TV Club: Futurama: “Anthology Of Interest I”/ “War Is The H Word”

“Anthology of Interest I” (season 2, episode 16; originally aired 5/21/2000)

In which there’s a giant robot, a murderous cyclops, and a plot hole…

Continuity is a marvellous storytelling tool. It can intensify audience investment in characters, allow for more complex narratives, and create a sense of persistent world-building that lasts far beyond the actual artistic work itself. But it can be a drag, too, an annoying set of increasingly complicated rules that writers have to follow or else run the risk of breaking the fiction completely. It’s a bit like a long-running game of chess. At first, the board looks clear and full of possibilities, but the more you play, the fewer options you have left open to you, and the more important it becomes that you choose correctly. This raises the stakes and creates growing intensity, but it can also (when, like me, you …

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