Episode Reviews (12)
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What I liked: Kif making the sigh yodel like Zapp was making, Bender singing "Do The Bender, Do The Bender", at parts Bender's partying was funny, Zapp being born in the end, Bender singing "coma coma coma comalion", Seeing Hermes take a shower in the camera and even more parts. This was a good episode, and a good way to bring back the series!
When the ship crashes, Prof. Farnsworth revives the crew with his "birth machine". It tries too hard, the forced crude humour doesn't work, but it's back!...
This review contains moderate spoilers.
It's back, 'Futurama' is back!! Well actually, it's been "back" for a while now, but I'm in the U.K., don't have $ky (with it's traditional "proper telly" broadcaster, Channel 4, seeming to have no interest in this new series at present), so have had to wait for the official DVD before I can finally get my hands, err, eyes, whatever, on these new episodes.
Cancelling 'Futurama' was one of the big TV crimes of the 2000s. I'm a huge fan of golden-age 'Simpsons', but even I'll admit that show has sadly seen better days, whereas 'Futurama' has so much more potential, and humour, left in it yet. There were the four DVD movies, re-edited into TV episodes, that were pretty good, but felt to have a lot riding on them and so maybe suffered from having too much crammed in to them, trying to do to many things, so not fully capturing the magic the original half-hour episodes. So here we are, the first proper-new-episode of 'Futurama' in seven years. How does this re-introduction story fare?
Well, being a return of such a cult series, it had a lot to live up to. And, kinda like the aforementioned DVD movies, one thing that does strike me is that they tried to get it to do a lot of things, maybe too many; like they were trying too hard to score too many goals. Part of the joy of the original episodes was the complexity and unpredictability of the plots, but plots which, at the same time, were focused and structured. 'Rebirth' follows the DVD movies mould of maybe trying to be too many things at once.
The other thing that sticks out to me, and many other fans have commented on this too, is the crude humour noticeably being notched up a gear or ten. Now I don't have a problem with this kind of humour as such, not if done well and used in the right place (heck, I still chuckle at 'Family Guy'), but with New-Futurama, it kinda felt too welded on and obvious, kinda like "hey, we're back. And now we're like 'Family Guy' too!!" If I want 'Family Guy', I'll go watch 'Family Guy', let 'Futurama' be what it always was. At time of writing, I haven't seen much into this new season, but I hope it's a trend that doesn't continue so blatantly, as I don't think it fits the show. For now, I'll put it down to the show finding it's footing again.
The plot is fair, although, as mentioned above, suffers from having a little too much- thrown in and trying to be too clever- for it's own good. In many ways, the pay off "explanations" later in the episode reminded me of the fourth season episode 'The Sting' from the original run, with Leela believing Fry to be dead, only for it to turn out that well, go read up on that episode if you don't know already. But either way, this episode conjured up a lot of memories of that (better executed) story for me; I wonder if this was a deliberate move by the writers to try and recreate some of the appeal of that popular episode?
The b-plot of Bender not being able to stop moving (due to the whatevermajig implanted in him by Professor Farnsworth) has some amusing moments (and hey, Bender is ALWAYS amusing as it is!), though again has echoes of "trying too hard to do too much", complete with rather convenient payoff with the Cyclops-eating monster that felt rather tacked-on in the first place, with the plot strand feeling it maybe should have been saved for another episode.
So that forced crude humour and the trying-too-hard-to-be-too-many-things don't work for this episode, but as I say, this opening instalment had a LOT to live up to. The plus points: The original voice cast are all in place (for a while in pre-production, it was rumoured that not all, if any of the original cast would return, causing numerous petitions from fans thankfully, the full original cast are here) and are as on form with their characters as they ever were. For all my gripes about the unevenness and awkwardness of some of this episode's exception, for the most part the characters themselves come off well bearing in mind we're coming from a cancelled show, through a few DVD movies, and onto a new series produced by a different network, the transition is actually a lot smoother than might have been feared.
So not one of my favourite 'Futurama' eps, and if nothing else, I really hope to see the unsubtle faux-'Family Guy' crude humour toned down very quickly, but at the end of the day, a welcome return to one of my favourite TV shows. It's not as high a score as some of the classic episodes, but I'll give 'Rebirth' a passable 7.5 out of 10.moreless
Futurama returns with it's great comeback episode!
I've been waiting 7 years for this, and THANK GOD, it delivered very well (for me anyway). I was surprised at how the chemistry between Fry and Leela worked so well, obviously the writers knew what they were doing when they wrote this, just as usual. A great story to kick off Futurama into its new season, it was a real Sci-Fi one, and the comedy was fresh and very funny, because it kept true to Futurama's language of comedy. Some people including me were slightly worried that Futurama would have lost its touch by now, but I think it's safe to say that it passed the test. Bender's side story was great, I didn't think that because of the main story being so epic, they'd be able to fit in a side story but wrong again, they succeeded in doing so. All characters were great to see again, and their voices were the same as when they left. I loved the plot twist near the end, however complicated it got. But the only thing in Futurama lately that's been worrying me is that the Sci-Fi element is beginning to sound like they're not making sense. Maybe it's just me but it has happened more than once, but that's the only minor issue I've got at the moment, the next episode was very funny as well, Futurama is truly back and biting Shiny Metal Ass!moreless
After escaping certain death at the end of "Into the wild green yonder" the Planet express crew (except the proffesser) all die horribly, and must be brought back to life by a whacky invention.
This is an absolutely brilliant return for "Futurama." I've gotta say that I loved the first 2 movies but wasn't that keen on the second two. This though is a promising restart to the series!
What I love about this is that there is never a dull moment. The storyline is crazy and out there but is ingenious, and there are plenty of gags too, which is what the show is really all about.
This probably won't please everyone as I've already heard some people complaing that it was too complicated or whatever. But to me this is "Futurama" at its best. A Complicated, crazy, science-fiction plot crammed with funny moments too. More please!moreless
Rebirth: When the crew smash the ship into Planet Express the Professor makes a Rebirth machine but not everyone survives
What a great return I really enjoyed it. The plot was very good and flowed very well the jokes were good and Bender was hilarious as per usual. The Cyclops island and the Cyclops itself were wonderfully animated and so was the whole show in fact. Though it was not up there with fantastic Futurama episodes (Parasites lost, War is the H-word, The Bird-bot of Ice-catraz) but it was still as funny and creative If the rest of the season turns out like this then Season 6 is going to be great Score: (A well deserving) B+, 4/5, 8/10, Excellentmoreless
Bender: Yeh....We Back
Futurama is back, the moment everyone was waiting for the past 7 years...and did it reach my expectations? It sure did!
Starting with Fry asking why is his fry-fro so frizzy and why is he covered in burns and Farnsworth telling him what happened since the cliffhanger of Green Yonder, and he revives everyone and Leela is in a coma so after trying to revive her and fail Fry builds a Leelabot to be with her again and are about to leave real Leela in the cyclops cementery but Bender wakes her up and a cyclops eating creature. Bender was about to die and Farnsworth installed a doomsday device on him to keep him alive and he couldn't stop dancing if not he would explode. At Planet Express the cyclops eating thing returns and is about to eat Leela but Bender stops dancign and loses an eye and the monster eats him and he exploes inside him, killing him. Then it's revealed Fry is a robot too and Leela actually survived and made a Fry-bot. Then Fry revives too and they get together and the bots get together too. A lot of get jokes like:
Do the bender, do the bender!
I dont want to
I SAID DO IT!!!!!
or It's like a comedy central channel and were on it now!
Amy: I GET IT!
10/10 great comeback!moreless
I really like this show and have been waiting for new episodes for such a long time. I think this was a great start to the new production line of episodes, it had a good, funny plot, some nice references to the cancellation (which of course was a stupid thing to do in the first place), and it was creative (the Fry in this episode being revealed as a robot near the end was really creative and clever I thought). Overall, a nice return to the series, hopefully the episodes can get even better than this! Overall grade- an Amoreless
Rebirth indeed... As Bender would say: "We're back, baby!"
The new season starts with a blast! It's good to see that they did not ignored the ending of "Into the Wild Green Wonder" and came up with a cool way to go on with the story. I really loved the whole twist with this episode's story. The voice actors did an amazing job, as always, even if some people think that they did sound a little weird. Lauren Tom practiced her Amy voice, because she sounded so cute and naughty at the same time. If the rest of the season is as good as its beggining, then we are officially back in business everyone!moreless
*** Spoiler-free *** Twisted and funny story, touching Leela & Fry, good 2.5D visuals and intriguing cliffhanger but not so creative, no franchise reboot and anticipated episodic format of the bionic pizza
I only watched a few episodes of the first two seasons but always considered Futurama one of the best cartoons on TV. However I never became one of its followers as I'm not into episodic shows. Some missions of the week were good but others were disappointing. So when I read that season 6 was about to air I thought it would be the perfect occasion to reboot the franchise and provide its long time fans with a fresh and original production.
Rebirth didn't meet my expectations but it should succeed in entertaining the audience. Indeed some situations were quite hilarious. I didn't dig the whole Bender delirium but most of the jokes were funny. However I found some cultural references a bit lazy, at least two films. I couldn't help comparing it to Space Pilot 3000, that I rated 10 out of 10, and they didn't play in the same creative league. Otherwise the characters spirit hasn't aged and I instantly fell in love again with Leela & Fry. I found some scenes touching and even if their relationship is not as super as Lois & Clark I think it has potential and I hope it'll be further developed in the upcoming episodes.
As for the story it wasn't mind blowing but twisted enough so you should definitely be surprised. Visually it's still a miss of traditional 2D animation and 3D cel-shaded CG. However I think they could have upgraded their vision and made it a bit more modern. Some backgrounds were specially tasteless but overall I think the production quality is good. Last but not least it ended with a cliffhanger and even if I don't expect Futurama to switch to a heavy format, with one story for the whole season, it should intrigue you enough to at least watch the next episode, In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela. So it wasn't a two parts pilot but I think Rebirth deserves your attention. But don't expect Futurama to reinvent itself ! It's really like if the show had never been canceled.moreless
Futurama returns and does not disappoint!
So after being cancelled for a few years, Futurama is back baby! The first episode concluded and wrapped the ending of Into The Wild Green Yonder very nicely, and even had a good plot twist. Though by far not the best episode of Futurama, this was a decent starting episode overall and will most likely get better over time.
The episode begins with Fry coming in the Planet Express building discovering that his hair is messed up and having severe burns, asking Farnsworth inside what happened. Farnsworth realises that Fry doesn't remember, and retells him what happened. The crew were escaping Zapp and it turns out that the wormhole was a shipping channel and that they were back at Earth. Unfortuantly, Zapp manages to hit the ship and they end up crashing. Before this, Farnsworth activates the ship's safety spheres which protects everyone's heads (except Farnsworth, who has a full body sphere) and they all end up crashing in an explosion. Fry asks where the others are now, and it turns out they're dead and hooked with their skeletons dangling.
*HUGE SPOILERS BELOW*
Farnsworth shows Fry the rebirthing device he made, and chucks the dead crew into the machine's liquid "stem cell" goo. The machine manages to recreate the whole crew (except Zapp) and Bender comes out with a problem of having to dance and keep moving to avoid exploding. Fry wonders where Leela is, and as she comes out, she doesn't awaken and as a result is seemingly stuck in a permanent coma.
Fry, upset at Leela's loss, decides to build a bot to try and forget about her. He then finds out that Hermes can obtain Leela's past memories to reinstall herself onto the bot as a duplicate, and as a result she thinks she survived the crash. She doesn't realise she's a robot, until Nibbler bites a chunk out of her arm, and she sees wires inside her. Confused on why she still has the same emotions and feelings for Fry, Fry and Leela head to a studio nightclub, and conclude that they should still both be friends, whilst Bender keeps dancing to stay alive.
With one last attempt to try to awaken the comatosed Leela, Farnsworth uses a standard "wake up" medicine of throwing her around and making loud noises, but with no luck. Fry has to seemingly accept her death, whilst the robot Leela tries to comfort him.
Due to Leela's will stating if she is in a coma, her body is to be fed to the wild Cyclophage. Fry kisses the real Leela and mourns a little, whilst the beast approaches them. Because Bender can't stop dancing, he attracts attention, and when he burps out fire, he awakens the real Leela. The real Leela is confused on why there's a 2nd Leela that Fry was kissing, but the crew run back to the ship before getting attacked by the beast, which attaches itself to the ship with its tongue whilst fleeing.
Back at Planet Express, the two Leela's are confused on who Fry is in love with, and Fry talks to himself about his feelings for her, in which grabs both the Leela's attentions and causes a fight. Fry is given a gun to shoot the robot Leela, but accidently fires upon himself, revealing that he is a robot too.
Farnsworth tells Fry that there's more to it than he originally told him. Just before the ship crashed, Fry gave Leela extra cover by protecting her from the blast. Fry was actually obliterated, whilst Leela survived. The original Leela, so distraught by this, made her own bot of Fry as a result, and as they kissed, the electricity in the Fry bot electricuted both of them and got Leela killed, as well as delivery short memory loss. This resulted in the Fry hair at the beginning of the episode and why he doesn't remember.
After the group of Leela's realise that the real Fry is dead, Fry actually comes out of the rebirth machine, and both robot versions of Fry and Leela say they love each other, and ditch their skins and leave the crew as a result.
The real Fry confessed to real Leela about his love to her, whilst Bender gets sick and tired of partying to stay alive. Just as he's heating up, the Cyclops beast appears and eats Bender, exploding whilst he's inside and killing the monster. At the same time, this causes Bender to return back to normal, and as a result everyone celebrates to party, with the crew leaving the room, whilst Zapp comes out of the machine sliding out unnoticed.
*END OF SPOILERS*
The things I did like about this episode that it kept Fry and Leela related, and felt more like Futurama than the movies. However, the Bender subplot was maybe a little annoying, but a few good lines came out of it, though it does have a resolution to it in the end. One joke I didn't like involved Leela, because it felt out of place for Futurama and very Simpsons-y. Most of the jokes worked though, and all the plot points are wrapped up nicely from the end of Into The Wild Green Yonder. It's maybe not the most perfect way to return, but Rebirth made sense and was entertaining, and that's good enough for me! Looking forward to more of them in the next couple of weeks.moreless