Posts tagged with “Futurama”

REVIEW: ‘Futurama’ Midseason 6 Premiere

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Stars: Katey Sagal, Billy West and John DiMaggio

The Big Idea: Futurama returns for season six’s second half with a double-barreled blast of fun via back-to-back episodes.

The first ep, “Neutopia,” finds the Planet Express staff brainstorming ways to raise funds and avert bankruptcy (“free delivery” turns out to have been a bad promotional strategy for a delivery company). Plan A: a girlie calendar of the Planet Express lovelies, which pits Leela, Amy and office temp/Hermes wife LaBarbara against the “walking beer commercial” of Fry, Bender and the boys.

Plan B: transforming Planet Express into a space airline. That idea shows more promise, until “Goofus and Ganja,” a.k.a. Fry and Hermes, crash the maiden flight. Then, the battle of the sexes that began as a hairline fracture becomes a full-on, it’s-your-faultline between the women and the dudes, and it’s settled only when a powerful, but somewhat disaffected, asexual rock creature (hat tips to Star Trek and Galaxy Quest) intervenes with tests to determine the superior sex. Unsatisfied with the outcome, Rocky solves the issue by … well, a spoiler lies in the title of the episode.

Tonight’s second episode is “Benderama,” which revolves around the idea that there can definitely be too much of a – well, good is too strong a word – thing. It opens with a shoutout to The Twilight Zone that sparks a new life approach for Bender. Taking exactly the wrong lesson from the Zone, Bender marries the Professor’s latest invention with his own defining characteristic (sloth) to create a series of mini-Benders … just to avoid folding some clothing.  Each successive Bender produces two more mini-Benders, each 60 percent of the size of its parent, but just as lazy and obnoxious as Bender Prime. And, oh, they’re hungry.

The Planet Express crew attempts mass extermination of the Benders to prevent them from consuming the earth, but fails. And thank goodness they do, as the Benders prove critical in preventing a really ugly situation from spinning out of control. High points of the episode are the “grey goo” hat tips to nanotechnology (it’s not just a funny show … it’s a smart funny show), and Patton Oswalt‘s guest-voicing of the gentle giant struggling with self-esteem, anger management and mommy issues.  Big Bender to the Rescue!

To Watch or Not to Watch: Yes, but only if you want the context behind lines like: “In your face, decumbent urinators”; “Womanhood also takes some getting used to: for example, did you know there are more than two feelings?”; “Thank God most of our fans are such huge perverts!”; “Ah marriage – it combines the contentedness of being neutered, with the occasional sex of being not”; “Oh God, shield your eyes – it’s like Edward James Olmos on IMAX!”; “They’ll reproduce without limit, consuming all the matter in the world.  Like the Kardashians“; and “It’s like fine cognac, with a hint of aged scrotum.”

The midseason premiere presents two very strong episodes of a show that consistently delivers, and a marked contrast to some of the other animated shows that (cough, cough, Book of Mormons took all our time) seem to have lost a step this recently-aired season.

TV Screener Tidbit: Don’t miss the end credits of “Neutopia” … the “girls” of Planet Express are on full display, for better or worse. Much, much worse.

Futurama‘s new episodes premiere Thursday, June 23, at 10PM ET on Comedy Central

 

Channel Surfing – August 3

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Will you tune in for the return of Jon & Kate Plus 8 tonight on TLC (9PM ET). TLC execs claim the Gosselins’ new situation makes them more relatable, but I’d argue that it just makes them more douchebag-able.

– I’m sure I wasn’t the only Guiding Light fan hoping for a last-minute reprieve for the long-running daytime soap, but Light‘s cancelation is officially official now that a replacement show has been lined up. Wayne Brady will host a revival of Let’s Make a Deal that will air in GL‘s place. The soap, which debuted on CBS on June 30, 1952, will air its series finale on Sept. 18.

– There’s still no deal for Paula Abdul, but Kara DioGuardi is definitely returning to the American Idol judges table next season. Meh.

Futurama will return with new episodes in 2010, and with the original voice talent cast intact.

– PBS has announced a new Sesame Street primetime special, Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times, which will help families with young kids explain and deal with current economic woes. Elmo hosts (with Al Roker, Deborah Roberts and his Muppet pals), and the show is paired with another PBS special, Your Life, Your Money, hosted by Scrubs’ Donald Faison, and aimed at young people. The specials debut on PBS on Sept. 9 (8-10PM).

– More news from Sesame Street: The show’s upcoming 40th season will include a Mad Men spoof. Minus the smoking, drinking, cursing, bed-hopping and, in the case of Freddy Rumsen, pants-wetting, presumably.

– The Emmys snubbed Battlestar Galactica and True Blood, but the Television Critics Association honored the shows last weekend, naming them Program of the Year and Best New Program, respectively.

– The Sunday New York Times featured a story on how badly some reality TV contestants are treated, which was surprising at first, and makes you wonder why they would subject themselves to being locked in hotel rooms and having all manner of communication with the outside world cut off. But then you remember: They’re willing to bare incredibly personal details about their lives on TV – and, according to many of them, they’re often plied with copious amounts of hooch – so maybe not being able to text and Twitter for a few weeks doesn’t seem like such a big deal?

– Another victim of the economy: Marie Osmond‘s comeback talk show.

– On the other hand, Tom Arnold‘s TV comeback is right on track, as the ex-Mr. Roseanne will write and possibly star in a new NBC sitcom, and has a recurring role on the new season of Sons of Anarchy.

– And tonight in primetime:

– The families head for the Grand Canyon on Great American Road Trip (8PM ET, NBC)
– George ‘fesses up to Anne about something on The Secret Life of an American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family)
– ABC has a Sugarland concert at 8PM
Jon & Kate Plus 8 returns, post-separation, on TLC (9PM)
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon‘s daughter Sosie guest stars as Brenda’s niece on The Closer (9PM, TNT)
– A TV crew sparks rivalry among the girls on Make It or Break It (9PM, ABC Family)
– Old-school nookie is the focus of the series premiere of Sex in the Ancient World (9PM, History Channel)
Real and Chance try to find skank love again on the Real Chance of Love 2 premiere (VH1, 9PM)
– Shark Week continues with Deadly Waters (9PM, Discovery), a look at the five most dangerous, shark-infested bodies of water
– It’s the season premiere of Guy Fieri‘s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network (10PM)
– Kathy works to make her upcoming autobio super spicy on Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (10PM, Bravo)
– Celia and Dean come up with marketing plans for their new biz on Weeds (10PM, Showtime)
– More Dating in the Dark at 10PM on ABC
– Drama ensues when the musicians move into their new home on Making His Band (10PM, MTV)
– Tony recalls the best street food he’s eaten from around the world on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (10PM, Travel Channel)
– TLC premieres its new cake-baking competition series, Ultimate Cake Off (10PM)
Terrell meets with his estranged dad on The T.O. Show (10PM, VH1)
– And Jackie’s drug use begins to catch up with her physically and with her decision-making at work on Nurse Jackie (10:30PM, Showtime)

Channel Surfing – June 10

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

Mad Men, season three, August 16 at 10PM ET on AMC. Be there, or be somewhere else, somewhere where people don’t knock back three vodka gimlets before lunch, aren’t nearly as dapperly-attired as Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and don’t have offices that are bigger than my entire New York City apartment. Yeah, not sounding nearly as much fun as Mad Men, right?

– Is designer Vera Wang going to be competing on the next season of Dancing With the Stars? And if so, does that mean we can count on less cheesy costumes?

– Plus-size model Emme has been hired to host Fox’s More to Love, the reality dating show that will feature “average-looking” people

– Discovery Channel’s 22nd annual Shark Week kicks off on August 2.

– Matt Mitovich at TVGuide.com says Rick Springfield will play, fittingly enough, Rick Springfield, when he guest stars on the new season of Californication, but he’ll be a naughty Rick Springfield, one whose sex play makes David Duchovny‘s Hank “look like a Jonas brother.” Not that I’m buying that whole purity ring business about the Jonas Bros. …

– In celebration of its 15th anniversary, TCM has created its own social network site, TCM Classic Film Union, for movie buffs.

Gordon Ramsay has apologized for, well, basically, for being a tool. You can watch the apology here.

– I reeeally want to like Dr. Drew and trust his motives, but a real doctor prolly should offer to help Lindsay Lohan, or a less-famous addict, whether or not she accepts a reported six-figure offer to appear on his reality show, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, right? Of course, the story seems to be originating with Lohan’s dad, so, grain – no, make that rock, huge, ginormous rock – of salt on the whole thing.

The Shield creator Shawn Ryan is going back to FX with a comedy about private detectives, called Terriers.

Futurama‘s back! With 26 new episodes in 2010!

– Good news for David Letterman: He, with guest Julia Roberts, beat Conan O’Brien‘s Tonight Show on Tuesday. Worse news for Conan: His ratings keep dropping. Don’t count him out tho; remember his first years as Late Night host?

– More ratings wars news: Judge Judy beat Oprah. Whoa.

– ABC’s getting a jump on the competition by announcing its fall premiere dates.

– The ratings for the Nurse Jackie series premiere were so good, Showtime’s already greenlighting a second season, so go ahead and get hooked.

Heidi Pratt‘s launching her own line of dry shampoo, after her shampoo shenanigans on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. I’m sure Oscar Blandi is shaking in his celebrity hair-cutting boots.

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