In December, I covered the KTMA season (Season Zero), in which the format developed into something quite recognizable ... and quite good. Now, as the new year is underway, so is the new season of MST3K. At least, insofar as the whole "watch them all" project.
Episode 101: The Crawling Eye
First aired: The Comedy Channel on 28 November 1989
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon (Volume 17), Shout Factory (Volume 17), Best Brains (Volume 17)
The first episode isn't the first episode after all. We covered that last time.
|"It's so hard to find a spot I haven't hit."|
DR. FORRESTER: When's the last time you saw a dog sweat? Larry?I had to hit "pause" just so I could finish laughing.
DR. ERHARDT: Never!
DR. FORRESTER: Exactly! And why is that?
DR. ERHARDT: Dogs don't sweat.
|Joel plays Amazing Grace and Whole Lotta Love|
Some background on Deep 13 was provided. Joel suggests that the Mads were kicked out of Gizmonic Institute for shooting him into space. They deny that, saying they simply moved to Deep 13. Joel mentions that it's in the sub-basement of Gizmonic Institute, and he had to clean up a flubber spill there once, and that the place is "incredibly radioactive."
Of course, Joel slaps the table since there's no button. When the crew enters the theater, Tom Servo enters on his own. In the previous episode, Joel carried him. Of course, since this episode may have been filmed first (it's 101 while the previous episode was 102), maybe ... never mind. Anyway, Servo entered under his own power for the first movie segment, and Joel carried him in subsequent movie segment entrances.
|Tom enters under his own power||Joel carries Tom|
Though this movie is nearly as bad as the Sandy Frank films from the KTMA season, there are no hot Japanese she-villains. There is the lovely Janet Munro, though. She's British and the heroine, but that's close enough.
The riffing degenerates into a series of eye puns towards the end, when the Crawling Eyes (*SPOILER* there's more than one) finally appear.
|A Whole Lotta Gypsy||Gypsy from KTMA|
I didn't say it made sense.
Everything I've read indicates that they began scripting -- or seriously scripting -- the riffs in Season One, as opposed to the more ad-libbed fare of Season Zero/KTMA. Even so, they stepped on each other's lines a few times. I wonder if the following the script is still something they're getting used to, or if they're still throwing in ad-libs.
Joel, Josh, and Trace do play well off each other. They've had a year to practice, so that shouldn't be an issue. Still, the dynamic of Joel, Josh, and Trace is a very good one. I'm more familiar with the Mike, Kevin, and Bill team, so it's interesting seeing a different crew doing the same thing.
One other thing: Joel is referred to simply as "Joel." No last name. The credits mention him by his real name, Joel Hodgson. His character's name isn't listed in the credits. I'm not sure when the character became "Joel Robinson," but that'll play out soon enough.
Good stuff. I haven't gotten the chance to break out The Crawling Eye, though I have it on DVD. I think the earliest one I've seen had TV's Frank. It wasn't Catalina Caper but it was earlier in Season Two. They had a series of flashback host segments from season one - Tom's voice sounds really weird to me.ReplyDelete
I think you'll like the Joel eps, especially when they hit their stride. There's something endearing about him, even when he's freaking out.
I'm already enjoying Joel. Last year, when I found there were many MST3K episodes available on Netflix streaming, I began watching them. Most I had seen (mostly Mike episodes). But, when I realized just how many I hadn't seen, including most of the Joel episodes, I thought I'd try to find all I could. That's when I stumbled across the whole MSTie Underground.ReplyDelete
I've since obtained a copy of every episode (most recorded over-the-air or from cable). All the episodes that are currently available for purchase, I've purchased. The out-of-print episodes, I'm awaiting them to come available again and will buy them when that happens. Some have already come back into production, and I've bought all of them. Some are only available via iTunes, and I've bought those.
I would say I need a hobby, but I think I've got one.