It’s been awhile since the last Cartoon Cuts, mainly because the volume of references in South Park episodes can be hard to sum up. However, my love for animation is urging me to get going again with the return of Futurama and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Futurama is a show that parallels Family Guy in its cycle of being cancelled and then re-instated by the networks. We all feared Futurama was over around 2009 when the voice cast couldn’t reach a contract agreement with Fox, but later that same year fans were promised an ‘up to 26 episode’ new sixth season. Ironically, Futurama’s return in June 2010 “helped the network to its highest-rated night.. and its highest-rated Thursday primetime in the network’s history.” Supply and demand, baby. Despite the relative ‘meh’ value of the last season, 26 new episodes have just started rolling out, and are scheduled to air on Comedy Central through 2013.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a crazy show that has survived both terrible movie and boring video game adaptations, and doesn’t seem to care at all about consistency or character logic. It retitled itself Aqua Unit Patrol Squad for no good reason in 2011, and again as Aqua Something You Know Whatever in 2012. But that’s really the charm of this show; it’s a unique irreverent oddity, and it’s heading in to an incredible 9th season. I check out the first episodes (with minimal spoilers) after the jump…
Futurama: Season 7
Bender falls in lust with a vending machine named Bev (voiced by Wanda Sykes) brought in to serve the Planet Express employees. However, the convenience of drinking Slurm causes Fry some unusual health issues; while Bender has a little ‘problem’ of his own – he learns that he’s fathered Bev’s son. He names his son Ben, who wants nothing more than to be like his Dad; but sadly little Ben didn’t inherit Bender’s bending abilities. This makes for a mushy first episode, sidelined by Fry’s Slurm-induced glow. Not a great episode to kick off the season, but Bender is a popular character and the little bot is pretty cute. The slick cgi was missing from this episode, among other things. Why start the season this way? Maybe because episode 2 aired with it…
Interesting: this is the 116th episode of Futurama… and with it we get the cool cgi and the classic mind-bending animation perspectives that Futurama is known for. This episode shifts focus back to Fry and Leela’s tenuous relationship, and the much stronger bond Fry has with his lucky (and only!) pants. Chasing after said pants, the Planet Express team discovers an ancient
Mayan Martian temple. Amy discovers a prophecy about a solar flare and the end of the world, which sets off a massive exodus to Mars for those lucky enough to make the cut. Fans will be rewarded with some cool angles as cgi is called upon to help world’s literally collide in this episode. There’s also a romantic ending with some cute, weird moments like little limbs in a deep fry basket. But I don’t like Leela’s general regression; by now, she and Fry should have a semi-normal relationship, right? This blogger seems to agree and maybe I just really like Fry, but the ongoing tension makes Leela seem bitchy beyond repair sometimes. We’ll see what the future holds for their relationship in as the season continues.
Aqua Something You Know Whatever: Season 9
Ok look, if you don’t like this show I’m not going to convince you to watch it. But I want to preface this episode summary with this: I thought this show was a waste of matter, time and space; until I sat down and actually watched a few episodes. It demands an attention span that most can’t muster; I think that’s why the shows are so short. But it is gloriously unique and really pretty damn clever sometimes; it’s also really random and I’m not sure any summary will do the show justice… but let’s see.
Episode 1: Big Bro
Frylock joins the Big Brother program and soon Carl wants in; so he can have a chance with the little brother’s Mom. There’s no denying the two would probably click – they look like they could be related, or at least shop at the same crapmart. Frylock does his best to get his groove on with the lady, but he’s a box of french fries so, come on. Carl seems to be having a good time, until he learns that the lady’s knocked up. Luckily, when he comes to the Aqua Teens for help they have a few ideas to help him disappear…
You know what? Why don’t you just watch the episode:
Gotta love the internet. The beginning of the show changes with the name, so this new introduction – mexican themed? – was somehow psychotically designed to go with the title Aqua Teen Something You Know Whatever… I love it! I’ll be back with more Cartoon Cuts next week, and depending on how you receive this one maybe I’ll bring in some more weird animated “gems”. For now, you can catch Aqua Teen Mondays at 11:59pm and Futurama Wednesdays at 10pm on Comedy Central (et).