Set in the not-too-distant future, a Gizmonic Institute employee is lured to the dark side of the moon by third-generation mad scientist Kinga Forrester and her flunky, Max. He is sat in front of cheesy movies with his robot buddies and forced to tortuously watch bad movies in their entirety as these mad scientists study the effects on his mind.
Though Netflix gave this a slightly different title in their listings for clarity, the MST3K creators consider this the same show that was last seen in 1999. The new Netflix season is considered to be MST3K season 11, and the production numbers in the show opening reflect that. As in the previous seasons, the titles show the name as "Mystery Science Theater 3000". See more »
EDIT- I feel I need to knock off a point from my initial review. At the time I was more forgiving but season 2 drives home a serious problem with the new series. There are too many jokes. For every two good jokes, it feels as though there are twenty bad ones in between and hurt the two good ones. The original series worked because it played off the movie, this is nothing but a distraction from it.
One of my favorite TV shows of all time get its second wind and the breeze is good. With a new cast and Joel behind the wheel, they have sought some great material for their 14 episodes and have given the series a nice new coat of paint. It took some time to get over the new voices for the bots, I'll admit, but nothing a little more exposure won't fix.
I love their selection. Two of them I have seen on Netflix before, Starcrashers and The Loves of Hercules, and Reptilicus is in my personal collection of $1 VHS tapes. With such quality, there is a plethora of ribs to be made. There is an android Texan for God sake, we have already crossed the camp line and I'll be damned if we aren't going to see that to the end. The other movies are strong contenders as well. In Cry Wilderness an obnoxious brat of a kid befriends Bigfoot and has to save his father from... all the while everyone throws as many insults as possible at the sole native American. Wizard of the Lost Kingdom has a doughy swordsman sort of avoid using swordsmanship to protect a bratty wizard kid. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II has a fat wizard teach a bratty kid magic while David Carradine desperately tries to avoid swordsmanship to protect them. I am beginning to sense a trend. But Yungary... has a giant monster dance with a bratty Korean kid. But they don't just pick on kids, The Time Travellers has a bratty man child, son of a...! If I were to pick a best episode, it would have to be Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II because woof. Between the teen actor getting hit with puberty hard and the cast forgetting to act, it is just non stop fodder for Jonah and the bots. Carradine's constant heroic entrances and sudden departures are especially hilarious, half the time he doesn't even do anything. Just show up, kill a couple guards, then out the window as everyone stands around and watches. The weakest movie of the season has to be Avalanche, it starts strong and ends well but for a stretch the movie just doesn't have much to ridicule. Mainly because nothing happens, the movie stalls on endless exposition that makes one wish the avalanche would come sooner. Even then, I wouldn't call it a terrible episode, the end is ripe with cheesy goodness as Rock Howard frets over his endangered mother who might be his age and Mia farrow is as wooden as ever.
The humor is pretty diverse. The sketches have that family friendly, perhaps even PC at times, quality that was very reminiscent of Joel's seasons. They try to be inoffensive and sometimes slap on the hand of the movie for being behind the times, such as shaming Rock Hudsen's character in Avalancehe for being a poor role model. The theater however feels more like Mike Nelson's run. They tear into the movie ridiculing it for all of its faults without remorse. Bad special effects, terrible costumes, the wizard kid runs like he may have some special need, nothing is safe. Even Gypsy gets into the act, though why I can't quite understand. Her appearance has more flair then the others but her jokes just don't deserve the build. She shows up, drops something off, and leaves with a somewhat disappointing quip while Tom and Crow are left with the A material.
There is one glaring flaw I have with the new season/series, and unfortunately its the mads. I like Felicia Day and I like Patton Oswalt, but Kinga Forrester and TV's Son of TV's Frank just don't seem to cut it. There is no activity with the characters, while their fathers were very active in their segments their kids are very wooden. They deliver their scenes like a stand up routine, they just stand in front of the camera and deliver their lines. The invention exchanges are especially weak, their inventions rarely if ever call for them to do anything beyond spin a wheel or talk. Their predecessors made love to the camera, I kind of wanted more from them.
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