After what I thought were two of the best episodes this season, "Futurama" was probably due for a let down, and that's what happened last night. "That Darn Katz", in which super-intellegent but super-cute feline aliens attempt to harness the rotational power of the Earth, was just an average episode that had a few laughs but beat its primary joke into the ground too long (and that includes the annoying speech impediment the people under the hypnosis of the cats kept using).
I actually happen to be one of the people who thinks that cats are both adorable and evil to the core, but that's the backbone for a three-minute web short, not a 22-minute "Futurama" episode. The history of the cat planet, the arrival in Egypt and their eventual self-inflicted downfall was solid, but for the most part, the episode just elicited a "really?" from me, and probably won't be one I add to my re-watch rotation (it probably didn't help that the classic episode aired immediately after this one was "Jurassic Bark", one of the best episodes in "Futurama" history).
That said, even a mediocre "Futurama" episode isn't without its moments. Nibbler using his real voice is always a plus (but even that seemed a little overused in this episode) and any appearance by Bubblegum Tate is good for some laughs.
Part of me feels like the "Futurama" writing staff was challenging itself with this one, to see if an episode featuring Amy and Nibbler as the main protagonists could succeed. Well, if that was the case, then the answer is no. Besides, we already had an Amy-centric episode this season, and she's best when used sparingly. Given the Earth-shattering implications of the plot (the cats stopping the rotation of the Earth to restart the rotation of their home planet), couldn't Zapp Brannigan have been involved?
OK, on to this week's top five lines (as always, in chronological order in the episode):
Leela: If you wanna be treated like a fellow crewmember, fine! But no more purse rides, and no more dressing you up in your cute little sailor suit.
Nibbler: I keep telling you, that's my real Naval uniform!
Professor Katz: Enough! The committee members will now vote yay or nay. Nay.
Dr. Wernstrom: Nay.
Bubblegum Tate: Hell nay!
Professor Fisher Price Speak-N-Spin: The horse says, 'Doctorate denied'.
Amy: Professor Katz's last name is "Katz". Do you think he has something to do with these cats?
Nibbler: The conclusion is as inescapable as it is moronic.
Cat: At last, they located a planet with the necessary orientation and magnetic field to harness its rotational energy.
Cat: Indubitably. Although we call it "Blue Blue Shiny Ball".
Nibbler: Even so, you'd still need a tremendously powerful static charge to trigger the process.
Cat: Ever had a cat rub up against you?
Nibbler: If you're propositioning me, I'm not interested!