MST3K Is Back and I Love it

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The first episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that I saw was episode 407, "The Killer Shrews." I was 10 years old and up well past my bed time, looking through the channels on our new satellite dish system when I stumbled across Comedy Central. At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing, and I didn't really get all of the jokes, but I got enough of them to stick around for the rest of the episode. By the end, I had found my new favorite show and I followed it everywhere it went. When the Kickstarter campaign started to revitalize the show once more, I backed it immediately and have been waiting patiently for its return. Now that it's here and I've seen a few episodes (I'm trying not to binge watch it, but its so hard not to) I feel its time for this Mistie to weigh in on the new show.

I'll just come right out and say it; I think the new show is fantastic. I'm not part of the crowd saying that it's too different. I had no illusions that it would be exactly the show I remembered it to be. MST3K has changed a great deal in its time on the air. The first season of the Comedy Central series featured different mads, as well as Tom Servo. Then came Dr. Clayton Forrester and Kevin Murphy stepped in to become Servo for the remainder of the show's runs on Comedy Central and Sci-Fi. Then, when Joel left the show, Mike became the new test subject.

When MST3K made its first comeback in 2007 on the Sci-Fi channel, I was concerned that it would be too different. After all, Crow was my favorite of the bots and I couldn't imagine anyone other than Trace Beaulieu voicing him. Once I actually watched the premier, and heard Bill Corbett's work as Crow, I left those concerns behind me and was free to enjoy my favorite show just as I had before.

I had some of the same worries about the latest reboot. With so many new people on the show (new voices, mads, and host) I wasn't sure how well they could pull it off. Would Jonah be able to measure up to Mike and Joel? How different would the voice work of Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount be, not to mention Rebecca Hanson as Gypsy? How would the growing popularity of Rifftrax affect the way the new shows were written?

As a backer, I was able to watch the first episode of the new series early. The crew watched Reptillicus, a danish giant monster movie from the early 60's. Within the first few jokes, I knew that it was still the same show I knew and loved. I think it was Gypsy's line "Now you're Mr. Filing Cabinet" that was the first to really get me rolling. It's the classic type of unexpected riff that blindsides you and leaves you choking on whatever it was that you were eating. From there things just got better. The second episode, Cry Wilderness is so nonsensical and so loaded with great riffs that it joins the ranks of such classic episodes as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Pumaman, Hercules Against the Moon Men and Danger!! Death Ray.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Return, is everything a grizzled old time fan like me could hope for. The riffs are hilarious, the new crew have great chemistry, and the films are among some of the most awful that I have ever seen in the 20 years that I have been watching the show.