Well, it is that time, the time where I formally begin work on my project Futurama 5000.
To start things off, here are the notes to the pilot.
- Introduction of “Suicide Booths”. Bender remarks that he couldn’t go on living once he discovered that his “bending” was used primarily to make suicide booths. This introduces an interesting aspect of labor: do all bender-units use their labor for suicide booths? Unlikely, considering events in later episodes, though it does suggest that labor options for robots are limited. On a more existential note, the settings for suicide booths include “quick and painless” as well as “slow and horrible”. Reflects the binary oppositions under late capitalism?
- Robots are easily misled, it seems (in a later episode, Lela even says that “many robots are stupid and violent”). This is seen in Bender’s initial rejection of Fry’s plea to bend the bars in the Head Museum. Before Fry’s influence and the shock of the light bulb (also, is this shock what made him susceptible to electricity abuse in a later episode?), Bender appears to be an upstanding citizen.
- Bender remarks that he needs alcohol to fuel his power cells; though in a later episode it is revealed that robots can, evidently, get by on mineral water, this suggests that many robots use exclusively alcohol to power their cells since this seems to give the best charge. So, most robots are alcoholics. A statement of working class substance abuse.
- “Fate Assignment Officier” is a respected job in the year 3000 A.D. Lela’s initial employment when Fry meets her but also a dystopian statement on labor rights in general but also existential questions (that the individual has been streamlined into what is most suitable for capitalism based on abstract configurations). This is a violent statement, though, since any who disagree with their assignment are fired out of a cannon into the sun. Note that one’s career is, literally, implanted in one’s hand via chip.
- Bigotries still exist. Bender anxiously remarks that he doesn’t want anyone to think that he and Fry are “Robosexuals”; instead, he says to Fry that he should claim that he is his “de-bugger”, a statement which is perhaps comical or covertly sexual in itself when we consider the connotations of the word “bugger”.
- Head Museum: a place where famous peoples’ heads are kept alive in jars. This raises the question of how such peoples’ heads could be kept alive since many died well before the invention of such technology; though in a later episode it is revealed that it was an invention of the 20th-21st century, so in this timeline, this technology may have existed well before the year three-thousand. Even so, though, this doesn’t account for the range of people who lived before the 20th century. Does this suggest that many, if not all, of the heads, are cyborg simulacra? Furthermore, why would there need to be an actual museum of heads? What logic process lead to this creation?
- Satirization of police violence: Lela remarks toward the two policemen why they have to be so violent, to which the police remark “that’s our job, we’re police officers; you know the law, you gotta do what you gotta do”.
- Violeation of labor rights continues in how professor Farnsworth casually speaks of his previous crews’ demise and how Hermes aggressively demands that Lela signs away any possibility of suing the professor in the likely case that something will go wrong.