Episode 'Futurama' Season 6 Episode 14 - 'Neutopia' Recap
Opening title caption: "Provides a full day's supply of vitamin F!"
"Futurama" is back with what might seem like season seven, but is actually the second half of season six. Yes, I know it's one year later and no, I don't know why these guys number their episodes so strangely. But let's just be happy it's still on the air!
The housing crisis is clearly still on the minds of the "Futurama" writers (or was when this episode was written anyway) as the episode opens with Planet Express in danger of being foreclosed on due to lackluster earnings. That leads to some brainstorming (and ignoring of the women's ideas) and the concensus is to do a girly calendar with Leela, Amy and Labarbara.
That one fails (they only have enough women for three months) so they start their next idea: become an airline! Apparently satirizing airline bankruptcies was still in fashion when this was penned as well. Seriously, when did they write this thing? In 2008?
Everything is going about as well as you would expect if Planet Express became a budget airline, until Fry and Hermes fall asleep at the wheel and the ship crash-lands onto an alien planet. There, the crew and passengers bicker until a rock alien appears and ponders at the gender divide in their species. He decides to neuter them all, which makes everyone get along, be industrious and courteous, and forget about their squabbles.
But when Hermes and Labarbara burst in ("Give us back our genitals!") and give the alien a speech about what it is to be human (namely, fighting and screwing), he un-neuters them. The only problem is, he gives everyone the wrong gender. And Zapp Branigan lasers the alien before he can switch them back.
That leads to one of the more disturbing montages in "Futurama" history, as the femme versions of Fry, Bender, Hermes, Scruffy (the janitor), and even Farnsworth and Zoidberg pose for a new girly calendar. Scruffy (the janitor)--or should I say Scruffette?--is disturbing enough, but the images of femme Zoidberg and femme Farnsworth in their pin-up outfits is downright unsettling. As in, it unsettled my lunch from my stomach.
That calendar sells enough to keep the company in the black (don't they still only have six months?), so everything is okay. Another rock alien even shows up to switch everyone back to their original genders...except for one, who was in the bathroom. Does this mean that Scruffy (the janitor) will be a woman from now on?
This was a brave episode for "Futurama" as they took two of the oldest comedy topics in the book (gender differences and airlines) and tried to take them on from a different angle. Did they succeed? Yes. Was it the funniest "Futurama" episode? Not really. But I defy you to get that image of the Professor and his pasties out of your head.
Satirizing: housing crisis, gender differences, airlines & TSA