Boyfriend and I were watching an episode of Futurama a couple of weeks ago. I like the show – I hadn’t watched it before we started dating, but it’s funny and intelligent.
In this particular episode, Fry had found the fossilized remains of his dog and had hoped to clone him (if you’re like me and had never watched the show, Fry was cryogenically frozen in 1999 and thawed one thousand years in the future). Right before the cloning process was complete, Fry realized that his dog died at age 15, more than twelve years after Fry had last seen him. Assuming that his dog had lived a long, happy life without Fry, he decided not to clone his dog.
Boyfriend, who had seen this episode before, warned me that the ending would make me want to “hug Apollo.” “Aww,” I said after Fry’s surprisingly poignant monologue.
“That’s not the sad part,” Boyfriend said.
The episode ended with a flashback to 1999, showing Fry’s dog camping outside of a pizza parlor, the last place he’d seen Fry. With the song “I Will Wait For You” playing in the background, the viewers were able to see that the dog never forgot about Fry – he waited in that same spot for the rest of his life, futilely waiting for Fry’s return, until dying from old age on the sidewalk. Watch it for yourself here, but be warned – this clip is full of SADNESS.
I felt betrayed that I would be so emotionally blindsided by an episode of Futurama. I tried very hard not to cry. When I was ten, I was able to stop myself from crying at the end of Forrest Gump by thinking, “These are actors and this is just a movie. There is no one in that grave. Tom Hanks is just talking to himself.” I tried that tactic now by thinking, “THIS IS A CARTOON, DO NOT CRY WOMAN, DO NOT CRY.”
This tactic failed miserably.