Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Revival Coming to Netflix
Few acronyms stir the feelings that MSTK3K does. For fans of the original series that ran in one form or another between 1988 and 1999, it is a cult icon, a cultural touch point that is absurd and blissful all at once. For those unaware of the show’s premise, a janitor and his robot friends were forced to watch terrible movies as an experiment by evil scientists. The janitor and his robot friends watch the bad movies and poked fun at them along the way. I know, it sounds really bizarre, but it worked.
The show ended its run, but the writers continued their movie mocking shenanigans with Riff Tracks, doing the MST3K ‘mock a bad movie’ bit with films other than those in the public domain. Wanting to bring their jokes back to television, a Kickstarter campaign was started. Nearly 6 million dollars later, the show had enough funding to not only revive itself, but also make 14 new episodes.
Revealed at San Diego Comic Con, those 14 episodes will be available exclusively on Netflix.
“Huzzah!” as Tom Servo would say, specifically in the Pod People episode.
Mystery Science Theater has been tremendously influential and was able to bring some enormous talent into the revival series. Returning from the original series will be Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy. New to the show come nerd power personalities like Patton Oswalt, Felicia Day, Hampton Yount, Baron Vaughn, and new host, Jonah Ray. Cameos are expected and already confirmed are Mark Hamill and Jerry Seinfeld.
For as wonderful as the on screen talent is, the writing staff is what I’m most excited about. The original host, Joel Hodgson is set to produce. Former The Daily Show head writer Elliott Kalan is leading the new writing staff which includes Community show runner Dan Harmon and star of Community and The Soup, Joel McHale. With Hodgson being the guide, the show looks to keep its original spirit moving along.
While the Kickstarter successfully concluded in 2015, where the episodes would find distribution was always a bit of a curiosity. Harmon, understandably, was probably not too keen on a deal with Yahoo! Screen, and Hodgson had great success with YouTube and self-distribution, but Netflix provides a commercial free setting for the show which typically had to allow for commercial interruptions, shown on screen as the human and robots leaving the theater at the sound of an alarm every fifteen minutes.
I am terribly excited to see the show return and will now be watching Pod People multiple times a week until the expected 2017 release.