Thought I’d dust off the old blog and post about one of my favorite things, Mystery Science Theater and its return! For anybody who doesn’t know, I usually work on my comics and art while Mst3k plays in the background and is very influential to me!
I was one of the MST3K Kickstarter backers and got to view the first episode early! Let’s jump right in, won’t we?
WARNING: Spoilerish review sorta.
MST3K: S11 E01 Reptilicus
The Beginning! (Oh No the movie is starting again!!): We jump right into the story of why our new test subject, Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) is selected. It’s a quick moving scene introducing Dr. Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and TV’s son of TV’s Frank (Patton Oswalt). All three of these characters are respectably charming and welcome to the MST3K canon. Also a cameo from Wil Weaton! (Is it just me but does It feel like that inner circle of nerds made this show ;)) It’s a nice start accented with all the neat miniatures/stop motion. There’s a new Doorway sequence that makes sense with living quarters and work rooms. It has a very Möbius/ Nostromos /Alien feeling! The Skeleton Crew gives a neat musical flair to everything and their design is a great throw back to old sci-fi movies with monsters with helmets and skulls. Costumes are on point with wonderful colors and design. The “commercial breaks” make me feel like it’s a real tv show. Very nice and authentic touch! Also the return of invention exchange and letters gives us that original format of Joel and early Mile episodes.
Host segments & Music: I felt like the host segments were to few to give us enough of who our cast is. Regardless they are fun! The musical number, “Every Country Has a Monster”, is catchy and fun. Certainly in the same vain as the Godzilla Genealogy Bop. I’m eager to see if there are more musical numbers, especially since we have so many musical things going on in the show! Did I hear the Canada song at some point?!? Yes I did! Also, “Mighty Science Theater” (the outro music) is soooo lovely.
New Voices: I think Hampton Yount does a great new Crow. He’s a nice mix of Trace and Bill and easy to figure out when he’s talking. Now Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn) and Jonah sound so similar to each other I have yet to figure out who is who sometimes. I’m sure with more views and as the show continues they will become more distinct to the ear. Did I mention Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson)! I agree with Joel’s need to update her. Giving her a real female voice and more mobility seems right and respectful vs. her almost dense male voice, and cumbersome original self. I will always love original Gypsy, but I’m totally digging new her.
Jokes: I was wondering if they were going to do this, but they did! They brought back old classic MST3K running jokes. Yay! If you’ve ever watched/listened to MST3K throughout you know they repeat jokes, their own lexicon if you will. But no fear, new updated jokes are here too. (Can you count how many Kickstarter jokes there is..?) I am concerned that they blow through the jokes a little too fast and not let them land naturally. It seems forced. Though on second viewing (aka having it on in the background) the jokes land better and starts feeling more like MST3K. If you’ve never seen MST3K, that’s okay, there’s tons of jokes to get but if you’re a long time fan you’re are treated well.
Movie: ugh. Not enough Repliticus!!! He really is the star of the movie and so badly shot too!!! Who doesn’t love a badly made monster? Yeah, this is the regular cheese MST3K is known for. Nice to have the original widescreen as the new format the show gives us. Joel said he always wanted to have the movies like this so you can have all the opportunities for jokes. Not much else to say about this other than; Petersen. :p
Final Thoughts: A good start. Feels a little forced at times, but the ingredients are here to make some real magic in the future. It’s not bad by any stretch, and so far earns its 11th season cred. I’m excited to see more host segments and how these characters are going to grow. It looks like that they doing a continuing story like the Mike episodes used to have (least that seems to be the set up) all while keeping that Joel charm. I highly recommend checking out the new MST3K this April 14th on Netflix when not only will the first episode be available but the whole season!!! Watch like crazy (if you like it) – Netflix will possibly renew it if it has lots of love.
Outro Card: YUP.