Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: "Bendin' in the Wind" (Season 3, Episode 13)

"Hey, the blues! The tragic sound of other people's suffering! That's kind of a pick-me-up." - Bender.
Airdate: April 22nd, 2001
Written By: Eric Horsted
Plot: An accident involving a can opener and whale oil leaves Bender disabled below his neck. While in hospital, he comes across Beck, who not only convinces him to take up being a washboard player (with the power of his mind), but also encourages him to join his jam band. Thus, he and the PlanEx crew go out onto the road!


Well, this episode is more interesting than "Route of All Evil". And that's not a stab at the fact that a test pattern would be more interesting than "Route of All Evil". It revolves around an interesting character and, albeit not atypical of shows that dabble in a certain story structure, explores how his fatal flaw can be interfered by being brought down to his knees.

Metaphorically speaking, of course, since this episode actually disables him for a bit.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: "The Route of All Evil" (Season 3, Episode 12)

"We're practically old enough to find the FOX Network infantile."- Dwight. That's pretty much his character.
Airdate: December 8th, 2002. (I hate you, Rupert Murdoch.)
Written By: Dan Vebber.
Plot: Cubert and Dwight (Hermes's son) are suspended from school for attacking a bully. Acting like idiots at Planet Express, Farnsworth and Hermes tell the kids to get a job. They start their own paper delivery company, Awesome Express, and quickly manage to get enough cold hard cash to buy out Planet Express.

Meanwhile, Bender, Fry, and Leela decide to make their own drinks. Ergo, Bender becomes pregnant.


OK, short one - this episode is probably among the most forgotten of Seasons 1-4. It focuses on uninteresting secondary/tertiary characters, features a mundane plot, and an equally weightless B-plot.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: "Insane in the Mainframe" (Season 3, Episode 11)

"Yahoo! The system fails again!" - Bender.

Airdate: April 8th, 2001
Written By: Bill Odenkirk
Synopsis: Fry and Bender go to the bank to start a retirement fund with Fry's $6. While there, Bender meets up with an old friend, Roberto... who promptly holds up the bank. Giving Fry and Bender two sacks of dough for their troubles, they wind up tackled by the NNYPD. With Roberto threatening them during the trial, they go with option B - cop an insanity plea. Thanks to the robust evidence ("they done hired me to represent them"), the duo are sent to the Robot Asylum - Fry going because the human asylum is overcrowded thanks to the judge.


Alright, I'll disclose this before I begin - without this episode, this blog would not exist.

It was me watching this episode on Netflix on January 20th, 2015, that made me realize "this show has to be analyzed. I have to watch it episode by episode." It hit that perfect beat of social commentary, comedy, drama, and character development. Within minutes of finishing up, the Blog of Wonton Burrito Meals was established.

And for good reason - this episode is pretty damn horrifying. And brilliant.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: "Where the Buggalo Roam" (Season 3, Episode 10)

Kif: "I'll get your cattle back, or die trying!
Leo: "Hey, we can't lose!" 
Airdate: March 3rd, 2002. (Yeah, at this point, FOX didn't give a damn when the episodes aired.)
Written By: J. Stewart Burns.
Plot: Amy, Kif, and the PlanEx crew take a trip to the western-esque Wong Ranch on Mars. The owners, Leo and Inez, callously suggest that Amy dump Kif for a macho cowboy, as well as bragging about buying the land from the native Martians. During the barbeque, a dust storm comes over and takes the Wong's main source of income - the buggalo.


Turning a minor joke into a recurring plot thread has become a characteristic of sci-fi comedy/dramas. For example, Amy's parents chucking Kif with Amy at the end of "A Flight to Remember". Last time we left Kif, he finally got the guts to confess his love to Amy - this being spurred on by a combination of Zapp's embarrassment, as well as learning that he was going to be raped to death by Amazonians. (No other way to put it.)

"Where the Buggalo Roam" follows up on that. From a tribal planet in "Amazon Women in the Mood", we now go to a pastiche of the wild, wild west.

On Mars.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Consider Myself On Unpaid Vacation

As a pre-emptive measure, I'm announcing that due to a combination of schoolwork, the upcoming return of Red Dwarf, and a general desire to slim down my life a little bit, this blog might not be updated again until late October - maybe even November.

While I might be able to get the review of "Where the Buggalo Roam" out during that time, I'm just informing you as to why there might not be any updates to Blog of Wonton Burrito Meals.

My other blog, The Review Nebula, will still have regular updates. Even then, I've decided that the blog will solely review Red Dwarf XI once the series becomes available in the US. This is, again, an attempt to streamline my life a bit more.

See you in a month or two, meatbags.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review: "The Cyber House Rules" (Season 3, Episode 9)

"You're better than normal. You're abnormal! If you ask me, you shouldn't care about what other people think!" "You're right. I'll start by not caring what you think!" - Fry and Leela, defying the Star Trek dynamic of "captain going to first officer for advice."
Airdate: April 1st, 2001

Written By: Lewis Morton

Plot: The Orphanarium is having a reunion of a class of it's former... orphans. Leela, having had a less than pleasant experience there, but goes - Fry encourages her to rub her success in. It doesn't work too well. There, however, she encounters Dr. Adlai Atkins, a plastic surgeon who offers to give her a prosthetic eye. Despite Fry's objections, Leela agrees to the surgery, and strikes up a romance with the doctor.

Meanwhile, Bender finds out from the operator of the Orphanarium that the government offers $100 a month for every orphan adopted. Bender decides to clear house to make a solid $1200 a month. Unfortunately, he has to actually raise the children, which is a fairly costly measure.


You ever go into something thinking that it is going to be a bunch of subpar, mediocre, or downright bad, then you watch it, and it's actually pretty good? Well, that's pretty much my thought process when I began to review "The Cyber House Rules". It's not an episode I watch that often, so I was focusing on the "Be Yourself" trope - a trope that is "tried and true", to put it kindly. What I instead got was a pretty hilarious take on that message, and also an episode that focused on everybody's favorite starship captain...


(Sorry, Zapper.)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: "That's Lobstertainment" (Season 3, Episode 8)

"I've only been here a day, and already, I'm a Hollywood phony!" - Zoidberg. Ah, the power of Los Angeles
Airdate: February 25th, 2001

Written By: Patric M. Verrone.

Plot: Booed off of the stage at a comedy club, Zoidberg is depressed. Apparently, his uncle used to be a comic legend back in the days of "silent holofilms". He writes to one Harold Zoid to get some tips for the trade. Unfortunately, Harold Zoid is destitute, a has-been. He promises to help Zoidberg become a centerpiece of drama if Zoidberg can fund his drama project, The Magnificent Three. With that, Bender goes over to Calculon, and in exchange for a small investment, guarantees him an Oscar for his performance.

It goes poorly.


Well, shortly after watching one of Futurama's best episodes, we get a look at what many consider one of the original run's weakest episodes. Netting a 61% on, the only "original" episodes cited as worse are "The Cryonic Woman" (which I've already mentioned I dislike) and "A Leela Of Her Own" (which I'll get to later.) The question here is, does "That Lobstertainment" deserve it's bad reputation? Or is it a diamond in the rough?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Morbotron Debuts, and Suddenly, You Have Time To Waste!

Source is this post's topic of discussion.
"Good news, everyone! Several years ago, I tried to log onto AOL, and it just went through! Yippee!" - Farnsworth, "A Bicyclops Built For Two".
Who knew when Futurama premiered that there would be a website dedicated entirely to Futurama framegrabs?

Well, now, there is one.

From the makers of Simpsons framegrab repository comes Available? All seven seasons, including the movies. From the worst of Futurama to the best of Futurama, they have it all. You can even .gif and meme the show, damn it!

(Unfortunately, there's something about the Blogger interface that makes .gifs come off a bit, well, unfinished.)

And for those interested, here are the technical details about it's sister site.

Enjoy, fellow Meatbags!

(Oh, and on an unrelated note, my "That's Lobstertainment" review should be up within the next week or so.)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid" (Season 3, Episode 7)

Thank you, Dewey Decimal System. You destroyed the universe.
"Brain! Brain make people dumb!" "No, Leela. Brain make people smart." - Leela and Fry. No, I did not mix up that order.
Airdate: February 18th, 2001.

Written By: Jeff Westbrook and David X. Cohen

Plot: Leela is disenchanted at how stupid Nibbler appears, not doing anything but cause trouble at a pet competition. However, when brains attack the Earth, Leela catches Nibbler as he boards a mini space shuttle, back to his home planet of Eternium. There, the Nibblonians introduce themselves as an intellectual (if cute) species determined to tackle the Brainspawn. The Brainspawn feed off of the Delta Brainwave, making everybody in their path stupid, and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The one person that can save them? Fry, who happens to lack a Delta Brainwave.


Season 3 is, again, often cited as the season which started Futurama's rise from merely being a great show to being a sublime show. If "Parasites Lost" launched the central romantic relationship in the franchise, and "Luck of the Fryrish" give emotional levity to it's central plot, than "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid" stands out as one of the most inventive science fiction elements in the history of the show - all while being drop. Dead. Funny.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: "Bendless Love" (Season 3, Episode 6)

"Oh.... my love... my darling..."
"Ten times normal wage? I'll give those jerks what for!" - Bender, crossing the picket line... before taking the job. Ah, Bender - walks the walk, doesn't talk the talk.
Airdate: February 11th, 2001

Written By: Eric Horsted

Plot: The Planet Express Ship crashes on takeoff. Leela's crash report deduces that the L-Unit was bent. That, plus several other "bent" objects leads suspicion to fall on Bender - which is confirmed by a videotape showing him "sleep-bending". Fired because of his addiction, Bender winds up taking a job bending at a company facing a strike. There, he meets Flexo - his yin body double - and Angleyne, a voluptuous Fembot who Bender takes a shine to, and who might be reciprocating his feelings. Thing is.... Angleyne and Flexo are caught out at dinner together. Bender, therefore, decides to impersonate Flexo, believing that she's truly in love with the bearded bot.


Bender is well known to the casual viewer (and pretty much everybody else) for his flamboyant lifestyle. He's an egoist, a thief, and a drunkard. It makes perfect sense for him to pick up women on a daily basis - which was seen in "Hell is Other Robots" as the act of rebellion against his religion. Here, though, Bender gets a taste of genuine love - or at least a crush. It's a cute little episode, albeit not close to the show's best.