Friday, June 25, 2010

This Week in Futurama - 6/24/10

It's back! And to celebrate I'm doing a surprise This Week In feature... a surprise if you don't actually follow our Twitter. But, despite having to work till midnight, I managed to watch the new episodes, thanks to my DVR. So, despite it being 2 AM, it's time to write this...

Episode 1 - "Rebirth"
The season premiere opens, surprisingly, right where Into the Wild Green Yonder left off, with the Planet Express crew heading to what could only be certain doom, and Fry and Leela finally falling in love. Despite some hate I've heard regarding that film, I actually liked it, and found it's ending to be semi-fullfilling, having watch the original seasons numerous times, and then investing my money to buy the DVD films the days the each released.

So, as one of many people that did buy and watch the DVD films, it's good to see the writers treating those as a canon fifth season, and continuing this new sixth season from there, instead of shafting everyone and going from where Season 4 ended, seven years ago.

Continuing on from where I started, the episode is really just it's titled, a rebirth. Where everyone on the planet express ship basically dies, except for their heads, and are all reborn... except for Leela. Saddened, Fry goes to Build-A-Bot and creates a new Leela to love... until the original Leela finally awakens, and then it's just plot twists ahoy!

All in all, this feels pretty much like the Futurama I know and love, almost more so than the direct-to-DVD films. Despite the cable TV budget, less strict censorship, and just time gap from when the voice actors last portrayed the characters, everything felt as it should, which is great to see. Was it the best episode ever? No. But was it a good way to start? Sure.
Overall Score: 8.5/10

Episode 2 -"In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela"
Unlike Lost, Futurama's season premiere isn't just one big double episode. While both "Rebirth" and this episode aired the same night, this one should just feel like a bonus, because for the most part its story doesn't carry over from the previous episode, which may be weird for the people that watched the direct-to-DVD films in the cut-up versions that Comedy Central played. Why? Because unlike the four film, Futurama generally doesn't have a continuous story-arc like those films did, usually the show had been like any other animated sitcom, with a new thing happening each week, so the return to form may take some adjusting for some.

Anyways, this episode focuses on Zapp Branigan and Leela, and the threat of an evil space probe, named "V-GINY" (yeah, I get the Star Trek: The Motion Picture joke) and is divided up with homages to low-grade black and white serials, which turn out to be Zapp's hilarious dreams. Under the threat of V-GINY, Zapp and Leela are sent out to destroy the probe, but are ultimately marooned on a barren planet, in a sort of Garden of Eden... sort of...

All in all, this episode was definitely funny, and it's great to see more of Zapp... being Zapp. Not to mention, at least in this episode, I noticed a lot more risque material that surely would have never passed on Fox, but can now thanks to being on Comedy Central. Whether or not this freedom from censorship will lessen the charm and humor of the show in the long run remains to be seen. But for now, I like what I see,
Overall Score: 8/10

Next week will just be one episode, which airs Thursday night at 10 PM EST. See you then! Hopefully I don't have to work late again...

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