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Aki

Written for I, Roommate on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:8
Characters:10
Gags:9
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10

Of all episodes of Futurama, "I, Roommate" is probably the most sitcom-y, and it also has the simplest story. Fry is invited to stay with Bender in his apartment, but after Fry realises how small it is they get out looking for a new one, and Fry finally has to choose between the perfect apartment and his best friend. Though a simple plot it is very nice and convenient, and it is largely character-driven which is quite necessary so early in the series, when all characters still aren't quite settled.

I, Roommate is not a hilarious nor emotional episode, but it is... pleasant. Alike many early episodes it's extremely calm and it's one of those episodes that makes you happy, with some good jokes and an ending with some heart, without going too far one way or the other. The episode also introduces Bender's apartment, that will be featured in many episodes to come.

Written for A Flight to Remember on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:9
Characters:10
Gags:10
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

One of the most memorable episodes, A Flight to Remember also lays the foundation to the Kif/Amy-episodes to come in the rest of the show's run. While the plot is a more or less scene by scene parody of Titanic (giving it a slight down) it is really nicely done, better than one would expect. The idea of Bender meeting his first love is brilliantly performed, and I still don't know if the final line between the two ("you'll share your love again... after all - it's shareware!") is supposed to be funny or if it's funny because it's not, but I laugh every time.

Except for the wonderful two plots, the episode also delivers some wonderful jokes and one-liners ("Tell 'em I died robbing some old man") and even a hilarious flashback of the event that led Hermes to forever give up professional limbo.

What makes this episode so awesome is that it really is top notch in everything. It's funny, it's shippy both with Kif-Amy and Fry-Leela, it's parodising perfectly, it's stunning in animatics, and it's music is wonderful. Though the musical theme obviously is another Titanic reference, it's greatly done and if not in the context of other parodies I probably wouldn't notice the similarities.

Written for Mars University on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:6
Plot:3
Characters:5
Gags:8
Sideplot:8
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:7
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:9

Mars University is, I'm afraid, among the worst episodes of Futurama. An unintresting plot that has been done so many times before (yes, it's a parody, but it could just as well be plagiarism), along with a boring character. Günter COULD have been fun, I just don't know what happened, it was badly written and his lines were just stupid. In a university episode there is so much space for geeky jokes, what Futurama does best, and we're not presented with any at all. The ending was stupid and predictable, in both parts. The b-plot was slightly better than the a-plot, giving Bender a real Bendery plot, but it was still too much plagiarism and cliché and too little parody.

What I'm glad for is that we are given an insight in Amy's studies and are reminded that she is in fact a student temporarily working with the Professor to support her studies, this is something we are too seldom reminded about. It is kind of messed up that she studies on Mars, that is otherwise described as a ruined wasteland owned partly by the original martians and partly by the Wong family, marking some of the most annoying continuity error in Futurama.

Written for Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love? on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:6
Plot:8
Characters:8
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:6

Though an interesting plot and filled with great jokes (Zoidberg has always been the funniest crew member and this episode is entirely devoted to him and his species), the story lacks inspiration and turns out somewhat predictable and, honestly, boring. It has been proven on numerous occassions that while Zoidberg is an excellent side character, he cannot handle his own episode.

This aside, I do like the entire frenzy plot and seeing Zoidberg as what he is - a weird alien. But the continuity lack. Zoidberg's species dies after mating, but we have seen many old Decapodians since. Sure, it could be explained saying they failed to mate, but what about a famous man like Uncle Zoid? Surely he could attract some females?

Overall, a decent episode, and the first and third act are really funny, but the mid is pretty boring or at least not as interesting as a Futurama episode can be.

Written for Amazon Women in the Mood on 18 July 2010.

Overall rating:9
Plot:9
Characters:10
Gags:10
Sideplot:6
Voice actor performance:9
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

Overall one of Futurama's funniest episode, "Amazon Women in the Mood" is also one of the more adventury one and definitely one in the dirty category. The first act with the date between Zapp, Leela, Amy and Kif is hilarious with some of the greatest Zapp lines ever, including his singing to Leela and the great line "you win again, gravity!". The dirty jokes are perfectly balanced on the fine line between funny and too much, and the sight of the skeletons who died of broken pelivises is hilarious.

What did I not like? This is almost nitpicking, but I was actually not a big pan of the subplot with the Femputer actually being a fembot. It simply didn't make sense to me why it would matter if she was a robot or a computer, and if that was the joke it wasn't good. It also lead to a rather simple ending to an otherwise great plot.

What I did like was that they finally started the Kif-Amy-relationship! Although somewhat started in A Flight to Remember, this is where they get together, and the characters who previously where rather simple and funny rather than emotional suddenly got great new dimensions that would be revisited in many episodes to come.

Written for Parasites Lost on 19 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:9
Characters:10
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

"Parasites Lost" really is an example of a perfect episode, featuring all we've come to love from the show: primitive humour, sci-fi geek jokes, adventurous stories, great animation and music, and emotions that makes it all so special.

The main plot may be extremely simple, and is a parody of (or maybe even inspired by) The Fantastic Voyage, but the idea of Leela deciding to leave the worms and Fry destroying them is incredibly brilliant. Both make great points and it shows a new side of Fry when he wants to find out who she loved, the worms or him. And the lines "No-one would willingly make a fool out of himself!" / "Then you've never been in love!" makes me chill every time, as with the moment when Fry expresses his feelings for her.

Meanwhile, the visuals are amazing, and the music during the fight in the third act is simply incredible. Though there are not as many jokes as one would expect, the ones that are are really good and there are many laugh-out-loud moments. The first act is also one of my favorites ever, and reminds me a lot of Firefly with the stopping by a gas station and getting in troubles.

Written for A Tale of Two Santas on 26 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:8
Characters:10
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:9
Continuity:9
Animation quality:9
Music/sound quality:10

Futurama's second Christmas episode is much better than the past, which I always blame for being all too forgettable and predictable. Where "Xmas Story" is your traditional sitcom cheese with a few Futurama moments, "A Tale of Two Santas" is your traditional Futurama episode with some satirical parodies of Christmas.

I love Robot Santa. Plain out, he's one of my favorite minor characters and he's a wonderful villain, maybe because he shows much more seldom than Mom, and because he really is the villain with NO heart (maybe because he is a robot). Therefore he suits perfectly in the plot, which feels a little rushed but overall is hilarious. This is definitely a joky episode, and is led by joke following joke in a sense that after a while the viewer is simply confused on where everything is. Don't get me wrong - sometimes this is a bad thing, "Bender's Big Score" being an example of such, but in this case it turns out really good. We even get one of the greatest musical moments of Futurama along, with the Neptunian elves, and one of the greatest lines of the show ("You're not Santa! How dare you lie in front of Jesus?!").

Unfortunately, I still can't get the ending properly. Bender seems just a little out of character wanting to help Robot Santa attack Earth (sure, "kill all humans", but if Bender does have a heart no matter what he claims), and it seems to me the episode never properly end.

Written for The Luck of the Fryrish on 26 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:9
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

"The Luck of the Fryrish" is an interesting episode, seeing as it succeeds both in being one of the most emotional episode of Futurama (along with The Sting, Jurassic Bark and Lethal Inspection, I'd say), and still being really funny, adventurous, mystery-ish as well as giving the first insights into Fry's past, and reintroducing the sorrowful fact that was introduced in Space Pilot 3000, namely that Fry's entire family and his friends are dead, a theme throughout the story.

Wonderfully planned out and executed, the story is incredible. Fry's past is designed to be boring to set the premise for the series - that he wishes to get away and is thrown into a brand new life 1000 years later - and still the writers get a full story out of it. What amazes me is how much of a storyline it is for one episode, and it still doesn't feel rushed. We are introduced to the seven-leaf clover, meanwhile seeing flashbacks to Fry's brotherly relationship, and we understand that Yancy stole it from Fry after his disappearance, and then we get to the great finale, all in just 22 minutes. I think no-one can watch the ending without being touched, and I feel it speaks directly to everyone with a similar older brother (such as myself). I can definitely picture myself in Fry's position, and I've cried every time I've seen the episode so far, including just today.

Written for Bendless Love on 26 July 2010.

Overall rating:6
Plot:3
Characters:10
Gags:7
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:8
Animation quality:8
Music/sound quality:9

This episode is funny and interesting but oh so strange. Why? It's simply not Futurama. The plot could be taken from any regular sitcom - sure, having an evil twin (kind of) is meant as a parody, but the rest of the idea is not parody, it's more of a plagiarization. The episode starts out great with Bender having an urge to bend things, but it all slows down and some jokes fall flat, which would be okay if the story was interesting - problem is that it's not. It's predictable and we constantly know exactly what will happen, and not even Flexo and Don-Bot in the same episode can change that.

There are some parts of this episode, however, that are extraordinary, and confuse me. I love the first act, the bending urge. I love Jan Hooks as Angleyne. I love the sideplot with the Professor getting a new outlook on life after being bent (though it should definitely have been expanded with more jokes, act two could have used that).

Overall, this episode is a nice watch with some hilarious moments, but overall it's easily forgettable and it could just as well have been any sitcom.

Written for Godfellas on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:8
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

Godfellas is definitely among my favorite episodes, along with The Sting, Luck of the Fryrish and other. This is definitely not a gaggy episode, but a thinker, emotional one that is even philosophical and really deep. Although the concept of the Galactic Entity is inspired by Star Trek as well as many classic science fiction stories, it is taken to a new level in a way that is seldom if ever seen in what basically is a sitcom. And even though I know that Bender isn't lost forever, I really feel for Fry and I cry with him when searching for his friend, even saying he'd spend his entire life searching for him even though he knows it's virtually impossible to ever find him. The line that he coincidentally sends out, "I wish I had Bender back" and the zoom through the universe... is simply epic and greatly done, visually and musically, with awesome sound editing.

Though not a gaggy episode (I don't think there could be more jokes without ruining the emotions, but I still lower the points somewhat seeing as they managed in other emotional ones), it features some great lines, like the ending when they realise they forgot to help the monks out ("Aw, do we have too?") and Bender's wonderful line "Who would have known playing God could have such terrible consequences?". We also see some great jokes in the whole sequence with Bender being god, including the sudden death of the entire civilisation ("Maybe if I hug God hard enough, he'll save us from the---")

There are so many things to point out in this wonderful episode, but I will add a final minor remark before leaving: as a pianist myself I just love the whole idea of Bender focusing the remainder of his life trying to play Polonaise in C minor and then destroying the piano after failing.

A wonderful episode, beautiful and philosophical, and maybe the best Futurama episode to date.

Written for The Sting on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:9
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10

If someone put a gun to my head and asked me of my favorite Futurama episode, I'd say The Sting. This episode is so magnificently emotional and beautiful, a true masterpiece, and it still manages to be incredibly funny. The only flaw I can think of would be the "Bee Happy" song Leela dreams of, it just goes on a little too long and I feel that there could have been something else there to show her growing madness.

The music, the actors, everything, exceptional. Both Katey Segal (Leela) and Billy West (Fry) manages their respective parts so perfectly, and showcase how they can make these characters show real emotions, especially Segal as she trips through mourning, desperation, madness and anger.

Except for making an excellent episode, we are also allowed into Leela's secluded mind that we so seldom get to view, and both she and we realises that deep within she loves Fry, and we just know they will end up together.

This is one of the few episodes that have ended me in tears, along with other fantastic ones like Jurassic Bark and Devil's Hands. If you don't love this story, you have no heart.

Written for Three Hundred Big Boys on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:9
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:9
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:8
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

I suppose Three Hundred Big Boys is a love or hate episode, seeing as it's so different from all the others, but I personally just love it. Not focusing on a single plot but rather following all main characters spending 0 can either fail completely and feel blurry, or it can all fall together like this one. Lots of people compare it to the Simpsons episode 22 Short Films About Springfield, though I disagree - while the episodes share some similarities one is clearly a bunch of stories that hang together slightly, while the other are a lot of sideplots that share the same story and intertwine wonderfully in the end.

The episode also strikes high on quite a few other parts: it contains some incredible jokes, such as the entire sequence with Fry reaching Nirvana by drinking 100 cups of coffee, and it also features cameos from many, wonderful side characters we see all too seldom. The major complaint, however, is that of Mushuu. While I don't mind the puking scene itself, it's not particilarly Futurama-ish to keep a whale puking for ten seconds believing it'll be funny. Half a second, fine. But that's it, or it destroys the scene entirely.

Written for The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:9
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10

The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings is the finale of the original run, and it really is perfect for it. One of the more emotional episodes, it also has an amazing musical number that showcases the vocal talents of the main actors as well as guest Dan Castellaneta.

What strikes me when watching the episode is how much it could be a film, with its quite slow tempo that is increased in the finale climax. What I miss from the episode, however, is jokes. It is an emotional episode, but it is not a calm one, it is pretty action-filled (at least the third act), and it is not extremely emotional until the very end, markin lots of spaces where jokes could have been without disturbing the emotions.

This is such a great finale to me. Without having anything special happening by the end, making space for a continuation (the films and the second run), it still has a beautiful ending that hints hope that Fry will finally get Leela. We are shown that Fry, this lovable idiot, actually has a really big heart, and he has the brains to express himself in a wonderful opera, if he only have the hands to play it.

Ofcourse mentioning it's a finale, it's immediately compared to the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder, that really is the exact opposite, the action-packed sci-fi finale that leaves everything open in an entirely different way. If there is to be a final, third finale... I can't see a better one made, but I want it to be in the style of this.

Written for Bender's Big Score on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:7
Plot:6
Characters:8
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

Bender's Big Score might not fit into the quality of the original run, but is definitely a great call-back in film form, containing many lovable side characters and referencing most of the Futurama history, an amazing task even though it is in fact four times as long as a "regular episode".

But it lacks. It feels in fact as four episodes pushed together as one. It is apparant that the writers try their best to make it a real epic, and it does have a good time-travel story going, but it also feels like they started with that story, and upon realising that it wouldn't fit ninety minutes they started to include sideplots. Fortunately, they bring everything together, but it could have been much better with a single, focused plot. There is also a musical number that is easily forgotten, in spite of the fact that that's what Futurama has shown cabability in before in episodes like Hell is Other Robots and The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings.

I just love the Lars story, I have to say. Its unravelling finale is so perfect, and Fry's cry in the 21st century before Bender blows him up is so heart-smashing I won't believe it. Upon second watching we also realise that there are many clues of the finale, and still I didn't see it coming.

They surely try for an epic, and they do succeed in the sense that they bring an epic-style story reminding of the more epic stories like Roswell That Ends Well and The Time Keeps on Slipping, but they also succeed in creating some stunning visuals and some music that is clearly different from the original episodic format. Unfortunately, none of this can measure up to the fact that the story is simply blurring, and some scenes are just unnecessary and annoying. I will never get over the fact that this movie could have been great, and they screwed it up.

Written for The Beast with a Billion Backs on 13 July 2010.

Overall rating:5
Plot:6
Characters:6
Gags:7
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:5
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:9

The Beast With a Billion Backs is the second film of the fifth season, and it does sink a lot from Bender's Big Score. One major point is the story's beginning, how it actually begins where the other film ends in a way that never happens on television, and it begins to look really good. But it falls, oh god it falls.

Just like Bender's Big Score and Into the Wild Green Yonder, tBWaBB faults on having so many plot points. It feels like the writers can't concentrate on choosing a single plot and making it a ninety minute feature, and instead comes up with lots of smaller ideas that together make the time. In Bender's Big Score, this was compensated with a wonderful plot idea with Lars Fillmore and the Time Sphere, but in Beast... wait, what was the plot again? I've watched this film over and over again and I still can't get a better synopsis than "Fry becomes the high priest of a religion based on an alien from another universe, who then kidnaps all people of our universe, and then they are saved by Bender."

This is definitely a gaggy episode, and still there aren't many memorable quotes or jokes. I love the whole B-plot with Bender, how he doesn't care much about Fry's newfound Yivo but miss being his friend, and how he finally storm Yivo's universe just to get Fry back. It's a funny plot that should have been given more space, instead of lame semisubplots that didn't really lead anywhere.

As a real shipper I also don't understand where Fry's whole Colleen business. He just went through Bender's Big Score, that established that if Fry just went through some stuff and grew up, Leela would not just date him, but marry him. Leela. His one love. And in the beginning of Beast he introduces his new girlfriend like nothing happened. Not to mention the finale of Into the Wild Green Yonder. What is going on? Is this film set between the first two seasons? There are some motivations and some continuity I simply fail to see.

Written for Rebirth on 12 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:9
Characters:10
Gags:7
Sideplot:9
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

The first episode of the second run really shows that Futurama is BACK. Lots of great jokes and action as well as a few emotional shipping between Fry and Leela, AND a Twilight Zone-ish twist at the end makes me believe that this must be the most thought out episode of the season.

What annoys me is how this episode keeps being a link between the films and the new season in a way that is unavaidoble (how else would they explain the ending of Into the Wild Green Yonder?), and even though it is handled wonderfully it annoys me to hell that I will never be able to look at it as a normal episode just for fun. As I'm sure many agrees, I also find the pace to be quite troubling. The writers are clearly still stuck in the "film mode", trying to fit all too many plots into a single episode, which causes the episode to rush through and we miss many scenes before barely being introduced to them.

But it also introduces the new run so wonderfully, bringing in all elements of the series right there, right then, from real science fiction moments and geeky jokes further on to the silly humour (Fry beating Leela with a bat, and of course "poke harder, damn it!" "I'm poking as hard as I can!") and the emotional scene with Leela sneaking up on Fry by the window.

There is also the semi-b-plot with Bender having to keep partying not to blow up. While others seem to find it unnecessary (and I can agree) it actually included quite hilarious scenes and background gags, not to mention a perfect reintroduction to Bender.

Written for In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:7
Plot:6
Characters:8
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:9

While not as good as Rebirth, the season premiere, In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela manages to pull off some great jokes and a clever story, but there are also many flaws. Primarly, Leela is so out of character - in spite of the excuse that she's dehydradet and confused there are some extremely strange lines, not to mention the ending in which she goes along with sleeping with Zapp without even a complaint. For many others, this would be okay, but Leela is supposed to be the strong woman that protects her dignity even if it means death. Not to mention that the man is Zapp, who she solemly loathes.

When ignoring this, the episode has some wonderful jokes and great storytelling, and I found Zapp's plan unfolding pretty clever, and the idea of V-GINY as well as Zapp's dream TV show was all just hilarious.

Written for Attack of the Killer App on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:9
Characters:10
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:8

Attack of the Killer App is what it sounds like - a direct attack against modern technology. Though this is classic Futurama-like stabbing, sometimes it feels overdone and too apparant, but most of the time it is alright and they manage to pull off joke after joke as well as a good plot idea, with Bender and Fry racing for 1 000 000 Twitcher followers, unaware (and still unaware after the ending) of Mom's evil plan.

I must be the only one who didn't hate the idea of Susan Boil, but it wasn't that great either. It served its purpose as an embarrasing YouTube thing, but there could have been something more. I also seem to be the only one who loved the ending, which both pulled off a laugh out loud moment and gave Fry and Leela a loving moment of friendship or more.

What pulls down the rating a bit is the continuty - we have never heard of the eyePhone or Twitcher before and we'll never hear of it again, in spite of so many people being addicted to them. Ofcourse the show can get away with calling it a reference to technology fads, but I don't buy it.

Written for Proposition Infinity on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:8
Characters:9
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:8
Continuity:10

Possibly the best so far of the sixth season, Proposition Infinity follows in the vein of classic Futurama, with critisism on current issues set in the 31st century. With a number of lovable background characters and geeky references and jokes throughout the episode, the show is right back where it left television in the fourth season.

Unfortunately Maurice LaMarch seem a bit off as Kif, but it can only be expected after the hiatus, and it doesn't really disturb the episode. The Kif and Amy relationship being torn apart and reunited in the same episode seems like an impossible task, but the writers manage perfectly fine, even including a sweet ending that tells that even though the couple might have their differences they will always be eachother's soul mates. Though one thing that disturbs me is Bender's reasoning for choosing Amy, the only apparant reason being sex, which still wouldn't explain proposing to her, and the only making up for this is the final scenes when he leaves her after realising she wants a monogomous relationship. What annoys me is how easy the writers could have made a throw-away joke about wanting her money in case of a divorce, or even including Bender wanting to legalize robosexual marriage for the soul purpose that he can't, like a child who wants the other childrens' toys for no apparant reason other than jealousy.

All in all, Proposition Infinity is a good episode with the heart and the humour of classic Futurama. Managing to cram in sex jokes followed by Star Trek references followed by a motorcycle ride into the sunset has always made great television, and that's exactly what this episode does.

Written for The Duh-Vinci Code on 16 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:9
Characters:9
Gags:10
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:9
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:8

"The Duh-Vinci Code", though with a truly annoying name, is the best of the season so far. This is a mindblowing episode with great humour, an interesting plot and some wonderful character development as well as beautiful animatics when showing the da Vinci inventions. If I said that "Proposition Infinity" was the return of traditional Futurama, this is "Roswell That Ends Well".

The episode had some wonderful one-liners, sight gags and recurring jokes, but what I want to emphasise was how wonderfully executed the b-plot (or recurring mention, name it what you will) with Fry being dumb was. As in other episodes where this is part of the story ("The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", "Parasites Lost") it was emphasised early on, leading to many good jokes and a whole sequence with Morbo leading Who Dares to Be a Millionaire. I at first imagined this would lead to Fry finding out about the invention ("I'll show them!") but it did not, and instead it continued until they were on Planet Vinci, where the tables turned and the Professor was the stupidest on the planet along with da Vinci and Fry. What the ending showed, to me, was that when the intellect is taken away, Fry is superior to both the Professor and Leonardo in heart, and deep down he is as valiant and heroic as shown in eps like "The Why of Fry" and "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid".

What I did not like about this episode is that sometimes the Da Vinci Code references gets too far. Most of the time I'm surprised they managed much more nicely than in other parody rich episodes like the recent "Attack of the Killer App", but at other times it's annoying. The most prominent example of this is the Da Vinci Code style choral music used at scene change; it's funny the first time but it gets boring quickly. But mainly, it's well done and most jokes are clear for anyone who has never heard of Dan Brown. Another tiny annoyance is the character of Animatronio, that could have been done so much better, but the characters of Planet Vinci are just awesome, so it weighs up. Also, as in the other episodes of this run some voice actors are a bit off, especially Billy West as the Professor. Though not very disturbing, it reminds me more of season 1 than 4.

This is an adventurous episode, and episodes that come in mind are those many consider the best of Futurama, including "Roswell That Ends Well" and "The Why of Fry", leading to me saying that I'm not surprised if this one will be remembered as one of the best, at least from the second run if anything. And alike those other ones, it includes both great adventures, emotions and jokes. Some of the jokes are truly memorable, including Hermes' "didn't we use to be a delivery company?", the recurring mention of Braino in the background, the Professor finding the clues in a really Brownesque way, and of course the Space Pope.

Written for Lethal Inspection on 25 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:8
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:9
Continuity:8
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

"Lethal Inspection" immediately goes up along other emotional episodes like "Leela's Homeworld" and "Jurassic Bark", all with an end that I just wouldn't think teared me up again.

Throughout the episode it felt quite strange, very plot-driven and with not so many jokes (but those that existed were good) and Bender-Hermes is a very strange pairing. A very well planned episode, the episode had Bender being extremely true to character realising he is mortal after all these years, going through stages of grief, anger and suicidal. What got to me was the ending, from Tijuana and forward - he moment when Bender is having his outburst in the house is wonderful, the music epic, and even though I suspected all along that Hermes was Inspector #5, it still really got to me when they showed the clips and played Elizabeth Mitchell's wonderful song. Though I suspected the twist, I constantly supposed the episode would end with Hermes apologising to Bender and saying he mustn't have been careful enough, but instead it turns out he knew of it all the way through, just didn't have the heart to destroy him.

Unfortunately the episode could have used more jokes, especially when it comes to the Central Beuracracy that's basically a joke goldmine. The jokes that were there were solid, with several laugh out loud moments (the reenactment, the old man wanting a death certificate, "I was in Italy last week"), but with such an exciting story there could have been some more. What I also want is a bigger story for Leela, the current one only taking a couple of scenes, though those were hilarious and really suited for her.

I also reacted to Billy West's voice being a teeny bit off, both for the Professor and Fry. Though they didn't have a big part in the story it didn't intervene, but it sounded like he had a cold the day of recording.

Over all an extremely solid episode, and probably (I keep saying this) the best so far this season, and definitely along with the original 72.

Written for The Late Philip J. Fry on 30 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:10
Sideplot:10
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:10

Amidst a series of new episodes, many which are blamed to have "lost the charm" of Futurama, comes "The Late Philip J. Fry", and everyone immediately calls it not only an extremely great episode, but the greatest episode of all time.

This has everything. Not only does it carry a great plot (though semi-parody of "The Time Machine"), it also carries an extremely emotional core with Fry and Leela, it is well character-driven with many emotional moments in the midst of action-packed adventure, and both the animation and music is stunning, leading to an experience that forever change ones view on not only Futurama or comics but on television, on entertainment, on life itself. Similar to "Godfellas" it carries a metaphysical, philosophical ideology that leaves a searing mark never to be forgotten, but it is so much more. It carries through not only through the history of the show with numerous callbacks, but the history of history itself, as we experience the entire world change into a vast desert, before the universe itself collapse upon us destroying all that ever has been. One cannot help but feel a chill as the Professor declares life extinct in the world of, in his words, the end of all things. I couldn't help weeping when Leela finally found Fry's card or when Fry, relieved of Leela's message decides to take a beer with his friends and watch the universe collaps around them.

Written for That Darn Katz! on 10 August 2010.

Overall rating:7
Plot:7
Characters:9
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:0
Animation quality:7
Music/sound quality:7

Though not a remarkable episode, "That Darn Katz!" is not at all bad either. It is in fact one of those episodes you watch, laugh to, and then more or less forget without a big impact - simply a solid Futurama episode. But there are some things that will make it rememberable - for one thing Amy Wong finally graduates after twelve years of studies, and for another we see a both hilarious and odd pairing of Amy-Nibbler that gives both of them a full new dimension. We also see the Futurama team coming up with joke after joke after joke of cat humour - and most of them are hilarious, including several laugh out loud moments. One sorrowful exception is the can-can cats on Thuban 9 - though just a short throwaway joke it easily takes you out of the episode and it could so easily have been skipped or replaced with something else.

But there is not only relatively easy cat humour. We also get the wonderful academia satire and science humour that Futurama does so well, and Professor Fisherprice Shpeekenshpell will surely go to the history as one of the funniest tertiary characters ever.

Written for A Clockwork Origin on 25 August 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:7
Characters:8
Gags:9
Sideplot:8
Voice actor performance:8
Continuity:9
Animation quality:8
Music/sound quality:8

A surprisingly good episode, "A Clockwork Origin" is slightly above average - it's good, but it could have been so much better.

Creationism v evolutionism is a constant debate that really shouldn't be - one is a theory with wellgrounded facts to support it, one is a theory with no support at all - and Futurama really discussed the matter the best way possible, making fun of both sides. The part with the Professor and Banjo discussing missing links had me cracked up, even though I hear many others thought it went on too long.

The idea of creating a hyperfast evolution on the planetoid is brilliant, and Bender's throwaway joke about robots doing everything faster is hilarious, as is many other one-liners from the episode ("This is a cool way to diiiie!" a constant highlight). We also get some nice action and even a nice little sideplot with Zoidberg and Cubert, which some thought was unnecessary but I rather call too short. They are a nice little pairing after all.

What I miss is a proper ending - it feels as if the writers suddenly realised they were running out of time and finished it off all too easy. I also miss the Galactic Entity cameo I was hoping for.

Overall, a slightly above average episode that I can't help but feel could have been much better.

Written for The Prisoner of Benda on 25 August 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:9
Characters:8
Gags:10
Sideplot:9
Voice actor performance:10
Continuity:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:8

The idea of a mind-switching machine seems used, but Ken Keeler and the Futurama team did everything as original as a Thai boxer playing soccer. "The Prisoner of Benda" is highly reminiscent of "Three Hundred Big Boys" (one of my favorite among the funnier ones), mainly because it doesn't focus on one storyline, but on one for each crew member - even Scruffy gets his biggest role yet (hell, even his Wash Bucket) and delivers the biggest laugh out loud moment in the history of the series.

While any show could have taken what I consider the main plot (Bender's, which is also the title reference) and gone with it, making a descent show, Futurama delivers more than is promised and brings on a story about the Professor's dream of immortality, Amy's childhood obescity, and Leela's eye complex as previously visited in episodes such as "The Cyberhouse Rules". We even get a shippy moment between Fry and Leela - finally sleeping together, no matter disgusting in disgusting bodies - a robotic circus (!) AND an action sequence with some Japanese chopping. Oh, and did I forget to mention the science solution? Not to say that the line "I'm afraid we have to use... MATH!" cracks me up every time.

One thing that started amazing me on second watching is the body language of every character. Futurama has grown to the degree that every character has an extremely unique way of moving and using their eyes, the best examples being Zoidberg in Fry's body and Bender in Amy's... this definitely calls for an applause to the animators and the director. Amazing.

This is definitely one of the funniest episodes of the series, if not the funniest, and thus season six has so far brought on the most emotional (The Late Philip J. Fry) and the funniest, and we're only half-way through.

What the hell is going on?