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Simpsons / Futurama Comments (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'The toonzone - General Animation Discussion' started by Craig Marinaro, May 13, 2001.

  1. Craig Marinaro

    Craig Marinaro The Feast of 1,000 Beasts
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    Futurama was an above-average episode, that suffers from airing at an awkward time in the series. For one thing, it's the season finale--and while a very enjoyable episode, it's just a piece of fluff, and when viewed from the angle of a season finale, it's something of a letdown.

    There are a lot of funny gags. I liked the satire of Napster, the classic Simpsons-esque filmstrip "I Dated a Robot!" and the bits on the Internet especially. The ending had some tragedy, but a lot of the punch was taken from it because it came so soon on the heels of last week's episode. Last week's episode was a tough act to follow, and it was rather foolish of them to follow it up with another episode focusing on Fry's love life. The number one rule of sitcoms is that you don't address the same point two weeks in a row. ;)

    And it lost its way toward the end, with the entire third act basically an extended fight scene...but still an enjoyable half-hour. Looks like we won't be seeing anymore until September...or November...or January...or whenever Fox decides to start the season...

    Simpsons was lame, lame, lame. Almost every joke had my fingers itching for the remote. They were stupid, they were obvious, they were gross, they were poorly-timed, they were badly-delivered...I was cringing the whole way through. And Homer, not only as a *TOTAL* irredeemable jerk...but then going completely deranged and kidnapping the kids?! This is quite possibly the worst characterization we've ever seen for him. Attrocious.

    The only two moments that got a laugh: Krusty's extended stare after Homer goes over the edge, followed by, "The term 'soccer mom' is thrown around a lot these days, but..."; and the bit with Arnie Pie and Kent Brockman arguing. Other than that, nearly unbearable.

    Interestingly, The Simpsons Archive summary for this episode said that Ron Howard would guest for a third time, making use of the kids in his latest movie. I'm assuming the thing underwent a drastic rewrite. Too bad...Howard's delivery is usually pretty fun, and the original script couldn't have been much worse than this.


    -C
    Official ToonZone Comic Book Guy-esque Reviewer.
     
  2. Narfpinky

    Narfpinky ~splash~
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    Re: Simpsons

    Just about the same for me, but I also laughed at the Prof. Frick flubber shoes gag in the beginning.

    Otherwise, I long for the Simpsons I once knew. ::sigh::

    Narfpinky
     
  3. Calhoun07

    Calhoun07 It's Me

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    Futurama and King of the Hill

    Both of these were relative "let downs" in terms of season finales of years gone past. King of the Hill for the last few years has had a "cliffhanger" type ending but they apparently drove away from that this year.

    I do agree with the feeling that the season finale of Futurama was kind of a let down. It was a great episode, don't get me wrong, but the time shift episode should have closed the season to keep everybody guessing what would happen next year! I know that time shift episode divided quite a few Futurama fans, so I am sure not everybody shares my sentiment, but I really liked the originality and daring writing of that episode.

    I haven't watched the Simpsons for a few months now. Some times you just gotta say NO. Undergrads is the show for me in that time slot, on MTV. And Undergrads is LIGHT YEARS better than alot of animated shows I have seen on in quite a while. I hope MTV keeps this one going for quite a while.
     
  4. DR. BELCH

    DR. BELCH Member

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    FOX Sunday Night

    A night of season finales. Though tonights's programming was fair to midline, I wouldn't call it anything earthshaking to end a season on.

    FUTURAMA
    This episode wasn't a ravingly good one or an all-out abortion. It was just...very, very odd. On the whole, it was better than the Harold Zoid ep but not as good as the intelligence-eating space brains or the ep with Fry in the robot nuthatch. So if you like your humor strange and fair-quality, you're pretty much set.
    Fry, though he's been in the 31st century a couple years and has literally been to worlds of worlds beyond worlds, gets the urge to go out and taste the life the future has to offer. Though jaded and cynical, the Planet Expressers agree to see the universe wtih him. Like Doc Zoidberg says, you live in the universe all your life, but you really only see it when you travel with an out-of-towner.
    So after doing everything under several suns, Fry does what every good boy and girl eventually gets to do in life: surfs the Net. In an online dating service, he meets the image of actress and flavor-of-the-month Lucy Liu, and at Farnsworth's suggestion downloads her image into a droid. Personally if I had my chance I'd have downloaded Winona Ryder--I've been smitten with her since Beetlejuice Let's face it--that dame's got good box office and staying power. By next season we'll be asking, "Lucy
    who?"
    Bender is adamantly against human-robot amor--to the point where he plops himself down on a sofa and does a pretty spot-on Archie Bunker (with Leela as Edith? I'm surprised they didn't have Zoidberg as Meathead!)
    It turns out that Liu's image is being illegally pirated by unscrupulous technogeeks at (kid)nappster.com..and after they execute a daring rescue of Liu's jarred head the nerds sic a horde of Liu robots on the P.E.ers. Silly and contrived, yes...but strangely alluring.
    The P.E.ers defeat the Liubots by burying them in unpopped popcorn, which they consume...then the use of hot stage lights caused the stuff to pop in their guts and destroy the troops. Never has death looked so tasty.
    The robot "dies", leaving Fry alone ("I will...remember you...forever...MEMORY DELETED!" And here's a shocker--the real Lucy won't have him because she's smitten with Bender! I don't know...she's only a head in a jar, and he has no genitalia. They'll never last. ;)
    Appropriate that this episode opens with a Twilight Zone parody, since this entire plot reminded me of a favorite TZ ep of mine. In it a man is confined to a prison asteroid and given only a female robot for company. He initially resists but soon falls madly for her. After a year he is acquitted, but he doesn't want to leave his lover, and there's no room for her on the rescue ship. He watches heartbroken as the guards shoot her in the head and the "dies". The price of freedom is love.
    Add this one to the "Fry loses a body part" file...both hands are bitten off by a dinosaur at the petting zoo.
    Watch for the (20)50's-era film about the hazards of dating a robot--an excellent parody of those old sex education/hygiene films from half a century ago.
    I pity the poor slob who got the Madeline Albright droid for a date.
    DYN Lucy Liu is animated with freckles? Odd thing to see on an Asian girl.

    KING OF THE HILL
    I missed a few minutes, so it was a bit hard to follow...but it seems Bobby pretends to have a kidney condition so he can attend the high-schooler's prom, and he tells his new friends that Khani was born with a tail (like those monkey babies on The X-Files) so they'll accept her too. Khani hates being made to feel like a mutant just so the high schoolers will accept her, plus she's mad at Bobby for not buying a ticket to the Tom Landry prom....so she goes with Joseph (who has unrequited feelings for her, though didn't he once kiss her mom Mihn?) When Bobby selflessly takes a water balloon for her, she changes her mind about him, and even accepts his invitation to the high school prom. As for "Kidney Boy", he's allowed to rest in peace.
    There was a subplot I didn't get about Dale's new outhouse, which Bobby crams full to garner popularity with his new buddies, weakening the structure. When Hank uses it, the screws pop out, the crapper falls apart, and leaves his butt blowing in the breeze.
    DYN Peggy was plucking her mustache...and she seems ashamed about it? NIT: the flatulent noise she made with her mouth was all wrong. There's no way you can get that kind of sound blowing on your hand. For that sort of volume you have to use your armpit.

    THE SIMPSONS
    I think the season finale isn't for another couple of weeks, and that's good...maybe the script quality will pick back up a hair. Although this one had some good jokes in the first act, it started to seriously fall apart in the second, and by the third I was just shaking my head.
    Homer is incapacitated playing basketball, and during his convalescence is bored. After his experiment to breed Santa's Lil' Helper and Snowball to produce a creature "With the loyalty of a cat...and the cleanliness of a dog" (?!?) are a bust, he is inspired by Ned to open up a day-care center. Now...I've been hearing a lot of talk about day care centers and how they have fallen short (one of the few things I concur with Dr. Laura about), and I expected more topical humor...but what I saw was just 22 minutes of Horse's-A** Homer doting a lot more on the neighbor's kids than his own. Even worse, the public lauds him as a hero for his philanthropy.
    Neglect I could forgive...but Homer's behavior approaches abuse. Case in point: he steps on Bart's arm, nearly breaking it, and excuses himself by saying he thought it was a pile of camera cables. Or when Bart and Lisa try to do something nice by giving him a present--a family photo...and he callously takes the picture out and uses the frame for his diploma, hurting the kids' feelings. Need I mention Homer, Bart, and the mace?
    Krusty is supposedly retired, but he sure does a lot of television appearances for a guy who gave up the business (at least five times already). Plus here we see why the scripts have suffered for the last couple of seasons--monkeys are writing them!
    Lisa and Bart scheme to expose "Uncle Homer" for what he really is. I don't know...somehow seeing Lisa gleefully plotting someone's demise, or even working closely with Bart on such a project without feeling hampered by conscience, doesn't ring quite right!
    Ned is so out of it and unhip he doesn't know Chris Rock isn't a preacher or a Christian rocker? Also, why not get his girlfriend to babysit Rod and Todd instead of Homer (unless she went to the "concert" with him). Heck, get the guy who got the snake out of the Simpsons' basement instead...if he's good enough for Lisa to consider asking to buy a saxophone reed for her, surely he can babysit.
    Little wonder the boys liked Homer so much...with him they enaged in debaucheries Ned would blanch to consider. He makes it clear in one ep that the boys aren't even allowed sugar, yet Homer feeds them peanut butter and candy sandwiches!
    Gross-out moment: Homer's knee scabs over Ralph's hand.
    DYN that Willie doesn't wear shorts or underwear on the court? Well, when he goes for a layup and his kilt goes flying, you can't help but....
    DYN that Carl complains about the stereotype that blacks are good at athletics, then does a move that'd do Shaq proud? Homer breaks the backboard, too, but not in a good way.
    DYN how irresponsible Dr. Hibbert is with morphine? And I thought Dr. Nick was Springfield's resident quack!
    DYN the Bill Cosby appearance in which he's going on about Pokemon? It's doubly funny if you realize Hibbert is a parody of Cosby's character Cliff Huxtable, so...well, you get the joke. Non-threatening black comedians say the d***dest things....

    I also watched some of the Sunday night WB lineup. The PJs was about a dance contest in the projects, and Thurgood having to learn how to boogie under his arch-nemisis Mrs. Avery. Watch for the Matrix-like sequence on the dance floor, and Mrs. A's vision of heaven before Goody brings her back to life with a toilet plunger. Fav line: Goody refers to his sister-in-law Beebe, who ribs him about his bad dancing 28 years before at his wedding, as "Queen Laqueefa". The Oblongs, with the obnoxious fat girl stuck in a sewer pipe, brought back memories of 1988 and Baby Jessica McClure stuck a mile down in a Texas dry well. Watch for the weird chase scene on tiny-legged ponies! I also caught MTV's Undergrads, which involved a nerd war between SW fans and Trekkies. This one also had a nice lesson about loyalty to one's friends and how the new doesn't always have to negate the old. Is it just my imagination, or does the blond guy's door kind of swing the other way? :confused: :eek:
     
    #4 DR. BELCH, May 14, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2001
  5. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    Well, between a job that let out in the early evening and a very busy night, didn't get to see "Futurama"'s season finale...

    As for the "Simpsons" (which sounds pretty atrocious from Belch's summary of the episode):
    >>Need I mention Homer, Bart, and the mace?

    OK, I know I'll probably regret asking, but what happened in this scene? Was it as bad as the infamous-sounding "Homer chokes Bart with a phone cord" bit?

    On a review note, I watched the "Emperor's New Groove" this morning before going to work; very amusing (moreso than the usual Disney films of late).

    -B.
     
  6. DR. BELCH

    DR. BELCH Member

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    Mace in the hole

    In a sequence of home movies Bart and Lisa showed at Homer's award banquet, he was shown gambling at cards and putting Maggie up as a bet, totally sh**faced on Christmas Day and lying under the tree in just his Froot of the Looms, and chasing the boy down the street waving a medieval mace. Homer complained that last one was taken "out of context". Mind you, I never got to see Bart's strangling with the phone cord (my picture was bad that night, so I only heard that episode), so I can't say which was worse...but how do you see a mace in a good context?
    Needless to say, the crowd turned bitterly against Homer after viewing his dark side. The one good thing about this ep is that Homer for once is informed about and sorely censured for his horse's-a** behavior...the question is, will he make a conscious effort to clean up his act?
     
    #6 DR. BELCH, May 14, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2001
  7. The Mad Hatter

    The Mad Hatter Whyyyyy'sis heead so biiiiiig?

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    &*@#$?! Cable box...

    I can't add much this week, since I didn't get to see the eps. I tried to record them, but my rasa frackin' cable box picked up NBC programming for some reason. Cable boxes are the spawn of Satan, I say.

    Oh, and Belch... if you ever get the chance, look closely at the flesh n' blood Lucy Liu, she does indeed have freckles. It's a very intriguing look, actually. Though personally, I think Lisa Ling is more attractive. Even if she is stuck on a show with Barbara Walters...
     
  8. Sharklady

    Sharklady Active Member

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    > ... if you ever get the chance, look closely at the flesh n' blood Lucy Liu, she does indeed have freckles. <

    Prehaps she's not 100% Asian?

    Either way, she certainly is pretty.
     
  9. E. Penrose

    E. Penrose Member

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    What if the finales aren't?

    Remember, the three series had been threatened by a writers/actors strike. And animation shows have a longer lag time than regular shows.

    Rather than drop a streak of new episodes into the next season -- and they probably hate short-listing episodes as much as we hate watching them -- the staff of F, KOTH and S may have put rough scripts into the "finale" slots. They may think, Better a choppy finale than a uniformly terrible next season.

    KOTH wasn't terrible, though it left the impression of blessing Bobby's scam.

    E. Penrose
     
  10. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    Next week's "Simpsons" season finale:

    According to the description from "Entertainment Weekly" this week:

    SEASON FINALE
    "En route to Delaware --- let's hear it for the Small Wonder! --- the Simpsons encounter a hobo who just won't shut up."

    *Goody*, now *there's* a winning-sounding episode...maybe Homer runs around and starts a wacky clam-chowder scheme in Dover or something... (sarcasm off)

    -B.
    WAYNE: (Deadpan) Hi...I'm in Delaware. <i> ---Wayne's World</i>
     
  11. Nftnat

    Nftnat professor/historian/chronicler

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    Sounds like it has shades of something I once heard of. I wonder if that hobo likes baloney & cheeseballs, or if he's bought orchids, or if he's ever met Bob Barker, the king of daytime television, or...
     
  12. robert

    robert Member

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    Re: Next week's "Simpsons" season finale:

    >According to the description from "Entertainment Weekly" this week:

    SEASON FINALE
    "En route to Delaware --- let's hear it for the Small Wonder! --- the Simpsons encounter a hobo who just won't shut up."

    Now doesn't that ring a bell of last season's season finale, he "Behind the Music" spoof{the last really good ep they may ever do} The last scene{after the Simpsons state revelation} had the family looking at a clip where they announced they'd be going to Delaware, followed by Homer saying, "This'll be the last season" Yep, not only can't they make good eps anymore, they can't even keep their promises.
    Oh, and if you want to know what grand Simpsons episodes are being shown instead of Futurama and King of the Hill, they're replacing them for "Treehouse of Horror XI" and "Hungry Hungry Homer" For that we miss the chance for another Anthology of Interest Futurama finale, we are blessed{sarcasm off, yes I have an on and off sarcasm button too}
     
  13. DR. BELCH

    DR. BELCH Member

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    That could be a blessing or an aggravation for me. My satellite system is really strange in that the Sunday night Fox feeds are nearly always staticked-out and muddy, so I have to watch Futurama and The Simpsons on Saturday morning and King of the Hill on Sunday morning through wild feed channels. Now...feeds don't broadcast reruns, and both "TOH-11" and "HHH" aired before I discovered those nice clean backdoors around whatever cruel hand of whatever great being above frigged up my system. So...if I can figure out a way around the no rebroadcast problem and the bad picture problem, I can finally watch these episodes as well as the new one, "Simpson's Tall Tales"--BTW, that description is very misleading, as the bum seems to be a lot more Edward Everett Horton than Pip Pumphandle.
    I've missed a lot of good Fox shows simply because there are not enough back doors in my system, or if there are, I haven't found them. :(
    Admittedly I'm not terribly familiar with Miss Liu, and I've never looked closely enough at her movie trailers to see her freckles. I call her "flavor of the month" because, though I'm sure she's a fair actress, appearing in Charlie's Angels so soon in her career could be a gamble. I don't know what the b.o. numbers say for the movie, but remakes of classic TV series are notoriously bad draws (cf. Sgt. Bilko--Steve Martin is a great actor, but he will never in my eyes replace Phil Silvers!). Liu might find herself typecast and have difficulty crossing over to serious roles, if she wants to. Picture this scenario: a talent agent tells Liu six months from now, "Sorry, Tiger Lily, but whaddaya want from me? Casting directors are lookin' fer a Meryl or a Babs or a Sally--not da t'oid Angel!"
    As for Asian girls, they are cute, particularly full-blooded ones. I had a brief dalliance with a Japanese girl in college...dark mysterious eyes, long dark hair, creamy skin. What was exciting about this girl was her understated carnality wrapped in childlike innocence, seasoned by her struggling, thickly-accented English.
    The mixed-blooded ones to me never looked quite right--they tended to be on the tall side, their hair was too blonde or even red-hued, and often their cheeks were blemished with acne pits.
    Mind you, not bashing cultural intermixing--merely flexing my writing muscles by practicing physical description character sketches. :D
     
  14. The Mad Hatter

    The Mad Hatter Whyyyyy'sis heead so biiiiiig?

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    Wow, your bitterness toward the Simpsons really HAS reached Comic Book Guy proportions. :) Anyway the "last season" proclimation in that episode was quite obviously a joke, as Matt Groening has said "this will be the last season" for the past five seasons now. Fox more or less won't let them quit, since the Simpsons makes them too much money, hence the joke. Let the humor run free.

    Well, Charlie's Angels did pretty darn good box office... much better than pretty much every classic TV remake out there. So I'm not quite sure she's a flavor of the month _yet_, though it may be too early to tell. She was also in Shanghai Noon, but I don't know what her role was like so I'm not sure if she's being typecast yet.
     
  15. robert

    robert Member

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    >Wow, your bitterness toward the Simpsons really HAS reached Comic Book Guy proportions. :) Anyway the "last season" proclimation in that episode was quite obviously a joke, as Matt Groening has said "this will be the last season" for the past five seasons now. Fox more or less won't let them quit, since the Simpsons makes them too much money, hence the joke. Let the humor run free.

    I know, I know. But the connection between that statement from the previous season finale and where the Simpsons head off to in this one was so strong I had to make some kind of joke. Perhaps I should have mentioned the sarcasm button on that one{"Sarcasm detector? Oh, that's a _ real_ useful invention!"[another CBG quote, again, an example of irony]} I was hardly serious, I'm not really bitter, but the show is going down the toilet if they haven't already. Oh, and you got the actual joke, right?{Note to self, mention my sarcasm more often so as not to be taken seriously}

    >"Hey, I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?"

    You're excused. Anyone else?
     
  16. DR. BELCH

    DR. BELCH Member

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    I once watched a guy go around a corner and turn into a liquor store--does that count?
     
    #16 DR. BELCH, May 16, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2001

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