Pizza delivery boy Fry is inadvertently frozen in 1999,
and reawakened 1000 years later. In this exciting future,
Fry has the chance to meet aliens and robots and explore strange
worlds as part of his new job - as a delivery boy...
news everyone! All 13 episodes of the first season of Futurama
are now available in this box set.
not quite as anarchic as Matt Groening's more famous animated
show, The Simpsons, Futurama is still pretty
darned funny. Being a sci-fi spoof, this series has a more
focused agenda than the present-day exploits of the denizens
of Springfield, and its cast of recurring characters is not
as broad (at least, not yet), but then The Simpsons
has had more than ten years to establish itself.
said that, Fry is very much a younger, thinner version of
Homer Simpson, possessing the same lazy, couch-potato attitude
and basic lack of common sense. Purple-haired one-eyed alien
babe Leela finds herself alternately criticising and coming
to the rescue of Fry, interacting with him in much the same
way that the blue-haired Marge does with her husband Homer.
However, there is as yet no romantic relationship between
Fry and Leela (well, maybe just a hint of a spark in A
Flight to Remember).
comes into its own with its other major characters: Bender,
the hard-drinking, kleptomaniac droid with attitude; Doctor
Zoidberg, the crustacean physician with a woeful lack of knowledge
about human anatomy; and the elderly Professor Farnsworth.
The Professor is, in fact, my favourite character. The decrepit
old codger's harmless-looking exterior belies his utter moral
bankruptcy. "Why, why," he yells, when his primate protégé
Gunther escapes in the episode Mars University, "why
didn't I break his legs?"
of the better episodes are movie spoofs. A Big Piece of
Garbage apes Armageddon; Mars University
is a homage to National Lampoon's Animal House; Fry
and the Slurm Factory is an exquisite pastiche of Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, featuring a decent impersonation
of Gene Wilder; while A Flight to Remember is based
latter episode is one of three in this season that feature
the self-obsessed starship captain Zapp Brannigan: an obvious,
though irresistible, lampoon of Captain James T. Kirk. Brannigan
could well have become tiresome had it not been for the presence
of his long-suffering second in command, Kiff, who is treated
more like a manservant by his conceited commander.
are also plenty of computer-based jokes, especially in Bender
episodes, transposing the familiar features of present-day
software into a futuristic setting. For instance, Fear
of a Bot Planet shows a robot judge crashing in mid-judgement,
while Mars University has the greatest library in the
known universe stored on just a couple of CD-ROMs.
thing that Futurama definitely has over The Simpsons
is the quality of its animation. This series uses some impressive
perspective effects on its tracking shots of ships and landscapes,
affording a suitably slick look to this depiction of the future.
you like sci-fi, or even have only a passing familiarity with
the genre, then you will find this series consistently entertaining.
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