Futurama: See you on some other 'blogSat, 17th Dec '05, 4:00 am::
The first DVD series that I put on my rental queue the minute I signed up for NetFlix was the entire collection of Futurama. Futurama is an animated cartoon series about a pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry, accidentally frozen in a cryogenic facility for a thousand years and revived in 2999. Signing on with Planet Express, a space courier service, he befriends a one-eyed mutant, Leela, an alcohol-powered robot, Bender, office manager Hermes Conrad and Dr Zoidberg (my favorite character), a lobster-like alien.
While it seems like any other children's cartoon show, I've always known that Futurama is much more... it's humorous and clever on the surface but beneath the nerdy jokes are all sorts of weird characters and creatures that have one thing in common - they embody the innate human emotions, beliefs, and flaws, no matter how much titanium and dark matter they are composed of. In addition to the spontaneous bouts of random craziness, there's a distinct level of timelessless to the entire series, clearly evident from the numerous underrated nuggets of profound wisdom like: "When you do something right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." - God Nebula
Of course, everytime I mentioned that Futurama is more than some funny cartoon about aliens and future, everyone would just stare at me as if I'm an 8-year old awestruck by an escalator. So I felt vindicated when I found this article tonight about the creators of Futurama, Matt Groening (also created The Simpsons) and David Cohen.
In the article, Cohen says, they hoped to "incorporate all the craziest ideas from science fiction, but we also wanted to have a point and reflect on life today." Groening says. "We had this show that looked goofy, with robots and aliens, but was actually very sophisticated. Having people overcome the hurdle of taking us seriously was something we didn't anticipate... What I love about the reaction to Futurama these days is that people who did give it a chance and fell in love with it are still ardent fans." Both Futurama and The Simpsons, Groening says, share an ambition to tell timeless jokes. "Both shows are trying to do something which will knock people out the first time they watch it, but will also hold up years later," he says. "Jokes that make sense now, and will also make sense 10 or 20 years from now."
It's refreshing to hear that the creators of the show share the exact same thoughts as I do as a regular viewer. I mentioned the timelessness of Futurama to my friend Art just the other day but wasn't really able to back up my views with better explanations as to why. When I mentioned how moving some episodes of Futurama to my coworkers I got a mere chuckle. While I understand that South Park and Family Guy are not everyone's cup of tea, I don't see why Futurama is so undervalued and ignored by everyone except the hardcore-fans.
All I can say is that if you're not in tears by the end of Episode 4-07: Jurassic Bark then you don't have this little thing called a "heart." Or try Episode 4-12: The Sting. Or Episode 4-03: Love and Rocket. Or Episode 3-01: Parasites Lost. I can go on but I got a few more episodes to watch now before I go to bed. G'morning!