Friday, December 03, 2004

The "Not Too Distant Future" of the "Not Too Distant Past"

Subject: TV
Back at the turn of the '90s, there was this late-evening gem of a show on what was, at the time, called "The Comedy Channel". A poor schlub named "Joel" trapped on an orbital space station, forced to watch really awful B-movies by a pair of evil scientists, who can only make it through them by making wisecracks with the help of two robots he built.

Okay, a rather uninspiring description for those of you who've never heard of this show, but for those of us in the US, "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" was a staple of college-student-weekend-TV-and-drinking fun.

And it lasted for a number of years. However, at one point, the key central character, Joel, left the show, to be replaced by the head writer (and annoying occasional screen presence), Mike. Well, the show was definitely different after that. As in, the humor just wasn't quite the same. Compound that over a short period of time with other changes in characters and staff -- and a move to the Sci-Fi network (where it's still endlessly re-run to this day), and I eventually drifted away from it.

One particular negative about the show's move to a different network is that all the older classic "Joel" episodes were not getting re-run along with the newer ones. So, it's been a number of years since I've seen any of them.

Until this week!

Part of my huge DDD order included a handful of box sets and individual episodes of MST3K releases. And I only bought the ones that had mostly (or all!) "Joel" episodes.

I've had the chance to watch two of them (plus a bunch of shorts) so far. My first reaction was -- wow, the pacing was really a lot slower back then! I mean, it was really laid back, slow-paced, and very simplistic. But, all in a good way! It's just an adjustment to make after being bombarded with so much (comparitively) rapid-fire media of late. Kind of like watching one of those classic 70's crime dramas. You find yourself fidgiting a bit while you wonder when things are going to pick up a little.

That said, it's still as funny as all get-go. And surprisingly, though I can't muster any particular memories of any given episode when I start it, all the great lines come flooding back, as does that feeling of "OMG, I actually did see this crappy movie before!"

"It's got nothing to do with 'pods'. It's got nothing to do with 'people'. But it's got everything to do with hurting." Heh.

No comments: