Netflix has a respectable history of taking shows or concepts that have fallen by the wayside and breathing new life into them - and next on the list is cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Most recently, the online streaming service struck gold by having a stab at adapting Lemony Snicket's A Serious of Unfortunate Events, after a live-action movie version featuring Jim Carrey failed to ignite the box office.
A revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been teased for a while now by creator Joel Hodgson and the project was the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign that began in November 2015. The rebooted series will see a whole new cast take center stage, with comedian Jonah Ray in the central role. He'll be supported by Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and Felicia Day (The Guild, Supernatural), among others.
Now, thanks to the Netflix US official Twitter account, MST3K's new series has a premiere date: April 14th 2017. The announcement marks the culmination of a protracted campaign to bring the series back to life and fans will no doubt be delighted that their goal is now in sight. The announcement also comes with a photo of the primary cast sitting alongside the show's robotic contingent: Gypsy, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo.
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 22, 2017
Although MST3K wasn't immediately a huge hit during its initial run, it quickly gained traction thanks to positive word of mouth and it'll be interesting to see whether the show can repeat this feat in the world of online streaming, especially since the series isn't particularly well known outside of the United States. If the MST3K reboot can gain a new and similarly loyal fan base, its tenure on Netflix will surely be a success.
There's an argument to be made however, that the show's format was a product of its time and doesn't translate as well in the digital Internet age. Hodgson has already stated that the new series will riff on more recent movies - as opposed to the B-Movies used previously - and in an era where the internet, and YouTube in particular, gives absolutely anyone a platform to riff on movies, the premise of MST3K may not be suited to modern times.
With that said, the popularity of YouTube channels such as Honest Trailers and How It Should Have Ended prove that movie fans love hearing witty commentary on movies just as much as they did in the eighties and nineties. Arguably, MST3K is a forefather of this type of comedy and with Hodgson on board in an executive producing role, the series has every chance of recapturing the old magic and showing the new generation how it's done.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 premieres on Netflix April 14th.