Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Groening, Why?

I love Futurama. It was one of the better cartoon comedies and I have to say that it is one of the only one's that was able to make it's viewers laugh and have an emotional effect at the same time. The first four seasons, many people regard these as the best, the fifth movie season as a fun return, and the sixth and seventh seasons as hilarious, but degrading in quality. I have to say that I agree to disagree, in that sense I must say that while this general consensus is correct, specific details are always ignored.

1-4: The best seasons of the bunch, simply because of how it impacted the viewer. I remember being little and watching the scene where Fry was cryogenically asleep, that scene has had a huge impact on me to this day. Space Pilot 3000, to a Flight to Remember and Fry and the Slurm Factory where the three best episodes in my honest opinion of the first season. These episodes which occurred before, after and in between most of the episodes relegated for comedy showed that emotion could work in a show of this nature and that is what I believe gave the show it's success. The second season more or less flushed that emotion down the toilet with I Second That Emotion, with the new season taking a more Simpson-esque approach to the series. Nevertheless, while the emotion was an underlaying tone, this season was wonderful because of how hilarious it was. Let me explain, say you made this season a live action sitcom set in modern times you would in one form or another get the Big Bang Theory. The third season more or less continued this trend aside from such exceptions as Parasites Lost and Time Keeps On Slippin'. The fourth season was magical in the way that it had the most humour out of all the seasons far while bringing back the realism that got some viewers into the show in the first place. I feel this was because Groening recognized that if the show died that season, it died a good death. From Leela's Homeworld, Love and Rocket, Jurassic Bark, The Why of Fry, of course The Sting, Obsoletely Fabulous and Three Hundred Big Boys, people could see that this season was a bit of an apology from Groening for "selling out" to Fox the past two seasons by emphasizing humour. That was okay, we never minded the humour, we loved it, it's just that it did not give us what we loved about the first season of the show. The adieu the last season was supposed to have had more heart touching episodes than any season before because if it was the final season, I'm sure Groening wanted us to be attached. Then when he delivered us the devil's hands, we watched silently, laughing inside, as the idle playthings of Matt Groening finally came to a rest...

5:... or so we thought and then we bit his shiny metal revived ass. Out of all the Futurama movies made, only one was reminiscent of the old seasons and that was the first one, Bender's Big Score. The Nudar aliens provided a transition into the New Futurama, while the sublpot of Lars Fillmore gave insight into what we loved about the series and why the Bender-Fry Relationship was the best on TV at the time. Think about it, does the big score work as a start for the final season, or the last kiss of Season 4? The Beast with a Billion Backs was what showed us that the New Futurama was here, a Futurama more reminiscent of season's 2 and 3 with an added emphasis on ass. It was funny, but not really quite wanted. I'd be lying if I said that Bender's Game was the worst of the bunch, when it is really one of the best. Dedicated to another influential figure of my childhood, Gary Gygax, this film seemed like the emotional quality in it was only there because Gygax was gone, and that is the film's real shame. Ass has a less emphasis here, but it is still favoured more than the Futurama we all loved. Into the Wild Green Yonder was the Futurama we loved, but it's plot seemed just so insignificant that everything, the emotional quality, the jokes, seemed out of place. The order we got was all wrong, the yonder should have been first and the score last.

6-7: Groening you bastard you thought you were in the clear and in six you put an emphasis on sex, ass, boobs and more ass than ever before. But you still gave us wonderful impacting episodes so I forgive you, for in some of the episodes, the humour did seem forced. I thought at Rebirth that he was bringing back Futurama how it should have been handled, I was wrong and right. He was bringing back Futurama how CC would handle it and so it was a letdown season. But don't get me wrong, this episode had just as many emotional episodes as Season 4 did, it's just how the episodes in between were handled that took out the quality. Those episodes were the Duh-Vinci Code, The Mutants Are Revolting, Law and Oracle, Benderama, Neutopia, Fry Am the Egg Man and All the President's Heads. Groening did not know, though, if CC would keep Futurama alive for season seven and he made Overclockwise as another series finale, an attempt to sate the quality that the fan's had been demanding since the shiny ass was revived. It failed miserably, I am sorry to say. Aside from the VERY ending of that episode, it feeled like it belonged in the middle of the season as a mid-season finale, not a series finale because it did not give the fans what they wanted, only a prophecy. But the standout episode of the season, in fact the standout episode of Futurama's revival was The Late Philip J. Fry an episode that hit all the correct notes on an emotional level, a creative level, a comedic level and many more levels. In essention, the episode was Futurama's version of The Simpson's Eternal Moonshine of Simpson Mind. Of season seven, I think Groening foretold his show's fate and gave us such good episodes as A Farewell to Arms, Decision 3012, The Six Million Dollar Mon and Viva Mars Vegas. None were as good as they could have been, but were acceptable and gave good laughs, reminding us why we want to live on this Earth. Now what the last half brings, I'm sure will be very reminsicient to the old seasons, considering how Groening acted last time the show almost got cancelled.

If all goes well, though, Futurama will stay alive.

No comments:

Post a Comment