22 September 2006

MST3K (season three closing thoughts)

Goodbye, season three.

Season three was the best so far. That's encouraging. On an episode by episode basis, there isn't a steady incline of improvement, but the guys are getting better year by year. Though not a huge leap over season two, s3 sports better movie selections, generally funnier riffing and some classic host segments. It could've used more Pod Peoples and less Gameras, however.

I didn't like the Sandy Frank episodes as much as I was hoping to. I was expecting the Frank episodes, using the full power of the ComCen-era MST team, to obliterate the memories of the KTMA versions. That didn't really happen. There is no doubt that the host segments in the s3 version blew those from the KTMA episodes completely away. The "Tibby" song, "T.G.I.Tokyo," the not-for-kids "Arts and Crafts" segment, the "Gamera" song and the Gamera schematic are all indispensably classic bits. The riffing on the Frank episodes, however, wasn't the best of the season. It was nice to have all three of the guys consistently in the theater this time, but I felt like they didn't have as much to say about the Frank films as they did with other episodes this year. I still wish the utterly bizarre Frank movie Humanoid Woman would've made it to this season. I'd've gladly traded that one for the utterly boring Mighty Jack.

On the other hand, I discovered that I'm a dedicated Film Ventures International fan. Cave Dwellers, Pod People, Stranded in Space and the Master Ninjas (along with non-FV movies Daddy-O and War of the Colossal Beast) were my favorite episodes of the year. FV's randomized credit sequences are so cheezy and cheap, you've got to love them. Pod People is the first episode I've encountered that I can't wait to re-watch once my "Year on the Satellite" is over with.

What happened to the hexfield viewscreen? It was installed last season and was constantly visited by Mike. There were only a handful of visitors this year; the thing's probably rusted shut from disuse, now. Mike's visits were such a highlight for season two, it was disappointing to lose them. Hopefully he'll return more often in the next season and half, before he gets commandeered as the new host.

I've only seen one season 4 episode (that I remember), which was Rhino's release of Manos. It'll be all new to me. S4 also coincides with my Six Weeks of Halloween celebration. It looks like there are plenty of '50s horror movies in season four that will fit right in.

The Numbers

Total Length
38 hours, 55 minutes, 58 seconds
(97 min average for 24 episodes)
(26 min average for 1 special)

Years Spanned
(1968 average)

Shorts Years Spanned
(1950 average)

Time to Watch
43 days
Time to Broadcast Originally
239 days

Turkey Day Episodes
18 (75%)
301, 303, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311 (28 Nov 1991)
312, 317, 320, 321, 322 (26 Nov 1992)
308, 313, 318, 319 (25 Nov 1993)
306, 311, 315, 316, 321 (24 Nov 1994)
MST Hour Episodes
14 (58%)
301, 302, 303, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 317, 319, 320, 321
Total Film Ventures Films
301, 303, 305, 322, 324 (21%)
Total Sandy Frank Films
302, 304, 306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 316, 318 (38%)
Total Sequels
301, 304, 308, 312, 316, 318, 319, 323, 324 (38%)
Total Movies That Are Really TV Episodes
306, 310, 314, 318, 322, 324 (25%)
Total Episodes with Joel's Goatee
307 (4%)
Black and White to Color Ratio