Audiences will have plenty to give thanks for this year. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 2 premieres Thursday, Nov. 22 on Netflix — that is, Thanksgiving Day, which means you might actually find something to watch with your random extended family members. The comedy series, also known as MST3K for short, is hosted by comedian Jonah Ray and also stars Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester, Patton Oswalt as Max, and, of course, the robots themselves: Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn) and Crow T. Robot (Hampton Yount). It’s a delightfully cheesy celebration of sub-par films; that said, there hasn’t been any news as to whether Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been renewed for Season 3 just yet.
For the uninitiated, the Netflix series is a reboot of a beloved cult comedy show, which began airing on St. Paul’s KTMA in 1988, per the New York Times. The show originally featured Joel Robinson (host and creator Joel Hodgson), who was imprisoned by evil scientists aboard the spaceship Satellite of Love and forced to watch terrible movies in an attempt to drive him mad. These subpar flicks were famously projected onto a movie theater screen, and the profiles of Joel and his robot companions — Crow T. Robot (Trace Beaulieu) and Tom Servo (Kevin Murphy) — could be seen in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
"Until video games, movies felt like the biggest thing in the world," Hodgson told the NYT. "So we had to be in awe of them: ‘Don’t do anything to the movies, we need them, keep them intact, please!’ What originally motivated me to do Mystery Science Theater 3000 was my impulse to respond: ‘Oh, you can talk back to these things.’" And talk back he did, as the show aired until 1999, although Hodgson’s character was later replaced by Mike Nelson (Michael J. Nelson).
In this current iteration, which premiered April 14, 2017, audiences were introduced to Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) as the new Joel. The comedian was a fan of the series growing up, telling the AV Club that he started watching the show when he was around 11. "That’s where Joel and his ideas imprinted onto me," Ray joked. "What he did is he planted seeds around the country for little comedy dorks like me."
What’s more, it’s clear he believes in the MST3K ethos. "We collaborate with these movies: We enjoy them and celebrate them in the best way we know how, which is to make jokes," Ray told the NYT. "That’s what I do in my everyday life. So I tell people: ‘We’re going to get together, watch a movie, and have a party while we’re doing it.’"
As for Season 2, which is titled “The Gauntlet,” the trailer warns that audiences will have to sit through six terrible movies: Mac and Me, Atlantic Rim, Lords of the Deep, The Day Time Ended, Killer Fish, and Ator, The Fighting Eagle. And although there’s only six episodes to Season 1’s 14, Hodgson told the NYT that it was in order to attract new viewers. "We consequently tried to deliver something that viewers could watch and say, ‘Oh, it’s a Netflix series: It’s got a definite beginning, middle and end,’" he said.
And although there’s been no news as to whether there will be more seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the Season 2 renewal was announced on Nov. 23, 2017, per Deadline, so perhaps news of Season 3 (or is it Season 13?) is just around the corner. What’s more, it seems like the series has resonated with fans both old and new. Season 1 received a stellar 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and while the jury is still out on Season 2, audiences will likely gobble it up along with their Thanksgiving turkey. But even if it doesn’t return, fans can rest assured that they have plenty of back catalogue to rewatch. After all, that’s kind of the point of the show, anyway.
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