Five years ago, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a beloved show among the wise and nerdy that was being released on DVD box sets every five months. If you told people back then that the show would not only get funding for a successful revival but that it would be renewed for another season, we would have cried at a foolish dream. Now, after becoming the biggest thing on Kickstarter, securing a deal with Netflix, and introducing a new cast to help make the show amazing, MST3K is back in our lives! Which is why we were very happy to learn at the end of that ride that we’d be getting season 11 on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.
Now, I already know the question you’re about to ask. “Why would I buy the Blu-ray when it’s already on Netflix?” Good question! Here’s the thing about Netflix and content: nothing is safe. I love Star Trek to death, but I’m fully aware that one day CBS and Paramount could pop in and take it off Netflix to charge you for a subscription somewhere else. And even though Netflix did release this latest season of MST3K, they don’t own the rights to the show — they’re simply a platform on which you can watch it. So one day, if the right circumstances came up, this show could go away — especially after the drama this show had on two other networks. So yes, getting a Blu-ray is essential to this fanbase.
The Blu-ray comes with all 14 episodes that were funded through the Kickstarter campaign, all with original content and jokes and cameos from the latest season. The Blu-ray does give you the chance to see these in a slightly better picture, because sometimes the streaming from Netflix doesn’t do the show justice — especially if you’re one of the many with connections that run slow and don’t work well with HD. What we’re trying to tell you here is that the show looks pristine and you should check it out for yourselves without relying on your neighbor’s Wi-Fi connection to get the job done.
The one drawback is that this selection doesn’t come with a lot of bonuses. You’d think it would, considering all the work that went into bringing it back and the fact that in this day and age it’s ludicrous not to have the cameras running on everything. Sadly, the one featurette we get is a documentary about bringing the show back. It provides a lot of commentary and insight, but it feels like a small consolation prize. No blooper reel? No writer’s room chat? No behind-the-scenes making-of segment? Come on, guys! No one had an extra camera lying around to shoot something? The extras feel a little disappointing.
Overall, we loved this season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and we look forward to the next. We basically told you the reasons why you should own it above as a casual fan, but we also recognize this is probably aimed more at the hardcore fans and avid collectors who must own everything (like us). I personally love the series, so for me this is a treat to own regardless — I just wish it had more going for it beyond the episodes and a documentary.
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