I finally watched: Bender’s Big Score
Futurama’s back. Soon it will be entering a new season on TV. This series will consist of 3(?) straight to DVD movies, which are then cut up and placed on air as episodes. Bender’s Big Score is the first of these straight to DVD movies. The plot involves a bit of time travel, but is not the only reason the pacing and timing of the show is off. Still, more Futurama, even if not in its prime, is better than most television and worth watching for fans of the series.
Time travel plots can be a bit hard to follow. Futurama has never really needed you to pay attention to more than a few basic points to follow the story (Santa is an evil robot, etc.). Bender’s Big Score’s time travel storyline is not exactly a complex one (Legacy of Kain’s is far more convoluted), but if you aren’t following it closely, then some of the jokes and settings stop being funny or making sense. Combined with a slightly slower pacing, you may space out for a bit and just absorb the constant references to older shows, forgetting that you need to pay attention to what just happened.
Overall, Bender’s Big Score could not quite decide it it was a movie, or a series of episodes. As a movie, it repeated plot aspects and lines a bit too often (every 22 minutes). That which when done in a weekly format would have been a running gag turns into repetition. As episodes, I’m not sure the overall plot would work well from week to week, where there is not much progression or no real conclusion at the end of each episode (think Dragonball Z).
Still, it is fan service. There are near constant references to older characters and plot lines. Much like Family Guy had high expectations on its return, perhaps the Futurama movie can’t quite live up to the hype.