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Put Your Head On My Shoulders

September 26, 2012

Original airdate: February 13, 2000

Written by Ken Keeler; Directed by Chris Louden

Hey, remember Amy? Well she finally gets to do something again here in “Put Your Head On My Shoulders”. Amy, to me, has always been the most extraneous of the main Futurama characters. It’s not that she isn’t funny, just that she doesn’t really add much. She’s a clutzy, somewhat-smart rich girl with pushy parents who hangs around the office and like any good intern does not much at all. She serves as a contrast to Leela. That’s basically it. Wait, that’s quite a lot. Anyway, the point is that she gets to do something here.

So the set-up is thus: Amy buys a new car and goes for a spin on Mercury with Fry. After very excessive fuel usage, it breaks down and she and Fry make out whilst being towed back. On their return, they decide to begin dating but Fry quickly grows tired of what he for some reason perceives as Amy’s clinginess. So that the two will not have to be alone together, Fry brings Zoidberg on their picnic date to Europa. This successfully impedes the date but also Fry’s life as Zoidberg crashes the car. Fry’s body is crushed so Zoidberg quickly grafts Fry’s head onto Amy’s body. (How the hell did Zoidberg and Amy survive the crash in one piece? It was a head-on collision with a huge block of ice!) Fry, displaying his usual short-sightedness, proceeds to then break up with Amy. It’s kind of funny that the title and main press release-type description of the episode’s plot – Fry’s head being attached to Amy – doesn’t actually happen until 13 minutes into the episode. Not that this is a bad thing, as it means they actually take sufficient time on the set-up and characterization.

Anyway, what follows is some excellent interaction between two people trying to go about their separate lives after a break-up, especially as it’s Valentine’s Day, but being very literally unable to. Meanwhile, the subplot, the best part of the episode, shows Bender at his finest. Here he decides to exploit humans’ fondness for love to aid his fondness for money; by setting up a dating agency/scam (it’s discrete and discreet). The scam part of Bender’s business, one of my favourite of his schemes, consists of him just rounding up dates for his clients at the bus station. Amy secures a date for Valentine’s, so Fry is forced to employ Bender’s service to get one of his own: the “well-travelled” Petunia (and I don’t mean she travels alot). As their dates both leave on the 10.15 to Nutley, Leela saves Fry from having to endure Amy putting out, by distracting her date with questions about banking industry regulation. It’s another sweet moment for the two and once again continues their theme of being lonely together. Fry gets his body back and Bender takes credit for Fry and Leela spending Valentine’s together, despite not doing anything.

So a pretty solid, if not spectacular episode. It doesn’t have much of a plot, but it’s an effective Futurama twist on traditional sitcom romances, especially stuff like Three’s Company. It’s a neat character episode and it’s nice to see Amy given a larger role. The highlights come once again from some fantastic Bender action as well as some good Fry-Leela development.

Trivia and Quotes

  • So the first act is Amy, Leela, Fry and Bender going car shopping at Malfunctioning Eddie’s. Yay for not working again! Okay fine it’s President’s Day weekend so they have an excuse this time. Anyway, Amy’s parents promised her a bar if she got all Bs and she got all Cs and Bender needs to get his ass serviced to prevent explosions in low-speed collisions (“No wonder you’ve been staying at the back of conga lines recently.”) Makes sense to me. We get to see a master class of car salesman bullshit, as Amy’s shallow nature is exploited and she is brilliantly guilt-tripped in to buying the eagle-filled Beta Romero by the Ricardo Montalban-esque Victor for far more than the asking price (“No dog food for Victor tonight”). As is Fry’s immense sense of male inadequacy with the perfectly named Thundercougarfalconbird, which will certainly stop people questioning his sexual orientation.
  • “Valentine’s Day’s coming? Oh crap, I forgot to get a girlfriend again. Well, since neither of us has a date, why don’t we…/You just assume I can’t get a Valentine’s date?/Shall we say 8 o’clock?”
  • The Amy-Fry relationship is a pretty realistic and smart development for the show. They have quite similar personalities and preferences, but no deeper connection beyond sex. So it makes sense they’d get together for a while. And they get on pretty well when they are attached, what with the table tennis and bra application and all. I love Amy’s increasingly enraged Chinese singing to give Fry some privacy.
  • “I’d pay anything to end my miserable loneliness. If only I wasn’t so desperately poor!” They’re really ramping up Zoidberg’s horrific life: he’s eating out of bins and so hungry he eats a basket. “I’ll just turn the wheel to maximum fastness.”
  • “Stupid anti-pimping laws!” – This is probably one of the most famous and popular Futurama jokes. What with Bender’s pimp strut, that his plan is apparently struck down the same day he conceives it, that he expects Leela to pay his fine, and just “Shut up baby I know it!” it’s not difficult to see why. Bender is really on form in this one. Money-grabbing, scam-running Bender beats whiny, attention-seeking Bender every day of the week. “Demand suddenly skyrocketed, you all saw it!”
  • Leela’s on great, dry form in this one as well: “I’m not a one woman man Leela!/You’ll be back to zero soon enough.” And I love her coyness and shame around finally accepting she needs to use Bender’s dating service. Oh and the $500 bill features Al Gore.
  • Fry’s unjustified overreaction towards Amy is classic Futurama. He – the perennial loser who repulses women – is breaking up with her because she actually wants to spend time with him. “Amy, you know how at first you like chocolate but then you start to get tired of it because it always wants to hang out with you/Huh? You don’t like chocolate?/Look could chocolate just let me finish?”
  • “Now that I’m single, I’ll attract all sorts of women./With my body I think you’ll only attract one sort of woman./Oh!…Oh.”
  • “I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t let me graft a laser cannon on to your chest. To crush those who disobey you!…But I guess we’re just two different people.”
  • And a great ending moral lesson from Bender: “You just corralled a bunch of stiffs at the bus station and pocketed our money./True, but in the end, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is really all about?/Yeah/I guess so.” But he gets his just desserts as Fry accidentally kicks him, making his ass explode. Kind of a random ending, but I guess that’s the point.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2012 2:20 am

    Great review! And a pretty good episode too.

  2. September 27, 2012 4:49 pm

    “Twenty minutes? You’re practically ready now!”
    “Yeah, but it’s good to make them wait a little.”
    “Oh God, it’s true!”

  3. Mike Russo permalink
    October 28, 2012 2:01 pm

    Aww nuts. Is this yet another episode-reviewing blog that I suddenly come across, read through and enjoy…and then discover it hasn’t been updated in over a month? Why does this always happen to me?

    • October 28, 2012 7:11 pm

      Sorry pal, university kills productive free time. I should have time to do one next weekend though!

      Thanks for stopping by, more viewers = greater incentive

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