james debate
james debate

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

There are very few tv shows out there that are as consistently good as Futurama. Or 'were', that should be, before the show got cancelled (another casualty of the perennially stupid FOX network - joining such luminaries as Family Guy and Arrested Development) Fortunately, like Family Guy, the show has been brought back due to strong DVD sales.

Futurama was what I would consider a great show, an intelligent mix of zany humor and touching moments of sensitivity. At its best, this is a show that will make you split your sides in laughter and then shed a melancholy tear. So now, in celebration of the release of the third Futurama DVD movie, Bender's Door, We rank and appreciate the BEST 5 episodes of Futurama ever- in reverse order too, just to build the tension.

5. Roswell That Ends Well
"Of all my years of covering top secret discoveries with sheets, i've never dramatically revealed anything as shocking as this... dun dun duuuuuun..."
Fry puts metal in the microwave during a supernova, which ends up sending everyone back in time to Roswell, New Mexico circa 1947, and hilarity ensues in one of the funniest of Futurama episodes. Bender is mistaken for a crashed UFO and Zoidberg is taken prisoner as an alien survivor, Fry meets his grandparents, while Leela and Farnsworth try desperately to fit in. If you don't laugh at all the delicious 20th century and UFO conspiracy jokes then you'll still laugh at the complete over the top randomness of the 20th Century residents, from President Truman who periodically bursts out of a crate labelled 'canned eggs' to an army drill instructor who riffs on the likes of Full Metal Jacket by chastising his privates with "Private! I want that toilet bowl so clean I could eat off it... because I intend to!". Brilliant

4. The Sting
"It'll take more than a few deadly bees to... OH LORD AHHHHHHHHH!"
Definitely coming under the 'tear jerker' category of Futurama episodes, The Sting sees the team heading off to collect honey from giant bees. On the mission Fry seemingly is killed and a grief stricken Leela returns home only to find her dreams consumed by thoughts of Fry, leading her to believe that he is not really dead. A bizarre, trippy episode follows, and leads to one of the show's most satisfying conclusions.

3.War is the H-Word
"We must put an end to the bloodshed... we have all seen too many bodybags and ballsacks."
By this point we're getting into the realm of 'ridiculously good', really any of these top three could have been ranked first it's that close. In this episode Futurama pokes fun at M.A.S.H. as well as itself and every military movie ever made in an episode that is nothing short of comedic genius every step of the way. Fry and Bender join the military to get a discount on gum, only to be immediately sent off to war against an army of giant rubber balls, while Leela disguises herself as a man and tags along in order to keep them safe. Zapp Brannigan makes a welcome return here and appearances from the heads of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger make this a non stop barrage of laughs. When you have an episode where nearly every little thing the characters say puts you in stitches, you know you have a winner.

2. Amazonian Women in the Mood
"I find the most erotic part of a woman is the boobies."
This is simply the funniest episode of Futurama and one of the funniest half hours you'll ever see. Zapp and Kif go on a double date with Leela and Amy and Zapp's bravado ends up crash landing them on an alien planet inhabited by giant warrior women, the likes you may have heard of from Greek mythology, who also hate men and sentence the men to death by snoo-snoo (sex). Terrified and yet excitied, the men gladly accept their fate. The crude and gender dividing jokes come by the barrel full and ensure that this is one of the funniest things you'll ever see. If you watch one episode of Futurama, make sure it's this one.

1. Jurassic Bark
"I don't know where you get your facts sir, but I am a volunteer housewife with 45 minutes orientation AND a harlequin romance novel about archaeologists!"
On the opposite end of the spectrum is this, the mother of all tear jerkers. Fry finds his petrified dog in a museum and decides to thaw it out. This, meanwhile, means Fry has less time to spend with Bender, making him act out to get Fry's attention. I won't spoilt the ending, except to say that it is honestly the saddest ending to a tv show I have ever seen... and it's a bloody cartoon for pete's sake! This brilliance in directing and writing makes it, in my opinion, the best of all Futurama episodes and well worth your time.

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