When the theory of evolution is questioned on Earth, The Professor deices to leave and go live on a lifeless planet. But things don’t go as planned when the nanobots he uses to clean the planets water begin to evolve at an exponential rate. Now the entire Planet Express team is trapped with no foreseeable way of getting home.

Major developments: Amy is revealed to be Asian…

What worked: This episode was very 50/50 for me. As for what worked, I really dug everything that happened on the stray planet. It was really funny, especially the dinosaur bits. I’m always a fan of putting Fry into the most extreme, yet goofy situations. And his basic dialogue like “Don’t eat my butt!” is delivered with such passion that even those jokes work.

Which brings me to a larger point, in this episode when jokes hit, they his hard and swift. Again, it’s classic Futurama and I greatly appreciated it. The jokes that worked in this episode were either very subtle – like the pizza joke – or way out there blatant – like the wives bit – there was no middle ground.

What didn’t: On the joke front though, if a joke failed, it didn’t just fail… It crashed and burned. I’ve never denied my hatred for Zoidberg, so to have him take up a nice amount of the episode really got on my nerves. And while on his own Cubert is a funny character (as proven in the opening shot of the episode), paring him with a character like Zoidberg is a bad idea. If for no other reason than the fact that Zoidberg is a giant five year old and all he does is bring the worst childish parts out of Cubert.

I also couldn’t stand the show trying, yet again, to be topical. This time tackling evolution. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Futurama needs to focus on current trends (like the minor (very minor) bit about the iPad) and not about topics that are old news, like evolution. Now, I did like the fifteen minute adventure on the robot planet, but there was no need to use the first five minutes to get us there. There were better ways to do it. And for the record, that missing link bit was really dull.

Final thoughts: A 50/50 episode of Futurama. There were parts I loved, and parts I hated. That is all.

Episode: “A Clockwork Origin” (Season 6, Episode 9)

Airs: Comedy Central, Thursdays, 10pm

What’s next: The professor invents a machine that allows him and Amy to swap minds as part of a deal.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

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