Hello, everyone. Just stopping by to intro this a little bit. I’m taking a break from this week’s Tuesday Top Ten, mostly because I couldn’t come up with anything (come on, brain, think!), but also because my boyfriend had a great idea, and with the end of Futurama as a TV show last week, this fits perfectly. Enjoy!
With the series finale of Futurama this past week I thought it would be a good time to come out of the instagram photos I sometimes star in (Sara: he does make a lot of appearances in my instagram photos, doesn’t he?) and make another contribution to the blog by taking over What A Nerd Girl Says and make my own TuesdayTop 10. Without further ado here is My (Jon not Sara) Top Futurama episodes!
In short, Futurama was an animated show whose initial run was from 1999-2003, created by Matt Groening, of Simpsons fame, and David X. Cohen the series was critically acclaimed but ratings were never there and the show was cancelled by FOX. The show gained popularity thanks to being picked up by Adult Swim and was renewed with several direct to video films(now considered the fifth season) and several additional seasons on Comedy Central.
Futurama follows Phillip Fry, a pizza delivery boy, who on Dec 31, 1999 gets frozen for 1000 years to wake up to the 3000 and soon joins his great great great… nephew Hubert Farnsworth’s delivery service with Leela and Bender the foul mouthed robot to become… a delivery boy.
I watched Futurama only sporadically during it’s initial run but I became a huge fan during the run on Adult Swim. Even though it was made by Matt Groening it had no problem distancing itself from the Simpsons with its retro-futuristic setting, memorable characters, and of course many references to nerdy things. Now onto my top 10 favorite episodes
The Prisoner of Benda
This episodes has the classic sci-fi story element of body switching involving the whole cast including Scruffy the janitor’s washbucket. Of course there is the episode title being a reference to the novel the Prisoner of Zenda. But the main reason this episode gets the honorable mention is because of episode writer Ken Keeler’s introducing and proving of a Mathematical theorem based on group theory. The theorem and proof are used in the plot twist of the episode and having a math degree myself I couldn’t help but math out over this in the episode. How many shows would do such a thing in an episode? Futurama is the show I have ever heard of doing this and making it essential to the story. I should also state that the writer of the episode has a PhD in Mathematics, hence why he could put advanced math in a tv show. For those curious about the theorem and the proof it is referred to as the “Futurama Theorem” or “Keeler’s Theorem”.
10. The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz
I picked this episode mainly for whatanerdgirlsays. This episode has TONS of penguins!! Leela, Fry, and Bender become involved with a darkmatter(the future’s version of oil) tanker and protesters trying to protect penguins that live on Pluto. This episode is great just for the fact of Bender rebooting as penguin complete with tuxedo and desire to frolic.
(Sara: I love penguins!!!)
9. Farnsworth Parabox
If one Planet Express crew was funny then two definitely ups the ante. In this episode the Professor creates a box with a parallel universe as well as alternate universe Professor simultaneously creating a box with the main universe inside. This episode works because you get to see each character interacting with a slightly different version of themselves(the difference between the universes is the outcome of coinflips). We get to see the two universes distrustful at first then working together to keep their universes from being destroyed.
8. Future Stock
In this episode someone else from Fry’s time is released from being cryogenically frozen. It turns out to be a Gordon Gekko-esque stockbroker from the 1980s who froze himself until there was a cure for his disease “Bone-itis”. This episode has great one-liners but really clicks because of a lot of references to pop culture of the 80s including commercials and films as well as the members of the Planet Express crew, besides Fry, being new eyes at we thought was cool.
7. Brannigan, Begin Again
This episode makes this spot because of the focus on Zapp Brannigan, who pretty much is Captain Kirk if Kirk was exactly as William Shatner is. We see Brannigan at his lowest point after having destroyed the DOOP(Democratic Order of Planets) headquarters in an attempt to destroy the what he called the “evil neutral planet”. Interactions between Brannigan and his second in command Kif are always great and this episode is full of them. A highlight of this episode is an homage to the filmMidnight Cowboy complete with Harry Nilsson song!!
6. Roswell That Ends Well
Futurama readily explores time travel and a great deal of their important episodes have to do with some kind of time travel(including the last episode!!). In this episode the crew accidentally goes back in time to the 50s where they “have to endure the terrible music of the Big Bopper and then the tragedy of his death”. It is fun to see how this trip back in time fits to all of the Roswell alien stuff. The highlight of this episode is the homage to time traveling sci-fi like Terminator or Back to the Future where Fry sleeps with his grandma and becomes his own grandpa. A disgusting terrible terrible idea but hey Futurama made it funny.
5. Parasites Lost
One of the earlier episodes to move Fry and Leela’s relationship further from being just coworkers to possibly more. A gas station sandwich has Fry infested with worms that are actually improving him. So in another sci-fi reference the crew takes a “Fantastic Voyage” inside Fry to get rid of the worms. It’s great seeing an over the top comedic take on another sci-fi standard. Lastly it was also a plus seeing the relationship of Fry and Leela evolving.
4. Time Keeps On Slippin’
Another episode with some kind of reference I think a trend is starting to build, either in this show or my favorite episodes. In a reference to the old Scooby Doo cartoon movies from the 60s with “celebrity” guests to help solve the mystery the special guests of this episode are none other than the Harlem Globetrotters!! These Harlem Globetrotters are not your ordinary basketball players, they are all astrophysicists!! It comes in handy when trying to solve why time keeps on skipping in the universe. That could be reason enough for a great episode but it also has Bender trying and failing to become a Globetrotter as well as Fry trying to rekindle the emotions Leela had for him in “Parasites Lost”.
3. The Late Phillip J. Fry
This episode was reason enough to bring the show back for a new run as it easily became an instant classic of the whole series and proved that this show still had it! At this point Fry and Leela are already together and the episode follows Fry’s attempt to not be late for his date with Leela. As i said earlier a lot of the important episodes have time travel involved and this one is no different with the Professor inventing a time machine that only goes forward in time. The writing on this episode is very sharp and it’s very funny seeing what happens when the Professor, Fry, and Bender accidentally go a little too far forward in time.
2. Jurassic Bark
These top two were very hard to decide as they are both my favorites but alas having two episodes as #1 is kind of boring so i tossed a coin (Haha! remember what I said in #9?). This episode is a top for me because it still is very funny but it is able to do what very few comedies can do and that is… not be a comedy. A spin on the classic tale of a boy and his dog with Fry trying to resurrect his dog from 1999 that had been fossilized. Of course the high point of the episode is the end, I won’t spoil it but it definitely made me feel something and how often can a comedy do that so seamlessly?
1. Luck of the Fryrish
Finally, after about 14 years, 3 channels, 7 seasons, and 140 episodes it has all come to this… my pick for favorite Futurama episode! This is another of the episodes that strikes an emotional chord. Fry, in his youth, finds a lucky 7 leaf clover and after being frozen thinks that his brother Yancy took his clover and went on to become the greatest person of all time pretty much and was the first person on Mars. Fry, Bender, and Leela then try to find Yancy’s grave to get the clover back. However when they get there of course it is not as it originally seems and the end is a nice pay off. Not only is this show really funny but it is also well written and can bring you the episodes that have that element of sadness to them and make you feel for these characters.
So there is my list, I am happy with it and I am sad one of my favorite shows is gone again. I will say that I thought the final episode had a very satisfying ending to the series and definitely was a good way to go. I also applaud Comedy Central’s decision to air the first episode immediately after the last episode, if you saw the last episode then you’ll know it was a smart idea. Thank you whatanerdgirlsays again for having me and I shall resurface again in another few months!
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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s edition of The Tuesday Top Ten :) Thanks to Jon for stopping by and writing it!
You can always check out previous Top Tens here!
Happy Sewing Machine Day Everyone!