Pop Rocks: 100 Episodes In, Here Are Futurama's Finest

So what if the total run of episodes was broken up by six years? This still counts:

Leela leads an army of underground mutants in a revolt against the surface people in the milestone 100th episode of "Futurama," premiering Thursday, September 2 at 10:00 p.m. on Comedy Central. This sixth season finale episode brings to a close a record-breaking premiere run of the resurrected series on Comedy Central.

In this landmark episode, titled "The Mutants are Revolting," the Planet Express Crew has been hired to make their 100th delivery and Bender begins planning the party of the millennium. Meanwhile, however, the rest of the crew attends a fundraiser where Fry accidentally outs Leela as a mutant who is illegally living above ground. For that, she is banished to the sewers where her fellow mutants reside in futuristic squalor. Feeling guilty about his slip-up, Fry and the rest of the gang - along with the mutated members of Devo - join Leela in an epic mutant revolution against the surface dwellers.

Devo mutants? It just fits.

100 episodes? Pretty impressive. Only...lots of TV shows have hit that milestone. Among them such heavy hitters as Bones and Ghost Hunters. Nevertheless, such an occasion requires -- nay, demands -- a retrospective recapping the series' five best episodes.

Let me start out by acknowledging the divisive nature of these lists. Nobody agrees on this stuff, but it's the subjective nature of personal taste that leads to thing like my wife liking The Middle (because she secretly fears losing her shit in front of her family like Patricia Heaton, or maybe it's her secret crush on Brian Doyle-Murray) while I prefer Modern Family because, well:

I mean, the writing. It's all about the writing.

Anyway, here are my choices (today) for the five best Futurama episodes so far.

Love's Labors Lost In Space

The episode that introduced my favorite character, Zapp Brannigan, is also the one that introduced Nibbler, Leela's ravenous pet that would figure prominently in many future episodes, and Kif, whose exasperated mutterings I find myself imitating on a regular basis. Especially during The Middle.

Mars University

The show does great when it explores the details of its own universe, true, but rehashing the classics has its merits as well, especially when you throw in a super-intelligent monkey. And I don't care how many times I hear it, Dean Vernon bellowing "ROBOT HOUSE" is never not funny.

Anthology of Interest II

Yes, the segment where Bender becomes human is enjoyable (especially the "woo" sounds his bloated corpse makes as they roll it away), but let me just say Fry's line: "It's Saturday night; I have no date, a two liter bottle of Shasta, and my all-Rush mix tape. Let's rock!" before fighting the giant Space Invaders, well, it hit a little close to home.

Okay, a lot close to home.

Where No Fan Has Gone Before

I don't even know where to begin. If you're a fan of TOS (and if you are, I don't have to spell that out), you're required to love this. Reuniting the original crew of the U.S.S Enterprise (except for "Welshy," of course) was great, but combined with the shout-outs to The Menagerie and energy beings, a battle royale, and Shatner strategically ripping his own shirt...All power to the engines indeed."

And watch for the Eagle from Space: 1999 as well.

Amazon Women In The Mood

It's not coincidence that two of my favorites feature Captain Kirk doppelganger Zapp Brannigan. From the Femputer to the Amazons' defense of their version of basketball ("Good fundamentals...that more fun to watch") to the painful sexual references ("The spirit is willing but the flesh is spongy and bruised."), this one has everything. Provided you also like Bea Arthur. And really, who doesn't?

Also considered: "Fry & The Slurm Factory," "Roswell That Ends Well," and "Jurassic Bark," which was ultimately disqualified because we learned in Bender's Big Score that Seymour lived a happy life with the double Fry. At least, that's what we choose to believe.

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