12/14/06

Season Three: Repackaged Japanese Crap*

301 Cave Dwellers

302 Gamera

303 Pod People

304 Gamera vs. Barugon

305 Stranded In Space

306 Time of the Apes

307 Daddy-O
with Alphabet Antics

308 Gamera vs. Gaos

309 The Amazing Colossal Man

310 Fugitive Alien

311 It Conquered the World
with Snow Thrills

312 Gamera vs. Guiron

313 Earth vs. the Spider
with Speech: Using Your Voice

314 Mighty Jack

315 Teenage Caveman
with Aquatic Wizards
and Catching Trouble

316 Gamera vs. Zigra

317 Viking Women and the Sea Serpent
with The Home Economics Story

318 Star Force: Fugitive Alien II

319 War of the Colossal Beast
with Mr. B Natural

320 The Unearthly
with Posture Pals
and Appreciating Our Parents

321 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

322 Master Ninja I

323 Castle of Fu Manchu

324 Master Ninja II

Season Three is where we all settle in and start to enjoy the ride. With two seasons of experience under their belt and no cast changes, the MST3K crewmembers just sit back and do what they do best.

The general quality of the host segments continues to come up. By now they’ve perfected the art of seeming relaxed and frenetic at the same time—in their best skits it’s really a pleasure to watch. Gypsy continues her slow upward climb to the position of head of the ship, really coming into her own with the “Appreciating Gypsy” sketch in The Unearthly (Episode 320).

This season has my favorite episode (The Cave Dwellers) and favorite short (Mr. B Natural), but every episode of this season is watchable and worth at least a few laughs (except for the reprehensible Castle of Fu Manchu). Many of the episodes are worth seeing more than once. They’ve already proven that they can do good things with stuff that’s already goofy (e.g. Pod People and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians), but the things they manage with the exceedingly bland Bert I. Gordon and Roger Corman films really makes them look like pros. Step carefully around all of the Japanese television shows, especially if unfollowable plots upset you. But then, if they do, why are you watching this show to begin with?

*Includes nine (NINE!) badly dubbed and edited Japanese films and TV shows from entertainment mogul Sandy Frank.