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Semi-original news anybody!

July 1, 2012

As Professor Frink says in “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”, one of the last good episodes of The Simpsons, a great way to invent something is to “take something that already exists, and find a new use for it.” Or in another, more accurate way, as said by Patty in “A Star is Burns”, “the easiest way to be popular is to leech off the popularity of others.” That is what this blog is doing. I’m aiming to rewatch and review every episode of, not The Simpsons, but Matt Groening’s second series, Futurama. Created together with David X. Cohen the series (originally) began way back in the heady, pre-Justin Bieber, days of 1999.

Why is this unoriginal? Well rewatches and reviews are hardly a fresh idea in general, but this specific type is directly inspired by Mike Amato’s excellent Me Blog Write Good, an episode by episode retrospective of The Simpsons up to the point he stopped watching. It’s a blog I’ve loved reading ever since I discovered it and one I recommend to anyone. The Simpsons is my favourite show as well and trivia and quotes from the show make up the majority of my brain. But I’m not going to do a full rewatch of The Simpsons. Not yet anyway. I spend a large amount of time writing about The Simpsons on Wikipedia, I’ve seen the majority of Seasons 1-8 countless times, know them inside and out. I’m not sick of them and I never will be. But The Simpsons is a tainted show for me. It’s unremitting continuance despite ceasing to be in any way funny or even mildly enjoyable for almost a decade is a permanent mark on its otherwise eternal perfection. I don’t like thinking about what that show has become and I don’t think, even just watching the first 8 seasons again, I could avoid descending in to a rant about how bad Zombie Simpsons is. I don’t want to do that, I wouldn’t enjoy that and there are better places to do that.

And besides, Futurama is my second favourite show and I really think it deserves more love. It stands up very strongly to The Simpsons and one could argue in many ways that it’s better (maybe). The show was undoubtedly shafted by Fox, stopping it from forming a consistent audience. It’s subsequent, near perpetual cancellations and renewals is part of TV folklore. It has somehow managed to recently begin a seventh season on Comedy Central. It is a truly unique televisual creature and I aim to give it the proper assessment it deserves.*

Now it’s the summer after my second year of university and I again have no intention of getting a job or doing anything beneficial to my future, so let’s laugh at a fictional future instead. My previous attempt at a blog has, shall we say, stagnated. Adapting an already successful idea may be something which is easier to get off the ground.

I’m going to be following the show’s production/DVD order rather than whatever ridiculous order Fox/Sky/Comedy Central aired them in and will aim for an average of one episode per day. My posts will follow a similar basic format to those of Me Blog Write Good, with plot and general review points followed by trivia and quotes, simply because this is the best way to do this kind of thing, though they will probably take the form of a running commentary.

If this is a success, I may do it for other shows and films and games as well. And maybe even The Simpsons.

In the unlikely event anybody reads this, or you want to contact me, post a comment on this webzone, or you can find me on Twitter or Wikipedia under the name Gran2.

*Note: Somebody may already have done this type of thing for Futurama. If you have, I’m sorry, I had no idea you existed, please don’t yell.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2012 4:48 pm

    Very nice that you’re doing this. A friend of mine asked if I would do a Futurama rewatch, so this blog will fill that void. I’ve watched the original 72-episode run of the show so many goddamn times, maybe even more than some classic Simpsons seasons, but I never felt as compelled to analyze the show as I have The Simpsons. I greatly await reading this as you traverse through this wonderful series.

    • July 13, 2012 5:49 pm

      Appreciate it, thanks Mike! (for the comment and the overall inspiration) When Futurama first came to the UK, I was at an age to better understand and appreciate it than with The Simpsons, so it’s always been special to me.

  2. July 15, 2012 3:18 am

    Thanks for doing this! There are episodes of this that I LOVE, but I also find some episodes painfully boring, especially lately. In general, I find this to be the most overrated show ever (it IS in the Guiness Book of World Records as the most critically acclaimed show ever, so yeah), but Matt Groening is my favorite person ever — and I’m a huge David X. Cohen fan — so I continue to watch the show despite my eyes glazing over a lot. Still, there are some truly classic episodes (the one where Nixon runs for president for example) and I actually think the first movie or 2 are great. In general, I do like this show, enough to want to read about it, and I look forward to your reviews!

    …ACTUALLY, I bet this blog will cause me to reassess my feelings of the series and maybe even appreciate things I never appreciated before. One of the coolest things about MeBlogWriteGood is that it has genuinely made me think about episodes… I’ve rewatched episodes after reading Mike’s often-surprising thoughts… I like picking apart episodes, talking about individual scenes, having a forum to discuss things that I’ve wondered about for years… it’s crazy to think how MUCH there is in a 21 minute episode of a show, but when you consider all the elements at work (the voices, the music, the story, THE JOKES, the hundreds of thousands of frames of animation, etc), there sure is a lot to talk — and think — about.

    Also, you definitely get big points for mentioning “Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” as being one of the last great episodes. I actually think that episode is HILARIOUS, and I thought I was alone in this (“hamburger earmuffs!”). In general, I’m not nearly as hard on newer Simpsons episodes as some people seem to be, and I don’t consider “only seasons 3-6” as godhead. In fact, many of my absolute favorites are in seasons 9 and 10.

    Good luck, have fun, and I’ll be replying soon!!!!

  3. July 15, 2012 3:23 am

    ….Actually, I am going to have to disagree with you already, haha. “The show deserves more love.” It’s the most critically acclaimed animated show ever. Of all time. It has a guiness book of world records record to prove it. How much more love can it get than that?

    I do think the show might be better overall than a lot of other shows, because I think it’s just a good show, period. I don’t think it’s very funny, honestly. It’s not like something like King of the Hill, where the stories work AND the jokes are funny… I’m just not really into scifi humor and just don’t find anything about the show as hilarious as the Simpsons, or Life in Hell, or The Critic, or Dr. Katz, or Home Movies, or whatever. BUT as a dramatic series, there are some compelling characters, and it is a clever and enjoyable show.

    Let’s watch!

    • July 15, 2012 11:04 am

      Totally. The depth to these characters, right from the off, really is fantastic. The writing in this show stands up to any drama. And yeah, I know it has that “record” but seriously, how can you have a Guiness World Record for “Most Critically Acclaimed Animated Series”? I mean, I know you can. But it’s such a stupid idea.

  4. July 16, 2012 5:45 am

    I’ll definitely be checking back. I’ve enjoyed Me Blog and I look forward to this Futurama retrospective.

    Futurama is one of those shows that I have seen every episode too many times, but I’ll still put it on now and then because I enjoy it so much.

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