Season Analysis: The second half of season 6 did not feature any outstanding efforts to stand among the series greats, but it was easily consistently strong enough to justify its continued existence.

“Neutopia”

“Neutopia” takes on one of Futurama’s favorite themes: gender relations, perhaps its most favorite non-future-specific theme.  Regarding human affairs, gender relations are a timeless matter, and this episode takes the fitting approach of dealing with the show’s male-female conflicts as poorly as they have always been dealt with.  The male characters are frequently sexist, blatantly and casually so, as if their sexist attitudes simply represent the way things are (“Ladies, here are your demeaning, skimpy stewardess outfits”).  But there is hope, in the form of a bored rock creature alien, who removes the elements of gender from the Planet Express crew with the goal of teaching them … well, it’s not quite sure what it means to teach them.  His attitude is most clearly expressed in lines such as, “So far I have learned nothing.  But that’s probably as much my fault as it is yours,” and, “Perhaps it is I who have learned a lesson.  Or something.”  “Neutopia” does not have much to say about gender relations in general, and it basically does nothing to affect the underlying gender issues on Futurama, nor does it care to.  But it is a funny episode, in that its blasé attitude regarding its ostensible concerns is its own statement: a society that is unwilling – or profoundly unable – to examine its own prejudices is a big joke.