Futurama season 7 finale review
Futurama signs off for now with an uneven but still mightily enjoyable double bill. Here's Cameron's review...
7.12 31st Century Fox
Season 7 comes to a close with a penultimate episode that most definitely ranks as the very best Futurama has to offer. Unsurprisingly, it's a Bender story that tickles so heartily, raising laughs that rank up with the animated show's classics.
After some film-flamery involving new outfits, and hilarious film-flamery at that, the Planet Express gang find themselves at a fox hunt (no one said it would make sense!) with some pro, and some anti the "sport".
What proceeds is a thoroughly entertaining twenty-one minutes or so involving robot foxes, robots dogs and Patrick Stewart! There's also, in all seriousness, some discussion of the actual arguments for and against the disgusting activity, plus some delicious swipes at "twist" movies.
Bender, yet again, reaffirms his role as one of TV's greatest and funniest characters. He may be a one note song (though we do see him fighting for a cause here) but it's a tune you want to hear every day.
Futurama covers new ground, for one of the rare times in this season, and does it superbly; displaying that risks are most definitely worth taking. There are so many astounding moments during 31st Century Fox, too many to list here, that place it in the show's oeuvre at the toppermost of the poppermost.
Less successful, however, is the final outing for Season 7, a three story anthology in the mould of last year's terrifc Reincarnation. A shame really as the Season 6 finale was so immeasurably entertaining AND bloody clever. Whilst this time round, though still funny in parts, it falls short by a long shot.
Each tale is a Morgan Freeman-esque narrated nature documentary; placing all the familiar (and some rarer species) characters of Futurama as various creatures. Proceedings kick off well with The Salmon - a retelling of Fry and Leela's story (actually, it's nothing of the sort) through the life cycle of the tasty fish.
The narration packs a gigglesome punch with its wonderfully funny and, at the same time, mournful, closing line of, "And so the endless circle of life comes to an end; meaningless and grim. Why did they live and why did they die? No reason."
Bleak and brilliant. This tone continues with a re-imagining Professor Fransworth as the Pinta Island Tortoise on the Galapaolos Islands. Again, there are some cute moments (Zoidberg as the Blue-Footed Booby) and there's another mirthsome "natural" ending - "For, in the end, nature is horrific, and teaches us nothing."
The final chapter focuses on Bender as The Elephant Seal, surrounded by his bitches on the beaches. It's by far the weakest of the three and odd they chose to close with this particular story (perhaps, as it was Bender-centric they felt it would be the winner.)
A slightly disappointing end, but only because its predecessors were so mightily strong. The laughs may have been light and its engagement may not have been as full as the penultimate episode, but Naturama packed enough originality and charm to warrant its place.
Read Cameron's review of the previous episode, Viva Mars Vegas, here
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