Now I don’t usually review things like this on TV Thursday. I typically reserve it for serial television and this simply isn’t. But I’m a massive fan of the original Mystery Science Theater 3000, I started watching it in season one on the Comedy Channel and when I heard it might be coming back, it scared me. I mean literally scared me. Because it’s very rare that lightning strikes in exactly the right place twice.
Wow, was I ever wrong.
Years after the end of the original MST3K, back in 1999, Kinga Forrester, daughter of Dr. Clayton Forrester, recreates Deep 13 on the moon, kidnaps Jonah Heston, who collects asteroids for Gizmonic Institute, and locks him in the Satellite of Love with Crow and Tom Servo. Now he’s forced to watch really awful movies and make fun of them along the way.
I was very nervous about just about all of it. The casting. The writing. The acting. Even with Joel Hodgson at the helm, I had my doubts about how well it could be done. I didn’t even kick anything into the Kickstarter because I didn’t think they could actually make a show worthy of the MST3K title. Yet they did. They nailed it. The 11th season gave us 14 movies and even though the quality of the films varies, they handle it all with the same kind of fun that I had hoped they could, but never expected they would.
It isn’t perfect. They are trying too hard and stuff too many riffs into the movies. The voices aren’t perfect, I think Crow and Tom are too close and sometimes it is a little difficult to tell the difference between them in the theater. And now that they made Tom able to fly, they are using it way too much and it’s distracting, not to mention Gypsy making regular appearances in the theater for no reason whatsoever. But these are minor issues compared to all of the things they did right.
MST3K actually feels like MST3K for the most part. The host segments feel right. They even provide commercial break bumpers, even though the show, being on Netflix, has no commercials. And even though I’m not a huge fan of Felicia Day, Jonah Ray or Patton Oswalt, I think they all did very well in their roles, much better than I expected. Having the money they did from their Kickstarter, more than $6 million, paid by more than 50,000 supporters, they still managed to keep it looking “cheap”, which is how classic MST3K always was. I think they could have cleaned things up a little bit, but I’m certainly not going to complain.
If you’re a fan of classic MST3K, I’m sure you’ve already consumed the entire season like we did. I’m looking forward to season 12, which I think is a sure thing at this point. How could Netflix not greenlight something like this? I really can’t imagine it. If you’re not a fan, or you’re too young to have seen the original series, get out there and see it. If you love bad movies as much as I do, you’ll adore this thing. Run, do not walk to your nearest television or computer. Just do it.