Anthology of Interest I: Wikis

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Futurama episode
"Anthology of Interest I"
Futurama 220 - Anthology of Interest I.jpg
Leela, sleeping with Fry in "Dial L For Leela"
Episode no. 29
Prod. code 2ACV16
Airdate May 21, 2000
Writer(s) Terror at 500 Feet:
Eric Rogers
Dial L for Leela:
Ken Keeler
The Un-Freeze of a Lifetime:
David X. Cohen
Director Chris Louden
Rich Moore
Opening subtitle Painstakingly Drawn Before A Live Audience
Opening cartoon "Bosko Shipwrecked"
Guest star(s) Al Gore as himself
Stephen Hawking as himself
Nichelle Nichols as herself
Gary Gygax as himself
Season 2
November 1999 – December 2000
  1. I Second That Emotion
  2. Brannigan, Begin Again
  3. A Head in the Polls
  4. Xmas Story
  5. Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?
  6. The Lesser of Two Evils
  7. Put Your Head on My Shoulder
  8. Raging Bender
  9. A Bicyclops Built for Two
  10. A Clone of My Own
  11. How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back
  12. The Deep South
  13. Bender Gets Made
  14. Mother's Day
  15. The Problem with Popplers
  16. Anthology of Interest I
  17. War Is the H-Word
  18. The Honking
  19. The Cryonic Woman
List of all Futurama episodes...

"Anthology of Interest I" is episode sixteen in season two of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on May 21, 2000. This episode, as well as the later "Anthology of Interest II", serves to showcase three "imaginary" stories, in a manner similar to the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes of Matt Groening's other animated series The Simpsons.[1]

Contents

Plot

Professor Farnsworth shows the crew his new invention, the Fing-longer, a glove with a long rod meant to be used as an extension of the pointer-finger. He demonstrates it by activating the What-If machine, a device that allows the user to view a simulation of a hypothetical scenario after the user asks it a 'what-if' question. The Professor invites the crew to ask a question.

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Terror at 500 Feet

Bender offers to take the first turn and asks what would happen if he were 500 feet tall.

The simulation begins with the giant Bender being built by hundreds of regular-sized bending units on some distant planet. He reaches Earth, where he meets Fry, having recently arrived in the 31st century all alone. Bender takes a liking to him and they become friends. Bender destroys nearly all of Central Park (including what seems to be a montage- supporting performance by Hanson), and the military is sent to deal with him.

The military is unable to damage Bender with their electric weapons, but when Fry runs to his defense, he is electrocuted. Bender wreaks havoc upon New New York. To combat Bender, the Professor uses his enlarging-ray on Zoidberg, only to see him wreak havoc as well, interrupted by Bender who isn't pleased with Zoidberg destroying "his" city. The two fight and Bender finally appears to win by pushing Zoidberg into Shea Stadium filled with boiling water.

While Bender laughs in triumph (and starting to make Shrinky-Dinks with Fry), an enraged and boiled Zoidberg rises out of the water and snaps off Bender's feet, causing him to fall over and impale himself on the Empire State Building. A tearful Fry admonishes the citizens of New New York City about the tragedy of Bender, whose final words lament his inability to fulfill his dream to kill all humans, then he asks 'Who's the real 7 billion ton robot monster here?'. Bender dies, and the scenario ends as onlookers silently watch on.

In this scenario, Leela is mistakenly shown as being part of the crew, even though she should have been chasing Fry down at the time of the events.

Dial L for Leela

The Professor asks Leela to ask a question. Leela refuses at first, but is then teased about being unimpulsive. She angrily asks what would happen if she were a little more impulsive.

The What-if Machine creates a scenario in which Leela shows off a new pair of boots, bought on a wild impulse- according to her. However, the only difference is a green stripe down the side, which is of no interest to the Planet Express crew. The Professor summons Leela to tell her that she will be his sole heir as she is so unimpulsive and predictable. He leans over a pit containing his man-eating anteaters while commenting on how rich Leela will be as soon as he dies. Angry that no one cares about her "new" boots, Leela gives in to her impulses and kicks him into the pit, where the anteaters eat him alive. When Hermes discovers a video will showing the death, she quickly beats him up, chops him up and stuffs his body down the garbage disposal. When Bender deduces that she is the murderer, he proceeds to blackmail her in return for his silence. Leela kills Bender with microwave rays and turns his body into a go-cart to get rid of the body. Leela decides that whenever she wants to kill someone, she'll chew a piece of gum to distract herself. Amy insults Leela when she rides the go-cart (calling her "unhip and unsexy"). Leela immediately asks Amy for a piece of gum. Amy has none, so Leela kills her and stuffs the body into a grandfather clock.

Zoidberg summons the rest of the crew in order to solve the murders. While Zoidberg reveals clues, Cubert, Scruffy and Nibbler attempt to implicate Leela, but she turns off the lights and kills them one by one (impaling them on the same sword). Suddenly, Zoidberg receives a posthumous letter from Bender revealing who the killer is. Just as Zoidberg is about to reveal it to Fry (the only other living crew member), Fry declares Zoidberg "boring" and leaves the room, turning off the lights on his way out, as per Leela's request. Leela chops up and (presumably) boils Zoidberg. The next morning Fry notices Leela eating lobster and accepts her offer to have some with her. When Fry then realizes that she was responsible for the murders, Leela admits it and is forced to do something really impulsive: sleep with him to keep him quiet. While in bed, Leela asks Fry if he likes the "impulsive, new me", to which Fry responds "I like it". Then she turns off the lights and Fry is heard to scream...and then says "I 'really' like it".

This episode marks the first time Leela had sex with Fry, and the second time Leela slept with somebody out of impulse, the first time being "Love Labours Lost in Space" with Zapp Brannigan. However, this episode is non-canon.

The Un-Freeze of a Lifetime

After being told that Bender's scenario would not be done again, Fry asks what would happen if he had not been frozen (in an, according to the professor, "Profoundly Stupid way", as Fry says it as "What would happen if I never fell into the 'Freezer-Doodle' and came to the 'Future Jiggy'".)

Fry narrowly misses falling into the cryogenic tube, and a rift in the space-time continuum appears, which shows the Planet Express crew in the future. The next day, after talking to Mr. Panucci, he comes to the attention of Stephen Hawking who arranges for Fry to be abducted. He is introduced to the "Vice Presidential Action Rangers", led by Al Gore, whose task is to protect the space-time continuum. His group is filled out by Hawking, Nichelle Nichols, Gary Gygax, and Deep Blue.

Fry explains what happened the previous night and they determine that Fry was supposed to die and try to kill him. Another rift appears during the attempted murder and Nichelle Nichols suggests that Fry be frozen and Gary Gygax gives Fry his "+1 mace" for protection in the future. Just before Fry is frozen, he smashes the cryogenic tube, causing the universe to collapse into a space-time rift. This results in Fry and the Vice Presidential Action Rangers appearing in some other indeterminate dimension which is not part of the universe. The scenario ends with them playing Dungeons and Dragons for the next quadrillion years.

This scenario, having an error similar to that of the first scenario, shows Leela and Bender as part of the crew (when the crew is looking out of the rift), even though they were only part of the crew after the events shown in the first episode.

Conclusion

After the end of Fry's scenario, the Professor curses the What-If machine for simulating scenarios even he found preposterous and dumps it into the trash. He judges the Fing-Longer to be a success and is congratulated by the crew. It is then shown that everything before was just a simulation by the What-If machine when the professor asked what would have happened if he had invented the Fing-Longer, leaving him to lament about the possibilities if he had invented it.

Production

  • Gary Gygax's appearance alongside Al Gore is something of an inside joke since Gore's wife, Tipper, hates Dungeons & Dragons and has been publicly critical of it.[2]
  • When rebroadcast during the 2000 Presidential Election, the tagline at the start of the episode said, "Starring a guy who is kind-of, sort-of our next president, maybe!"

Continuity

  • In the "What If Leela Was More Impulsive" story, Fry is eating Admiral Crunch, which was introduced in the season one episode "Episode Two: The Series Has Landed".
  • Bender implies that he wishes he was a human, but instead wishes he was 500 ft. tall. In the next Anthology of Interest episode, Bender would wish that he was human.
  • The shot of Gary Gygax saying, "Anyone wanna play Dungeons & Dragons for the next quadrillion years?" was used as a tribute clip in the 2008 Futurama movie Bender's Game. Gygax died during the making of "Bender's Game", which contains many references to "Dungeons and Dragons", the game Gygax created.
  • When Zoidberg becomes giant, one of the buildings he attacks is the Apollo Theater because he got booed on open mic night. On "A Clone of My Own," when Zoidberg's joke about Farnsworth bombs, he mutters, "It's Showtime at the Apollo all over again."

Cultural references

Broadcast and reception

This episode guest starred Nichelle Nichols and Al Gore, both of whom would make later appearances in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" and "Crimes of the Hot" respectively. Al Gore received some criticism for his appearance because parts of the show "conflicted starkly with the anti-violence, anti-smoking and family-values themes of Gore's campaign". Gore's spokesperson responded by stating that most viewers would recognize that the show was meant to be entertaining and that it would be taken in the right spirit.[3]

This episode is one of four featured in the Monster Robot Maniac Fun Collection as one of Matt Groening's four favorite episodes of the series.[4] In 2006 IGN.com ranked this episode as number thirteen in their list of the top 25 episodes of Futurama reviewer noting that although the plots of the three individual segments weren't the best work of Futurama they were each considered to have "killer" comedy.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Pratt, Douglas. Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!. p. 474.  
  2. ^ "RAISING PG KIDS IN AN X-RATED SOCIETY". http://www.urbin.net/EWW/polyticks/tipper.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.  
  3. ^ "Veep guest stars in TV cartoon". USA Today. 2000-05-22. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/e1831.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-26.  
  4. ^ Gord Lacey (2005-05-11). "Futurama — Do the Robot Dance!". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/tracking/viewer.html?tid=5078&ref_id=249&ref_type=101&tag=story_list;title;8. Retrieved 2007-06-26.  
  5. ^ Iverson, Dan (2006-07-07). ""Top 25 Futurama Episodes"". IGN.com. http://tv.ign.com/articles/716/716663p1.html. Retrieved 2007-06-25.  

External links


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