Mystery Science Theater 3000 Redux

I don’t watch TV. I also don’t drink coffee, alcohol, or smoke. That makes me an oddity in modern American society. Especially in the South, where I’m from.

But I do watch a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix (the new ones and a few select old ones) and on YouTube, via, which is a site I’ve been watching grow for a long time. It used to have about 4 people on it at a time. Now there are noticeably more. It shows these stats. It’s a cool site, but it’s designed awfully. But I know the work that’s gone into setting it up to operate like it does, which is a lot of spinning gears and a lot of work behind the scenes.

The Zapper
Rowsdower. Zap Rowsdower.

I love the old MST3k. I’ve seen them all a billion times and have some paltry memorabilia. I’m not one of those people that collect crap, especially figurines. Or consciously try not to. But I do have some favorite things that I keep around me at my desk, like Kang with her bubble helmet and laser gun and a crazed Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons and a bunch of tin clockwork toys and scientific magnets and junk like that.


I had high hopes for this new iteration of the show, which was picking up with episode 1101, and was a backer to bring it back, starting a LONG time ago. They’ve been hard at work making these new ones for about 2 years. And had a $6 million-plus budget.

The new season, Season 11, is pretty weak in my opinion. There are a few good lines, but it’s not the clever, ongoing humor of the old ones. The timing’s different, and at times it seems just like they’re trying to see how many riffs they could jam in as little time as possible. Then go minutes in silence. And some of their riffs aren’t correct in some way, which is distracting. The new ones not being the old ones being established, here’s the deal with the new ones, which I’ve watched each several times with different degrees of focus.

There aren’t any shorts. Just feature films. And they are cheesy, but not hilariously so, like Hobgoblins or Time Chasers. There are several layers of skits and subplots and stupid graphics and whatever, that I have trouble following, honestly. It doesn’t make sense, and even in a silly way is overly contrived. So we just stick with the premise of a guy and some robots watching movies in a sort-of-remote mechanical bone for some reason, that has to do with an evil lizard-faced bucktoothed woman and a troll. Who has an entire TV show set including an entire 7-member band, but not a camera that can be stabilized in any way, apparently?

I’ve written it up on my other website so I won’t repeat myself here. But season eleven looks like it may be a trial run, and the good stuff is on the way. Without purposeless cameos by Jerry Seinfeld and other eye rolls. That’s how it was with the previous seasons; some were better than others. Some were LOTS better than others. It took a while for Joel Hodgson, the creator and first host, to find his footing. Michael Nelson, being a long-time writer, picked up the ball and ran it down the field seamlessly. Some seasons had few shows (season 7) and some had a ton of movies. There are over 200 shows, so of course, they aren’t all going to be home runs. And although I like the Michael seasons and think he does an awesome job, I hate Pearl and those Bobo and brain-guy skits with a passion. Trace and Frank were leagues better in acting, writing, improv, and all-around entertainment. Call me sexist, but I don’t think women are very funny, which is the reason for some disappointment with a woman for the main mad scientist. So far, she’s proving my theory true.

In any case, if there’s to be a season 12, please watch the new season’s episodes on Netflix, who has the money and has licensed it, and don’t rip it off Pirate Bay or some torrent site.

new mst3k cast