Ranking 1960s Animated Short Oscar Winners

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Ranking 1960s Animated Short Oscar Winners

The sixties proved to a bit of an improvement over the fifties when it comes to the animated short category at the Oscars as the films are more diverse. It is still not the greatest as half of these winners aren’t all that great, but half are very good and a couple are truly excellent. Ranking them was pretty easy in my opinion so here we go.

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Image result for the hole 196210. The Hole

The last place goes to this work from the Hubleys whom I just never got personally and I deem them overrated. Their ‘Moonbird’ got the second last place on my 50s list and this one gets the last as the discussions it gives us between two construction workers are just not all that interesting and again the animation is quite choppy and subpar.

 

 

 

Image result for a herb alpert and the tijuana brass double feature gif9. A Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature

This is another short from the same two directors and even though it still doesn’t have the best animation and the storyline is non-existent, it is a better film than ‘The Hole’ as it is admittedly fun and it features an interesting approach with the music being basically the precursor to the modern music video.

 

 

Image result for ersatz 8. Ersatz

This Croatian short is wildly overrated in my opinion. Yes, it is very well animated and sometimes quite inspired, but ultimately pointless in its non-existent story and not as memorable. It has an inventive animation for sure, but I wanted more from it in terms of storytelling.

 

 

 

Image result for the box 1967 7. The Box

This is a wasted movie as it was immensely promising in its interesting concept and although it still has its moments and is ultimately pretty solidly executed, it should have been much funnier and much better given the great concept. Its couple of scenes with facial expression humor are the standout ones.

 

 

 

Image result for it's tough to be a bird 19696. It’s Tough to Be a Bird

This is your regular Disney educational animated short that gives us a very memorable protagonist, a couple of funny moments and it is very good for children, but again its format does not allow for much enjoyment for adults and I found the over-reliance on live-action instead of animated segments troubling.

 

 

 

Image result for the critic 1963 5. The Critic

This is another example of a great idea not greatly executed. It gives us art film screening where we listen to very relatable complaints from one viewer. The idea is ingenious and the film is very funny at times with some hilarious lines from our amusing hero, but it is overly short and should have been even funnier given the awesome premise.

 

 

 

 

Image result for munro 19604. Munro

Munro is very important in its message and storyline, though the narration and animation should have been better. But what I loved about it is how it managed to portray a difficult situation in a lighthearted, more humorous manner and it thus led to a much more successful film.

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for the dot and the line 19653. The Dot and the Line

Although surprisingly sexist in the portrayal of its female character, The Dot and the Line is still a lot of fun and very well executed and animated. But the standout aspect is of course its imagination as it is wildly inventive in concept and more than capable in execution leading to a well deserved third slot on my list.

 

 

 

 

Image result for winnie the pooh and the blustery day gif 2. Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

It does have its issues, but Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is still one of the best ever Winnie the Pooh storylines which gives most of its characters a lot to do and sure enough, Pooh, Piglet and Tigger are all very memorable and funny. Its two songs out of five are also pretty terrific and classics in their own right.

 

 

 

 

Image result for the pink phink gif1. The Pink Phink

This had to be the number one pick although it was a pretty close race. But The Pink Phink is a great example of how great Pink Panther is. It has amazing animation which is wonderfully simplistic and polished, very inventive action scenes and excellent humor and of course superb character interactions and that iconic score. The film is wonderfully comedic and superbly executed from beginning to end leading to what is arguably the best Oscar-winning animated short from this decade.

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Top Ten Looney Tunes from the Early 1930s

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Top Ten Looney Tunes from the Early 1930s

Unlike my Merry Melody list, this Looney Tunes list is better in quality as the series was better back then and it is also much more coherent as basically it consists of Bosko and Buddy entries with Bosko taking most of the spots. So here are the ten best early 30s Looney Tunes.

10. Bosko’s Party

It was a lot of fun watching everyone hide and get ready for Honey’s party which Bosko is throwing. The second half wasn’t a good payoff, but at least the build-up is so much fun and this is one of the better roles for Bosko for sure.

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9. Buddy’s Day Out

Buddy’s Day Out is the introductory short to Buddy’s character and it is pretty solid, albeit not at all original. The short is sweet and romantic, but the highlight are the technical aspects as the score is good and the animation is one of the best of its time without a doubt.

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8. The Booze Hangs High

What an incredibly racy Looney Tune this is!  The cow part is tired by this point, but the part with the pigs dancing around drunk was an unforgettable experience as one of the most mature and craziest scenes from this period in Warner Brothers cartoons.

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7. Bosko and Bruno

Again the lack of originality is troublesome and evident, but this short succeeds owing to a great chicken race scene and a terrifically utilized setting. But the heart and soul of the film are Bosko and Bruno as their relationship is sweet and wonderful to witness here.

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6. Buddy the Detective

Buddy the Detective is such a superb cartoon which features a terrific, amusing and highly memorable villain who stole the show here. His castle is spooky, the action is phenomenal and the film should have been longer as the material is so rich in detail and so much fun.

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5. Bosko the Lumberjack

Bosko has to save Honey is an archetypal premise, but executed so well. The tree chopping scene is inventive in that crazy Looney Tunes manner and the action is stupendous, fun and with a couple of great set pieces.

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4. Bosko’s Holiday

I loved Bosko’s Holiday so much and it just might be the quintessential Bosko and Honey outing ever. They are so incredibly funny and endearing here and the row they get into is well realized and a couple of moments are admittedly hilarious and perfectly delivered.

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3. Bosko’s Picture Show

Of all the Looney Tunes on this list, this has to be the most original. Taking its cue from ‘Sherlock Jr.’ which is such a great movie, it follows Bosko playing different movies. The last part where he jumps into the screen and destroys the villain is absolutely hysterical in its ridiculousness, but it is the first ever portrayal of Hitler that easily steals the show here.

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2. Box Car Blues

The hill becoming alive, the hobos, Bosko and the pig, the boxcar action… This short has it all and it is easily one of the best executed Looney Tunes in terms of action from this period. It is so much fun, so inventive in its setting and gags and ultimately the second best on my list.

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1. Sinkin’ in the Bathtub

I just loved this very early Bosko entry so much that it had to take my first spot. Bosko and Honey have rarely been this charming and wonderful together, the cow, the water slide and most of the action here is so memorable and well conceived. The humor is excellent and although the film isn’t great, it surely is the best Looney Tune from this period and the best example of how great Bosko could be. An underrated character for sure.

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Honorable Mentions:

Bosko’s Dog Race – Odd and trippy, yet very funny, this Looney Tune is my first honorable mention just for the sheer, unabashed silliness that it gives us.

Bosko’s StoreThis one is incredibly racist, but admittedly hugely entertaining thanks to its couple of very amusing gags and scenes.

Bosko in Dutch – Its ending is inventive and funny and although the beginning is much weaker, this short is still just fun enough that it ended up as my last honorable mention.

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Top Ten Merry Melodies from the Early 1930s

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Top Ten Merry Melodies from the Early 1930s

The early Merry Melodies from the first half of the thirties weren’t the greatest and Looney Tunes were admittedly better during that period. However, there are still a couple of great entries to be had here and the first entry on this list is actually the best from this period even if you count Looney Tunes. So without further ado, here is my top ten list for early 30s Merry Melodies.

10. You’re too Careless with Your Kisses!

This is basically a Honey/Bosko outing, but with honeybees instead. And although the action on screen isn’t the most memorable, a couple of lines are admittedly very funny and the titular musical number is very amusing leading to a solid entry and the tenth place on my list.

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9. Lady, Play Your Mandolin!

As the first ever Merry Melody, Lady, Play Your Mandolin! actually holds up rather well. Sure, its characters are weaker and Foxy and Roxy never came into their own in the series, but the horse being annoyed by music was such a funny moment and the titular song is so catchy.

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8. I Love a Parade

I Love a Parade is a wildly uneven entry in the series, but it benefits from a really solid, original premise and a memorable characters. The part with the lion trying to scratch his back is easily the highlight when it comes to the humor.

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7. Three’s a Crowd

This is a very interesting short that never utilized on its premise to the fullest extent possible, but still seeing all of those various famous literary characters pop out of the book was a lot of fun and the action is pretty good this time around.

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6. Shake Your Powder Off

This is such a great 1934 Merry Melody which benefits from a superb ‘Sing’ like premise where various animals throw a singing competition in the barn. Most of the acts are quite memorable as are the animals and the action-packed third act is one of the standouts here.

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5. I Wish I Had Wings

I Wish I Had Wings again features a great titular song repeated throughout as most Merry Melodies did that so well, but it also has a couple of great gags with the bird and the worm and it is an all around entertaining and memorable entry.

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4. It’s Got Me Again!

As the first ever Merry Melody nominated for an Oscar, It’s Got Me Again! is too much influenced by Silly Symphonies thanks to its premise with mice helping a mouse in trouble, but it is different for featuring an excellent scene where he begs the cat to spare him. A hilarious titular song leads to such a funny cartoon.

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3. Wake Up the Gypsy in Me

This is surely one of the finest Merry Melodies from this period thanks in large part to its interesting plot, good action and mostly a terrific villain who is goofy and over-the-top in the best way possible. Such a fun, unforgettable cartoon.

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2. Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!

The titular song is catchy and also perfectly incorporated into the overall film which is surprisingly comical and memorable in its gags and action on screen. Whether it is the fat lady hippo who can’t get into a vehicle or hobos singing, you are bound to have a great time with this short.

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1. Honeymoon Hotel

And of course, Honeymoon Hotel takes the number one spot which is to be expected from its caliber. As the first truly great Merry Melody, it features a killer premise where two bugs stay at a love hotel but are continually interrupted by others. The humor is phenomenal, the animation is pretty solid, the characters are memorable and there are a lot of truly inventive scenes and gags to be had here with the ending being particularly great. Honeymoon Hotel is undoubtedly the finest Warner Brothers cartoon from the early thirties.

Image result for honeymoon hotel 1934

Honorable Mentions:

Pettin’ in the ParkIt is not connected in its two parts, but both are very good. The first is a fun animal seduction part and the other is a bird swimming competition. Both are memorable.

One Step Ahead of My ShadowIt features one awful fish “gag” which was just too much, but still its Chinese setting and the dragon are memorable and different than usual.

Moonlight for Two – It introduced its villain too late in the game, but Moonlight for Two is a surprisingly romantic and charming Goopy Geer entry nonetheless.

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Best and Worst Films from May 2017

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Best and Worst Films from May 2017

 

 

Best Films from May 2017:

3. Cudotvorni mac

I’ve watched a couple of truly excellent films during this month and I had to sacrifice some, most notably ‘Eyes Without a Face’, and I eventually chose three movies that surprised me as I did not expect such greatness from either of them. The first one is this Serbian gem of a film which is basically a Slavic version of a Disney fairy tale filled with wonderful storytelling, many weird scenes and truly terrific humor. It is such an atypical Serbian movie so naturally I loved it.

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2. Splendor in the Grass

Another very underrated film, Splendor in the Grass is one of the boldest and most emotional films from this period in Hollywood history. It is a very sensual film as Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty are definitely very hot here, but it its examination of sexual repression and bad parenthood that make this movie a truly relatable and sophisticated teen drama that feels modern even today.

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1. The Man from Earth

And the best movie I’ve seen in May is undoubtedly this hugely underappreciated sci-fi gem from the 2000s. Being one giant conversation where a man confesses to his friends that he is 14.000 years old, the film manages to be incredibly sophisticated, thought-provoking and simply fascinating from start to finish as there are a lot of conversational points to be had here. The twist is well handled and disturbing, the ending is sweet and the movie never staggered and they did almost the best they could with this hugely original premise. The Man from Earth is a shamefully underrated science fiction movie and I hope it will get more recognition in the future.

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Worst Films from May 2017:

3. The Magnificent Ambersons

Yes, it is a controversial choice but I am doing it! It is the only okay movie of the three on this list as it has good technical aspects and attention to detail, but it is still a hugely overrated, dull and just plain uninspired, pointless even film that I had to put it in here. Orson Welles was always very overrated, but The Magnificent Ambersons might be his weakest outing as it relies on soapy storytelling with no genuine story arc or characterization whatsoever.

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2. Battle for the Planet of the Apes

The original Apes franchise has its ups and downs, but nothing comes even close to the mediocrity that is this final installment. It isn’t terrible, but it’s pretty subpar and especially bad when compared to the previous entries in the franchise. The action is overwhelming and badly executed, the plot and characterization are weak and the movie just never utilized on its admittedly solid premise leading to a major misfire.

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1. Planet of the Apes

But it isn’t as terrible of a misfire as this movie is. Yes, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake is pretty damn horrible in almost every way. The lack of identity is evident from the beginning, its tone is overly dark and Mark Wahlberg’s performance is absolutely horrendous. I just don’t know how Burton could make such a bad movie as he is one of my favorite directors and he rarely made mediocre films, but here he truly took a huge dump on a once great franchise and made what is arguably one of the worst and most unfortunate remakes ever. An obvious number one here.

Image result for planet of the apes 2001

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Ranking 1950s and 1960s Foreign Oscar Winners

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Ranking 1950s and 1960s Foreign Oscar Winners

The first decade and a half wasn’t the greatest when it comes to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Yes, some of the winners are pretty much deserved and quite good movies, but most are barely solid or even just okay. The sixties in particular feature movies that are famous, but frankly vastly overrated. So here is my ranking of all fourteen foreign Oscar winners from this period.

14. 8 1/2

I really dislike this film so it easily takes the last spot as the only film on this list that is plain bad. Fellini actually made some good movies in his career and one of his will appear much further down this list, but this one is certainly his most overrated. There is nothing to be had here whatsoever apart from total bore. The characters are awful, the plot it nonexistent and the movie is pretentious to the point of becoming annoying.

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13. Z

As for Z, it isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not a particularly good one either. I realize that its plot is important, but the film is made in such a frenetic, weirdly shot manner that it was frustrating to watch. It is another very boring movie that also did not age well whatsoever as it is very much a product of its time.

Image result for z 1969 film

12. Mon Oncle

I guess Mon Oncle is visually interesting, but other than that, this is as slight as a 60s French movie can be. The plot is basically non-existent and the characters are bland and forgettable. The film is such obvious style over substance that I do not understand why it swept the critics like it did back in the day.

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11. Closely Watched Trains

Another very overrated movie on this list, this famous Czech film is solid and well shot, but again very much a product of its time that didn’t age well whatsoever. And its Nazi subplot wasn’t necessary at all and it was just a move from the director to cash in on the popularity of WWII movies.

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10. Through a Glass Darkly

Being the first of the two overrated Ingmar Bergman films on this list of winners, Through a Glass Darkly admirably deals with a very dark issue, but it is still too dreary, definitely too slow and dull and ultimately almost entirely forgettable as I cannot remember a lot of the scenes from this film even though I’ve seen it pretty recently.

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9. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

This Italian anthology piece is wildly uneven. Of the three stories, only the third one is somewhat interesting and well told. The first one is forgettable and the second one is too short. It is well acted and shot, but the stories do not connect with each other in any meaningful manner so it is again the case of style over substance.

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8. La Strada

La Strada is the first of two consecutive wins for Fellini during the first years of this category at the Oscars and it is the weaker of the two for sure. It is sensitive in tone and it has its moments, but is ultimately not as engaging or as emotional as it should have been and it should have been much better executed as a whole.

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7. The Virgin Spring

The Virgin Spring is another Bergman feature that deals with an important issue and some scenes here are memorable and very well crafted, but for the most part, the movie isn’t engaging enough and certainly not memorable. It is well acted, but both in terms of plot and characters, it needed more work.

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6. Sundays and Cybele

Sundays and Cybele actually does have a pretty decent script, some scenes are pretty striking and the cinematography in particular is very strong. But where it failed is in the relationship between its two main characters as it is quite odd and they are either dull or plain unlikable thus hurting this entire picture in the process.

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5. A Man and a Woman

I guess I did overrate this movie a bit, but to me A Man and a Woman deserves this fifth place on the account of its beautiful, highly emotional ending alone. The film is so well made and it looks gorgeous, but yes, it is again style over substance and the various conversations between its two protagonists are never as interesting as they should have been to sell this film’s talkative approach.

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4. War and Peace

It is a cliché to say up to this point but you see the pattern – this Russian classic relies too much on style and not nearly enough on the story itself. But it is worth a watch just for those highly professional and so well executed battle sequences and exquisite costumes. This big budgeted spectacle is too long and uneven, but visually arresting.

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3. The Shop on Main Street

And now we get to the really good movies. This Slovak picture actually deserved its Oscar as it deals with its very familiar subject matter in a dramatic and powerful way. The performances are fantastic and the film’s third act is so strong and heartbreaking that it entirely compensates for the slower first half.

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2. Black Orpheus

This late fifties film is truly a one of a kind experience. It starts off slow, but it then picks up with great scene after scene. It is such an original experiment of mixing modern with mythological and the result is more than stellar and satisfactory featuring a couple of brilliant, moving sequences and a great use of color.

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1. Nights of Cabiria

And the number one goes to a movie from the director I usually dislike. But Fellini actually had a really good movie here and following Cabiria on her devastating journey was emotionally rewarding. The film is grounded in reality and very brutal in its tragic ending. It has a plethora of memorable characters, more than a couple of truly resonant scenes and very good performances. It is far from great, but surrounded by these very flawed movies, it easily takes the first spot.

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Top Twenty It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Episodes

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Top Twenty It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Episodes

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is my favorite comedy show, excluding South Park of course. It is a series that has been consistently great for 12 years and 12 seasons now. Needless to say, it has quite a lot of amazing, classic episodes so making this list was very difficult for me. I of course had to do top 20 as ten just wasn’t enough for this show. But even with twenty, it was tough. Still, I tried to include as many great and different episodes as possible so without further ado, here is my list.

20. The Gang Reignites Their Rivalry

This is one of those episodes that showed us how childish the gang really is and sure enough, it features the fivesome pitting against a fraternity house for a drinking competition called ”Flipadelphia”. I loved the dynamic between the gang and the college kids plus it features such a great, fitting ending.

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19. The High School Reunion

This is one of a few episodes on this list that is a two-parter. The first part is better, but both are excellent. I loved it because it was such a rewarding experience. I have been constantly hearing about their high school experiences and friends and finally I got to see them myself. It is a rich episode that serves all explanations and backstories to all four of the characters. Watching Charlie being shy and afraid was cute and funny, Dee trying to correct her past pistakes naturally led to many great scenes and of course the highlight is Dennis’s part as we finally see that he never has been popular to begin with.

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18. Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games

This is one of the most entertaining and authentic episodes in Sunny’s history. This concept of a game that they made up is ripe for the show’s dark and silly sensibilities and the execution was perfect with many memorable moments. I loved the ending of course, but the highlights were Frank figuring out Dennis and Dee’s cheating, the jokes about Charlie’s illiteracy and just following those crazy rules of this silly game.

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17. The Gang Dines Out

The Gang Dines Out is one of the rare instances where we get to see the gang ‘s dependence on each other and that they truly are friends after all. That is why it is a very important episode. Dennis and Mac got some very funny scenes, but it is Dee who absolutely shines here with a hilarious banter between her and that waiter plus the ending is perfect and hilarious, but also heartwarming, at least for the show’s standards.

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16. A Very Sunny Christmas

Another two-part episode, A Very Sunny Christmas is quite possibly one of the darkest episodes in the entire Philly’s run which is saying a lot. As with The High School Reunion, this is another look at the gang’s past and it perfectly explains how they ended up being so crazy. That finale is a rare emotional scene from this show and whether it is Mac realizing that his parents stole Christmas gifts from other houses or Charlie learning for the first time that his mother was basically a prostitute, this episode surely is an undisputed classic.

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15. Hero or Hate Crime?

A rare late episode on this list, this season twelve outing deserved to be here as it truly is hysterical. It is of course important for finally giving us gay and proud Mac and the road to that was quite rewarding and very funny, but the entire episode is brilliantly structured, everyone gets their moment to shine and the highlights were the dildo bike sequence as well as the ending where the four say how glad they are for Mac, but how they still hate him. This is one of the most consistent and funniest episodes for sure.

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14. The Gang Gets Analyzed

Frank’s scene wasn’t as great, but everyone else is marvelous here. A great psychological episode that gives us a full profile of each of the gang’s members, it features again terrific pacing and structure along with many simply hilarious moments such as the one with Dee pretending to act, Charlie holding a dead pigeon and Dennis trying to seduce the doctor who is, in his words, decades older than him.

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13. Mac Fights Gay Marriage

This is another two-parter, but this time around I chose only the first episode as it is much better than its conclusion in my opinion. Dee’s part gets better in the second episode and this is important for introducing us to Maureen Ponderosa, but this is Mac’s episode and one of his finest hours came here when he fought with tranny and her future husband about gay marriage. Hilarious stuff.

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12. The Nightman Cometh

This musical theatre effort worked like a charm. The twist ending was obvious, but still great as Charlie tried to seduce the Waitress and thus did all of this, but the songs themselves are incredibly funny with such amusing lyrics. Frank singing about a boy’s hole and Mac getting hard while laying with Dennis are some of the standout moments in this silly and different outing.

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11. The Gang Gets Held Hostage

The Gang Gets Held Hostage is one of those classic It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes from the first half of its run which benefits from the best use yet of the McPoyle siblings. A classic episode where the gang turns on each other, this one is pure over-the-top mayhem which is entertaining and funny from start to finish.

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10. Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens

This very well titled episode (per usual) finds the gang at one of their most entertaining. The Lawyer is used really well here and I loved how in the end he got the best of them. The various ridiculous products such as Kitten Mittens and Dick Towels provide many amusing moments and it is all the more ridiculous having in mind that they have actually made money out of these products as evidenced by future episodes.

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9. Hundred Dollar Baby

Functioning both as a ‘Fight Club’ and ‘A Million Dollar Baby’ parody, Hundred Dollar Baby works at all cylinders and manages to make the fullest use of both of its subplots. Charlie getting his ass kicked is hilarious and Dee becoming a boxer was a lot of fun. This truly is such a terrific season two episode.

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8. Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia

Again a self-explanatory episode, this one finds the funniest angle with the subject of abduction. This is finally an episode that addressed how terrible their bar truly is and thankfully the results are more than stellar as every scene with that critic was just brilliant and simply hilarious.

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7. Mac and Charlie: White Trash

Although Mac and Charlie are in the title of this episode, Dennis and Dee are also terrific in here. This is a great episode that showcased so well how those two see themselves as being better than Mac and Charlie when in reality they are all white trash. For me the highlight here is Mac trying to do a back flip and Charlie scolding him for not being capable of doing such a task.

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6. The Gang Saves the Day

This has to be the most original episode that the show has ever done. The gang witness a robbery and we see everyone’s imaginary scene where they handle the situation. Frank’s part was fine, but not the greatest. Charlie’s segment was such a wonderful, fitting tribute to Pixar’s ‘Up’. Dennis’s part was expectedly sexual and of course the highlights were Mac and Dee. She kills the guys and goes on to become a famous actress and gets engaged to Josh Groban whereas he uses his karate skills to kill the villains and then dies and goes to heaven surrounded by muscular men. I laughed like crazy watching those two and this is a great proof of what awesome character development and attention to detail the show has and how they perfectly made fun of every single character and their dreams here.

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5. The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty McGoo

I think here we hear for the first time of Dee’s hilarious nickname from high school and of course that was funny. The opening is phenomenal. But the ending is even better as Dennis in drag was a hilarious, yet realistic turn for the character. And we finally see Frank’s experience in a Vietnamese sweatshop so well recreated here. The episode uses all the characters so well.

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4. Mac Day

This season nine episode is the best ever episode starring Mac. Mac Day finds Mac trying to convert the gang to Christianity with poor results of course. But it is a perfect character study where finally the guys get tired of him living a lie as he doesn’t know karate and he isn’t straight. His country cousin is such a memorable one-off character and there are so many highly recognizable and incredibly funny lines to be had here.

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3. The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation

To me this is one of Sunny’s most memorable episodes which is why it takes such a high spot on my list. From Dee becoming ”a dirty, dirty whore” to Dennis playing it sexy, this episode has it all and Charlie’s scenes with that Korean girl were so amusing and silly. It is a very rich episode in both its setting and characters and yes, it is over-the-top for sure, but I loved it for that.

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2. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System

The D.E.N.N.I.S. System isn’t the finest episode as it is second best, but it is definitely the most quintessential and most representative episode for the entire series and that is why it should be watched first as a test screening. Dennis is great here as we see how demented and manipulative he really is and to what lengths he would go to bang a chick. Charlie is hilarious here as is Dee, but Frank’s line about condoms has to be the most memorable moment of the entire episode.

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1. Dennis and Dee’s Mom Is Dead

This episode is perfect! In fact, it is the funniest episode of any comedy that I have ever seen and the opening scene with the Lawyer (his first scene actually) is the funniest scene that I have ever seen and I rarely laugh out loud, but here I totally lost it and I’ve seen it countless times by now. That is how hilarious the dialogue is and how effective and funny Frank’s use of the word whore is. But the entire episode is amazing, I loved how eventful it was and its every sequence was a riot and so well scripted. And of course it ended in a satisfying manner. Each and every character gets its proper due here, but Dee and Frank are easily the highlights as they made me laugh the most. Dennis and Dee’s Mom Is Dead is hilarious from start to finish and it is definitely the best It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode ever.

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Honorable Mentions:

The Gang Dances Their Asses Off – I am sad that I did not put any Cricket episodes on my list, but at least he gets an honorable mention as this is one of his better outings.
Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties – A truly great episode where Dee is one of the highlights along with Frank who killed it here.
McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century – This recent episode is one of the campiest in the show’s run with Charlie bird lawyering and Maureen becoming a cat.
Charlie and Dee Find Love – This one features one of the best unexpected turns at the end with Charlie proving how far he would go to win the Waitress’s heart.
The Gang Broke Dee – A perfectly constructed episode, The Gang Broke Dee gives us just that as Dee is being played for laughs phenomenally here.

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Top Ten It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Characters

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Top Ten It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Characters

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia doesn’t have a lot of recurring characters so ranking them was a pretty easy task for me. However, ranking the gang was very difficult as all five of them are amazing, unforgettable characters so I only ranked them by my personal preferences and even that approach did not make it any easier. So here is my ranking of the show’s characters, both major and minor.

10. The McPoyles

To me this crazy family is repulsive and sometimes too disgusting. But I cannot deny their presence so they cracked the top ten. All of the family is ridiculous and the humor aimed at them was great, but of course Liam, Ryan and Margaret are the three that appear the most and they have quite a handful of classic episodes with The Gang Gets Held Hostage being the best example of their signature dynamic.

9. The Lawyer

A straight character but a necessary one nonetheless, he is great for giving us the opportunity to see just how crazy the gang is when interacting with normal people. But I liked his character because he was the only one who could get the better of them as he did in a couple of occasions. The highlight was Charlie’s rivalry with him as he tried to prove himself as a competent bird lawyer.

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8. Mac and Charlie’s Moms

These two are such comedic gems and they bring a different kind of humor to the table wonderfully. Watching Bonnie’s ridiculous OCDs and interactions with Charlie was a lot of fun whereas Mac’s mom is hilariously gross. They interact so well with their sons, but to me the highlight was the dynamic between themselves as best exemplified in stupendous Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy.

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7. The Waitress

Another straight character who is nevertheless extremely important, watching Charlie trying to win her over was always a treat. Every episode with her is amazing and the writers always found a great and different use of her. She is also great for being a fully realized character in her own right and following her hit rock bottom and then eventually end up with Charlie was a really fun journey.

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6. Cricket

Of course Cricket gets the top spot when it comes to minor characters as he is such a ridiculous, incredibly funny character who is best at being a sparringly used sidekick. He appeared from time to time and rarely for a full episode, but whenever he was on screen, he was bound to get a lot of the laughs and entirely steal the show. His journey from a priest to a street rat was so well written and consistently hilarious while being a great proof of how the gang destroys everyone who gets close to them.

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5. Frank

And now we get to the members of the gang themselves. Yes, Frank gets the last spot, but that is only because in the second half of the series he isn’t as great as he was in the first half. But his ”living on the fringe” shtick provided some of the most repulsive and hilarious moments on the show. He is the best at being gross and at being the mastermind as he certainly was in most situations. He truly is the brain of the group and the first season wasn’t the same without him.

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4. Dennis

Dennis also lost some of his momentum as the series progressed and he could get too creepy at times, but his narcissistic behavior consistently led to a lot of very funny situations. At first, he was just a manipulative, lying narcissist, but eventually he got crazier and crazier with each season to the point of becoming a sociopath and even a psychopath at times. He definitely provided some of the edgiest and darkest comedy on the show along with great sexual humor.

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3. Dee

Dee should have been used more often, but whenever she got more to do, she killed it. Kaitlyn Olson is terrific in the role and she gave the best performance on the show after Danny DeVito. Always being a butt of the gang’s jokes (she is after all ”one giant bird”), she can also be pretty smart and manipulative in her own right as evidenced in episodes like PTSDee. But the highlights were her pursuing of an acting career along with her crazy, humiliating sexcapades.

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2. Mac

I didn’t like him all that much at first, but Mac truly got better and better with each passing season until eventually becoming my second favorite character on the show. He is a superbly developed character and his interactions with his parents are always terrific. But it is his desperate attempts at being cool (proclaiming to know karate and how to do a backflip) coupled with his closeted homosexuality that gave us his best episodes (Mac Day is his finest hour). In the series’ late run, he is the best.

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1. Charlie

I love all five of the gang members and it was very difficult to decide the number one, but I eventually went with Charlie for a number of reasons. One is that stupid and disgusting characters are overly familiar by now, but his character gets some of the best use of those qualities and he is consistently funny. The other reason is that he is the most likable and certainly the best person of the entire gang which is why following him was very rewarding and I rooted for him throughout most of the episodes. His budding relationship with his could-be-father Frank is great, his living in filth and squalor is very amusing, his musical episodes were very funny and of course his pursuit of the Waitress was a lot of fun. It was a difficult choice I had to make, but in the end I am happy that I chose Charlie as my number one.

Image result for it's always sunny charlie

Honorable Mentions:

Barbara Reynolds – ”My whore wife”, as Frank so often called her, only appeared in a handful of episodes before she died, but she was very funny as Dennis and Dee’s absolutely horrible mother.
Maureen Ponderosa – Maureen is the campiest and silliest character of all and her journey from Dennis’s wife to a full-on cat before her death was hilarious to follow.
Carmen – Carmen the Tranny gave us a couple of terrific episodes and was an essential love interest for Mac in his coming out journey.

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Ranking the MCU Films

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Ranking the MCU Films

Marvel Cinematic Universe has turned out to be incredibly influential for turning movie franchises into universes for better and for worse. Their films are definitely not as well connected, but the connections are still there and for the most part they succeed pretty well in telling this one giant, connected story. But I am a fan of the MCU mostly because they haven’t yet made a bad film as even their worst films are passable, but not truly bad. So here is my ranking of Marvel’s entire canon so far.

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15. The Incredible Hulk

I really didn’t care for this movie. It is definitely not bad as it is well acted and it is overall pretty harmless with nothing in it being horrible, but nothing in here is also particularly memorable and inspired leading to one of the most forgettable Marvel films and one of their dullest. And it isn’t even an important entry in this universe as Edward Norton was later replaced by Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and that rendered this movie totally useless.

 

14. Iron Man 2

Being such an unfortunate dark spot in an otherwise stellar trilogy, Iron Man 2 is inarguably one of Marvel’s weakest outings as almost everyone agrees that it is mediocre. The only good thing here is of course the banter between Tony and Pepper as they have always been such a great pair. But that’s it. Everything else is so weak from the mediocre villain to the action to the story which is overstuffed with too many uninspired plot points and characters.

 

13. Thor: The Dark World

The last mediocre entry on this list, the second Thor movie is just much inferior to the first one and another movie which is universally proclaimed to be at least problematic, if not downright bad. To me it isn’t bad as Loki is definitely fun here plus the humor is solid, but the film is certainly overly cheesy and filled with dull action sequences and a ridiculously convoluted storyline that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

 

 

 

12. Captain America: The First Avenger

The first Cap movie is definitely solid and actually quite pleasant as a whole. I liked its plot and I liked its 40s time period and it was quite charming and fun to watch. However, it still remains an awfully typical origin story filled with quite weak action scenes. But its biggest offender is that it is so incredibly forgettable to the point of being entirely overshadowed by its too successors which is understandable as both are infinitely better movies.

 

11. The Avengers

I know this is a controversial choice, but it is my opinion and I am sticking with it. There is no denying that this film is fun and filled with pretty solid character interactions and good humor, but the plot is quite poor and the film is filled with overwhelming action. I think they did the best they could do with such an annoying blockbuster premise, but it still ended up being overstuffed with too many characters and action leading to Marvel’s most overrated film.

 

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I guess this is another controversial choice, but I have to admit that I liked the second Avengers movie a bit more than the first one. Yes, all of the trappings and faults of the first movie are there and Ultron himself definitely disappointed a lot in the end, but the plot is ultimately a bit better here and the characters are quite good with Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision being memorable new additions to the team.

 

9. Thor

I like the first Thor movie. It is a lot of fun and Kenneth Branagh was a great, fitting choice to direct it. Loki is excellent here and the other characters are also quite good plus the world building is solid. But it still has its problems such as weaker action and a very clichéd and predictable story. It is a solid film, but there is no denying that this Marvel franchise is definitely the weakest.

 

 

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Image result for guardians of the galaxy vol 2 planet

This is an infinitely inferior sequel to one of Marvel’s best films as it is filled with such an awfully emotional approach that felt ridiculous by the end, but it is still a hugely entertaining sequel featuring once again good performances and character interactions, fun humor and improved effects with its planet being so wonderfully explored. As sequels go, it is not the greatest, but perfectly solid nonetheless.

 

 

7. Iron Man 3

The action is again weak here and the villains are expectedly very bad, but Iron Man 3 is otherwise a pretty good and definitely underrated film as a lot of people hate it for its Mandarin twist, but to me that was one of the highlights as it was unique and interesting. I also really liked the overall story, the emotional emphasis on Tony’s journey and it is a satisfyingly darker and more mature Iron Man film which ultimately worked.

 

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier is a slightly overrated film as Bucky continues to be underutilized and the entire third act is overly bombastic. But it is still a pretty strong superhero film with good mystery and spy elements to it and a surprising amount of truly exceptional, unforgettable sequences. The action is some of the best in the MCU and the character development is superb with everyone getting their moment to shine.

 

5. Captain America: Civil War

I didn’t like that the third Cap movie basically ended up being an Avengers film. But even though it had too much action and way too many characters, it is still a movie that The Avengers should have been – both entertaining and sophisticated. Its political themes are interesting, some action set pieces are superb, the humor is quite good and most of the characters were so well utilized. A stellar and in terms of the plot quite important film.

 

4. Ant-Man

This is such an underappreciated gem of a film and it takes the high fourth spot on my list as I love it so much. The cast is excellent, the new characters are so likable, Paul Rudd is funny and charismatic in the role and the action is pretty solid. The villain is still so weak, but the overall plot is good and its concept is a lot of fun. But Ant-Man succeeds mostly because it found a perfect mix of humor and emotional pathos in telling this charming story.

 

3. Iron Man

This is where it all started. It was once my favorite movie, but even though it is now downgraded to the third place, it still remains such a good film. The first Iron Man showed us for the first time the signature humor and charisma from Robert Downey Jr. in this great role, but it also contains an origin story that is surprisingly very good and done right. And other than the weak villain, it is a pretty stellar, commendable effort all around.

 

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

Great in its humor filled with many quotable lines and awesome in its team filled with outstanding, highly memorable and funny characters, Guardians of the Galaxy is a full package of unforgettable popcorn entertainment that has all of the ingredients of a timeless blockbuster classic. It has its weaknesses, but it is such a fun and funny movie that is an absolute joy to watch that it deservedly takes the second spot on my list.

 

1. Doctor Strange

Yes, I am in the vast minority here, but Doctor Strange just has to be my number one MCU pick. It is a funny film with a couple of hilarious moments, but it is above all such a well told, genuinely intriguing story filled with memorable and so well developed characters, excellent world building, amazing special effects, stupendous action scenes and such fascinating mythology that it is without any doubt not just my favorite Marvel movie, but my favorite superhero film of all time.

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Ranking Peanuts Films

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Ranking Peanuts Films

The Peanuts gang has gotten five feature treatments thus far. Four of them were released from 1969 to 1980 and the last one was released recently in 2015. The prospects for another feature-length Peanuts adventure are pretty low unfortunately, but at least we’ve got five films, most of which are actually very good and some even rivaling the specials themselves. So without further ado here is my ranking of all five of these charming flicks.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review5. Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!)

This is the only Peanuts film that frankly disappointed me a bit. It still has its excellent moments such as every scene with Peppermint Patty who steals the show here and surprisingly Snoopy who is very amusing, but there isn’t enough adventurous and comedic elements here and the cast of characters is reduced significantly. It is still a solid film, but the weakest of the five and thus it takes the last spot.

 

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review4. Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown

This is the one entry here that is admittedly very slight and surely enough the plot is very weak and almost non-existent, but the Peanuts gang is charming enough here that I liked it quite a bit nevertheless. I mostly liked its adventurous tone as this adventure in the woods and through rafting provided many wonderful moments for all of the characters and I loved their group dynamic.

 

 

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review3. Snoopy, Come Home

Snoopy, Come Home is the best early sequel for a lot of reasons. One is that Snoopy has rarely been this good. Yes, this definitely is one of his defining stories as he is simply wonderful. Another reason is the pure emotional and dramatic heft of the story which is felt from beginning to the end. There are certainly not enough comedic elements here, but in terms of drama, it succeeds tremendously and provides a couple of heartbreaking scenes.

The Peanuts Movie

2. The Peanuts Movie

The most recent Peanuts entry is the best thing that Blue Sky Studios has ever done, bar none. The plot is basically taken from the special ‘You’re in Love, Charlie Brown’ and Snoopy’s subplot is sometimes too much like a detour. However, the animation is probably the best CGI animation I have ever seen – fittingly old-fashioned, yet still modern. Almost all of the characters get their moment to shine and the ending is just beautiful. Against all odds, this recent installment ended up being the series’ second best.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review1. A Boy Named Charlie Brown

The original has to be number one. There is no discussion to be had here whatsoever. All of the characters are terrific, the storyline is phenomenal and as smart as anything the specials have ever done and this is probably the finest examination of Charlie Brown’s character so far. The songs are solid and the humor is terrific. But the reason why this is not only the best Peanuts film, but also one of the better animated films ever made lies in its ending which teaches children that it is okay to lose as long as you continue trying in such a beautiful, heart-warming and simply outstanding sequence between Charlie Brown and Linus.

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Top Ten Futurama Episodes

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Top Ten Futurama Episodes

Ranking the Futurama episodes was no easy task because it has many great episodes and not many easily come to mind as the best which is why choosing the top four was especially difficult. But I still managed to do it and this is only my opinion so here you have episodes that are to me the funniest and I only picked funny episodes or scientific and intriguing. I did not pick any of those emotional episodes as I have never been the biggest fan of them. So here is my list of top ten Futurama episodes with four honorable mentions that didn’t quite crack the top ten.

Futurama Season 1 Review10. Fear of a Bot Planet

This season one episode is one of the rare instances of not only Bender getting his proper due and being really good as a protagonist, but also of properly establishing and examining the robotic society. Those many human-hating jokes were absolutely hilarious, but the episode is also very well constructed and with a terrific plot as well as a great usage of its characters leading to one polished episode that deserved this tenth spot even if it isn’t too popular.

Futurama Season 4 Review9. Spanish Fry

There is no social commentary in Spanish Fry, no science and certainly no message. But that is why I loved it so much as it was a nice change in pace for the usually scientific or politically oriented series. Lrrr takes Fry’s nose in order to impress his wife, mistaking human nose as a penis. This is surely one of the nastiest Futurama episodes which was amusing, but of course I loved Lrrr here as he is one of my favorite supporting characters and here he got a great story.

Futurama Season 6 Review8. The Duh-Vinci-Code

This is one of the most interesting and smartest episodes for sure as the inventiveness just blew me away. Having Leonardo da Vinci turn out to be an alien from another planet, but there he is one of the dumbest people was just a genius and very clever idea. He is such a great character, this entire episode is very cozy in its history and science and it also features a great use of Fry at one of his dumbest.

Futurama Season 1 Review7. Fry and the Slurm Factory

This early episode is very important as it is the first time that we got acquainted with Slurm which proved out to be a very popular and highly amusing product placement for the series. But the episode itself is excellent as it again finds Fry at some of his best and funniest, the animation is very good and the episode is very funny and entertaining while still being a great parody of this source material.

Futurama Season 2 Movie Review6. War Is the H-Word

As I just love Zapp Brannigan and deem him to be the second funniest character on the show after the Professor, I naturally had to include some of his episodes and this is the first of the two on this list. It was a clever idea to have Leela pose as a man and join military and watching Zapp still getting aroused at a supposed male was just hilarious. There are a lot of great, hysterical lines here and it features Zapp at his most consistently hilarious.

Futurama Season 3 Review5. Amazon Women in the Mood

The second Zapp episode on my list, this crazy storyline involves the males of the crew getting tortured by giant, sexually aroused women. Of course that premise led to one of the most sexual episodes with a great use of memorable slapstick. Everyone is terrific here, but the highlights are Zapp and Kif who is also pretty funny himself. This was a strong reminder that we never really got enough of these two phenomenal characters which was unfortunate.

Futurama Season 3 Review4. Anthology of Interest II

Futurama had a couple of episodes which features usually three segments and all done in different animation styles. Of those, I chose Anthology of Interest II as the best and most representative. The first Bender segment is solid, but the second and third are the highlights. The classic video game segment was so good whereas the Oz segment featured some of the best Amy zingers that just made my day. Such an inventive and fun part.

Futurama Season 6 Review3. The Late Philip J. Fry

This episode is one strong proof of how amazing the sixth season is. It is definitely my favorite in the series’ whole run. It is a strong emotional episode for Leela and Fry, but the standout aspect is its scientific approach as finally we see Futurama get serious. The crew travels millions of years into the future and they witness the end of the universe. Beautifully animated and scored, moving and just plain riveting, this episode is smart and very satisfying science fiction.

Image result for why must i be a crustacean in love2. Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?

The second place goes to this hilarious Zoidberg storyline. I love all of the episodes that give us a backstory to its main characters, but this one is the finest as it gives as an insight into Zoidberg’s overall species and characteristics in the most gross and funniest way possible. I love him and he is so funny here, but also lovable as the conclusion is poignant and perfect for this episode.

 

Futurama Season 3 Review1. Roswell That Ends Well

This is my number one pick because this episode just has it all. It is a clever and crazy parody of ‘Back to the Future’. It features again hilarious sexual humor with Fry having sex with his grandmother being the center of this story. But it also has many fantastic scenes in it and a great time travel adventure to it. Whether as a historical piece or a parody or just as a downright hilarious episode, Roswell That Ends Well succeeds and it features great character moments for the majority of the crew which are all the reasons why it had to take the first spot.

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Honorable Mentions:

Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch – An amusing look into Kif’s biology and home planet, this episode also features a meaningful conflict with Amy and is all around surprisingly clever.

The Problem with Popplers – Thematically rich and political, but also funny, this story features Lrrr at one of his best. It is such an interesting and smart episode in the best Futurama fashion.

A Bicyclops Built for Two – This was back in the day when we didn’t know Leela was a mutant and her quest for identity led to this very well crafted, mysterious, but also quite funny part.

Meanwhile – This was the episode that closed the entire series and it did that remarkably well with an intriguing time travel concept to it and a wonderfully emotional conclusion for Leela and Fry.

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