There are times in one’s life when a person thinks I should see that movie that’s out now, the one about the Issues, the one that’s very serious. That urge ought to be resisted at all costs. No matter the Issue, no matter how Serious, Futurama has already produced an episode tackling that selfsame topic. The work has been done for you. You need never leave the house again.
Instead of: Her You should watch: I Dated A Robot
I didn’t see Her. I’ve already seen a man fall in love with a robot voiced by a movie star, and it was Lucy Liu, and she died of a MASSIVE CORN CLOG IN PORT SEVEN. I Dated A Robot gets through pretty much all of Her‘s themes in a tight twenty-three minutes and it even manages to include one of the best fake PSAs of the last twenty years. Look at Joaquin Phoenix up there. Do you want anything good to happen to him? No. You want to punch him in his insipid, smiling face.
Instead of: The Bicycle Thief You should watch: Three Hundred Big Boys
All the theft and redemption, but with the addition of precious ambergris and that great time-stop sequence where Fry rescues everybody in slow motion. I’m not going to apologize for not wanting to watch some guy not get his bicycle back in Italian for like two hours. Okay? I’m not. I can watch dads lose their jobs in real life, there’s still a recession on.
Instead of: Atonement You should watch: The Late Philip J. Fry
The cruel, ineffable passage of time. Loss. Misunderstandings leading to sundered lovers. But The Late Philip J. Fry also has super-intelligent space-babes and it’s over in less than half an hour, which makes it demonstrably better than Atonement, which I have never seen.
Instead of: Requiem For A Dream You should watch: The Problem With Popplers
Remember the sick lion that the hippies taught to eat vegan food in this episode? Imagine watching that sad-ass lion get electroshock therapy, and also its arm cut off, and also forced to perform degrading sex acts for drugs, for two hours. That’s Requiem For A Dream, so don’t watch it. You already know that heroin is bad for you. You don’t need an orchestra and also Ellen Burstyn scream-crying at you to remind you. Watch Zapp Brannigan try to dress an orangutan up as Leela instead. Plus, everyone on Earth gets sort of temporarily addicted to Popplers in the second act, so it’s…you know, thematically, there’s a bridge. Maybe the Slurm episode would have worked better here. I don’t know.
Instead of: Inception You should watch: The Sting
No, I didn’t see Inception either. I saw Shutter Island, and the thought of watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s square-ass head trying to squint his way through another mystery was too much for my human heart to bear. But this episode is pretty similar, from what I’ve been able to gather about Inception‘s plot based on mostly that one GIF where it looks like Cillian Murphy is blowing into Leonardo DiCaprio’s eyes. The Sting has hopeless missions and missing crews and layers of consciousness and alternate realities too, but it also has space bees, putting it soundly ahead.
Instead of: Apocalypse Now You should watch: Fry and the Slurm Factory
The more obvious choice would be Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or maybe Soylent Green, but you can not-watch both of those movies as long as you’re also not-watching Apocalypse Now.
Instead of: The Sopranos You should watch: Bender Gets Made
Of course I never saw The Sopranos. A bald man goes to therapy and kills people for like eight seasons, right? Ohhh my God, it looked SO BORING. Let me guess, there was an episode where everyone let all their repressed feelings out at a funeral, his daughter does something disappointing, he has at least one son who turns out to be gay, and there’s a funny lighthearted scene right before a big serious murder scene at least once a season. Why would I watch that when I could see Clamps? “THE CLAMPS.”
Instead of: The West Wing You should watch: A Head In The Polls
Guys, I’ve tried to watch The West Wing, I swear to God. Everyone I know mostly hates Aaron Sorkin but still has a soft spot for this show. And I love Rob Lowe and I’ve seen The American President like ninety times. It should be there. But I just can’t make it past the pilot. I’d rather watch Richard Nixon growl “look at my shiny new body,” then stomp all over the Capitol. I’m a simple woman, with simple needs.
Instead of: Any Wes Anderson movie ever You should watch: Mars University
No one should ever watch a Wes Anderson movie. As a nation, we should quietly agree to pretend he does not exist until he transfers schools. Wes Anderson thinks he’s Gunter the super-intelligent monkey with his bowler hat on, but he’s actually Fatbot from Robot House, falling off the ladder during the robot panty raid.
Instead of: The Abyss/Gone With The Wind/Moby Dick You should watch: The Deep South It covers all the same bases as every one of those films, while also giving us “Dr. Zoidberg, homeowner” and finally addressing the human-mermaid sex question.
In conclusion, watch more television. Thank you for your time.