Cartoon Cuts returns for a Saturday Morning session – remember Saturday morning cartoons? I used to jump out of bed to catch the AM animation offering; somehow that passion has waned with the accessibility of episodes online. However, here I am on a Saturday morn, ready to share the latest episodes from Futurama and Aqua Teen.
Normally I’d just be recapping the episodes and chiming in with a few small quips; however today, I have two episodes that I actually recommend – strongly! The rest, yeah I’ve just glossed over. But it’s nice to see two of my favourite animated series return to (almost) true form. Check out my Futurama selection, and a full episode of Aqua Teen (featuring Josh Homme & Mastadon) after the jump!
E3: Decision 3012
Made with 100% recycled pixels, this episode rehashes most of the American Election exploits over the last oh, 4 years? As a Canadian, I really can’t laugh enough about this subject, so even though it seemed like a tired topic I did have some viewing enthusiasm. As it turns out, the writers slipped in a delicious little time travel paradox that served to remind me why Futurama is such a stand out series; thank goodness, because if you watch the next few episodes you’ll start to forget 😛
As usual, we start with Bender is on a beer binge; surprisingly, Nixon’s buying as part of his 3012 re-election campaign in the Earth Presidential race. While he promises a severely closed immigrant policy and plans to build the solar system border fence, the crowd cheers over tax cuts for the rich and repurposing of poor in to aquarium gravel. As horrible as this sounds, Nixon has everyone – including Fry’s – support.
Outraged, Leela decides to seek out a better candidate and finds the immaculate Chris Travers; a clean cut, rationally minded senator who hopes to run against Nixon (if he can win the nomination). And he does, thanks to his new campaign manager, Leela (….and the runner up, if the nominee is caught with a dead girl, a live guy, or any kind of sexy ghost… Greenland!)
Given Travers’ polished campaign platform, Nixon’s only option is to hire Bender to dig up some dirt the rival candidate. When Bender comes up clean, Nixon decides the best idea is to spread a rumour that the senator wasn’t born on Earth. Sound familiar?
The “Earther” movement (haha) demands to see Travers’ Earth certificate, and although he swears he was born in Kenya, he also doesn’t want to bow to pressure. Leela decides to clear his name by obtaining the certificate herself; but when she goes looking she discovers that Chris Travers doesn’t have an Earth certificate… because he hasn’t been born yet.
Ka-CHUNG. Finally, Futurama gets back to what it’s good at – messing with our temporal logic! It turns out that, using the time code (familiar to all Futurama fans) Travers came back in time to prevent Nixon from destroying the world. He figured, if he could get elected then Nixon would never have the chance. Leela sees this revelation as an amazing opportunity to clinch the election — by airing Travers’ birth LIVE on Television, and destroying the Earther movement once and for all.
What I like about this episode is Futurama’s loyalty to time logic… If you’re good with linear time travel (or Terminator time logic?) you may have already figured out the flaw in Travers’ plan; if not, you’ll just have to watch the show. I’ll only say this, Decision 3012 has enough quick humour and political satire to carry the episode; and the time twist just makes it a great pick from this season so far.
E4: The Theif of Baghead
Unfortunately, the next few episodes seem to struggle to tie themselves together. In E4, Bender decides to try his hand at photography and lands a job as a paparazzo in Hollywood. Stalking Calculon seems fun, until Bender finds a new challenge; photographing Langdon Cobb, the world famous actor whose face has never been seen. As it turns out, the actor isn’t just incredibly private – he has a terrible, soul-sucking secret that Bender unleashes when he finally captures Cobb’s photo.
The only thing I liked about this episode? The animated soul sucking… but at one point the show employs some cheap CGI that was SO poorly conceived and/or executed, that I recommend skipping the episode altogether.
E5: Zapp Dingbat
When I heard Zapp would be featured in an episode, I had high expectations. But even if they’d been tempered, nothing could have prepared me for this flop of an episode. Leela’s parents suffer an impromptu divorce, which clears the way for Zapp Brannigan to woo Leela’s mother, Turanga Munda. Of course, Leela wants to put a stop to the relationship, leading to a confused plot line that sees Leelas parents back together in the end. Hardly any funny jokes, nothing noteworthy.. again, sadly skip-able.
Let’s hope for better from Futurama next week…
On the OTHER hand… Aqua Teen you know WHATEVER’s 9th season is humming along quite well. With a bit of a lull in a Meatwad-heavy E2: Chicken and Beans (yeah it was as bad as it sounds… although some funny musician humour to be found,) the 3rd Episode is probably one of my all-time favourites from the show… EVER.
In E3: Shirt Herpes, the show has just one question for viewers:
Would you rather die, or be raped every night by a giant octopus?
And believe me, Daniel Tosh has shown me that rape jokes can be funny.
But better watch before you decide: