Philip J. Fry is a twenty-five-year-old pizza delivery boy whose life is going nowhere. When he accidentally freezes himself on December 31, 1999, he wakes up one thousand years in the future, and has a chance to make a fresh start. He goes to work for the Planet Express Corporation, a futuristic delivery service that transports packages to all five quadrants of the universe. His companions include the delivery ship's Captain, Leela, a beautiful one-eyed female alien who kicks some serious butt, and Bender, a robot with very human flaws.Written by
Bender is considered to be a robotic version of Homer Simpson. See more »
In many episodes the Earth's knowledge of things that have happened in the past is lacking, due to an apparent loss of historical documents throughout time (for example, in Season 1 Episode 2 "The Series Has Landed" it is made clear humans don't know the exact details of the first moon landing, or in Season 5 Episode 2 "Jurassic Bark" it is unclear how a 20th century pizzeria operated,) yet many people from Fry's time period are still alive, such as Richard Nixon or Leonard Nimoy's head. Also, even though characters do not know the details of important events in or before the 20th century, many characters make references to popular songs of the past (William Shatner in Season 4 Episode 12 "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", Kif in Season 3 Episode 5 "Amazon Women In The Mood".) See more »
Though the cartoons shown on the giant monitor are usually old, vintage cartoons (most likely public domain), on at least one instance a clip from a Simpsons short (from the Tracey Ullman Show) was used (Matt Groening created both Futurama and the Simpsons). See more »
Originally, one episode had a scene where Fry pulls down his pants and moons the business magnate Mom (of Mom's Friendly Robots). Her original dialogue was, "You call that an anus?", but it only appeared in closed captioning and was redubbed with "You call that a pressed ham?". See more »
While the later episodes of The Simpson's have suffered, Futurama has matured, far more quickly than the Simpson's did, into a fantastic work of animation.
The similarities between the Simpson's are obvious and not to be ignored. A show as good as The Simpson's was is ripe for theft and Futurama, the brainchild of Matt Groening, borrows well from the former show. Bender is the Homer Simpson, devoid of responsibility, yet, as this lack of responsibility is placed in a robot, we do not have to feel anger at his wayward ways.
Leela is the far less annoying Marge. Less annoying for the simple facts. A) She has something resembling a personality, something that Marge definitely suffered from. and B) You can listen to her speak without wanting to kill yourself.
Fry however grounds the show with the emotional base that made the Simpson's great. A Pizza delivery boy from the 20th century transported forwards in time 1000 years into a world that he knows nothing about. While our imaginations might find it a little too easy coming to terms with the future and all the few new inventions that go with it (Perhaps a nod to how poor an inventor Farnsworth is that there seems nothing overly unusual about this future), we forgive this minor blip and embrace Groening new world vision.
As with The Simpson's, Groening has given us a host of superb background characters. Zoidberg the lobster Doctor, Amy daughter of money, Hermes the Jamaican limbo champion who keeps the business together and of course Zap Brannigan, the genius of lacklustre. All of these characters are easily the match of Chief Wiggum, Smithers, Krusty, Frink, etc.
Groening, clearly by taking the best writers from the Simpson's with him when he jumped ship, has done the impossible and found an animated series that is superior to the unsurpassable Simpson's. Groening's world is a good one. And so is his show.
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