Futurama Review: "Viva Mars Vegas"
Futurama Review Season 7 Episode 10, “Viva Mars Vegas”
As I write this Futurama review of the Viva Mars Vegas episode, I realize Dr. Zoidberg holds the unique distinction of being both my favorite character on Futurama as well as the most potentially problematic. When deployed for a line or two an episode, Zoidberg typically gets the biggest laugh of the night from me. Probably, that’s the way he should be used. Planet Express’s sad, stinky, and eternally lonely doctor has a tendency to wear out his welcome during episodes that are devoted to him. “Why Must I be A Crustacian in Love?”and “The Taste of Freedom”- two episodes with Zoidberg at their center rank among the original run’s least revered episodes.
And so I went in to tonight’s outing “Viva Mars Vegas” with a small bit of trepidation. To my delight however, the episode started out. What follows is the best moment in the episode. Rich and enviable for the first time in his life, Dr. Zoidberg waltzes into Mars Vegas in a fancy suit and with eight million dollars in his pocket. The musical sequence that accompanied his brief, decadent splendor is delightful, inspired, and easily the highlight of the episode. Also excellent is Zoidberg repeatedly betting all of his money. He wins, wins, wins, and then loses it all. Used to being poor, Zoidberg doesn’t mind much, but the Robot Mafia, having tracked him down, very much minds.pretty excellently, and at no point during the duration did it feel like the comedic well that is Dr. John Zoidberg had been tapped out. When the Planet Express crew decides to visit Mars Vegas, (Earth is boring!) they leave the pitiable, underprivileged Doctor Zoidberg at home to stew in his dumpster. Desperate for cash, Zoidberg begins to pray to God for a change in fortune. Before he can say “amen” however, eight million dollars literally falls out of the sky and lands right next to him. Unfortunately, the money was less an act of God and more an act of robbery, as the loot had been lifted and subsequently dropped by the Robot Mafia.
Through a wacky series of amusing plot contrivances, Zoidberg is able to avoid the Robot Mafia after accidentally becoming invisible. In order to get the mob off his back and restore Amy’s parents fortune a heist is planned to steal the money back from Mars Vegas. It’s here where the episode peters out. The heist itself, though it has a few clever moments, is pretty lame and never really amounts to that much more than a handful of shrimp jokes. The last few minutes of the episode play out about the way one might expect the heist is successful, Amy’s fortune is restored and Zoidberg is made visible again. This was a solid episode with a great collection of one liners and gags, I just wish it had played out a little more unexpectedly.
-Opening credits gag: Made By Hand (And Tentacle). The opening credits were even more notable than normal in this week’s episode, featuring the hand made, stop motion animation version of the credits that went viral a few months ago.
-Binks Armored Express: Yoosa Safe With Us, Okeeday?
-Amy: “Maybe Vegas isn’t the right place for people like you.” Zoidberg: “What? Vegas is full of fat guys in sandals.”
-“Mars Vegas” is such a lame pun that I’m not even sure it was supposed to be funny.
-“This much money could feed a small, starving planet. But it doesn’t!”
-Professor Farnsworth impersonating entrepreneur is never not funny. “As you can see by my low jeans and hoodie, I’m a young internet billionaire.”
-Amy, pretty much summing up her entire existence: “What’s rent?”
-I forgot to mention what might be my favorite part of the episode the subtle runner of Zoidberg and Amy slowly coming to understand and respect each other a little more. Futurama has an elastic continuity, so with all probability their hinted-at friendship will be gone by next week, but it’d be cool if that’s something the show continues to play with.
-Hey! Next week is the hour-long season finale. See you all then!
By Chris Vanjonack