Monday, July 25, 2011

"Yo Leela Leela": Futurama Season 8, Episode 6

Where Leela goes to be inspired
for her new kids show.
I write this review as both a diehard Futurama fan and a Parent who is painfully aware of the uninspired childrens' TV shows out there.  My daughter is not allowed to watch dumb shows like Barney or Yo Gabba Gabba (see episode title).  Even I could do a better job writing some of these kids shows, and during my lunch break! Quick summary---> Leela pays a visit to the Orphanarium for story time and eventually gets the kids to love her strange but cute-ish stories. She signs on to cable TV with a major kids network and becomes rich.  At the end of the episode, we find out that she really had no talent or creativity, but that she copied her work from watching cute little beings ("humplings") live out their daily lives on some other planet.

I get it Futurama, but your references to pop culture were too obvious for my liking. Like i said before, Futurama fans have a high tolerance for weirdness, have some faith.  A parody is one thing, but the uncleverly obvious and oh-so repetetive jabs to Nickelodeon were too much. "Tickelodeon Kids Network"? "Popular Slut Club", "Spongebob Squrebolts" and "Dora the Destroyer"? In my last review i called Futurama a cleverly disguised satire on contemporary society, but i'm a little disappointed that Futurama had to resort to just some petty play on words.  We can do better than this. I'm reminded of last TV season's "Attack of the Killer App" episode, which also had too many literal references to pop culture ("Eye-Phone"?). And don't get me wrong, the jokes are funny and i agree +1000% with the view on crappy kids shows... call me strange but i felt like i was watching The Simpsons. Dislike me all you want but i'm a strange one: LOVE Futurama, but The Simpsons never worked for me... :( In my short encounters with The Simpsons, i feel that it's geared more toward mainstream America as evidenced by its success on Fox.  The Simpsons uses many literal references while poking fun at pop-culture.  Perhaps Comedy Central is trying to get a wider audience?  That understandable. I noticed non-Futurama people loved "Attack of the Killer App", but me, not so much.  I'll take a less obvious or literal approach to making fun of society anytime. I love you Futurama, but sometimes I have to give you tough love....  aside from everything i just said, I thought the episode was decent and had some good ideas.

Other thoughts and observations.... Did anyone notice how Leela pulled out of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle transport module? Guess all Mutants use transports, LOL :) The scene at the Orphanarium with Tickelodeon's Double Deal reminded me of South Park's Chinpokomon episode, particularly the scene where the kids were subjected to commercials like Alabama Man and Wild Wacky Action Bike. Also, how could anyone not notice the spoof on Aqua Teen Hunger Force? A lot of Inter-network grudges being played out in this episode.... Leela's Slurm award and the Slurm Queen's slime was meant to mimic Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Award. Reminds me of Double Dare with Mark Summers (remember that?!), but Calculon is a much better host!

Leela Mutant Ninja Turtle, reference to an older
Futurama episode? (and TMNT of course.)

Favorite quotes from "Yo Leela Leela":

Albert: Ms. Leela, I have a question.
Leela: Yes Albert
Albert: That story was a bad story.
Leela: That's not really a question
Albert: That wasn't really a story.

Leela: I don't know... don't i need a degree to write gibberish for toddlers?

Bender: So play a high school student who's also secretly a rockstar who's also secretly a massage chair?
Blonde Robot: No, I play high school student who's also secretly a rockstar, but in real life i'm a massage chair.
Bender: Ohhh, you ever made out with a tug boat?

Leela: Guys, I didn't have time to mention it up there, but I want each of you to know what an honor it is to work with me
Hermes: Sweet ego of Montego, somebody build a wind farm in front of her mouth!

I'll leave you with this video clip of "Yo Gabba Gabba", it was too painful for me to finish watching! :(


  1. lol i liked the eps. I do see what you mean about the similarity to Simpsons on an occassional eps. but I don't find any fault in that. Think of them more as spoofs. And besides, outputting at the consistently high level that Futurama does, you gotta allow some slipups :) my 2cents

  2. I don't watch it much but I was getting the drift from parents that Yo Gabba Gabba was the one kids' show they could stand to watch.


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