I’m not going to bore all of you with specifics on the history of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000‘ (MS3TK), because if you’re reading this the odds are almost undeniable that you’re already a die-hard fan of this cult series. That being said, I’m pleased to report that the revival version, ‘MS3TK: The Return‘, just released on Netflix as of yesterday, continues the great tradition of making you laugh as you listen to the three main characters rip apart some REALLY bad films…
The Good? Like I just said, the humor that made the previous iteration on Minnesota local cable and later Comedy Central so charming, is retained here and better than ever. Jonah, played by Jonah Ray, fills the shoes of Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson nicely as the primary human who is forced to hang out with robot pals and watch terribly cheesy B movies. As far as the movies themselves, thus far after getting through episodes 1-4, I can safely say they couldn’t have chosen a better mix of craptacular feature films that now get a chance to really “shine” at the expense of being properly mocked– Particular episode 4, “Avalanche”, had me borderline pissing myself from joke to joke. Another positive aspect is the inclusion of a real band that plays the opening theme, as well as during the very short commercial break transitions. You could say the production value has certainly come a long way since 1988. All in all, nicely done boys and girls!!
The Bad? Well, the first two episodes were rather shaky in that the timing and pacing of the jokes seemed way off as compared to its predecessor. But please, stick with it, as episodes 3 and 4 seem to really rectify the initial chemistry issues between the three main characters. And it’s not that the first two episodes were garbage, but for someone that watched the original series it became obvious that they had some kinks to work out, and work them out they did! The only other purist quibble I’ve had is the show now looks so perfect and pretty in HD that part of me misses the rougher edged 4:3 look of the original series– But that’s nitpicking at best. Other than that, smooth sailing!
Lastly, I’ll say this is a great example of how a Kickstarter campaign can turn into something really great for life-long fans of a program. Kudos to all involved from the donors, the new cast and production crew and right on down to Netflix for being the main distributor of this cult classic revival! Nuff said.