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Herc's Seen FUTURAMA & SIMPSONS "Premieres"!!

Futurama 5.1 FAQ

What’s it called?

“Crimes of the Hot.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to Aaron Ehasz (“Mission Hill”).

What does TV Guide say?

"Al Gore makes a cameo appearance as the series begins its fifth season with Fry and his friends taking on a hot-button issue: global warming. As Earth is unable to counter its rising temperature through the usual method (the dropping of a giant ice cube into the ocean), Gore leads an emergency conference in Kyoto, Japan, where Professor Farnsworth claims responsibility for the crisis. It seems love detoured him from observing proper emission standards on his prototype robot, and that could necessitate the destruction of all its “descendants.” That includes Bender, who resigns himself to having a farewell blowout before being blown up."

Why is the word “premieres” in quotes?

Fox is billing both as season premieres, though the real “Simpsons” launch was last week’s “Treehouse of Horror XIII” and this first new “Futurama” in six months is actually leftover from last season (as will be the balance of this season’s episodes).

I hate Fox! It keeps pre-empting "Futurama" for wretched football games!

Not really a question, but you may be gratified to learn we're only about two months away from the Cartoon Network airing "Futurama" repeats. Maybe even some you never got to see.

Dang, this is some short FAQ!

Yeah, Herc can’t excited enough to slap together full-length reviews.

Well, is the “Futurama” episode funny?

This is a weak “Futurama” to be sure, but it says a lot about the general quality of the show that Herc still laughed aloud three or four times. (Especially hilarious was Bender’s effort to extract beer from something he mistakes for a keg. And the professor's "memory ray." And Morvo the newscaster is, inexplicably, always good for a chortle. “Windmills do not work that way!!”)

What about the rock-star “Simpsons”?

Huge disappointment after last week’s reasonably funny “Treehouse.” Can’t say I laughed once. But maybe you will.

Herc’s rating for “Futurama” 5.1?


Herc’s rating for “Simpsons” 14.2?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday. Fox.

I am – Hercules!!

You don’t want a Herc BBQ apron! Oh, you do? Well, you can order the monstrocity here.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 10, 2002, 7:16 p.m. CST

    They do seem to be running out of ideas

    by Terry_1978

    They've already self-awared, guest-starred, and newly gross outh-humored themeselves into a coma...if they can keep it fresh, kudos, but if not...might be time for the PG-13 Simpsons flick.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by coop

    AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! stupid football game! They run over Futurama and say they are gonna show a rerun of the Simpsons at 7:30, why not just show Futurama at 7:30?! At this rate Futurama will have new episodes to run forever. There have to be at least 40 episodes no one has ever seen.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 7:45 p.m. CST


    by Tall_Boy

    hahaha, great episode. watched it with a bunch of friends and we loved it. simpsons on in 15.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 8:05 p.m. CST

    simpsons + rock stars = lame

    by Silver Shamrock

    Anyone remember that horrible Linda McCartney episode? the only halfway funny one was the phish cameo. And Spinal tap wasn't bad, but the others (smashing pumpkins, red hot chilli peppers, nsync)were forgetable.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 8:22 p.m. CST

    The one with Cyprus Hill was hilarious

    by Hercules

    Rock & roll goooood!

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 8:32 p.m. CST

    "I BELIEVE it came with a pick!"

    by Tall_Boy

    eh, that simpsons episode was ok. but "ok" when you compare it to the glory days is just ok. still a few good laughs, but mostly provided by the guest stars.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 8:34 p.m. CST

    do agree "Homerpaloza" was the one good Simpsons rock star episo

    by Tall_Boy

    cuz it had The Smashing Pumpkins, natch. Billy Corgan: "We envy you Homer. All we have is our legions of fans, our millions of dollars, and our youth . . . whoo-hoo!" James Iha: "Lets all go out and buy fur coats!" Jimmy Chamberlin: "I want a walk-in humador!" oh, and there was good laugh when U2 was on. "Wait! You aren't allowed back here!" "Potato man." "where have you been?!"

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Gotta agree with Herc on this...

    by Diskatopia

    ... that was an almost painfully unfunny Simpsons ep. Wonder how much some of the "rock stars" softened the script? Surely there had to be some really acerbic and star-biting jokes that got waylaid by egos, "crotch stuffing" jokes about Kenny Loggins (not a guest voice) and Lenny Kravitz (guest voice) notwithstanding.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 9:28 p.m. CST

    I've given up on The Simpsons

    by St.Buggering

    When I start hearing reports about how much better it's become, I'll be back. But this constant dependence on special guest voices and "The Simpsons are going to..." episodes is getting so lame as to be depressing.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 9:50 p.m. CST

    So what "Simspons" did YOU people watch tonight, anyway? Tonight

    by spider15

    First of all, it was definitely better than last week's "Treehouse of Horror 13" (13!!!), which sad to say WAS weighed down by the sloppy middle story with the guns. As for tonight's: okay, first of all, I can offer an almost indisputable rebuttle against the argument that episodes loaded with guest stars serve to illustrate the show's desperation. Three words: "Krusty Gets Kancelled." So who's going try and tell me that classic from 1993 hasn't remained one of the best single episodes in the show's history. Okay, how many guest stars in that one?: 1) Johnny Carson; 2) Bette Midler; 3) Hugh Hefner; 4) The Red Hot Chilli Peppers (we'll count bands as one guest); 5) Elizabeth Taylor; and 6)Barry White (his second). Now I've heard the multiple-guest-stars = desperation argument also applied to the "Homerpalooza." First of all, I believe that one was also great, one of the best of that season; that "reviewer" (if we can call him that) on who sited that one as the first sign of trouble in the show needs to get his head out of his ass. But beyond that, there were FOUR guest stars on that one. Some might take me to task for counting each band as one; but I stand by that. Which brings us to tonight. First of all, six guest stars on tonight's, and that's counting Mick Jagger and Keith Richards individually. As for the episode itself - guest stars or no guest stars - what was not to like? The encounter at Moe's, the "Taxicab Confessions" parody (great!); Homer claiming to forget being told he was going to be on the show, and then drinking out of a coffee mug reading I WAS ON TAXICAB CONVERSATIONS. And that's only the first third. We have the moments of warmth (yes, they're still there) of the family giving Homer the gift of Rock and Roll Camp to fill what they spot to obviously be a gap in his heart. Just about all the moments with the rock stars were great and poignent parodies of rock cliches and expectations. Yes, the bit about how the band should ALWAYS claim whatever town they're in is "the greatest" reminded me of the "Route 9!" bit from the Spinal Tap episode. But so what? That whole notion is more than funny enough to crank more than one gag out of over the course of ten years; it was arguablly the best moment in tonight's show. Then there was the final third, which was also great. And you had to love the line about how the Rock stars declared they were staying in town to do another benefit - this one for the victims of THAT night's benefit (btw I'm glad the PA police didn't decide that one couldn't go on the air after riot at the aborted Guns 'N Roses show in Canada over the past week). And when the credits came on, with Mick mowing the law ("my lawn isn't going to mow itself!") mowing the lawn and Keith hanging the storm window, I called to my friend who had stepped out of the room "you gotta see this!" I've said it before: you think the show's gone to shit, stop watching it. And I've also said THIS before, but I'll say it again: SIMPSONS FOREVER. (And while you're at it, ROCK ON!)

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 9:52 p.m. CST

    From the actual viewing and this page I have learned 2 things:

    by Pulzar711

    1) The Simpsons have lost it. RIP. and 2) Cartoon Network is the coolest network anywhere. But that's nothing I didn't already know. For those disappointed by tonight's LAME Simpsons ep and need a good hearty laugh to cleanse their brains, I recommend this: it's not sick or anything, just good clean weird hilarity. Leonard Nimoy rules. Enjoy!

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Futurama still had it's moments...

    by Kelvington

    "The Jedi are going to feel this one" that was fall down funny!

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 10:35 p.m. CST

    One laugh

    by Azree

    I laughed once tonight, and it was more of a snicker--the opening credits, when the whole family jumped over the shark tank to get to the couch. If they know they've jumped, why oh why must they continue with these lame, mildly entertaining diversions. This is not the Simpsons we used to know! BTW, I'm getting sick of seeing Homer stoned on something every other episode. It used to be that he was just a dumb, forgetful, loving father. Apparently over the years he's becoming a hurtful, neglectful, ignorant addict. D'oh indeed, d'oh indeed.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    It sure wasn't as good as the one at 7:30. The pot smoking one

    by Zod_Is_Back

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Note to Fox

    by Lance Turk

    MOVE FUTURAMA TO A REAL TIMESLOT! Us east coast dwellers got fucked again. I want to watch futurama but it's always being preempted by sports. Now I love my sunday football games... but for christ's sake, I wish they'd move Futurama 30 minutes ahead or to 8:30 so I could actually watch it.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Yellow Elvis Costello

    by fieldingmellish

    Good Simpsons episode(but a two-year holdover) - better than last week. Futurama would have sucked if not for that hilarious third act.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:27 p.m. CST

    That "medicinal marjuana" repeat is the suckiest bunch of suck t

    by Osmosis Jones

    Notice how much the current writers of the show linger over every terrible punchline now for at least 5 seconds too long? ~ MOE: This ain't a crow bar! *This*, is a crow bar! [holds up picture of a bar filled with crows] See? With all the little stools? [wait five seconds, cut to new, equally lame scene] And that ending with the supposedly dead Mr. Burns being strung up like a marionette and being forced to dance was a terrifyingly dead-on representation of what the show has devolved into lately: a dead, stinking corpse that still shambles about, forced into continued existance by a cruel puppetmaster (Matt Groening, who now sleeps on a big pile of money, with many beautiful ladies) who refuses to just let the damn thing lay down and die. I actually got to SEE Futurama tonight (I know, it's fucking amazing), and laughed out loud frequently, whereas the current, post-1998 Simpsons only elcits embarassed chuckles. Let. This. Rotting. Cadaver. Rest. In. Peace!

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Herc On Crack Be

    by DefyThis

    Herc you halfwit, were you in Vancouver recently? Hit with a club perhaps? This was one of the better Simpsons in a while. The first half of last year was wretched. Jeez. This Simpsons was pretty sweet. The opening sequence was great. Homer's efforts to get blotto - damn. Nice rehash of the toads joke from the island ep. Tossing the keys then driving away - rofl. Cabe Ride confessions - lol. Disco Stu have depth was good. Lenny Kravitz, Costello, and the Stones were great. So was Tom Petty. They actually fucking PLAYED THE LAST DJ ON HOMER'S RADIO! HOW COOL IS THAT? Fuck pussy ass stations for banning that song (T-Minus one minute and counting till someone adds "Fuck them up their stupid asses" - woops, I did it). After having (shudder) N'SYNC on the show, this was pretty damn cool. Elvis trying to sell the bass, homer twirling the guitar on the patch chord, Jaggar yelling "Simpson" knocking old the classics. Best show of the night (cept I haven't seen Angel yet, it's still on Tuesdays here).

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 11:37 p.m. CST

    The reason simpsons is starting to slip...

    by TheGinger Twit

    Is because they are stealing all the funniest parts of the last few seasons and putting them into the films that are on the way.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 3:47 a.m. CST

    No, YOU fucking die, you nitwit bastards

    by mummer

    Hi. Your opinion is not fact. Don't like The Simpsons? Spring for cable or a better set of rabbit ears so you can watch something else. Some people enjoy the show. Let us have our goddamn 30 minutes a week. You are mean tiny-minded fucks. Why not wish cancer on Groening in addition to unemployment? How dare he keep making a show, just because millions of people love to watch! Oh yeah, you are a hypocrite as well. "Gee that show sucks. EVERY WEEK WHEN I WATCH IT, IT SUCKS." That's the problem, you bitter jealous nimrods: if you keep watching, it undercuts completely your claim that it sucks so bad. I mean, how impossibly pathetic must you be to have nothing better to do than suffer through a show you dislike. On the other hand, if your behavior was consistent with your spew, you would have to stop watching, and then you wouldn't be able to bitch about the show. CATCH 22 MOTHERFUCKERS! Now please slit your wrists. The long-way. The other way doesn't really work.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Are you nuts?

    by Siguy

    Some of you Simpsons haters are just working too hard now. You've become so obsessed with hating the show that you never see any of the great humor. The guy who spoke about the "Crow bar" joke in the repeat tonight. You totally didn't get the joke at all. No, it's not some huge hilarious side-splitter, but you totally and utterly misread the writer's intent. Yeah, the Simpsons problem now is that the 3 acts that make up each episode are too poorly strung together, and some are just plain bad, but tonight had a lot of funny stuff. The parts with Homer at the rockstar camp were hilarious. And some of the third act was good too. It's not a classic or even a particularly good episode, but it is most certainly not bad or awful.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Wow, the premiere pretty much sucked all around.

    by Rick McCallum

    Whenever The Simpsons piles on the celebrity voices, the episode feels smarmy, smug and high-falutin'. Like when Lorne Michaels snags a politician or "controversial" celebrity to host SNL. There is nothing edgy or innovative about The Simpsons anymore, gang. The first sign that an episode is probably going to suck is if a celebrity will be doing a voice.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Just Happy to See Brian Setzer Get a Little Recognition

    by FrankCobretti

    And any chance they might get Leonard Nimoy to help with the TTT soundtrack?

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Matt Groening

    by Rick McCallum

    Just so you guys know, Matt Groening isn't really involved much with the show anymore. Hasn't been for the past few years, actually. He just collects a check now. Can't say I blame him.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 9:41 p.m. CST


    by midwat

    I definitely disagree with the simpsons review. Christ, it's become so fashionable to bash the simpsons these days. The simpsons is consistently clever, satirical, and meaningful despite being the longest running sitcom ever. It was a definite step forward from the treehouse of horror and better than 90% of what's on TV today. Cancel it? you must be joking.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Simpons finally "Jumped the shark"!!!

    by Electric Tsunami

    Check out that opening title sequence on the couch. The creators know that they've jumped the shark. They admitted it with this episode.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Fox (pronounced "Fucks") Programming Assholes

    by CASE

    What am I going to have to do to get Futurama into a time slot in which it will ACTUALLY AIR!!! It is, perhaps, my favorite show on television. Oh wait, IT'S NOT ON TELEVISION! I get football instead. Then a Simpsons rerun. I am supremely pissed off. Will someone please do something? Ahhhhh!

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 8:52 a.m. CST

    People who defend Simpsons by saying "It's better than 90% of w

    by the G-man

    Ninety percent of everything is CRAP. So saying "Simpsons is better than crap" is hardly high praise. The show USED to be better than the other nine percent. But now its slowly, but surely, turning into just another crappy show.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Why schedule Futurama at 7 EST When football always runs over?!?

    by LoneChicken

    For as long as football games have started at 4pm EST, they always always run over past 7pm. 100% chance! Fox schedules Futurama at that time on purpose to kill the show off. Either that or they're fucking idiots. Either way, fuck them! Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck!!!

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Cartoon Network is going to run Futurama? Far--fucking--out!

    by WarDog

    This is great news, but when will they be running it, I wonder? I still get almost nothing but The Jetsons, The Flintstones, or [GAG!] Scooby-Doo whenever I happen to flip over to the Cartoon Network. Borrrrrring! And I can't stand most of those new cartoons either. Shitty animation style and shitty series situations, not to mention shitty plots, if you could call them that.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Wardog - Futurama CN Starts Jan. 2003

    by Damitol

    Cartoon Network will start showing their Adult Swim block of shows Monday - Thursday from 11:00 to 2:00 Eastern. Part of that pack will be Futurama. The big bonus is that they will probably be showing them in order rather than "one from this season and one from that season" as Fox has. No wait - the big bonus is no football on Cartoon Network. Futurama will actually be shown rather than advertised then preempted. Finally, the Futurama Season 2 DVDs just came out in Europe and sound just as stellar as the first set with commentaries on all episodes, cut scenes and more. Maybe in 20 or 30 years when Fox stops fucking around with Futurama, we in the U.S. will be able to own them as well. And to stay on topic, this week's show was hilarious. A "weak" Futurama episode is like a "weak" orgasm. There were more good jokes in the first 15 minutes than in a whole season of most other shows on TV.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Life In Hell sucks too these days

    by Electric Tsunami

    To those that absolve Matt Groening from the problems with the recent seasons of the Simpsons, just look at how his comic strip Life In Hell pales in comparison to its years before the Simpsons made him a "name". He's been phoning in the strip for years; the look back at his high school diary being the only variance (and that feels like it was ripped off from Lynda Barry). Alternative weeklies will run safe strips like Life In Hell when they won't run superior strips like Kaz's Underworld or Bill Griffith's Zippy The Pinhead.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST

    My Image!!

    by Da Great AKU

    This simpsons was hilarious indeed! Normally I do cringe at the thought of a guest star laden episode...especially when its got Homer saying something like "Why, it's Mick Jagger and Keith Richards!" but tonights ep. really delivered the goods. The Simpsons is one of the VERY few shows I still do my damndest to see every week...No offence to Herc, whose love of buffy is even greater than mine, but 2 measly stars?? You are waaaay off base with this one.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST

    When was 90% of tv NOT crap?

    by Hyde01

    And yet you still robotically absorb it all to the exclusion of all possible life-improving pursuits. Guess what? All praise for a tv show boils down to it being better than the rest of what's on tv. All praise for ANYTHING boils down to it being better than other examples of its type. Damn, if you made 90% on a test, you'd have an A. But by your reckoning, that would still be a failure. People who act like the fact that the Simpsons is no longer as good as it was in its glory days is the greatest injustice ever foisted upon humanity are just... lame asses. What are these people angry about? They hold everything to impossible standards of perfection... except themselves. If something is one iota off whatever arbitrary scale of glory these people employ, they damn it in its entirety as worthless... and come on Ain't It Cool News to spew profanity-laced tirades at it. "The Simpsons" may not be the cutting edge satire it once was, but it still retains its ability to amuse and entertain so much more than anything else on tv... except "Futurama," which I will miss when it's gone. Both "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" need to stay on the air for 20 more years just to spite those who hate it, and make them filled with mousy, ineffectual rage.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Fat fuck crybabies that hate the Simpsons

    by magic_ninja

    You losers are so fucking funny. You confuse your pathetic opinions with fact. I'm sure the real reason why many of you assholes hate the simpsons is because people you hate in real life like the simpsons. It is that hard not to watch a fucking tv show? Yeah, the Simpsons sucks, it's lost it's "edge"...that's why it's been on for so long, right? And nothing's more pathetic or stupid that some smarmy computer nerd that thinks he's being witty by using the stupid phrase "jump the shark".

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Why I watch TV even though 90% is crap

    by the G-man

    Simple. I try to seek out stuff in the other ten percent. The Simpsons used to be there. In fact, it used to be in the top one percent. Now its lucky to be the best of the stuff in the crappy 90%.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 5:40 p.m. CST

    "They call them fingers but I've never seen them fing.... Ohh t

    by DaddyDMo

    The Simpsons will always rule. I love the commentary that they stick into there episodes: Lisa: I want my old dad back the one that drank and yelled all the time. Wait I don't know what I want. And then the comment at the end of the episode how Carl got alcohol poisoning at a pot intervention meeting and almost died. Once again Simpsons will always rule! "My Doctor never told me that, I had to hear it from Phish."

  • Nov. 13, 2002, 1:55 a.m. CST

    THEY DID jump a shark tank in the opening

    by Electric Tsunami

    Jeez. People say that they love the show and they can't even remember what they saw.

  • Nov. 13, 2002, 1:24 p.m. CST

    The only person to blame is Matt Groehnen

    by sofalord

    or however he spells his name. He demanded that they keep Futurama on Sunday nights so Fox obliged him by sticking it in that crappy time slot (fooled him they did...I can hear Homer chuckling now)