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September 16, 2014

'Futurama' - 'That Darn Katz!' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 6th 2010 9:25AM
The 'That Darn Katz' episode of 'Futurama'(S06E08) "Well, look what the me dragged in." - Katz

'Futurama' is one of those rare shows that can find a lot of common ground in silliness and sweetness.

It can mine great humor from sheer cartoon insanity and still manage to turn into something that can warm your heart and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like your organs have been fitted with their own custom Snuggies (Snuggans? Orggies?).

It even managed to be just as entertaining and sweet this week, despite the fact that most of the episode centered around the cult-like ways of cats and general cat-dom.

And yes, before you gripe, I'm a dog person.

I have nothing personal against cats. They just seem so aloof and unloving that they harbor some kind of evil or dark side, like they've been plotting some big plan to overtake their human overlords all this time. Dogs could never pull this off. If dogs were planning to take over the world, all it would take is a squeaky toy or a dangling leash pulled out of a kitchen drawer to stop them from pulling the trigger on the death ray. That's what made cats such perfect foibles for this week's episode.

This time, cats turned out to be the evil race of aliens bent on destroying the Earth to save their own measly, cat-fancied planet of cush-terra and fish that act like chickens. The set up to the big reveal might have been spoiled by the ads, something Comedy Central could have avoided if they just used the setup portion of the plot to plug the show, but the twist was actually quite clever.

The episode had all sorts of little touches that made the plot work beautifully, like the opening scenes of Amy going for her doctorate at Mars University. Professor Katz turned out to be just a giant puppet being controlled by the evil cat in his lap, but you might have noticed that Katz and Dr. Katz (not the one in Squigglevision) had a scary sense of synchronicity. Wherever Dr. Katz looked, the cat in his lap followed like a ventriloquist controlling his puppet in order to trick the audience. Only this time, it was actually funny.

There also seemed to be more jokes crammed into this episode than previous efforts that focused more on using plot and structure to the drive the humor. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's harder, and they made it work for the most part, like the "Must haz cat to enter" sign reference to "I Can Haz Cheeseburger" (the "asterik" bit that Bender made came so far out of left field that it had its own gravitational pull, don't make me repeat it). Making individual bits of humor that still fit around the main story is more challenging than it looks. If it wasn't, every show would be like 'Family Guy.'

It was also nice to watch an Amy-heavy episode that didn't involve her "Kiffy." Kif Kroker is an interesting and funny character, but it was starting to get a little nauseating watching him and Amy play the sappy couple who are so in love with each other that they are willing to flaunt it in every human being's face, short of buying a billboard to further their lovey-dovey message of love. Pairing her up with Nibbler, who spent most of the episode in his intelligent being form, was also a nice twist since most sub-character episodes usually just stick with one character throughout the whole affair. They did the same thing by pairing Bender and Hermes in the very touching 'Lethal Inspection' episode. In any other show, this would be a nuisance, but since 'Futurama' has almost as big of a character universe as 'The Simpsons,' the idea has a lot more mileage.

The ending also added a nice touch of sweetness to the whole adventure that wrapped up the main story nicely and drew some surprising "Awwws" out from the repaired relationship between Leela and Nibbler. And how can anyone not go "awww" over that little pooper-doodle? Even an angry cat-hater like me went "awwww."

Other observations:

- I can't believe this is the first time we've seen Calculon in the new season. Has he been having trouble renegotiating his contract with Comedy Central or something?
- I know I keep finding things in each episode that I desperately want in the present (e.g. ass kicking feet, drinking teeth), but I think I speak for writers everywhere when I say that the world wants -- nay, needs -- self-refilling martini glasses. NASA, get to work.

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Peter

"The set up to the big reveal might have been spoiled by the TVSquad Author, something TVSquad could have avoided if they just used the setup portion of post to describe what was coming after the jump instead of using useless *spoiler alert* text just before an actual spoiler."

August 08 2010 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cjb-nc

One word: Wernstrom!

August 07 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

I was confused by Leela saying she didn't have a man...

August 06 2010 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Justin's comment
Richard

I was just wondering the same thing. Also, when did Nibbler start talking to the whole crew? I feel like I missed an episode somewhere.

August 08 2010 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary_the_no_trash_cougar

I particularly liked the "Can Can" moment.

August 06 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joshed

you mean asterisk

August 06 2010 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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