MST3K The Return: Season 2 Status and Release Date
If you’re looking for a season 2 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix, then you’ll have to understand the history of the show first. Let’s dive in.
In a world of reboots, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one to stand behind. For many years, true fans of snarky commentary and hate-watching have looked to MST3K for the puns, jibs, and jabs they need in their lives. Now Netflix has dusted off the Satellite of Love and is taking us on another journey through the wonderful world of B movies.
What Is It?
In the “not too distant future,” a mad scientist seeks to isolate and weaponize the worst movie ever made. In his quest, he traps a janitor on the bone-shaped “Satellite of Love,” where he uses control of the craft’s air supply to force him to watch bad movies until one is found that can break his spirit. To survive this trying ride, the janitor constructs a pair of robot friends to keep him company and help fight back against the movies by making jokes about them.
One of the most influential TV comedy series of all time (especially in regards to pop culture), Mystery Science Theater 3000 has gone through many transitions. Originally a local cable-access programming show in Minnesota, it was created by Joel Hodgson (remember that name) for the KTMA cable station in 1988. It was picked up as original programming for this new channel called Comedy Central (the olden days, kids!) where it was hosted by creator Hodgson and became a massive hit.
Things went swimmingly for about 5 years, with awards and critical acclaim along the way, until Joel leaves. He leaves in the middle of a movie, actually. Literally. Bringing us to what is known as the “Mike Era,” longtime head-writer Michael J. Nelson steps in as the series’ new regular host. The show continued in the same manner, with the same sets and old “Creature Feature” hosted-movie model, although there was arguably a different feel to the banter.
Things began to turn, however, around Season 6. Comedy Central was shifting to “edgier” programming and eventually they canned the show. (Which resulted in legendary blowback for the network from MST followers. These are some loyal fans, people!) After the end of the show, there was a movie in the works. It had a rocky production and it eventually got released to lukewarm reviews.
Enter the newly-launched Sci-Fi Channel. MiSTies (hardcore fans) everywhere had launched a grassroots campaign to get the series picked up on another network and Sci-Fi answered the call. There it stayed until its 10th and final season. They had faced what looked to be the end before, but this was really it. MST3K ended its run on August 8th, 1999 with Diabolik. The Satellite of Love crashed back to Earth as the mad scientist calls it quits on the experiment. Mike and his ‘Bots ultimately survive, with the final scenes showing him, Tom and Crow sharing a small apartment and settling in to watch a movie – which happens to be The Crawling Eye, the first film riffed in the first Comedy Central season.
Now It’s Back!
Since 2010, Joel Hodgson (I told you to remember this guy) had been in active negotiations to reacquire the rights to MST3K. He eventually gained control of the brand back around 2015 and began what would ultimately become the biggest Kickstarter film success story ever. He hired an all-star cast and set a target of $2 million to fund his show. That goal was easily surpassed, climbing to a whopping $6.3 million on Kickstarter. It passed Veronica Mars and Super Troopers 2 to become the largest crowd-funded online project of all time. Netflix picked it up and now we have an eleventh season!
“I think one of the biggest reasons I’m glad we’re on Netflix is length,” Hodgson wrote on Kickstarter. “See, MST is a lot longer than most television shows, because each episode includes most of a cheesy feature film.”
The New Crew
Season 11 (1 on Netflix) has a fresh cast but also has the skits and spoofs you’ve come to love. Jonah Ray is new host “Jonah Heston,” Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn are the new Crow and Tom, and Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as Dr. Forrester’s daughter Kinga and TV’s Son of TV’s Frank. In addition to the nerd icon cast, there are some cameos from some big nerdy stars we love including Wil Wheaton, Mark Hamill, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Season 2 Status and Release Date
Another season hasn’t been announced as of yet. But Netflix usually makes its renewal announcements quickly, so keep an eye out. We will update as soon as one is announced. MST3K already has a built-in fan base and there is practically an unlimited supply of B movies out there just begging to be spoofed. A second season is a pretty good bet.
“Lots of people already have Netflix – they’re in over 80 million homes worldwide – which means that this gives us a really great chance for more people to discover our little show. And if more people start watching, it gives us a better chance of being renewed for more new seasons, which was always the goal.” -Joel Hodgson