Ep.3: I, Roommate (Notes)

  • Zumbin-5 ancient rulers (25 million years) have become jerky snacks for Earthlings. I don’t know quite what this means but it feels like it is highly culturally imperialistic. Why? Well, rulers of another planet are being flavored and sold as food and so are marketed as nothing better than a bag of chips.
  • Wage-slave Life: cardboard boxes are not only “rented” out, but supposedly have “outrageous” rents. (see Bender’s exclamation when Fry and he are at the restaurant with the conveyor-belt food.)
  • Fry is Bender’s first and only friend.
  • Robots and alcohol follow the inverse of human’s own relationship to alcohol. If Bender does not drink to fuel his power cells, he becomes “intoxicated” and behaves like he is human drunk.
  • A robot’s antenna is likened as their sex organ (at least for the “male” robots); following this logic, we see in later episodes that this phallocentric complex is used for social and economic ends (MOM’s robot revolt and the mechanical reproduction of robots by robots themselves, something which mimics the human nuclear family). Seems to follow Feudian logic.
  • There is a spatial dissonance connected to the homosociality of Bender and Fry. Bender’s apartment, for example, is divided between the primary, confined space of Bender’s room, and between the secondary, spacious area of the closet where Fry’s lives (it should be noted here that Fry is literally in the closet, so if one wants to do a Queer reading of the show, then this moment should not be neglected). Regarding spatial dissonance, Fry and Bender search far and wide for a new apartment, passing by places both absurd and fully livable had it not been for their mico-nationalistic chauvinism (see the anti-New Jersey quip after they see the final apartment in the hunting montage). Such suggests that space itself has become commoditized to an even higher degree than today.

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