The Impossible Stream
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|Season 8 episode|
Broadcast season 11 episode
|The Impossible Stream|
|Written by||Patric M. Verrone|
|Directed by||Peter Avanzino|
|Title caption reference||The 'AVENGE US' caption in the previous episode|
|First air date||24 July, 2023|
|Title reference||The Impossible Dream (favourite song of RFK)|
|Opening cartoon||Ain't She Sweet by Fleischer Studios (1933)|
"The Impossible Stream" is the one hundred and forty-first episode of Futurama, the first of the eighth production season and the first of the eleventh broadcast season. It aired on 24 July, 2023, on Hulu. This is the first episode of the show's third run. After the events of the prior episode, Fry sets his life goal to be to watch every TV show ever made.
The show opens with a voiceover by the Professor, recapping the end of Meanwhile. The Professor presses the time-reset button, and things revert to a time before the timefreeze.
Fry, realizing it is now July, 3023, and that he is getting old, decides to find a goal in life. The goal he settles on is to watch every TV show ever made. Leela is not impressed, but supports him in his life-goal. He sets about his task, starting by watching an episode of The Scary Mirror and a Humorbot 5.0 Stand-Up Special.
Later, Fry announces to the Planet Express crew at the conference table that he's watched everything except for the final season of All My Circuits. Bender tells him that there are 13,020 of episodes in that season. Fry decides to binge the entire season, a process that, in the year 3023, involves a pair of goggles that drill into the brain.
The Professor gives Fry a stillsuit (reminiscent of the stillsuits in Dune), a special chair, and he is hooked up into various food- and waste- storage barrels for his long task. He begins watching.
By April, 3024, Fry has watched the same show for so long that his brainwaves are exactly the same as the TV signal - a situation so dangerous that, if the TV show ever ends, his consciousness will be severed. Worse, there are not many episodes of All My Circuits left for him to watch. The only way the crew can think to save him is to reboot All My Circuits on the Fulu streaming service.
They bring the idea to the Execu-Bots, who initially reject the idea, but decide to go ahead with it after the see a large increase in purchasing from ads on the show (all of which is due to Fry). They agree to pick up All My Circuits for 20 episodes (with an option for 20 more, and maybe a movie).
The one problem in their plan is that the star of the show, Calculon, is dead; that's fixed, though, when the Execu-Bots negotiate with the Robot Devil, and Calculon is shot out of Robot Hell by a resurrection canon.
Calculon is shot directly into the set of All My Circuits, where the Director, Leela (as Executive Director), and others are preparing to start filming. The professor tells them that, at this point, Fry only has two episodes of the show left, meaning that they will need to produce a new hour-long show every hour to keep Fry alive.
The situation worsens, as Fry has started streaming at double speed, meaning a new hour-long episode needs to be created every half hour. Luckily, Calculon informs them that a robot actor of his calibre can act at speeds far beyond a mere human actor.
They begin producing the show at double speed. However, the show writers are incapable of writing an hour-long episode every hour. Luckily, Bender is able to write speeds far beyond a mere human writer, and he becomes the sole writer. Eventually, the Director suffers a heart attack, and is carried off by an Ambulance Bot. Leela takes over as director. This continues until the Execu-Bots come in and cancel the show (again), driving over Makeup Bot in the process.
Fry, at this point watching the last episode of All My Circuits, seems doomed. The Professor offers a solution: gradually shift Fry's focus back from the streaming world to the real world. This is done by having the actors act out the same episode Fry is watching, but directly in front of him in the Planet Express headquarters.
The actors begin acting, the Professor gradually decreases the speed of the show Fry is watching, and then gradually decreases the opacity of his binging goggles. All is working well, until a love tetrahedron that Calculon builds out of dynamite and grenades is accidentally ignited by Bender's cigar.
There is an explosion. Boxy Robot is thrown into a wall, and others are tossed about the room, but the worst effect is that Fry's stillsuit is on fire. Amy tries to put the fire out with some 5-Hour Battery Acid, thinking it's something other than a giant container of battery acid. The stillsuit and chair explode, then crumble into a pile of dust.
They all mourn the loss of Fry, until Fry walks into the room. He tells them he had left the stillsuit days earlier, in order to catch up on his reading; he had found the last few episodes to have poor writing and poor executive producing.
Although Fry failed in his life goal, Leela isn't disappointed in him, and - after the disaster caused by being supportive of him this time - resolves, out of kindness, never to be supportive of him again.
There is a fade to black, and the credits temporarily start.
Act V (coda)
Fry gives a televised testimony at a hearing at the capitol, with President Nixon presiding. He gives thoughtful advice on how often a show should be rebooted, how many episodes a viewer should watch while binging, and that a show which respects its audience should be cancelled every few years. Following this, Nixon calls Fry's speech "sobering thoughts from some drug-addled weirdo," and bids the viewers farewell.
This is the first episode of the third run.
Fry's Fulu activation code contains the four digits 1077 (shown on his retinas), which is also his pin number, or "the price of a cheese pizza and a large soda" at Panucci's Pizza, revealed in "A Fishful of Dollars".
Fry's food- and drink- barrels contain Bachelor Paste and Slurm.
Freeze-Frame TV Show Names
A total of 83 TV show names can be seen in freeze frame when Fry and Bender are looking at cable/Fulu show listings.
Cable TV Shows (on channels 211 to 249, 68 in total):
Fulu Shows (15 in total):
Bender's use of a old mechanical typewriter is an affectation similar to his use of an old film camera in The Thief of Baghead.
Human Friend: The thrill is all mine, Monique. I've never been on a swan boat before"
Monique: I just hope that we can come to some kind of agreement. And that this boat can hold six tonnes of steel.
Human Friend: Does this love triangle have room for one more vertex?
Alien Language Sightings
Location: Cable TV Show Listing (channel 216)
Translation: The A-Team
- During the cold open, Zoidberg's eye can be seen overlapping his mouth frills when Bender starts spitting his beer into his mouth.
- When the universe froze in "Meanwhile," Roberto was fleeing Smitty and URL in a hover car. However, in this episode he is seen mugging Billionaire Bot while the universe is frozen.
- Right before the Love Tetrahedron explosion, Zoidberg's head is briefly uncolored and translucent (except for his eyes).