Futurama Review

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poochy's review of Futurama

★★★★★

Futurama

If you ask somebody "What was the best the...

Written on: 16/05/2005 by poochy (1 review written)

Good Points
Space ships
Funny

Bad Points
It's stopped

General Comments
Futurama

If you ask somebody "What was the best the cartoon ever?" the answer would probably be "The Simpsons," and most children would find it a lot easier to recognise the face of Bart Simpson, than that of Winston Churchill or Adolph Hitler. However, the graphics of the Simpsons are becoming dated and people are growing tired of this yellow family. So 20th Century Fox decided to make a new cartoon, called Futurama. This is set in a fantasy future, where robots, aliens and humans live to together on Earth and space travel is just a part of everyday life.


Futurama makes spoof comparisons between the years 2000 and 3000 which we can reflect on. There is no longer an ozone layer, and America seems to have taken over the world.


However, due to the lack of publicity that it received, and the fact that they did not give it enough time to really take off, Futurama is no longer being produced. There are 72 fantastic episodes, and I still have not seen them all, but I am deeply saddened that there is such a finite number to see.


There seem to be two main languages in the universe English and Alienese. Alienese is just English written in the alien alphabet.


Also, a second alien alphabet is far less widespread. This is more of a code and is rather complex. This is the ancient language of the Nibblonians. The Nibblonians have existed since before the beginning of time, and are very intelligent. It is their sacred duty to protect the universe from the evil brains, which have the power to make people stupid and carry out various schemes. One Nibblonian, Nibbler, is stationed on Earth to keep an eye on Fry, who is immune to the brains and therefore vital to the cause.


During the time when Fry was frozen, two alien attacks took place, causing civilisation to be rebuilt twice, once in a medieval fashion and once in the current year 3000 style (although both attacks missed the cryogenics building). These invasions look like they were by the Omicronians, as the ships are the same as the ones they frequently use in their attacks. America seems to have taken over the world, as the president is now President of Earth, although the USA is still an individual country. At one point, a robot president, John Quincy Addingmachine, was elected. He struck a chord with the voters when he promised not to go on a killing spree, but did not stick to the promise. A super villain mayor of New York was also elected, who moved many of the world's monuments to New York. The current president of Earth is the evil and insane Richard Nixon, who got a new robot body and ran for office. He received no votes from humans, but the robot vote was almost unanimous. In 2443, the second coming of Jesus occurred. This was probably not a pleasant event, as most videotape was destroyed and a common exclamation is now "Sweet zombie Jesus!"


Obviously, there have been huge technological advancements in the last (next) 1000 years. One of the main ones is the advancements in robots. All the robots in the world, and probably the universe, are made by Mom's Friendly Robot Company, owned by evil overlord Mom. While working for her, Professor Farnsworth, designed robots that all the current robots are based on.


A major development is the invention of a system to keep heads alive in jars, even if they had been dead before the method was invented. Thousands of famous heads from the 20th Century are kept in the head museum and continue their careers. In fact, there seem to be few celebrities with bodies, except celebrity chef Elzar and robot actor Calculon.


At Christmas, a robot Santa designed in 2801 to act like Santa, visits Earth. Unfortunately, his standards were set too high, and he invariably judges everyone (except Zoidberg) as naughty and goes on a killing spree. There is also a KwanzaaBot and a Channukah Zombie. Also, the robots of the Sunset Squad take everyone over the age of 160 to a mysterious planet where they are held in a chamber and hooked up to a system that makes them believe they are in an old person's home.


People are transported around New New York by a system of tubes that suck them from place to place, and there is still a congestion problem. To allow faster space travel, scientists increased the speed of light in 2208. Dark matter, the leavings of Nibblonians, is now used as rocket fuel.


Along with the technological advancements of the 31st century, there has also been some change in culture. People are assigned career chips and meant to do the job they are best at for life, although no-one seems to pay much attention as people can still be fired and they've barely been mentioned since the pilot episode.


Entertainment has remained much the same, with similar popular soap operas on TV. We have yet to escape the scourge of Reality TV, as 'The Real World: The Sun' is a popular show (typical dialogue-"ARRGH!! I'm burning to death!"). New New York has plenty of bars and trendy nightclubs, such as The Hip Joint.


When the Americans realised that baseball was boring, it was jazzed up and is now called Blurnsball and makes very little sense to the casual onlooker. The internet is still popular, and still mostly as an enormous worldwide pornography database. 'X-mas' has replaced 'Christmas', and 'ax' has replaced 'ask'.


Characters


Leila - Her full names is Turanga Leila. Leila was born in the sewers of New New York, as a mutant. Her only mutant characteristic, however, was that she only had one eye. She was the "least mutated mutant ever." Her parents wanted to let her live as normal a life as possible, so they left her in an orphanage called the "Orpahnarium". She was bullied for being a Cyclops, even by a blind boy. She managed to get a job as a cryogenic councillor, giving frozen people their careers. When Fry came to the future, he convinced to her to give up her job and she is now the Planet Express pilot.


Fry - Philip J. Fry was born in New York in 1974. He suffered three heart attacks in high school after drinking 100 cans of Cola a week. After dropping out of Coney Island College, he took three years off during which he continuously watched TV, knowing that someday it would help him save the world. He then got a job with a pizza delivery company. On December 31 1999, he was frozen while delivering a pizza to Applied Cryogenics. Leaving his two-timing girlfriend Michelle behind, he woke up on 31st December 2999. Professor Farnsworth is his great (x30) nephew. In the 20th century he had one brother called Yancy who missed Fry so much when he was frozen, presumed dead, that he named his son Philip to "carry on the memory of his lost brother." Currently, he lives with Bender in the Robot Arms Apartments and enjoys watching TV and drinking Slurm. Although he had affairs with Amy before, the woman he is really into is Leila who acknowledges his feelings but won't return them. Fry's lack of intelligence has directly led him to save the world on one occasion, where he defeated the evil brains that make everyone stupid. Two of his most classic quotes are:

"Words. Nothing but sweet, sweet words that turn into bitter orange wax in my ears."

"Valentine's Day's coming. Aw, crap! I forgot to get a girlfriend again!"


Bender - His full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez. Bender was made in Mexico by Mom's Friendly Robot Company, and is son #1729. He went to bending college, where he majored in "Bending" and minored in "Robo-American Studies." He tried to kill himself when he found out that he was bending girders to make suicide booths, but Fry persuaded him not to, and brought him along when he went to work for Professor Farnsworth at Planet Express. He doesn't really do anything there, but he sometimes seems to act as the cook.


The Professor - His full name is Prof. Hubert Farnsworth and he is Fry's great nephew (x30). Professor Farnsworth is the classic mad scientist. He is forgetful and has a terrible safety record. He owns the Planet Express delivery firm which funds his real passion (inventing). His inventions include a universal translator, a "smell-o-scope," and the "What If" machine which enables the exploration of parallel universes. He has saved the planet more than once and designed a ground-breaking, fuel-efficient robot, which was the model for all future robots. He also lectures at Mars University in the wilfully obscure subject of quantum neutrino fields. Born in 2841 and the oldest living member of the Academy of Professors, Professor Farnsworth is 160 years old (but only admits to 150 to avoid being picked up by the sunset squad and taken to the death stars, where anyone who lives past 160 is used as an energy source).
Cubert Professor Farnsworth, feeling that he needed an heir to carry on his great work, decided to make a clone of himself. At first, Cubert was sceptical of all the Professor's ridiculous inventions, and said that he didn't want to be an inventor. However, after a knock on the head, he realised that being an inventor is about imagining that anything is possible, and decided to follow in his clone's footsteps.


Amy - Her full name is Amy Wong. Amy is from a rich Chinese family that owns a huge buggalo farm on Mars. Her parents are pushy and annoying, so she moved to Earth and became an intern at Planet Express. The Professor keeps her around because she has the same blood type as him. Her parents are always asking her to be more lady-like, so she always wears a bright pink track suit in rebellion.


Hermes - His full name is Hermes Conrad. Hermes grew up in Jamaica and, during a hurricane, his talent for bureaucracy was realized. He came to America at some point and is now acting bureaucrat at Planet Express. After his office was trashed before an inspection, he was demoted and replaced, but he eventually got his job back and is now a grade 37 bureaucrat.


Zoidberg - His full name is Dr. John Zoidberg. Zoidberg was brought up on Decapod 10 amongst his own species. As a larva, he was bullied by the other crustaceans at his scuttling grounds. He came to Earth at some point and became a surgeon, and was hired by Planet Express. He doesn't actually show any medical capability. Zoidberg's species meet occasionally for a mating frenzy, where everyone looks for a mate with lots of eggs or male jelly. After mating, everyone dies. Zoidberg, being an inferior male specimen, missed the frenzy.


Scruffy - He is the janitor. Not much is known about him. He likes "Zero G Juggs" and "National Pornographic" magazines.


Nibbler His real name is far too long for any human to say. Nibbler's species, the Nibblonians, have been alive since 17 years before the dawn of time, and their sacred duty is to protect the universe from the evil and super intelligent brains. He is at least 1000 years old, as, on December 31 1999, he caused Fry to be put into the cryogenic tube, as Fry would later save the universe. He then went to a planet called Virgon 6, where he waited to be picked up by Leila. He now acts undercover as her cute little carnivorous pet.


Dwight - Dwight is Hermes' son, and is 13 years old. He is friends with Cubert and is unpopular at school.


Kif Kroker - Kif was born on Amphibios 9, a strange, marshy planet where his species release their spawn. He joined the DOOP and now acts as Zapp Brannigan's assistant. On a fateful voyage on the Titanic, he met Amy Wong and they were instantly smitten with each other. The relationship didn't develop from there for a while, but they eventually started going out. Due to feelings of love for Amy, he entered a receptive faze and accepted Leila's genes through a touch. He and Amy had the children together, releasing them into the marsh where Kif was born.


I think that Futurama appeals to a very wide range of ages. This is because, for the little children, it has lots of bright colours and a spaceships, and for the adults, it has a continuous and cynical satire of modern day life.

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