REVIEW - Futurama - S07E20 - 'Calculon 2.0'

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This week's episode of Futurama, 'Calculon 2.0', sees the return of a few familiar (robot) faces.

It has been a year since Calculon (the robot actor) killed himself in order to make a death scene more believable and secure his place as the greatest actor of all time, and Fry and Bender are missing his presence on their favourite television show 'All My Circuits'. Fry wishes they could bring him back, which the Professor says they can. One grave-robbing and pagan ritual later, Calculon is back and just as much of an over-actor as ever.

Calculon tries to get his old job back, but predictably the network executives won't hear of it. He then tries to re-launch his career by starring in a one-man play, but that receives negative reviews. Finally realising that he may never be a successful actor again, Calculon decides to quit, and gives a moving speech about his life. Leela says that being humble makes Calculon a good actor, and convinces him to disguise himself and audition for the role of Calculon on 'All My Circuits'. He is hired, gives a moving speech, impresses everyone, and reveals himself as Calculon... Only to then be killed by a falling set. What? They bought Calculon back only to kill him again? Futurama can do touching, but this certainly was not it ('Jurassic Bark' anyone?). Perhaps if they had another storyline going they could've cut some excess Calculon plot to make the audience actually feel sorry for him, rather than having the whole episode focus on Calculon going from arrogant to humble like a yo-yo. It was kind of endearing at first, then it just became annoying.

Despite the uninteresting plot, it was nice to see the return of the Robot Devil (voiced by the talented Dan Castellaneta), even if he only appeared briefly. Also, the 2001: A Space Odyssey references and Professor's idea of the "science" needed to bring Calculon back are certainly worthy of a few laughs.

While this episode is by no means the best of the series, there were just enough jokes and familiar characters to keep me watching. Here's hoping there are more 'Saturday Morning Fun Pit' episodes and fewer 'Calculon 2.0' episodes as the series winds to a close.

Review by Heather Bale.


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