Mystery Science Theater 3000- Season Eleven Summed Up

In The Not Too Distant Future, it may be possible Mystery Science Theater 3000 will have a second season. Discussion of all 14 episodes have been steady for more than a week.

This tweet, however, may secure its future:

He should also be happy to know a riff about Hamilton was part of The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t.  Mark Hamill even revealed his cameo in the Carnival Magic episode during the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, according to show creator Joel Hodgson.

Between those of these bits of news, it looks like MST3K is getting the pop culture attention it needs to get another season.

When season eleven was released last week, people wondered if it would live up to the old days. Despite complaints about too much riffing, the host rapping, the New Mads not getting along, and the cliffhanger ending, most have been very happy with the first new episodes since 2000.

Some weren’t happy because they don’t look like the cable TV years. Those people should remember that season eleven was funded by the fans, mainly on two thirds of a shoestring. It’s not that much different from its first national season, where the sets were also smaller. We didn’t get a bigger Deep 13 or a Hexfield View Screen until season two. The new batch has done the best under limited conditions. The SOL’s Jet Screen has served as the view screen while Moon 13 is two sets serving several roles. With all that, they have brought back the classic days, and more.

COMPARING JONAH TO MIKE AND JOEL

Just like his predecessors, Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) is a good-natured guy. He also happens to be quite skilled, even more so than Joel. He is the driver of a “back-jack”, which is a spaceship that works like a tow truck. He also does a lot of mechanical work. That’s why he’s able to make Servo fly and give Crow better arms. He also renovated Gypsy with a new voice and ability to move through the ship.

ARE THEY THE REAL TOM SERVO AND CROW?

If you answer that question through the press conference they had through Facebook, the answer would be yes. If you see the new shows, they are definitely the wisecracking bots we remember, especially by episode four. It’s possible the bots we have now are copies of the ones that wound up with Mike Nelson at the end of season ten, or maybe the originals got an overhaul. In any case, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn do a great job as Crow and Servo, sounding just as they did in the Comedy Central days.

The best news is that they’re able to do more in the theater, thanks to improved puppetry and a bit of animation. That’s why we see Servo trying to push a rocket in Time Travelers or sneaking a peek in Loves of Hercules, or Servo as a hot dog vendor as a fight starts in At the Earth’s Core.

Gypsy has the biggest improvement with a new voice and the ability to riff in the theater. We still don’t know what she takes out of the theater, only that it’s the “Payload.”

Of course, the major complaint was the bots trying to deliver too many riffs per minute. They do slow it down by Land That Time Forgot, and hold steady after that. After all, it took them a few episodes of the first season to get it right. However, they also use some classic riffs from the old days, especially “Watch out for snakes”, to please long-time fans.

ARE THE NEW MADS JUST LIKE THEIR PARENTS?

Clayton Forrester and TV’s Frank were more like squabbling brothers than partners in mad science. Still, they got along great. Clay just wasn’t the same after Frank left at the end of season six.

With Kinga (Felicia Day) and Max – TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, played by Patton Oswalt, it’s much different. She just doesn’t like anyone but herself. She thinks she can be Queen of All Media thanks to MST, but her knowledge is severely lacking. She talks about winning time slots, forgetting that it’s not a factor in streaming media. She later thinks her version of Married At First Sight with Jonah will be a ratings smash. It was not, but was certainly unforgettable,

It’s just too bad she’s so mean to Max. As she tells him, “God, I hate you. I didn’t mean that to hurt your feelings. I mean that as a fact.”

Maybe she thinks she has to be this mean because Pearl and Clayton were, too.

She can be more diabolical by being less cruel but more crafty. By next season, she should really understand she needs Max, because she has no one else. It shouldn’t turn into a love story, though.

That being said, Felicia Day is perky and evil as Kinga. However, she can also be heartbreaking, especially in the Avalanche episode where she meets her internet boyfriend, Neville. As fans in social media have said, Felicia really has the toughest job of all trying to follow Clayton and Pearl. Maybe we haven’t seen the real Kinga yet, but if she decides she can create her own kind of “evil” she may be even more interesting.

Patton Oswalt does a great job showing Max is just like TV’s Frank, especially when he almost gave Jonah the keys of his ship back and later drank hot water by accident twice. At least she’s not conducting experiments on him, but that’s bound to happen.

So, why does Max have a severe and disturbing crush on Kinga?

It would have been better if the two were more like brother and sister, then he slowly starts to look at her differently in later seasons.

At least he proved to be just as evil as Kinga, especially what he did at her TV wedding.

BEST AND WORST

Best movie:  Avalanche because the crew finally got in groove, and we got our first cameo in Neil Patrick Harris.

Worst:  Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, despite Max finding a new friend thanks to a special key
Best Host Segment:  “Every Country Has A Monster” from Reptilicus

Worst:  The “You Might Be A Crummy Wizard” Book From Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.

Honorable Mention:  Mesozoic Ranch from Land That Time Forgot.

The New Mads should forget about putting the MST name on anything. Thinking up of questionable businesses is more fun, and more amusing.

Invention Exchange:  The Mads had some winners with the Carvel Clock, which shows how the Fudgy the Whale pan was too versatile, along with “Punt Bunnies”. However, Kinga’s Hot Water Hose that could have saved the Titanic was a clunker.

For the SOL crew, GIF Notes, using emojis to summarize books, was great, along with the Disco Cannon.

Best Cameo:  Should be Neil Patrick Harris, but Mark Hamill is a bigger “get” because he wasn’t only a guest, he was a contributor. He gets the win here.

Best Riff:  from Loves of Hercules, because it describes the show perfectly:
“A few more moments and his suffering will be over”
What about us?

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?

That all depends on how long the show will make fans think Jonah is dead. It could be one episode or more,
but it’s possible Kinga will force Max to riff the movies. Jonah will be back because the metal monster that “ate” him has no stomach, as Ray said in the MST3K Revival Podcast.  It’s a matter of when and whether it’ll change things on the show.

As for cameos, we can hope Mark Hamill will come back as he promised as P.T. Mindslap, but the show should feature its writers in host segments more often. Still, seeing NPH or Joel McHale again wouldn’t be so bad, either.

For now, fans can enjoy season eleven again and again. Maybe they’ll figure out the riffs they missed, decide if the new guys are just as good as the old ones, what really happened to Jonah in the season finale and what the heck Gypsy is delivering in that “payload.”

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008