14 July 2006

MST3K (season one closing thoughts)

Goodbye, season one.

Joel's energy in the theater is great this season. No longer relegated to a tiny strip on the bottom, his giant silhouette can reach most of the screen. This gives him the power to fiddle with computer knobs, give ladies pecks on the cheek, and dance, dance, dance. I loved his props, too. Brushes for cleaning on-screen characters' clothes, hot dogs for roasting in lava, and POW-BIFF-BAM signs for extra action in fight scenes.

Commando Cody quickly went from being "neat, I've never seen a serial before" to "not this again." I suppose filling up twelve weeks' worth of one-reel, low-budget action is harder than it sounds. The flying effects were good for the time. They just needed a better-focused plot and perhaps some other type of cliffhanger rather than Cody seeming to die each and every time. I can't wait until we get some real shorts.

Poor Gypsy didn't have much to do this season. After the unexpected success of the Richard Basehart non sequitur in 101, she became limited to mostly that topic. She was allowed a brief moment to shine during 113. As if to take revenge for Servo's condescension, she slowly transforms into a giant scorpion and eats the bot. Of course, her tail immediately falls off during the last transformation, but it was the thought that counted.

In line with common MiSTie convention, I did find that there were a number of not-great episodes this season. My absolute favorites, however, aren't even the ones released by Rhino. The two later robot movies, 107 and 110 had me laughing the most. A close third was 112.

Overall, there were some bumps in road in the first national season. Given the major changes coming up, I'd expect we're in for some more bumps in season 2 before we settle into the four long seasons.

The Numbers

Total Length
20 hours, 49 minutes, 24 seconds
(96 min average for 13 episodes)

Years Spanned
(1959 average)

Shorts Years Spanned
(1952 average)

Time to Watch
24 days
Time to Broadcast Originally
99 days

Turkey Day Episodes
1 (8%)
106 (23 Nov 1995)
Episodes with the Words "Robot" or "Monster" (or Both) in the Title
102, 103, 107, 110 (31%)
Black and White to Color Ratio