As much as I do like the long running animation comedy show ‘The Simpsons’, I often get shocked gasps from friends and classmates when I tell them that Matt Groening’s other animation comedy show, ‘Futurama’, is just more my thing. Why? Well, here are my reasons…

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The Plot

The Simpsons follows the iconic middle-class family through their shenanigans and entertaining adventures. Futurama follows a late 20th-centuary pizza delivery boy who is accidentally cryogenically frozen and wakes up in the year 3000, where he becomes a delivery boy for the interplanetary delivery company ‘Planet Express’. Already, I see much more coming from Futurama, more of a comedic backstory that constantly adds to the plot of the show. Although The Simpsons does explore with how a middle-class family deals with modern-day life and American culture, Futurama not only deals with these issues (okay, future-day life may fit in a little more…) but also comments on where society may be going.

The Characters

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In The Simpsons we meet a wide range of characters, varying from Mr. Burns to Mole Man, but the main characters that we know and love are Homer (the oaf father), Marge (the busy-body housewife), Bart (the troublemaker), Lisa (the smart activist) and Maggie (the baby). There are also some great secondary characters such as Moe and Abe who are able to give us a good chuckle. However, in Futurama it seems to me that, although the characters might not have been as thoroughly explored due to the lesser screen-time, they are more entertaining and a little bit more loveable due to their quirkiness and well… weirdness.

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The Planet Express crew are Fry (the dim but well-meaning delivery boy who woke up a century later), Bender (a drinking, smoking, swearing robot), Leela (a one eyed mutant and the Captain of the Planet Express Ship who was abandoned as a baby), Professor Farnsworth (an ancient mad scientist who is Fry’s distant nephew), Dr. Zoidberg (a lobster-ish alien, poor and completely useless at being a doctor), Amy Wong (a rich, spoilt and dumb permanent intern from Mars) and Hermes Conrad (a Jamaican accountant who is obsessed with order and a former Olympic Limbo-er). You can imagine the weird stuff they get up to. Not only are there characters excellent, but the secondary characters are just as brilliant. I will never forget Captain Zapp Brannigan’s hilarious rendition of The Kinks’ song ‘Lola’, changed to ‘Leela’, and President Nixon getting his huge robot body.

The Episodes

Usually, an episode of The Simpsons follows the family in their every-day lives, with something bizarre happening to them (Bart has to live in a bubble, Lisa becomes a buddhist, Homer accidentally joins the army…), and occasionally they will go somewhere outside of Springfield, wether it be Canada, Africa, or space. It was great at first, and I would watch it every night as a loyal viewer. After a while though, I felt that the episodes just started to become a little thin, less fun and less original. Sure, they come up with some great episodes once in a while, but I just don’t laugh as much any more. Maybe it’s because of the sheer volume of episodes. Futurama, on the other hand, can pretty much do anything with an episode. It has the entirety of time and space to play with, new technologies, strange species and odd planets. I suppose it’s the benefit of science-fiction, if they run out of ideas, they can just go to another planet and get in more trouble with more aliens. There’s also a sweet story-arc with Fry and Leela, with Fry being hopelessly in love with Leela but being so completely useless that he can’t really do much about it. Also, the episodes deliver great comedy each time, and have me laughing myself to tears almost every single time.

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Re-Runs

You can have too much of a good thing, and on British Freeview Tv, The Simpsons is repeated every week day, week after week, series after series, repeat after repeat. Maybe I just get a little bored, and I’ve seen each episode so many times that I can recognise which one it is within a couple of minutes, and so the fun is gone quite quickly. Futurama is not repeated so much, and it feels like a treat to get the series on British Tv. I enjoy it more because, even though I remember which episode it was, I don’t remember all of the gags and one-liners that have me in stitches each time.

Which animated series do you prefer? The Simpsons or Futurama? 

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