‘Futurama’ 6.08 Recap: “The Leg Bone’s Connected to the… CASH BONE!”

Last night’s episode of ‘Futurama’ certainly caused me to take paws. This season has been less than purrfect, but this is the first episode that I considered to be a cat-astrophe. Hit that “Continue Reading” button and we’ll unravel this whole ball of yarn.

That first paragraph up there sucks, doesn’t it? Yes it does, because cat puns aren’t funny. They’re not funny when my mom says them, they’re not funny when my grandmother says them, and they’re damn sure not funny when they’re on ‘Futurama’.

So here’s the plot of the episode ‘That Darn Katz!’: A bunch of cats from outer space take over the Earth through mind control. When they stop the rotation of the planet, only Amy and Nibbler can save the day. That’s right, Amy and Nibbler are your main characters in this episode.

In the whole of ‘Futurama’, there are only a few “straight man” type characters. Most of them are there for humor, with the exceptions of – for the most part – Leela, Kif and Amy. Those three exist so that funny characters can be funny.

They’re the Lou Costellos, the Oliver Hardys, and the Silent Bobs. Characters like this don’t work without their counterparts. Amy and Nibbler definitely don’t work well together at all. In the episode, Nibbler only speaks for the sake of exposition and Amy doesn’t say anything funny.

Even worse, there are all sorts of things trying to pass for jokes that just don’t make sense. On the cat home world, for example, the cat scientists use a telescope that’s shaped like a cat’s head. Why would they do that? Humans don’t build telescopes in the shape of human heads.

The whole plot to stop the Earth’s rotation seems a bit contrived, which is fine if it’s acknowledged. It isn’t.

The gag where the Earth stops is also downright dumb. If the planet were to suddenly stop, there would be an immense amount of destruction because the atmosphere would keep moving while the Earth itself stopped. If it slowed very gradually, over years and years, it wouldn’t be as bad.

In ‘That Darn Katz!’, the rotation of the Earth is stopped in the matter of a few hours, but there aren’t any adverse effects until the planet comes to a complete stop. When there are, it’s as if someone puts the brakes on, which is pretty far from accurate. ‘Futurama’ has, in the past, been pretty soundly rooted in science. If it ever did stray, there was always a point made to acknowledge that fact, or explain the reason.

Bad science aside, ‘That Darn Katz!’ just isn’t funny after the opening ad. I mean really, Lolcats? Is this 2006? Is an “All your base are belong to us” joke slated for the next episode? Will the Hampster Dance be making an appearance?

Yikes. Just plain yikes. This episode is an absolute mess, especially compared to last week’s brilliant entry.

On the plus side, ‘That Darn Katz!’ is a surefire nominee for the worst ‘Futurama’ episode of all time. Rest easy, Zoidberg, ‘That’s Lobstertainment‘ is sure to get called out far less often on forums now that the cat’s out of the bag.

See? Cat puns just aren’t funny.

8 comments

  1. JoeRo

    Yeah not sure what to make of this episode. Again we have two unlikely characters paired up for reasons that escape me. It worked well enough in “Lethal Inspection”, but this episode was pretty much straight garbage. It pains me to have to say that, but it’s true.

    I like that a major plot point of the story is that Amy is the Professor’s intern/grad student (slight retcon but it’s nothing too hard to swallow). And there were some genuinely funny moments, particularly the bar sequence. But this episode was just lacking.

    Again, I think Futurama is at its best when it utilizes a lot of its ensemble cast, not to mention the rich group of non-regular characters Futurama has to play with.

    I don’t know what’s going on in the writers room. Maybe they’re trying to give more screen time to characters who haven’t been given the spotlight very often. All I know is that last nights episode was even harder to watch coming hot on the heels, as it were, of the spectacular “The Late Philip J. Fry”. Ugh.

  2. Bill

    Are you seriously complaining about bad scinece in Futurama? This is the show with dead people’s heads reanimated in glass jars…how rooted in science is that?

    Sure, not every episode is a winner…but bad science as a complaint, seems a little unreasonable. Your other issues with non-main characters gettign an entire show are right on point.

    • I think it’s a valid criticism.

      Floating heads – that’s a technology that was invented. Who am I to say that can’t be pulled off in the next thousand years? Crazy technology is one thing, changing the laws of physics (without explanation) is another. 🙂

      • You mean, other than the sound-in-space and faster-than-light travel, of course. 🙂

        I’ve never understood how they could have the heads of people like Abraham Lincoln in jars, if that technology won’t be invented for hundreds of years. Is that explained somewhere in the show?

        • The head in a jar thing was invented by Ron Popeil. I don’t know if the past presidents were ever explained, but it seems like they could easily be clones.

          Other stuff is simply written off as “technology, which is acceptable to me, since there could and should be massive technological advances by the year 3,000. After all, look at the year 1,000 compared to now. Hell, look at the year 1,800 compared to now. Then consider all the alien races brought into the mix, each bringing their own advances 🙂

        • On another note I just saw a banner ad on the site for these awesome pool toys – one of which is a floaty thing that looks like a TIE fighter and sports a water turret.

  3. 4lg

    Worst review EVER!!!

    The episode was great! Not top tier, but fantastic.

    Futurama is back baby!!!

    Although we call it blu blu shiny ball

  4. Robert

    First I wholly disagree with this review.

    Second, they already and “all your bases belong to us” joke in Anthology of Interest II.

    Finally the bad science is something that is common (It’s science fiction)

    This in my opinion was one of the best episodes of the season, (After The Late Phillip J. Fry and Lethal Inspection) you are allowed your opinions, but Come on your main critique of the show is it focuses on Amy and Nibbler, Not all episodes can be Fry/Leela/Bender.

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