Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back, and this time Jonah and his robots friends will try to maintain their sanity while running The Gauntlet.
Netflix has released the official trailer for Season 2 of what's been dubbed Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, marking the second round of episodes of the rebooted cult favorite sci-fi comedy series with a new approach to bad movie torture. The gag has always been that the show's resident human test subject (in this case Jonah Heston, played by Jonah Ray) and his robot friends (Crow T. Robot, played by Hampton Yount, and Tom Servo, played by Baron Vaughn) would be sent the worst cheesy movies by The Mads, in this incarnation taking the form of Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and TV's Son of TV's Frank (Patton Oswalt). In previous versions, though, the movies arrived one at a time, with very little continuity linking them together.
This time, though, The Mads have something far more sinister up their sleeves. Instead of one movie, Jonah and his friends will be sent six movies, and they'll have to watch and riff about them all one after the other, creating a continuous story told across six episodes of the series. Check out the trailer, which also reveals the six films in question.
In case you missed them, the films that make up The Gauntlet are Mac and Me, Atlantic Rim, Lords of the Deep, The Day Time Ended, Killer Fish, and Ator, The Fighting Eagle. They're all notably bad for various reasons, but the most famous are the first and last. Mac and Me, a film about a boy and his alien friend in the style of E.T., is both famously terrible and the subject of a long-running gag orchestrated by Paul Rudd on Conan O'Brien's various talk shows, in which Rudd pretends he's about to play a clip from a new film he's promoting and instead plays the same horrendous clip from Mac and Me. Ator, The Fighting Eagle is the first in the Conan-inspired Ator series of fantasy films that also included perennial MST3K favorite Cave Dwellers. The film is the first in the Ator series and stars Miles O'Keeffe as the title character. O'Keeffe is, of course, the subject of one of the series' most famous jokes: "How much Keeffe is in this movie anyway?" "Miles O'Keeffe!"
MST3K: The Gauntlet arrives Thanksgiving Day on Netflix.