Futurama - Season Six

Category: , , , , By Rev/Views

Standing as the longest season of Futurama so far, with a whale sized serving of twenty six episodes it's rather difficult to review the entire of the sixth season without missing out some elements, however I'm going to do my best by looking at the high points and low points of the season.

I have to be honest, around the first two episodes of the show I was left thinking 'Maybe they shouldn't have brought the show back...'  The first episode, Rebirth is a middling affair with little good to recall about it, it's not terrible - but the jokes are pretty flat and there's a little too much time spent on pointless exposition.  This is Futurama, we don't need exposition or explanation, we need jokes and episodes that make us cry without warning.

The second episode, In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela is in my mind one of the worst episodes I've seen - it could have been a middle of the road episode with some good jokes, but the throwaway gag at the end of the episode - having Leela engage in sex with Zap - was the writing equivalent of taking a dump on the viewers, in their open mouths, while telling them to enjoy it.  Now I will skip That's Lobstertainment nine times out of ten, but I'm never watching In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela again, it has nothing worth going through that.  Proposition Infinity is a similar piece of fecal matter, this time breaking Amy and Kiff up for the purpose of the story, before 'returning everything back to normal' in that old sitcom cliched manner that I thought comedy writing was starting to grow out of.

There are other terrible episodes in this season, The Futurama Holiday Special is boring and fails completely to live up to the 'Tales of Interest' heights that occurred in seasons two and three; Attack of the Killer App seems like little more than a pointless shot at Apple and Consumerism and Yo Leela Leela turns from a fun episode into a preachy rant at reality shows and the quality of television writing in general - don't get me wrong, I'm not for reality shows as a whole, however Yo Leela Leela really doesn't have anything new to contribute to the discussion.

That's the awful taste of Futurama poop in your mouth there, and this is one of the problems with the season, there's a lot of episodes that are just not, not good enough - it didn't need to be twenty six episodes, twenty would have resulted in a superb season, but there are six turds floating around in the soup and that's a problem.

Fortunately there are also some real gems in the sixth season, Lethal Inspection is one of those beautiful tearjerker episodes that can hit you out of nowhere; Law and Oracle and Benderama are also personal favourites.  In fact most of the episodes that are Bender-centric tend to be a cut above the rest.

There is also one episode that stands up above the rest, stands head and shoulders above all else and ranks as possibly one of the best episodes of Futurama all time, if not the best.  I refer to, of course, 'The Late Philip J. Fry' the episode is exactly what makes Futurama great; it's funny, thought provoking, true to character and plays beautifully with mainstay science fiction concepts - in this case time travel and the big bang.  It's such a great episode that I can't help wish they'd used it to close out the season.  Overclockwise and Reincarnation are OK, the first one being a nice end to the 'cannon' storyline and the second being... well... just Futurama filler. But The Late Philip J. Fry should have been the last episode in the season, it's just that... right.  It's what Futurama always should be.

On the whole the sixth season of Futurama is great, the show is still among the best shows still airing at the moment, something we need in an increasingly stale world of television (is it a coincidence that the number of good shows going down coincides with a reduction in the number of female television writers?)  However the season has rough patches and really could have done with some objective quality control.

It does leave me hopeful for the seventh season, I expect some great episodes.  But I also have my sewer diving suit at the ready, because I'm expecting a few stinkers.


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