Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Next Generation

Welcome, won't you?

Read this. It's kind of long and rather dense with confusing information, so take your time. Done yet?

Good. I don't know if I should be excited about a web-only continuation of my favorite TV show, or disgusted at a blatant cash grab or what.

I mean, of course it's a cash grab. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Rifftrax, Film Crew, and MST3K itself were/are all cash grabs too, in their own way--the writers/performers don't do any of this for free. But they do it for us as well, delivering some very top-notch funny directly to our computers and TV sets.

Unfortunately, the only original cast members who seem to be involved with MST3K 2.0 are Jim Mallon (who owns the MST3K property) as Gypsy and Paul Chaplin (a writer/performer best known for his recurring appearances as Ned the Nanite and Pitch the Devil) as Crow. Yes, they've recast Crow again. And everyone else, I'm guessing, because if they'd brought back Mike, or Kevin, or Mary Jo, I'm sure they'd be trumpeting it in that announcement.

Essentially, we're getting an entirely new entertainment product from an almost entirely new creative team with the same characters. The only things we know for sure are that there will be a) animated adventures and b) merchandise.

No one has said what kind of adventures. Will they be riffing old short films? Will they be performing host segment-style skits? Is there going to be an emphasis on new content, or will this be flash-animated crap whose sole purpose is to draw us into their MST3K T-shirt shop?

We'll find out on November 5, 2007, I guess, but with so much of the cast missing, I'm not all that hopeful. Mike, Bill, and Kevin help out with online animation projects all the time (Max the Hero, most recently) so I know they're available to some extent, at least.