September 21, 2010
|Bender and Amy lead a Robosexual Pride rally on the TV show Futurama|
In case you've been hiding under a space rock, Futurama is Matt Groening's "other" show--the one he put his true nerd heart into. If it looks like a Simpson's knockoff to you, bite your eye, fellow Earthican. It's anything but. This is sweet, savory sci-fi at its most adventurous, presented in beautiful, Technicolor cartoon form.
The show centers on Fry, a pizza delivery boy accidentally cryogenically frozen in 1999, who wakes up in the year 3000, awestruck by the technological marvels, mutants and alien beings he encounters.
He falls in unrequited love with Leela, a smart, sassy cyclops. He becomes best friends with Bender, a thieving, smoking, drinking, belching robot. And he works alongside a motley crew of other characters at Planet Express--once again as a delivery boy, only this time on a spaceship.
As before, binary Easter eggs and math jokes abound. In fact, one of the writers developed a math theorem for an episode this season just to explain a plot twist.
SO IS it any good? Oh my, yes. Futurama won the Guinness World Record for "Current Most Critically Acclaimed Series" in 2010. But what really makes Futurama great is its relevance.
The show has tackled social issues since its very first episode--war, colonization, racism, sexism, environmentalism, corporate greed, addiction and more--with great humor and aplomb. And this season's episode defending robosexuality is no exception.
The story winds its way through jokes lampooning "don't ask, don't tell," Brokeback Mountain and even the "Gathering Storm" ad attacking gay marriage aired by the misnamed National Organization for Marriage.
Other goodies abound. Pro-robosexual-marriage protesters' signs read: "Stand up for equality!" Anti-robosexual marriage protesters' signs read: "Fall down and be unable to get up for traditional marriage!" A sight gag involving Hedonismbot and Hot Dog Stand Robot simply cannot be missed.
"Proposition Infinity" takes us another step in the right direction, even if it is one frame at a time. As the giant-headed, angry, green newscaster Morbo cries out to his TV viewers at show's end: "What's next? Gay robosexual marriage?" One can only hope...