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Futurama: I'm Not Back Baby

Started by JamesTC, February 09, 2022, 10:45:46 PM

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madhair60


dissolute ocelot

Still putting this on as default background noise.

I quite liked How The West Was 1...: you get to see the characters dressed up as Wild West types and doing Wild West things, which is funny(ish), and the plot about taking robot-heads makes sense.

The one about Nibbler's litterbox is just nothing - compared to the amazing classic about Fry's parasite infection it's awful. It even looked shit. I think I lost interest and wandered away at some point.

The Amazon one is also very mediocre, full of characters saying things like "The company which isn't Amazon has streaming video for some reason, just like Amazon, lol!" And their warehouse is really big! Random crap with no characterisation, and a distinct lack of cosmological consequences. The Amazon drone delivery episode of Sam and Cat was better, and broadcast in 2014: it had drones taking babies and removing an old person's wig. Now that's comedy.

How old are the scripts? Have they been sitting round since the previous iteration was cancelled?

Thursday

#332
I've watched the last series of Disenchantment, and actually quite enjoyed it on the whole, but they're constantly referencing things from the present day which don't actually exist in that world. It's weird.

And in NuFuturama they always have just barely exaggerated futuristic versions of things we have today and it's soooo boring. I don't understand why you would only ever fill with your SF or Fantasy show with references and jokes about the real modern world instead of focusing on the unique premise to inspire stories and humor from that.

The sense of "not arsed" in the writers room is palpable.

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Thursday on September 27, 2023, 12:06:25 AMI've watched the last series of Disenchantment, and actually quite enjoyed it on the whole, but they're constantly referencing things from the present day which don't actually exist in that world. It's weird.


This Hulu season has got me watching (and enjoying a surprising amount) Disenchantment as a palate cleanser, the minute they start with the references I'm putting my foot through the Roku and sending Groening the bill.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Thursday on September 27, 2023, 12:06:25 AMAnd in NuFuturama they always have just barely exaggerated futuristic versions of things we have today and it's soooo boring. I don't understand why you would only ever fill with your SF or Fantasy show with references and jokes about the real modern world instead of focusing on the unique premise to inspire stories and humor from that.
I wonder if there's an embarrassment that the set up of the shows is quite old fashioned, and there is references are an attempt to make to feel relevant. Or maybe the writers/producers feel old and out of touch.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: MojoJojo on September 27, 2023, 09:58:14 AMI wonder if there's an embarrassment that the set up of the shows is quite old fashioned, and there is references are an attempt to make to feel relevant. Or maybe the writers/producers feel old and out of touch.
You could definitely do a funny show that makes fun of fantasy literature conventions and medieval history, but the studio executives (bastards) doubtless feel that such a show would attract less viewers than one with hilarious comments about the zaniness of modern life.

Old Nehamkin

I guess to be fair it's not like the original run of Futurama was devoid of contemporary pop-culture references or anything. They were doing parodies of Titanic and Armageddon in the first season, they always had the celebrity heads in jars and there are plenty of jokes that date themselves quite specifically to that sort of early internet geekdom of the time. But beneath that there was still an underlying sense of creativity and imagination and actual ideas that made the show feel a bit compelling as a sci-fi/adventure about a guy travelling to the future as well as allowing for lots of good jokes and set pieces that sprung from the world of the show itself.

Whereas now the whole setting and premise of the show feel like they have shrunk into this shabby, arbitrary sci-fi set dressing for a series of limp topical riffs while the characterisation has devolved into incoherent mush. I think I actually dislike this more than contemporary Simpsons. It just all feels so small, grubby, pathetic and genuinely depressing to watch.

13 schoolyards

I wonder if (a very small part of) the problem is that science fiction itself has changed over the last 20+ years. When Futurama first aired the idea of actually thinking about how technology was changing our lives and what the future might hold was kind of fun and exciting and optimistic, whereas now everyone knows that technology is only going to get shitter and the future is going to be a nightmare hellscape if we're lucky and a mass grave if we're not.

If the show was to still be engaged with the future - or even just the current ideas and pop culture about the future - it wouldn't have all that much scope for laughs. So I guess the current writers are like "yeah, that'll just depress everyone, let's just stick to unfunny topical gags, being a pale shadow of our former selves isn't depressing at all".

Alberon

Has thoughts of the future really been that since at least the 60s, though?

The big thing in the 80s was cyberpunk and that was never a particularly optimistic view of the future

idunnosomename

one of the first things Fry encounters in the year 3000 is a suicide booth

A lot of Futurama's aesthetic is based off mid-20th century sci-fi anyway. Little aerials on robot's heads and Zapp dressed like Flash Gordon. Purposely outdated, which is (pleasantly) ironic.

13 schoolyards

I've probably expressed it really badly, but I still think science fiction in the late 90s was (generally) a cool, forward looking, optimistic genre (even cyberpunk made the future look excitingly grim), and Futurama tapped into that whole "Wired magazine" zeitgeist a bit even if the show's specific future wasn't much like that.

But it feels like the last couple decades haven't given it much to work with even in pop culture, and the general vibe towards the future now makes a comedy about that kind of thing harder to pull off

Video Game Fan 2000

Quote from: 13 schoolyards on September 27, 2023, 04:31:20 PMI've probably expressed it really badly, but I still think science fiction in the late 90s was (generally) a cool, forward looking, optimistic genre (even cyberpunk made the future look excitingly grim), and Futurama tapped into that whole "Wired magazine" zeitgeist a bit even if the show's specific future wasn't much like that.

yeah, drawing a line between Wired/Dot Com era futurism and the 1930s World's Fair imagery seemed very witty and insightful at the time

we were also just a few years out of retro-futurism being the latest cool hipster thing and there was a bit of revival of hanna-barbera style stuff, and futurama seemed like it undercut them both

now more years have passed between now and the release of Stereolab's Peng than passed between Futurama and the invention of the television

Pink Gregory

That wasn't even a terrible episode, but the writing is so deeply leaden and mediocre that it felt like a terrible episode.

Thursday

Quote from: Old Nehamkin on September 27, 2023, 11:05:16 AMWhereas now the whole setting and premise of the show feel like they have shrunk into this shabby, arbitrary sci-fi set dressing for a series of limp topical riffs while the characterisation has devolved into incoherent mush.

Yes this has summed the point I was trying to make much better than I did.

Also, you don't quite get this with Disenchantment, Which at least cares about story and character somewhat, but you will get characters suddenly referencing air fryers or dating apps. It's just very strange, especially when... even in a vacuum it's not for a funny joke. (Sadly you also get Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding in it.)

dissolute ocelot

Watched some more thanks to my inability to think of anything else to watch. Both the Christmas episode and Zapp getting cancelled felt like rehashes of older better episodes. The Xmas one at least had some neat ideas. And it's pretty much the only episode where Bender actually did anything, although he's still not acting very Benderish (being upset that he had nobody to spend Xmas with?). Is John DiMaggio not wanting to be in this new series?

The one with Leela joining Doop at least seemed to feature Leela do something other than be Fry's whiny girlfriend, and I'm sure in the classic era it could have made an excellent episode. Although the cancel culture stuff was weak and wasn't needed - Zapp has been put on trial before. The COVID-19 one wasn't quite as bad as I feared once it got going - the zombie/voodoo stuff was mildly amusing although before that, there was far too much of just naming things from the last few years.

Overall while it's lazy and only occasionally funny it's not actively repellent.

Moj

In fairness, Bender getting incredibly upset over being rejected or forgotten is a character trait dating back to at least the episode where he takes over Space Egypt and enslaves everybody into building a giant statue of himself so he'd be remembered. The Fry's Dog episode has a subplot about Bender being incredibly jealous of the fossilised dog, throwing him into some lava and screaming NOW I'M ALL YOU GOT at a grieving Fry.

I see Futurama has been renewed by Hulu for two more seasons, 20 episodes total, in addition to the 10 episodes of the original Hulu order that haven't been released yet (for which, incidentally, Wikipedia has titles and writers). I haven't seen any of the Hulu episodes but from the reactions in this thread I imagine you'll all be excited for another 30 episodes.

Thursday

I imagine it's the writers who are the most devastated. They obviously find it very annoying having to think of stories, or writing dialogue that feels true to the characters, or even just makes sense in any way.

madhair60


idunnosomename

cor i cant wait for all the references to stuff that happened and media that came out in 2022

Old Nehamkin

See the planet express crew reborn as different pieces of fabric in this latest hilarious anthology episode

neveragain

Quote from: Theoretical Dentist on November 09, 2023, 09:56:25 PMFuturama has been renewed by Hulu for two more seasons, 20 episodes total, in addition to the 10 episodes of the original Hulu order that haven't been released yet

I can't take much more of this.

Bad Ambassador

It's very weird to look at the episode listing on Wiki and find I've only seen two thirds of the total run, having watched up to the end of the first season of the Comedy Central revival. Imagine my sad face as I shotgun them three at a time.

Old Nehamkin

Everything Everywhere All At Klutz: Amy is the character who is chinese so she embarks on an epic inter-dimensional adventure which forces her to confront her own strained relationship with her mother, who also is chinese. Or maybe it's her mother who goes on the adventure because that would be more like the film. Year of broadcast 2026.

Quote from: idunnosomename on November 10, 2023, 11:08:36 AMcor i cant wait for all the references to stuff that happened and media that came out in 2022
Then you'll be pleased to hear that one of the episodes in the next lot is called Quids Game. (Actually that suggests they've only got up to 2021, but then again that batch also includes episode names based on things that came out in 2002, 1986 and 1740).

Petey Pate

The Protocols of Zionberg - Zoidberg visits his home planet and becomes indoctrinated with nationalist ideology and annoys the Planet Express crew with his new found belief in the racial superiority of lobsters. It gets worse when his lobster species begins colonising another planet of crab-like aliens and Planet Express is tasked with delivering them aid. Zoidberg accuses Professor Farnsworth of being prejudiced against his people which starts off a vicious media smear campaign accusing Planet Express of racism. Meanwhile all the crab-aliens die thanks to Zapp Brannigan offering his full support to the lobster people. Airdate 2030.

idunnosomename

The Queen of Space dies after Liz Truss's head becomes President of Earth for a rontosecond. The Planet Express team are (for some reason) hired to administrate the queue of mourners which stretches 4.57×10^10 light years to the edge of the observable universe. Bender, however, is determined to jump the queue so he can shake his ass at the queens coffin. Because its hilarious when a plot revolves around Benders ass!!!

madhair60

Quote from: Old Nehamkin on November 10, 2023, 01:22:42 PMEverything Everywhere All At Klutz: Amy is the character who is chinese so she embarks on an epic inter-dimensional adventure which forces her to confront her own strained relationship with her mother, who also is chinese. Or maybe it's her mother who goes on the adventure because that would be more like the film. Year of broadcast 2026.

also at one point you see a little bit of her arse crack and matt groening on the audio commentary goes "whoa, bitta female butt crack!!" (this actually happens)

Ground Control to Captain Tom – a veteran of the Killbot war is fired into space by his daughter and forced to do orbits of the family's private planet to raise money for our Space NHS, resulting in a new kettle for Dr Zoidberg's office which he immediately fills with filth. When the family's newly-constructed spa resort moon is found to be larger than the approved design, Planet Express is hired to tow it into the sun.

idunnosomename

tbh I was thinking of something along those lines too and I'd be utterly delighted if they pandered to me like that