TV Club: Futurama: “Spanish Fry”/“The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”

“Spanish Fry” (season four, episode 17; originally aired 7/13/2003)

In which Fry smells bad

All this time on Futurama, and I’m not sure the show has ever really gotten into what it would be like for humans to exist in a universe teeming with alien life. Well, okay, that’s not exactly true: “Humans existing in a universe teeming with alien life” is a big part of the series’ central premise. Yet those aliens serve mostly as background noise to our main ensemble’s adventures, providing either the occasional threat or sight gag. They’re context, but not a context that’s explored in depth. This isn’t Star Trek: The Next Generation, with its handful of well-defined alien cultures and regular acknowledgement of millions more beyond that. This is a show that generally avoids the kind of consistency such a framework would require, because it values …

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