Futurama, Season Ten, Episode Six, “I Know What You Did Next Xmas”

Written by: Ariel Ladensohn
Directed by: Crystal Chesney-Thompson

“I do a lot of stuff. I’m probably doing something right now.”

Christmas in August? *Marge Simpsons voice* Whatever! As far as Christmas episodes go, this feels pretty minor, lacking the sheer inventiveness of previous Xmas outings – previous episodes involving Robot Santa have managed to keep building on the idea of a killer robot Santa, even in the movies. I’m intrigued by the way this season is relying so heavily on references to past episodes; I may think more highly of it than other fans (apparently) because it’s been successfully making me laugh, but I do see why it bothers people, and I feel this one has a stronger sense of playing the greatest hits than previous episodes. I can see why relying so heavily on both references less than ten years old and the show’s own continuity might strike a viewer as being out of ideas.

“It’s so amazing, I don’t even care that it’s on my foot!”

I do enjoy the Bender and Zoidberg combo – the CC seasons had a habit of almost randomly pairing characters, and this feels like a throwback to that. Bender and Zoidberg feels like an exaggeration of Bender and Fry’s normal relationship; Fry generally lets Bender walk all over him as it is, and in this we have not only Zoidberg’s willingness to degrade himself (and, indeed, not recognise that he’s being degraded) but his childlike naivete that often turns into childlike attempts to get out of trouble and occasionally escalates into childlike rage.

Cartoon Billboard: “Jack Frost”, 1934

“It’s a Human Resources miracle!”

This contains the first casting of Kevin Michael Richardson replacing John DiMaggio as URL, and I have to say, I didn’t even notice the difference. This is the final appearance of Coolio as Kwanzabot before his untimely death; the show gets one very funny last gag out of him, which feels like an appropriate farewell.

“We’re geniuses!”
I’m geniuses!”

The title is a reference to book and movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. The Professor drops a reference to Doctor Who. The meat shop contains references to Alien, Predator, Avatar, and CHUD. The penny used to change Santa’s naughty-nice thing contains a visual reference to actress Laverne Cox. We briefly see the protagonists from Disenchantment, which recalls a similar gag from that show. Zoidberg drops a reference to Star Trek.

Biggest Laugh:

“Are they hard to catch?”
“No, they crave death.”