What To Watch When There's Nothing to Watch II

The Original Cast of MST3K: Old, Ugly, but Still Funny

Another Installment of the compelling series, which will continue until I run out of Roman numerals I know how to write.

Today's Topic: Mystery Science Theater 2.0 and 2.5: More Snark for the Buck

As I was watching another Web-TV series at the request of my editor, who for the sake of anonymity we'll refer to here as "Heartless Bastard", I noticed the presence of an old friend. (by "Friend", I mean "Guy who was on a TV show I liked" how lame is that...) The Web series is called "The Writers Room", and it stars a bunch of people you don't know, a PICTURE of Kevin Pollack (The Usual Suspects, Lame Shatner Impression) and the "friend" to whom I refer.

The "friend's" name is Frank Coniff, known to fans, as "TV's Frank" (Left) from the original Mystery Science Theater 3000. This discovery led me to wonder, not for the first time, whatever happened to the wonderful folks who gave us MST3K. The answer, for the most part, appeared to be: "got fat and continued marginal writing work."

It turned out that I could not be more wrong. (I tried...oh, yes...I tried.)After Leaving the show back in the mid-1990's, MST3K's creators went on to do many facinating projects, about which none of us could care less...except their latest...
The original cast of MST3K (Joel H., Elvis W., Mary Jo P, Frank C. and Trace B.) is currently engaged in a project called Cinematic Titanic wherein they (get this...) watch bad movies and snark on them!!!! They have only two releases as of this writing, but if you missed the old MST3K, and are not a robot fetishist, this serves as a decent substitute. Check it out at Cinematictitanic.com.

I sense that some of you fans are crying out "what about Mike and those guys?!" To those, I say, first of all, shut up...you are yelling at a blog...and second, fear not! The "other" full cast of MST3K is ALSO engaged in an endeavor ripping off...I mean borrowing... the MST3K concept.

For those of you who do not know, among MST3K fans (known as Mysties), the debate between Joel and Mike as the host of the show is as intense as the ones among Trekkies,Trekkors, and Trekkettes, between Kirk and Picard, Spock and Tuvok,and Seven-of-Nine's left breast and right breast. Now, you don't have to choose, as Michael J. Nelson and company present: Rifftrax.com.

The second MST3K cast, (pictured below) and many "guest riffers" record and sell commentaries to movies that have been released in modern times. These tracks of riffs, or "rifftrax", if you will, can be synched up to a DVD of the movies, and one can listen to the old gang snark along to your favorites. (They've been cranking these out about once a week for over a year, so there are over 70 titles to choose from.)

If you miss the infantile sketches interspersed between movie segments, fear not. Mike N., Bill C, and Kevin M. also have a production company called The Film Crew wherein they riff on the older movies, and have a "shell" story about providing audio commentary to old movies whose DVD release lacks such amenities.

Any one of these is about as good as the average MST3K episodes, and have the benefit of cultural references that are not 15 years old.

Neither of the old gangs have lost their touch. Now, though, you have to pay money for their touch. (sounds kinda perverted, but you know what I mean....)

It all adds up to: "better than re-runs and lame reality TV to kill a few hours".


Smartie said...

Never seen it! I did download some eps with the intention of watching it, and have never gotten around to it yet :(

TV Maven said...

If you download the short films from rifftrax, they are only about 10 minutes long. Many Mysties think that the shorts are the funniest.

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