Concluding this double-bill return for Futurama is a delicious multi-dose of shiny metal assed action in this Bender-centric episode, Benderama. And there’s much to enjoy.
Like the previous episode, Neutopia, this story needs no previous knowledge of the show, and the plot, like many great Futurama stories, hinges on a ridiculous invention from Professor Farnsworth and the resulting aftermath,caused by a barrage of lazy Benders.
The Prof has put together a machine that duplicates an object, whilst also ensmalling them at the same time (like embiggening, except opposite). Cue Bender’s wish to have servants do his work for him, who also have the same desire. It’s not long before the world is overrun by tiny Benders and it’s a little overwhelming.
Mirroring the ‘lazy’ nature of the narrative, the episode is pretty lazy itself. But I don’t mean that negatively. The show is playing to its strengths (Bender and his antics, never surprising but always funny) neatly delivering verbal and visual gags at every bat of your eyelid.
Benderama could almost be a sketch show. The laughs hang on the plot rather thinly and are there simply to entertain. One could argue that this is when Futurama works best, concentrating on the bizarre scenarios and characters, resulting in a cocktail of giggles.
We’re presented with what could be regarded as a stereotypical ‘sci-fi nerd’ (here a giant alien, spotty, ugly, awkward and living with mum). A trope familiar with fans, but this is juxtaposed with a gag about the Kardashians. Which one is more repugnant? Not sure.
There’s more familiarity throughout (multiple Benders, a giant Bender destroying the city, for example), but knowingly, the production team have injected it with added smirks and vitality. Particularly worthy of a mention is the return of The Scary Door, with one of its best stories yet and delivered so wonderfully, and the montage to the thousands of Benders being ‘killed’ to the sounds of Rock ‘N’ Roll Pest Control by Young Fresh Fellows. Utterly sublime.
The quality of a Futurama episode can sometimes be gauged on how many times the word “Bender” is heard. Well, you may find it unsurprising that in an episode titled Benderama it’s spoken quite a bit, but not only that. We get presented with an over-numerous amount of Benders, resulting in another top class outing for the gang (though mainly Bender).
Read our review of episode 14, Neutopia, here.