Friday, March 16, 2012

MST3K: Season Three wrapup

Season Three is in the box, so to speak. And it was much longer than the previous seasons. The national ones, anyway.

Gamera (Michael J. Nelson) visited the Satellite of Love once. The SOL visited Gamera five times.
Seasons One and Two both were 13 episodes. Season Three was 24 episodes, nearly twice as long. That's because Comedy Central was happy with the performance of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on The Comedy Channel, and, when The Comedy Channel and HA! merged, this show was kept. It even aired on the first day the merged channel took the name Comedy Central.

Now, to be sure, Season Zero, on KTMA, was 21 shows. So, the crew had done a longer season before. And with a smaller crew. But then, it was more of a hit-and-miss effort then. It was all ad-libbed rather than scripted, and showed.

They team put a lot more effort into the show when they went national, and turned in some good efforts in the first two seasons. I thought the third season was fantastic. The writing was great, the episodes were bad, and the laughter was often.

It was a half-Oriental season. Of the 24 episodes, 12 were either Japanese imports, or featured Oriental characters. There were:
The studios took TV and turned it into movies and thrust it upon the unsuspecting public. Joel & the Bots fought valiantly for us in nearly a third of the episodes.
There were also several sequels:
They didn't riff all the Gamera films. Yes, that means there were more. And, they didn't riff all the Master Ninja films. Yes, they made more of those. There were also some movies from film series where they only featured one of the films:
  • Episode 323: The Castle of Fu Manchu - the fifth and final Fu Manchu film to star Christopher Lee. There were other Fu Manchu movies from the 1920s to the 1940s, as well as a 1980 spoof that featured Peter Sellers in his final role.
  • Episode 301: Cave Dwellers - part of the Ator film series. It was released to theaters initially as Ator the Invincible 2 and as The Blade Master.
The season was very good. No, check that. The season was great.

"Mr." B Natural first appeared
The characters were pretty well developed by this time. Jerry and Sylvia were pretty much written out, though they would be referenced in later seasons, even making an appearance or two. Maybe just one.

Mr. B Natural showed up. He/she will appear again.

Frank took to calling himself "TV's Frank." Though the credits didn't reflect that, it would in Season Four.

Speaking of Season Four, that's coming up soon. And, it starts with an Academy Award-winning film. Really. I think it's safe to assume the award wasn't for writing or acting. We'll cover that next.

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