Voices: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche
Writer: Eric Rogers
Director: Frank Marino
Network: Comedy Central, airs Thursdays
Original Telecast: July 14, 2011

Now that was pretty bad.

FUTURAMA has been very good this year – particularly last week’s “Law & Oracle” episode, but this week, the show sunk to a surprising low.

“Silence of the Clamps” is a complete mess, repeating many themes and story strands from the earlier part of the season and barely providing any actual jokes in the process.

When Planet Express has to deliver a package (robot clamps) to a Robot Mafia Wedding, Bender decides to crash it, only to watch the Don Bot and his henchman Clamps severely beat up Calculon.

Realizing he’s in a big trouble, Bender squeals, only to be put in the Robot Relocation program after he testifies. Later, there’s a case of mistaken identity on the moon when Fry thinks Bender has become a “country robot” in this program as the episode ends up becoming an homage to Old West movie conventions.

The pacing and tone is all over the map with this episode, and it also uses the device of separating one of the team members from the group. We’ve already seen Bender die this year (“Ghost in the Machines”) as Planet Express mourns his absence and then Fry left last week to join the Police Academy (“Law & Oracle”). So the redundancy and lack of new jokes in “Silence of the Clamps” when Bender is gone, is very disappointing.

It’s also getting annoying seeing so many Bender-themed episode so early on in the season. Couldn’t they spread these out a bit? Bender’s a great character, but there are other characters too that deserve a little more face time as well.

The only time the episode really picks up steam is with a Moon-based Old West dual between Zoidberg and Clamps – only then does the episode actually somewhat clever and funny.

There’s also a hilarious meta in-joke when Fry meets the country-like Bender on the Moon and this fake Bender introduces himself as “Billy West” (West provides the voice of Fry).

Fry responds: “Billy West! What a stupid phony, made-up name.” Now that’s funny.

“Silence of the Clamps” is an okay idea in search of better jokes. It’s a shame, because after last week’s excellent “Law & Oracle,” I thought FUTURAMA was actually on a pretty good roll.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW!

Click on Link: Exclusive Interview with David X. Cohen on the future of FUTURAMA – Part 2

Click on Link: Exclusive Interview with David X. Cohen on Season 6B of FUTURAMA – Part 1

Click on link: AX’s review of FUTURAMA – Season 6B  – “Yo Leela Leela”

Click on link: AX’s review of FUTURAMA – Season 6B  – “Law & Oracle”

Click on link: AX’s review of FUTURAMA – Season 6B  – “Ghost in the Machines”

Click on link: AX’s review of FUTURAMA – Season 6B premiere – “Benderama”

Click on link: AX’s review of FUTURAMA – Season 6B premiere – “Neutopia”

Click on link: AX’s review of THE FUTURAMA HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

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Article: Futurama review – “Silence of the Clamps”

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