Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV
|"Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV"|
|Episode no.||Season four
|Directed by||Ron Hughart|
|Written by||Lewis Morton|
|Original air date||August 3, 2003|
|Opening caption||"Controlling you through a chip in your butt since 1999"|
|Opening cartoon||"Much Ado About Mutton" (1947)|
"Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV" (also known as "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television") is the sixth episode in the fourth season of the American animated television series Futurama. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on August 3, 2003. The episode's plot revolves around Bender's outlandish behavior on the television program All My Circuits; after he lands a spot on the show, he is quickly ridiculed by members of the public for setting a poor example for children. Bender eventually sees the critics' point of view and sets out to put a stop to his own behavior.
After a robot actor on All My Circuits malfunctions, an open casting call is held for a replacement actor. Bender attends the audition and eventually is given the role.
At the set, Bender starts singing, dancing, drinking and smoking while the show is filming. Bender's reckless behavior boosts the show's ratings; kids, such as Dwight, Cubert, The Cookieville Orphans and Tinny Tim, begin to follow his corrupt example.
Professor Farnsworth and Hermes, as they are disgusted by this, start the protest group Fathers Against Rude Television (F.A.R.T.). The kids throw a party at the Planet Express office, until it is stopped by Hermes and Farnsworth.
Bender faces the ire of Farnsworth and Hermes for inspiring their children to steal. At first, Bender is indifferent, until he realizes that the things they stole for the party belonged to him. Annoyed that he inspired his own robbery, Bender decides to lead the F.A.R.T. in a crusade to get himself off TV. Invading the set, Bender is held at gunpoint by both F.A.R.T. and the network executives to quit the show and shoot the scene, respectively. Bender manages to distract the network president and Farnsworth and grab both of the guns from them. He then makes a statement about how the parents are responsible for how their children act after they watch TV shows, and that they should not only take it less seriously, but to turn the TV off from time to time.
At Planet Express, Farnsworth realizes that sometimes you just need to turn off the TV once in a while. However, after browsing through channels and finding nothing good on, they continue to watch when they stop on Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.
Broadcast and reception
The A.V. Club's Zack Handlen gave the episode a B, writing: "There’s some satirical bite in the idea that Bender’s random jackassery would be such an immediate hit, but it’s not really explored. It really only exists so Dwight and Cubert can be inspired to steal Bender’s stuff, which in turn inspires him to join the group (Fathers Against Rude Television) to protest himself. Which has a certain appealing surrealness to it, but nothing in this episode lasts long enough for it to register. Yes, it would’ve been more predictable if we’d spent more time building up Dwight and Cubert, or if Bender had really gotten invested in his television career, but sometimes predictability isn’t a bad thing. The structures that Futurama spends so much time skewering serve a purpose, and while the show doesn’t need to adhere to them unironically, if it’s going to spend so much time tearing them down, it ought to have something to erect in their place."
- Ray, Kenneth (2003-08-11). "Nielsen ratings July 28-Aug. 3. (Programming).(Illustration).". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- Handlen, Zack (June 25, 2015). "Futurama: "A Taste Of Freedom"/"Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
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