TV Club: Futurama: “The Farnsworth Parabox”/“Three Hundred Big Boys”

“The Farnsworth Parabox” (season 4, episode 15; originally aired 6/8/2003)

In which one of these things is not like the other or the other or the other or

I love it when Futurama plays games. All too often, the show will fall on familiar sitcom storylines with moderate genre twists; sometimes those episodes work well, sometimes they don’t, but the plotting itself is rarely all that exciting. It’s more a structure to hang jokes and character moments off of than something to care about for itself. But on occasion, the writers will push themselves to build a story with a little more care. “The Farnsworth Parabox” is one such story. It has terrific gags and character moments, but even if you took all of those away—even if this was a bunch of unfamiliar faces going through the motions like cogs in a machine—this would …

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