Season 26, Episode 6
Original Air Date: November 9, 2014
US viewership: 6.7 million
Plot: Futurama’s Bender comes from the future to present-day to assassinate a Simpson.
• Having two Simpsons cross-overs in the same season (less than 2 months apart) is a bad idea and hurts it’s impact, because it is a big deal! Even if “The Simpsons Guy” was technically a Family Guy double episode, they should’ve kept that at the end of last season, so there’d be some breathing space between them.
• Written and animated as a Simpsons episode, it features the main characters, voices and some locations from Futurama. As it’s a single 21-minute show, the script is much tighter, and they get what they want done, and move on. The Simpsons are introduced to Bender, we see the Futurama cast in the Simpsons world, the Simpsons cast in the Futurama world, and it’s resolved all inside the tight time-frame.
• The Futurama/Simpsons cross-over was always going to be a fun watch! And it is! Just seeing the characters interact is great. That said, comparing Homer and Bender, in that Bender’s a rip-off, isn’t that accurate (besides they both drink beer) or interesting, since Family Guy did it at length in their episode. They just become good mates very quickly, going drinking and bowling (Bender replacing Apu), which is lovely to see. Similarities with Frink & The Professor are not played up too much, Marge & Leela have one notable interaction, and they don’t even bother with Fry & Bart.
• Futurama deals with some high-concept Sci-Fi (eg “The Late Philip J. Fry”, involving cyclical Big Bangs) but this plot to get Matt Groening’s franchises together feels quite flimsy. Bender having to terminate a Simpson is quickly changed and dialled back as more rational ways to stop the disaster are broached. These logic holes are addressed as they progress…So it’s a weaker plot, instead of starting with a more well thought-out plot, if ya get me.
• Some fun Futurama references I won’t spoil, but there’s also some freeze-frame gags, like futuristic billboards “Professor Frink’s Carbon Dating Service” and “Moe’s Unfriendly Bar – No Humans or Robots”.
• Nitpick: Impossible to predict, but even though the script was completed at least 6 months ago, they have a rant on Freemium games, just like last week’s South Park episode. Unfortunate timing aside, it’s a fun segment (including a Futurama reference that makes no geographical sense but was great to see!) and ends with the hilarious line “and that’s why I owe Clash of Candies $20,000.”
• Professor Farnsworth had the funniest lines in the episode. Great stuff.
“Simpsorama: A show out of ideas teams up with a show out of episodes”
The couch gag with Hedonism bot is both fun and a little creepy.
Mayor Quimby calls Lisa “Lise-er” just like JFK. Also, “even God hates Jazz”!
Bart “Remember when this country didn’t suck? ‘Cause I don’t.”
Professor Frink “Maybe they’re evil and deserve it. Or they have one of those ANNOYING VOICES THAT GETS ON EVERYBODY’S NERVES! With the adding on of noises for no extra reason, moiven…gloiveen…”
Professor Farnsworth (to Frink, then Lisa) “To me you’re incredibly stupid. Oh, and the annoying girl may be helpful”.
Professor Farnsworth “Motherly love…why did we outlaw that?”
Overall: A fun, enjoyable, fast-paced cross-over. Although the plot is a bit dodgy, it left me wanting to see more. It’s actually stronger then the Family Guy cross-over (which although had funnier moments, really dragged in the middle). Not a classic but definitely watch it and lemme know!