So, I love me some Mystery Science Theater 3000. Netflix’s revival, spurred along by a successful Kickstarter campaign, was good news for me, and the new season was actually fun.
Well, Netflix ponied up for a second, shorter season called, ominously, The Gauntlet.
Why is there a Gauntlet and how did current host Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) escape from the certain death that got him at the end of the previous set of episodes? To answer the latter, the show doesn’t say and though Jonah wants to tell everyone, his robot friends Tom Servo and Crow don’t care.
As for the former, well, in a twist on the usual scenario, mad scientist Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and her assistant Max (Patton Oswalt) are going to see if they can achieve their goal of driving a man insane with the worst movie ever made in the form of a plan for world conquest by forcing Jonah and the bots to binge watch six in short succession. Given the average episode runs under an hour and twenty minutes, it wouldn’t be too hard for the home audience to likewise binge the six all at once, but I personally prefer to take my time over such things, so no binging for me.
Anyhoo, the movies this time around are probably more recent, giving us good riffs on the likes of Mac & Me, Atlantic Rim, Lords of the Deep, The Day Time Ended, Killer Fish, and the horrendously awful Ator, the Fighting Evil. Basically, if you like the show, you’ll enjoy these. The jokes are good, the riffing is a bit better as Ray and the new cast is more comfortable with the format, and there’s always the “Concepts” song that explains the plot to the ambitious if nothing else The Day Time Ended.
So, yeah, if you’re a fan, check it out. The new show is actually sort of building something, adding some new reoccurring robots in the form of musicians Growler and Waverly, and just having fun with really bad movies. I don’t know if there will be any more, but I’ll take what I can get and more is always welcome. 9 out of 10 cameos from former cast members.