After over 15 years of waiting, Mystery Science Theater 300 (MST3K) is back with a brand new season on Netflix. The show popped up last night with 14 new episodes starring a brand new cast of characters. However, many of the same people are behind the scenes, and there’s some special cameos throughout the season, so fans of the old series have little to be worried about. Actually, I got to check out the season early via Kickstarter rewards, and while I won’t be doing a full review, I wanted to say that this new season is looking very good so far.
EDIT: Oh, and if you want more MST flavored entertainment, then check out Rifftrax, which also comes from MST alums including Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy.
You can see for yourself by just watching the new Season 11 of MST3K on Netflix right now, but just to help give you a little push I wanted to share some thoughts. I’ve been a huge MST3K fan for years, catching the last few seasons live, and then filling in everything else from there. I own all of the DVDs, yes, including the ones that are ridiculously hard to find, and have watched through them many times. So, I’m a fan is what I’m saying.
I went into Season 11 of MST3K with a lot of excitement, but also a lot of trepidation. Could this series still have the same magic all these years later? About 30 minutes into the first episode that fear melted away. The opening was low budget and cheesy, the acting was over the top, and the movie was garbage. So, everything was as it should be.
The new cast, including Jonah Ray and Felicia Day, has some growing pains, as Joel had in the beginning, and Mike had when he took over from Joel. The riffs are a bit too fast paced, and they sometimes hit too close together. Even a couple episodes in I’m still getting used to the new voices for Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. But those are minor points. The big question is, does it deliver the laughs, and here it delivers perfectly.
I won’t go into any more specifics about the episodes, because they have to be seen to be believed. It’s great that the team chose color features that could be presented in wide screen. It helps the show feel more modern, while still using silly puppets and crafted effects. After a couple of solid riffs I was in MST3K bliss and the rest of the season was no longer seen as a worrisome affair. Instead I’m just looking forward to what this show has in store. My only worry now is that they won’t get a Season 12 to really stretch their legs, so if you’ve ever enjoyed MST3K then load up Netflix and check this new season out.