19 July 2003 | Cowman
Excellent! Ranks right up there with "The Simpsons" and "The Daily Show" !
For those unfortunate few who have never seen an episode of Joel Hodgson's MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (referred to by fans as 'MST3K'), here is a brief rundown on all the fun you've missed out on. Dr. Forrester is your typical mad scientist. He sports big glasses, an oversized lab coat, crazy hair, and an insatiable urge to take over the world. In an effort to kick off his latest foolproof world-domination scheme, Dr. Forrester abducts a dry-witted janitor named Joel Robinson from the research center they both work at. Joel is blasted into space in an apparently escape-proof ship called the Satellite of Love, forever doomed to orbit the planet Earth. Forrester keeps contact with Joel via satellite transmission, and each week sends hims an unbearably awful b-movie which he is forced to watch. The mad doctor's idea is to keep sending movies that are so mind-numbingly terrible that it will eventually drive Joel and his viewers to insanity, thus giving him an easy outlet for conquering the world. To help preserve his sanity, Joel uses parts from the ship to build four wise-cracking robot friends that keep him company and help us to avoid cinema-induced lunacy by mercilessly heckling the films.
The show aired weekly, and re-introduced old 1950s-70s era drive-in swill to a world that has long forgotten about it. The movies they chose--The Brain That Wouldn't Die, Time of the Apes, and (most notorious) Manos: The Hands of Fate, for example--were truly some of the most awful abominations in cinema history, and how they were able to find clear, working prints of these (mostly) obscure films is beyond me. Not only was it great to be able to witness some of these "masterpieces" first-hand, but the non-stop commentary by Joel, Tom, and Crow was absolutely hysterical. There was never a dull moment when those boys hit the SOL's onboard movie theater. On occasion, there would be a break from the movie to show a humorous sketch that would further the basic plot of the show. While many of these segments were admittedly not all that funny, they didn't last long, and Forrester would call for "MOVIE SIGN!" again in no time. Come to think of it, it may not even be that these primitive skits weren't funny, but that they simply paled in comparison to the sheer hilarity that took place in the ship's movie theater.
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is one of the few television programs that seems to be loved by virtually everybody. Seriously--I know of not a single person who didn't like this show, nor have I ever read a single negative comment or review of it. That being said, why on Earth was such a brilliant show like MST3K canceled? It couldn't have been because of poor ratings, since the show had a huge cult following and a substantial amount of regular viewers. If anyone has any information regarding why this series was taken off the air, please contact me!