Thursday, July 5, 2012

Futurama: Id, Ego, and Calculon

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Season seven, episode four airs on 7/4/12? I thought that was a cute coincidence. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this episode, which was full of intellectual jokes but still included plenty of generic gags as well. I mean, let's pause just to remember "MonSterey Bay Aquarium," "Shark Week is August," and "Welcome to Jurassic Tank," haha! Plus, this episode was actually pretty well-written... I mean, what happens in the beginning is actually plausibly related to what happens later. Now, I'm still not sure why the Professor is helping with "the dog" instead of at the Acting Championships, but you can't win them all.

Futurama "The Thief of Baghead" (S07E04): While at the aquarium, Bender is taking pictures and developing them himself when he spots actor Calculon and his television family. He becomes obsessed with getting pictures of the acclaimed acting robot, and Zoidberg suggests that he try to sell some pictures to a magazine (like US People). They like his work and tell him he could make it as a paparazzo. [after pics of one celeb??] He works hard to create interesting scenes with spoofs of Selena Gomez and Paris Hilton before realizing the ultimate goal: get a photo of Langdon Cobb, famous for never revealing his face in any of his works. [really? we're supposed to believe he's famous anyway?] Bender goes to the extremes, climbing a wall, outrunning a dog-like creature, and sitting in fire to get a glimpse of the thespian's face. Langdon begs Bender not to reveal the image, and though he promises not to, he still shows it around. Fry, Amy, and Hermes all "melt" before the Professor realizes that the picture robs people of their life forces/souls. [what was the deal with not using the word "soul" ?? too spiritual?]
photo credit: Futurama TM and © 2010 Twentieth
Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
The Professor explains that Langdon is made up of an algae-based Id and a fungus-based Ego. [I laughed at this exchange: Leela: "just like the noble buffalo." Professor: "nothing like the buffalo."] The Professor is defeated, but Bender thinks the dog is the Ego, and Zoidberg points out that they could weaken Langdon Cobb by making sure Calculon wins the World Acting Championship. ["look, I own words that are helpful." ha!] They decide to give it a go and rush off to the event. ["Rome-O and Julie-T by Will-i-Am Shakespeare" was a thing. seriously. and what's with the idea that robots can't take food coloring?] The Ego inflates as people like the Id's acting, though it begins to deflate as Calculon performs. But, Langdon winds up winning and the Ego destroys the building to get back to its Id. [...but why?] To kill it, the gang figures that they must show the Ego a picture of itself, but Bender is a perfectionist when it comes to developing another copy from the negative, taking a long time. When Bender's finally ready to present his photo, Langdon has shown his face to Leela, Zoidberg, and the Professor, so they're also all deflated. [srsly??] Well, showing the picture doesn't even work on the Ego or Id BUT, it actually causes the Ego to get so big that it implodes, reviving everyone. [gotta get back to that status quo, yo.]
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