“The Prisoner of Benda”

Unlike its animated brethren The SimpsonsSouth Park, and Family GuyFuturama does not reflexively target whatever elements of culture it can find in its crosshairs (although it can be successful when it does do that, as evidenced by one of the other top episodes of the season, the “eyePhone”-centric “Attack of the Killer App”).  As it takes place one thousand years into the future, it should not be too surprising that it is most comfortable with episodes that operate within the confines of its own particular universe, with classics such as “Roswell That Ends Well” (Fry becomes his own grandfather), “The Sting” (Leela makes her way through bee sting-induced coma dream worlds), and now “The Prisoner of Benda” serving as prime examples.  With all the body-swapping that took place in “Prisoner”, every character had a chance to shine, and that can only be gratifying to viewers of a show that has a sizable main cast.  One principal result of the swapping was that characters ended up acting silly, in silly ways that had not previously been possible for them, particularly when Zoidberg and Robo-Hungarian emperor Nikolai – in the bodies of Fry and the robot wash bucket, respectively – destroyed Fry and Bender’s apartment, while attempting to assume the lives of Fry and Bender.  Throughout the episode, I laughed while simultaneously my brain was tickled, a combination I cannot deny.

Next up: The Walking Dead