Friday, July 02, 2010

The Return of Futurama: A Critique

Good news everyone...

Well, June 24th marked the triumphant return of my favorite TV show to the airwaves. How was it? Awesome & meh. The first episode was pretty good. It did however feel a little different. I can't quite put my finger on it yet. Things just seem a little off. The Planet Express building, New New York, & other familiar places seem a little unfamiliar. It's like walking into a house you lived in for twenty years after someone else has lived there 5 years. It still looks like your old house, but things aren't where you expect them to be. The walls are a different color & someone put wood laminate down where the orange & avocado shag carpet used to be.

The character Leela seems to be completely off. All the other characters seem exactly the same, but not Leela. She's weaker & dumber. Which makes me really sad because she was a really strong character. Sure she had her ditzy moments, but she had very clearly defined character flaws that now seem completely lost. The second episode was completely unbelievable for me because Leela didn't just shove off the log & kick Zapp's ass. She let Zapp pretty much call all the shots & she seemed easily controlled. There was absolutely no sexual tension between the characters & she gave in way too easy to a guy she supposedly hates. The Fry/Leela relationship is also very muddy right now. Are they? Aren't they? Fry's reaction to the Leela/Zapp thing was also unbelievable. All in all it was a very uncomfortable episode to watch & left me with a bad feeling in my gut. That "be careful what you wish for" feeling.

The third episode was better. We got back to addressing pop culture issues which Futurama always did so brilliantly. Still though, the toilet/juvenile humor is much more than it used to be. I liked the smartness of Futurama. The way the show was so good at addressing political, theological, & relevent social commentary. The cohesion of the plot is very lacking & they seem to be trying to get out all the proverbial "fart" jokes they can due to being on Comedy Central, a network that allows more of that sort of thing.

If Futurama doesn't smarten up & lessen the crude humor, I think it's headed in a bad direction. They need to pull the plot together by addressing one or two issues in the sarcasticly smart fashion of the original, find Leela's original personality, & drop the frat boy attitude or it's going to crash & burn.

I know they can do it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Here's a preview of the episode from this week:
FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
e-Waste Delivery
Futurama New EpisodesFuturama New EpisodesUgly Americans

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