There's something special about this series, the old style display of the show and the wacky attitude just makes it work. With Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet we're seeing a direct continuation of the last season "The Return" that was on Netflix. Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and Mad (Patton Oswalt) continue their onslaught of terrible movies sent right to our lead Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray). This season is however far shorter than the previous one to fit more towards the binging brand style of Netflix Originals.
It's a bit disappointing quite honestly as while it does carry more of a direct plot, there's not as much of the show to watch. It also makes the movies that aren't great, stick out much more. Still, this is a mostly enjoyable time and the jokes continue to deliver. I also once again found the joy of discovering films I would have never watched in their original format. I believe the stand out highlight here might have been the "Mac and Me" episode that brought Paul Rudd's Conan joke to a new light. The episode featuring "Atlantic Rim" was by far the worst I've seen. The movie itself is terrible, but it also doesn't lean into what this show is about. Most of the other films were serious efforts whereas this one was a clear rip-off almost parody. It was hard to watch, and I'm shocked I got through it.
I found "Ator" to be fine though slightly strange and actually a very different type of film. The "Killer Fish" was also just alright, perhaps not even a terrible film. That was followed by the unique yet ultimately pointless "The Day Time Ended". I'm really not sure what was going on there or even what happened in it. Finally, we have "Lords of the Deep" which I actually didn't think was that bad of a movie.
The general run times here are about an hour and twenty minutes each per episode, shorter average for Mystery Science Theater. I'm not sure this season was quite as funny as past ones, the opening episode was great with "Mac and Me". I didn't laugh quite as much in the later ones and again, "Atlantic Rim" straight up sucked to the point they shouldn't have tried to joke about it. The acting was fine from the crew and I continue to enjoy their small little segments throughout the films.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet presents an easier to watch format, but also makes it more apparent which episodes are harder to watch with a very short season. I really liked the style of "The Return" and while it was easier to go through, considering the wait I had expected more. I would perhaps like at least a couple more episodes to make it feel like there's a better balance here between the old and new Netflix format.
It was neat to see a story in there and fans of the older seasons will enjoy some surprises. The cast is wacky and fun, they're really great here working together well. They had some variety here, but they need to steer clear of things such as the "Atlantic Rim" since that was almost unwatchable even with the jokes. I'm not sure they hit all the marks, but I like this show so it ran fine and it's something different.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix