "hang on I thought Leela was an alien!").
Parasites Lost
The Day The Earth Stood Stupid (totally off the beaten track but I decided Mrs Shark needs to see both this and The Why of Fry while I'm at it).
The Luck of the Fryrish (because I've included Bender's Big Score)
Time Keeps On Slipping
Love and Rocket
Leela's Homeworld

Jurassic Bark (also because I've included Bender's Big Score)
Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
The Why of Fry
The Sting
The Devils Hands Are Idle Playthings
Bender's Big Score

So there we are. Really appreciate the help on this one. Not sure my wife does though; as I type this she said to me: "I'm going to lose you now you're back on this, aren't I?"

I'll work on the second half...

Space Pope
« #13 : 06-23-2018 21:52 »

Heh, the boards aren't nearly as busy as they used to be, so I don't think you'll be making a PEEL widow of your wife any time soon, even if you do decide to stick around for a bit. ;)

And that list looks great. I had actually considered giving a shout-out to Fryrish and JB because, while they're not remotely shippy (though I guess it's nice to see Leela supporting Fry's search for his seven-leaf clover and his fossilized dog, respectively), they hit a similar emotional register to something like, say, TKoS. Bicyclops will be good context for LH, as you say, and it also has an oddly moving final few seconds accompanied by one of my favorite musical cues in the whole series (as does "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch," which I also thought about including because, you know, it shows Leela becoming a "mother"). So there may still be some heartstring-tugging with that episode, even if it's not of the romantic variety.

If you do decide to venture into the new run with your wife at some point, you can knock the essential episodes out fairly quickly (there are really only a handful she'd need to see, "The Late Philip J. Fry" being chief among them). If she likes the goofier stuff (or 1920s-style animation, video games, and/or anime), I'd also recommend "Reincarnation," the first segment of which is Fry/Leela-centric, though with a decidedly wacky and tongue-in-cheek tone.

« #14 : 06-25-2018 17:04 »

Aww, looks like I am late to the party, but one of my favorite Fry-Leela episodes is Anthology of Interest I. Although it all happens through the lens of the What If? machine, we find out that if only Leela were a little more impulsive, she'd be down with Fry. Well, that and that she'd readily murder everyone else in Planet Express! Gorky already mentioned War is the H Word, which is great for all of its own humor as well as Zapp's lament "But I thought we could be...good friends!" when he sees Lee Lemon and Fry holding hands.

Space Pope
« #15 : 06-29-2018 21:12 »
« : 06-29-2018 21:28 »

Tonight we have begun 'Mrs Shark's Futurama Playlist'. I hope to get up to Luck of the Fryrish. Depends on what rock n roll bed time we give ourselves.

Surprise laugh of the night: the name Hermes. "That's the name of a delivery company and the messenger of the gods".

And that never once occurred to me in all my years as a fan. Call me dumb.

Space Pope
« #16 : 06-29-2018 23:41 »

And that never once occurred to me in all my years as a fan. Call me dumb.

Oh shit. I never thought about that either.

Is my Futurama fan license revoked? Where do I turn it in?

Space Pope
« #17 : 07-06-2018 21:25 »
« : 07-06-2018 21:27 »

Mrs Shark was out and there was no World Cup match on Wednesday night so I stuck on BBS and realised I have to also include:

Xmas Story
A Tale of Two Santas
Roswell That Ends Well

Phew! That could have been embarrassing. Maybe I should just bin BBS, but it has a special place in my heart.

Addendum: we probably would have got through all of it by now if it weren't for the football.

Urban Legend
« #18 : 07-06-2018 23:24 »

DON'T BIN BBS. That would be a sin.

I like your list- I would save the Xmas episodes for the Xmas season, though. And get through the romantic ones before you hit on Godfellas, although that one is absolutely excellent.

Space Pope
« #19 : 07-07-2018 00:23 »

I know we are in agreement on the odiousness of the whole "bromance" concept, cB, but I will say that "Godfellas" is quite possibly the only episode (besides "The Honking") where the closeness of the Fry/Bender relationship is played pretty straight (no pun intended)--like, there's plenty of deliberate melodrama ("He decided not to let go"), but you do genuinely feel for Fry's loss (or, in the case of "The Honking," his perceived loss).

In other words: if you're looking to get someone emotionally invested in the Fry/Bender relationship to the same extent that they're invested in the Fry/Leela relationship, "Godfellas" is a great place to start.
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