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Author Topic: Is it possible Fry and Leela's love is not a romantic one after all?  (Read 292 times)
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SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
« on: 07-13-2020 16:33 »

I read an interesting theory the other day that the reason why Fry and Leela will never have the relationship they seem to want
is because it's not possible


drum roll if you please....

Fry's love for Leela isn't sexual to begin with.  The theory they had was because of the sexual uncanny valley Leela has in the world of Futurama, she is too human for aliens and mutants and too alien for humans.   She is the least mutated mutant and as a result is stigmatised by both humans and mutants in general, and when with beings who are simiarlarly almost human but not quite, she responds with similar disgust and revulsion.  That was my initial theory why Leela is joked to be a female version of Fry in that she has disasterous luck with the opposite se x as well,

That was my initial theory.   But I don't think that is the case at all, as Fry has expressed sexual lust for far more strange and uncanny creatures and ones that fall far more into the uncanny valley then Leela does. 

My theory is that Fry doesn't actually want Leela to be his girlfriend, he simply just wants her to love him unconditionally like he desperately has always wanted his mother to do.   Even though Fry has been firmly established as having an extremely high sex drive, and actually earning the interest of a number of extremely attrractive young women (and also a number of men also expressed interest) and that out of all of Matt Groening's male protagonists he was clearly drawn and animated to be far more attractive to a female audience then say, Homer or Binky or Bart.   If Leela and Amy or another female character was designed to be fanservice, then Fry was clearly designed to be fanservie for female fans and gay men.   Even though the show treats Fry as if he is grotesque, it's very similar to Meg.  They are both animated to have a cute boy/girl next door stereotype, and some fans find these characters extremely attractive, despite how the characters in the show treat them, and in many cases because of the vulnerability factor.   A similar effect can be seen in Ocarina of Time, when the character designer's wife expilicity asked him to draw Link to be attractive for female fans, and started his evolution into the bishonen vidoegame heartthrob he is today.   Or when seen in the American Dad fandom, a number of female and some male fans have expressed attraction to the character of Steve, who is also written to be an akward desperate dateless nerd social recluse, and any video of the character singing will result in enthusastic comments from female fans besotted with the character.

One thing is that while it probably is a case of flanderisation, but when watching the show as an adult, if Fry was an individual and not a cartoon character, I would be extremely concerned watching this very streetwise slacker but actually rather funny and charming and fun to be around and actually says very thoughtful and profound things and is extremely creative and intelligent in various surprising areas slowly regress to a more childlike state to the point where his friends treat him like a baby and his voice acually goes through reverse puberty and becomes higher and squeakier when it had initially sounded deeper and rather raspy, and go from a rather "sexy" young adult male voice to a one sounding more like a fourteen year old boy, I would be worried.   

After reading more and more about disenfranchised grief, I would assume that Fry if he was a real person and not a cartoon, was actually going through some sort of age regression, where he subconsciously is trying to turn back time to the one time where he was happy or at least was the least unhappy and the things made the most amount of sense: when he was a very young child.   In some way he has made peace with his brother and his father and Seymour, but it is his mom who he desperately wants to talk to: the woman who ignored him from the moment of his birth and never seemed to notice he was ever alive.   The dream episode was a surprisingly powerful depiction of grief, specifically dealing with seeing loved ones in your dreams, and the effecct it has on both your concious and subcon.

I found Fry looking into his dream mom's eyes knowing she was just a memory and was never going to give him the love and affection she witheld from him since his birth, to the point that she considered his basic human rights a waste of taxpayer's money, his eyes filling up with tears, and still desperately wanting her to take him in her arms and be his mom for the first and last time, the saddest moment in the series and maybe the saddest thing I have ever seen on tv that I can remember.

I just notice that the sex in the relationship is usually iniated by Leela, and Fry's attempts to win her seem more like a little boy trying to woo the teacher or babysitter he has a crush on rather then a young man trying to iniatate an adult relationship with an adult woman, or a little boy with a distant and neglectful single mom going on dates with various horrible boyfriends who are abusive to him or encourage her emotional negelect.   It's always about earning her unconditional devoted love and approval then anything sexual or even particularly romantic.   

Perhaps if the show was rebooted the show could explore some of these possibilities

a) Fry is in love with Leela but the sexual uncanny valley may be too big a barrier for them to cross together

b) Fry loves Leela like a mother whose unconditional love he wants to replace the one who never existed and is dead now anyway

c) Fry is asexual

D) Fry is gay or bisexual

e) Fry is an average straight male, but is in desperate need of therapy to help him understand adult relationships because all people have ever done is refuse to help him or exploit him, and laugh at him when he fails or takes over saying he's too stupid when he's tried to learn or practice life skills, despite being in many ways independent from a young age, due to neglect and alienation from peers

f) Fry simply has no understanding of the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic or abusive or neglectful one, as he has no experience of ever receiving uncomplicated, unconditional love from emotionally stable individuals in his life, and the only inivididuals he ever had any chance of ever gaining that with over time are now gone (he can never repair his relationships with his family especially the brother who was probably the only one who ever loved him, and the girlfriend he actually had a healthy adult relationship with is now married and has very much moved on with her life).   

G) Fry is actually a genius who has been told how stupid he is instead of being encouraged or praised that he geninely thinks he is stupid even when he is told he is stupid by people who are much stupider then him, ugly by creatures that are physically repulsive even by their own species beauty standards when at worst he is cutely average looking, like Meg. 

I just think Fry's caring internalised depression is a show I want to watch so much more then someone as self indulgent as Bojack wallowing in self pity becasue he has the fabulous lifestyle to do so and let's face it, even if he had a wife and kids he would still refuse to get his act together.

I don't like characters like Bojack, Diane and Leela who make their crummy childhoods everyone else's problems and are in general just so very emotionally exhausting to be arounde.  Fry and to a lesser extent, Amy show we can be so much more.   What puts up Fry up with characters like Sailor Moon and others renowned for their sweetness, is that Fry is caring and friendly and sweet and charming even to people who do not deserve it, even when he has every right to shout at people, throw things and hit people and lock himself in his room every night and cry his eyes out because he can never get what he truly want, while characters like the three I mentioned have the power to change their world but refuse to use the options available to them that young men and women like Fry and Amy don't have whether it's huge fortunes or loving supportive parent or the simple fact that your parents are still alive and you have time to get the closure for now and the door is not closed forever yet.   There is always the possibility of no more regrets, but Fry will probably carry his for the rest of his life and no one in the show seems to care.

And for me the show and the fandom's absolute indifference to Fry and Amy's very raw, very real, very poiniant suffering induced by a lifetime of neglect and abuse from their families, friends and loved ones, really shows how poorly understood and how truly stigmatised mental health continues to be, long after the deaths of some of our best and brightest young stars, from Kurt Kobain to Florence Ballard to Frankie Lymon to Janis Joplin to Amy Winehouse, and that society's indifference and cruelty is what put these talented young people instead of guidance and support to help with their mental health and vulnerabilities, is what put them into early graves instead of long and glittering careers.   

The fact is our society despises exceptional abilities like Fry and Amy's and is far more likely to prize the flashy but empty Bender and the overall average Leela.   And the ability it seems to despise and be threatened by most is intellligence: all we ever see are Fry having his abilitie's put down, the same way Marge and Homer were as children. 

Essentially I view Fry as Marge if she was a young man, and Leela if Homer was a young woman instead of a young man, in many ways, as Fry is the tender, emotional, thoughtful, gentle one, while Leela is the aggressive, almost feral one.
SpaceGoldfish fromWazn

Urban Legend
« Reply #1 on: 07-13-2020 17:52 »

 tI think I realised why I've never liked Fry and Leela as a romantic couple and why it's made me like Fry and dislike Leela more and grow frustrated with both as time went on.

Fry and Leela's relationship never truly felt like a truly romantic relationship to me and I was never sure why.

It feels more like a relationship between a lonely little boy with undiagnosed learning disabilities and a narcissistic single mother and I think that's why instead of being happy that Fry was finally with the woman he loved, Fry and Leela going on dates and having sex often made me feel uncomfortable even on the rare times they seemed to be having a nice time and enjoying each other's company and it wasn't Leela shouting at him and eating both her dinner and his and then leaving him the expensive bill over something that wasn't even his fault to begin with....

It felt like Fry was trying to get his mom to notice him and tear her eyes away from her damn sports, by practicing his music lessons even though the teacher clearly wasn't very good as he or she had more interest in the paycheck then actually helping the child who wanted to learn and was struggling in areas that other children didn't.  It reminds me of all the stories I read of children being beaten for wetting the bed, with the beatings and the bedwettings increasing in a vicious cycle escalated by the aggression of the parent and the child's psychological distress.   As nauseating as this sounds, there are a number of stories of particularly abusive mothers sexually abusing their sons or psychologically grooming them to replace absent fathers and to at the very least, serve as a psychological replacement for a husband.   The sexual abuse of boys, adolescent males and young men by both male and female predators is vastly underroprted and even less understood and acknowledged for a number of factors, one key issue bieng that the way society sexualises "male jailbait or mailbait" if you will to use a crude term to describe a very deep and rampant social problem, is far more subtle and far less obvious then the way society sexualises girls.   A fourteen year old girl in hotpants or a slutty schoolgirl uniform is far more likely to be picked up for the obvious perversion it is then say, a falsetto voiced teenage boy in a very tight, tailored suit and tight underpants having buckets of water thrown on him: a good case in point is looking at society's treatment of Justin Beiber and Tom Dayley the swimmer with the tightest speedo, vs any other underage girl in similar attire and social commentary.    Boys will be boys is still very much in play, but only to justify treatment of vulnerable males, whether they are elderly old men, gay or bisexual or transgender men, working class or mental health afflicted young men, men in prison falsely or not, young boys being bullied at school or abused at home the list goes on and on for the people who are routinely told their issues don't matter.

A similar example of a societal privilege ending up being a blessing rather then a curse.   Because it is played for comedy instead of Netflix original series style drama, we completely fail to pick up on Fry's heartbreakingly obvious depictions of deep loneliness, depression, mental decline and laugh at him when he is physically, verbally, emotionally, financially or sexually abused routinely, especially from his girlfriends and best friend and relatives.     

And the same applies for the richest girl in the universe, Amy.  Because she had a family growing up and was surrounded by wealth and social privilege and prestige, we overlook Amy's own very obvious mental distress and deep rooted sense of inferority and self loathing and don't seem to notice the way her parents continue to torment their daughter well into adulthood.    Because Fry's fucked up family died a long time ago and Amy's keep her emotionally immature by constantly bombarding her superior mind with a mixture of abuse, neglect, contempt for her decisions and achievements, affection, disdain and lavish presents.    Even when she thought Amy and all her co workers had died, Inez Wong's first thought was not getting to hang out with Amy Tan's head at the club of joy and luck rather then her only daughter being dead.    Amy's family treat her more like an exotic pet that they got on a whim because they were in a disney film, found out the magic turtle did not in fact eat pizza or fight crime and was actually a not cuddly animal that required a lot of time and money.   Inez shows no interest in being any kind of parent or grandparent besides having a doll to accessorise and shop for,

I remember years ago there was a documentary about women who buy realistic baby dolls for a number of reasons.  To replace a child lost in stillbirth or death or to divorce or losing custody.   And despite the pompous flowery documentary feel, it was very LOOK AT THESE FREAKS LOOK AT THESE FREAKS LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY THEY SPEND ON THEIR FREAK DOLLS

Quite a few of them said I love dressing up babies and buying clothes for them but I don't want the real thing.

And I thought

Well what on earth is wrong with that?  It's much better for EVERYONE if people who can admit that to themselves don't decide to breed and make a child miserable because their parents only wanted a doll rather then a small human being they are now responsible for.

Sorry for all these posts as I know people find my thoughts on the show very annoying and are very rude with the tl dr but i think youare stupid for caring but I dont write it for them.

They are dumb people who think they are so smart the whole world needs to hear their every opinion on everything.

Fry and Amy are examples of exceptional people whose talents and potential are being wasted because theyve been broken down by people who felt outraged by their abilities at an early age.  Fry and Amy are examples of extremely intelligent people who think they are dumb because genuinely dumb people need people the best and brightest in our society to be beneath them.  So they can feel smarter then people like Fry and can gleefully tell him YOUR MUSIC IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD instead of applauding his masterpiece.  Or tell Amy that it doesn't matter how many inventions she comes up with, how many compliments she gets for her beauty and charm and intelligence, or how many times she gets her doctorate, she's a fat stupid bimbo who is such a useless stupid dumb fat bimbo that her parents have to buy the university so she can get in and not drop out. 

A key difference between the Irish Fries and the Chinese Wongs is that Fry's irish american family had nothing but contempt for intelligent, sweet, senstiive boys like Fry, and deliberately withheld his basic human right to an education, while Amy's family naturally comes from a culture that deeply values the arts and academic education, so Amy's family ruthlessly pushed her to succeed while constantly telling her she was a stupid bimbo who needed to find a husband and constantly told her she was a failure for being a boy.

Sad fact is Amy would have been a perfect daughter to the Fries, as neither of Fry's parents seem like the type to know how to raise boys into young men, and Amy's parents come from a culture that due to a combination of deep ancient patriarchal sensibilities and the vicegrip legacy of the one child policy, will value useless sons over exceptional daughters. 

Fry and Amy = tall poppy syndrome.  Possibly Leela as well, but Leela has no real drive to improve herself and is held back by her colossal fear of change and failure and success so she not only holds herself back, but aggressively holds back Fry with her constant use of psychological sticks and the occasional carrot but mostly sticks.    Fry's sensitive nature and intellectual talents would have made him deeply prized in a wealthy young asian male, and would probably be considered the most eligible human bachelor, from his good looks to his filial piety.  In eastern asian cultures men like Fry are far more likely to be held up as the male ideal, whereas in working class american culture he was more liekly to be viewed as a sissy and and an artsy fartsy layabout for the things that would lead to him being deeply prized as a son or potential son in law in say, a wealthy Hong Kong business empire.

I'm thinking of turning these into a book and having it free to download as I don't believe in payments for fanfic and fanart.  Would any of you want to read it?   I find the audience's inability to realise a very very very obvious and frank display of mental health in an exceptionally sweet, caring, intelligent, charming and all around fun to be around young men.... very worrying.

In fact I see more people demonising Fry for being a "nice guy" then I see him acknoweldging him as the paragon of niceness he is in both universe and out.  Whenever AMy is mentioned she is usually just referred to as "slut".  "Bimbo".  "Dumb bitch."  Nothing is ever mentioned about her addiction to antidepressents.  The constant emotional and verbal abuse by her parents.   

I usually get told tl dr lol ur autism boom i win all the internets its just a cartoon bruv lol overthink it moar losr

and it makes me realise

not only do attitudes like that lead to the Fireflies and Futuramas being cancelled in the first place

but it drowns out the sounds of people like Fry and Amy when they are clearly screaming out for help and support because people like Bender and Leela are too busy playing court with what they want to notice or care the needs of others.   I actually got a bit unsettled watching Futurama after so many years, because it read more like a lonely, deeply sad, exceptionally kind young man who may or may not have some undiagnosed mental illness or learning disability be trapped in an exploitive relationship with a number of deeply predatory individuals, and to actually have this presented as healthy and positive, and that Leela's routine poor treatment of Fry in and out of relationship is not only healthy, but somethign to strive for. 

There are some instances in the show where I do get seriously uncomfortable with, when it comes to the treatment of Fry and Amy.  I actually think Zapp is the true villain of the show as I seriously wonder if this snivelling childish buffoon is actually a very convincing act by a sociopath who is able to use this to kill countless people both enemy combatants, his own troops and civilians, and manipulate unwilling young women (and it seems men if his aggressive interest in Leela when he thought she was a young man) into sleeping with him.   

Watching him manipulate Amy into sleeping with him when she was grieving for Kif felt too... real to be funny and as far as I'm concerned Fry being raped by the Amazonians is a rare example of a rape joke being played well for a number of reasons even if it hasn't aged that well, while Zapp successfully coercing a grieving Amy into having sex with him when Kif's body wasn't even cold.... it felt too cold and eerily close to a real life sexual predator grooming a victim to be funny.   Seeing Zapp obsessively paw at what he thinks is a good looking young soldier makes me wonder how many of the young men on the Nimbus had to deal with that.

Thank you for reading this and I hope this interested you.   I really would much rather the writers of this show to tackle depression in young adults much rather then I want to see another self indulgent Bojack person get away with their own crummy behaviour and to see it unrewarded in someone who works as hard as Fry does when he still really has nothing to show for it except perhapshe knoweldge that comes with practice and experience naturally over time.   
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