The all new Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the perfect show for Netflix.
The vast majority of the streaming service’s shows in some ways weaponize nostalgia, and considering that MST3K was always about literally weaponizing nostalgia to begin with, the show has fit right in with the rest of Netflix’s original content offerings.
Season one of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 was good – perhaps not quite as incredible as the classic show, but then, that’s a hard legacy to live up to.
The decision to include a lot of relevant geek icons, such as Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, has proven both a blessing and a curse to the finished show.
On the one hand, the new MST3K is instantly enjoyable for anyone who recognized some of these faces, but on the other hand, it does mean that audiences aren’t getting exposed to any new comedians who might be able to do something bold and different.
Netflix has now announced that we will soon be getting a second season of this show’s revival, and the challenge to produce something that genuinely is unique has now grown.
Nostalgia’s great, but if Mystery Science Theater 3000 is to be anything more than a tribute act, now is the time to start introducing some new, different ideas.
The easiest way to do so is with the movie choices. The show has always revolved around bad movies, but there’s a lot of scope for picking and choosing the right kind of stuff within this remit.
Traditionally, we’ve always got older stuff that’s either fallen into the public domain, or become very cheap to license for a TV show.
It’d be interesting to see the show move forward a little, though, spending more time on bad movies from, say, the Eighties, or from more far-flung parts of the world. We got a little of this in season one, and it does seem to be the main way that the new show is differentiating itself from its predecessor.
Of course, if the show really wanted to go a bit meta, it could always riff on an older episode of the original MST3K. Perhaps that might be going a bit far.
Regardless, let’s hope that the new season lives up to the hype in the same way that the original did, and that the new batch of episodes will bring us some fantastic old movies that we can fall in love with, despite their inherent cheesiness.