Mystery Science Theatre 3000 aired from 1988 – 1999 and became a cult phenomenon. In 2015, a record breaking crowd funding Kickstarter campaign raised funds for a new season, which aired this year.
I don’t normally talk about TV, but I’m bending this rules here, because if you’re a film buff or if you love humour and bad films, then this is the show for you.
MST3000 is about a guy who has been sent into space by an evil scientist and his goon who experiment on him by making him watch truly awful films. The host has changed over the years (it was initially the shows creator Joel Hodgson), but he is joined by robots that he made out of parts he found on the ship. Two of these, Crowe and Tom Servo, watch the films with him. Essentially, the show consists of little skits on the spaceship, and watching the old films along with the cast, while they riff on the bad acting, meaningless plot, dodgy costuming, and anything else.
It’s actually pretty hilarious, and I love re-watching the older shows from the early days, with their references to Madonna and Billy Idol, or other retro pop cultural references. But all the episodes and seasons are pretty good. It’s funny to watch this show now, because it came before YouTube reviewers and commentators and before shows like GoggleBox, etc. It’s a show that’s deliberately kind of dodgy in its sets and design and just has fun with itself and the films shown.
And there are some great bad films in this show, some that you would perhaps never have thought to watch if it wasn’t for this show, and others, like the works of Ed Wood that this show unearthed and gave a cult following to. It also makes watching old cheesey movies extra fun.
It’s great that there’s a new season out, with Jonah Ray as host. It’s funny how a little show made in Minnesotta in the 1980’s has come so far and had so much fun doing it. The season came out on Netflix, so you should be able to find it there, but you can also find out more on the website, HERE.