I’ve stopped doing Futurama reviews a little while back. There’s a specific reason for that.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it; the season peaked with “The Late Phillip J Fry.” It was the one episode that was able to reach back to the original production run and bring some of its magic to the new season. But then it went all down hill.
Season 6 of Futurama will be remembered for having a few diamonds in the rough. What upsets me is how quickly the quality of the episodes fell. “That Darn Katz!” was completely painful to watch. “A Prisoner of Benda” was too crowded with storylines. “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences” was just average, but it didn’t do anything more than make me chuckle. “The Mutants Are Revolting” was completely unnecessary.
There’s a lot of reasons for the poor quality of these final episodes of the season. I’ll start with the finale. First and foremost, we’ve already spoofed the Titanic. Next, we’ve already dealt with a pro-rights episode this season. Finally, why did the mutants need to come to the surface full time from a writer’s perspective? Prisoner had a great concept, but there was just way too much going on to the point where the mind swaps were happening just for the sake of them occuring.
But there’s a couple of larger issues at hand here. First and foremost, there was undoubtedly one storyline driving the entire series: Fry and Leela’s relationship. A lot of the emotion and comedy came from Fry chasing Leela. Well, now they’re together, so the writers appear to be scratching their heads to try to fill that void.
Ultimately, the quality of this season came down to this: I enjoyed the first few episodes, but I always felt something was missing; I was laughing at half the jokes because I wanted them to be funny. Then I missed an episode and didn’t think twice about it, and that has me nervous about the future for the series. For most of the season, Futurama was trying too hard. If it relaxes, we’ll get more gems like “Late Phillip J Fry”