krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I did take my time watching through the fourteen episodes of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival, which wound up putting me well behind even the measured-out organized discussions I'd seen about them. I suppose I went on to resolve that, as in certain other cases, I'd rather have my first reactions and reflections be my own (although there could also have been the half-acknowledged awareness that a single negative comment disagreeing with my own thoughts, even if not in response to me, can weigh heavier on me than any amount of positive agreement...) Deciding not to get too distracted from taking in the full experience by trying to scribble down memorable "riffs" to go in "episode thoughts" posts also meant keeping most of my first reactions that much more to myself.

Some of the "the way we live now" jokes making a big deal of online services could sort of fly past me (although maybe my never having quite got started with some of those services has something to do with that), there could seem to be a heavier reliance on "running gags" than in the old days, and perhaps there were times the riffs all being delivered in new voices had a strange, distancing effect on me. At the same time, in also every so often somehow feeling like a combination of appealing elements I associate with different eras of the original series (the amiable tone of "the Joel years" and the faster, perhaps more movie-focused pace of "the Mike years"), the revival could also get to feeling both distinct and in the complete tradition of what had gone before. There were also, of course, always my old worries the new episodes would just invoke too many of the somehow fixed up-or-down judgments an awful lot of pop culture commentary can seem like to me, even as I kept sort of bracing myself against them popping up in the dwindling number of episodes left to watch...

I don't know if Mark Hamill making one of the assorted guest appearances the revival can now manage to attract (the biggest surprise in the whole of the old series seemed Leonard Maltin) got the writers thinking in a particular direction for "Carnival Magic," but that episode did toss in two riffs disparaging the Star Wars trilogy that had begun as the old series ended. Neither of them seemed particularly funny to me or even very original, but I suppose I was able to think of a comment Joel Hodgson had made in an interview that had done a bit towards my managing to work up the courage to pay into the Kickstarter, that if one joke "doesn't work" there'll be another in a few moments. It did, though, add to my anxiety when I reached the last episode and saw Peter Cushing had co-starred in "At the Earth's Core." He was playing a dotty old professor a bit harder to make non-stop Star Wars references about, though, and while the riffing did eventually acknowledge this led to them invoking "C-3P0 voices" things did wind up seeming like another one of the standouts of the revival to me.

There's still no official news of Netflix agreeing to pay in full for more episodes, although there haven't been any ominous announcements the other way either. After fourteen movies in colour and widescreen, I'm as ready as some other people have said they are to see if there are any black-and-white "4:3" features left that seem to work with the series, to say nothing of shorts. (However, I did think at times that this was actually somewhat like what I've heard the selection of movies for the "KTMA episodes" was.) Regardless of where things go, though, I can at least say the revival we have now has on average been a lot more appealing to me than it could have been.
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