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FUTURAMA 8/10/'03: "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings'"


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted August 10 2003 - 07:31 AM

Broadcast of the "fare-thee-well" episode is slated for tonight. Does it complete the Fry-Leela cycle?

The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings

Quote:
Fry, in an effort to win Leela's love, makes a deal with the Robot Devil [Beelzebot] to become a gifted musician. He has tried to take Holophoner lessons, but his teacher claimed he had "stupid fingers." Bender realizes that the Robot Devil is the only one to help. Fry makes a deal only to regret it immediately as it comes with a hefty price.


One observation: Americans do have a way of straying from old sayings, don't they? Even their own! ("Idle minds are the Devil's playground.")

"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#2 of 17 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 10 2003 - 11:49 AM

i thought the ep itself was not so good. alittle boring but the end was very nice.
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 10 2003 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
Americans do have a way of straying from old sayings, don't they? Even their own! ("Idle minds are the Devil's playground.")
I don't get it.


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#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted August 10 2003 - 11:45 PM

Quote:
I don't get it.
Well, the title was a pun on the saying "idle hands are the devil's playthings", which Rex is saying was originally "idle minds are the devil's playthings". Can't say I've ever heard it the second way, though.

I kind of enjoyed it; it was amusing to see the Robot Devil get hosed in a deal with the devil. Not quite as funny as I might have liked, but that's what happens when comedies worry more about character development than jokes. Posted Image
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#5 of 17 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted August 11 2003 - 12:16 AM

I thought it was a good episode especiially when Fry tried to play with his own hands Posted Image

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 11 2003 - 01:47 AM

Quote:
Well, the title was a pun on the saying "idle hands are the devil's playthings"
I understand that, but what does that have to do with "straying from old sayings"? Isn't that the point of a pun?

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   phil-w

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Posted August 11 2003 - 02:57 AM

Did anyone notice in the opening credits where it said "Coming soon to another channel" or something to that effect?

Is this just a jab at Fox or is this an indication that another channel, like the Cartoon Network, may pick up the show and new episodes will be produced?

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   StephenA

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Posted August 11 2003 - 03:12 AM

I noticed that at the beginning phil-w. It was on Cartoon Network, but only as repeats. It seems they have taken it off of Cartoon Network. It's now on TBS every day at 2 PM, followed by Family Guy at 2:30 PM. Family Guy's on Cartoon Network and TBS now.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 11 2003 - 04:37 AM

It said "See you on some other channel" - I don't think it means that another network will start doing new episodes. Probably more to the fact that the other networks are showing the reruns.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted August 11 2003 - 07:20 AM

Jason Seaver wrote (post #4):

Quote:
. . . Rex is saying was originally "idle minds are the devil's playthings".


MarkHastings wrote (post #6):

Quote:
I understand that, but what does that have to do with "straying from old sayings"? Isn't that the point of a pun?

The original saying is "idle MINDS are the Devil's playGROUND" OR "idle MINDS are the Devil's workshop", a reference to temptation and the metaphor of a place in which to operate. ("Google" the phrase "Idle minds are the devil's" and check the sites.) Pun or not---and this has been used elsewhere (e.g., the nugatory 1999 Columbia Pictures movie Idle Hands)---the result should have some recognizable connexion with the original. Hands being idle and minds being idle are, to my mind, on a whole different order of relations. Others of this ilk include "There's no accounting for taste.", "Seize the day.", etc. Those aren't "puns" on the originals; they're the piteous result of a total lack of understanding of what the originals meant.


JonZ wrote (post #5):

Quote:
I thought it was a good episode especiially when Fry tried to play with his own hands

Funnier, and more to the point, is when Fry's transplanted hands touch Beelzebot in "places" (out of his control), and Fry says, "Yes, they do get around."


And maybe some of you are not old enough or experienced enough to recognize the joke when Beelzebot is going back to Robot Hell and he pointedly decides to take Nixon's head with 'im. Many a young person from either of two generations before you would howl in approval at such a development.

Also of note:

---Bender: "He rogered her hammerstein." (Again, a reference that escapes today's twenty-somethings and teens???)
---Every time Beelzebot claims something is ironic, Bender has to deny it ("Not ironic; just coïncidental!"), a reference to the "ironic" punishments imposed on him in "Hell is Other Robots" (episode #9), I suppose.
---The "Hedonism-bot" (a golden mechanical walking litter of "effeteness") surrounded by his brown (black?) slaves.

I thought it quite clever, if not totally unforeseeable, how Beelzebot got his hands back. And it sure doesn't surprise me that the episode turned into a musical, since Beelzebot's first appearance ("Hell is Other Robots") did also, where the gang lost a fiddle contest to him, but saved Bender's soul anyway.

Note that Beelzebot (the Robot Devil) and the Satan Santa ("Xmas Story" (#17), "A Tale of Two Santas" (#46)) are two different individuals, unlike what is claimed at some sites on the Web. What if they ever met?


The episode doesn't have the "guffaws" of the series' earlier material, but it was a very good going-out piece, nonetheless.

"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#11 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 11 2003 - 08:00 AM

Quote:
Those aren't "puns" on the originals; they're the piteous result of a total lack of understanding of what the originals meant.
I think you are looking too deep here. I'm sure Matt G. has an understanding of what the original meant, it's only a cutesy title.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted August 11 2003 - 08:38 AM

MarkHastings wrote (post #11):

Quote:
I think you are looking too deep here. I'm sure Matt G. has an understanding of what the original meant, it's only a cutesy title.

Oh, the statement was aimed not so much at this title, as at the sort of bastard sayings that I gave examples of. This one isn't too bad at all, in fact. The Devil is involved and hands are involved. Yes, quite cute. I just noticed the tendency of Americans to "wander" with these old sayings, sometimes to the point of losing all connexion with the original sayings' meanings, is all.

"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#13 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 11 2003 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
Oh, the statement was aimed not so much at this title
Oh, I thought you were taking shots at the title alone :b

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted August 11 2003 - 02:17 PM

Calculon never got his ears back, did he?

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 12 2003 - 02:09 AM

Quote:
Calculon never got his ears back, did he?
WHAT???? Posted Image

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Mark Turetsky

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Posted August 12 2003 - 03:36 AM

Quote:
Calculon never got his ears back, did he?

Well, now that the series is over, it'll have to be dealt with in some expanded universe novel/comic book/action figure/manga. Posted Image

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Ken Seeber

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Posted August 12 2003 - 08:28 PM

Quote:
I just noticed the tendency of Americans to "wander" with these old sayings, sometimes to the point of losing all connexion with the original sayings' meanings, is all.


We do, however, spell "connection" in a much more sensible manner. Posted Image


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