Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Poopie! (Official Outtakes Reel) Reviews
So I don't really feel like watching anything today. My birthday party is this evening, and I'm going to go keep the person baking my cake company at some point, here. (Also, I still have her car key.) However, I don't have anything in backlog, having posted the last one yesterday. So I have to do [i]something[/i]. I decided that I would review something I own, something I've already seen a bunch of times. Out of idle curiosity, I entered "[i]Mystery Science Theater 3000[/i]" into the search engine here, and lo and behold, there were two things available. One of them is the movie; fair enough. But we reviewed that ages ago, after I'd bought it for myself for Mothers' Day I think last year. So this is the other one, and I am enormously confused. The [i]Sesame Street[/i] stuff is weird enough, but this? It's half an hour long, and it came on my copy of [i]Manos: The Hands of Fate[/i], presumably to take the taste out of our brains.
So yeah. This is pretty much exactly what the title says. It's outtakes. I'm pretty sure it's only outtakes of the Comedy Central years, too; I don't remember there being any Pearl or Brain Guy or Bobo. Just Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV's Frank, not even that other guy from first season. Only one Tom Servo voice; only one Crow voice. It does have both Mike and Joel, but after all, there's a lot of Mike from the Comedy Central years. He started, what, season four? Season five? A long time ago, even by the standards of the show. I think there's about as much Mike as Joel, which I've always felt to be a shame. I simply like Joel better. My all-time favourite episodes are all Joel episodes. Mike's okay, I guess, and gets one of the funniest lines of the series ("You guys watch Joe Don Baker movies?"), but it's not the same. And don't get me started at the change in villains and the subsequent "roaming time and space for no reason."
So that was a paragraph that was just a random tirade about the show and not really a discussion of the actual theoretical subject of this review at all. This is because, really, what is there to say? [i]It's half an hour long[/i]. Like literally. That's it. Half an hour of guys (and really, it's almost all guys) screwing up. Sometimes screwing the same thing up over and over and over again. And I have to think, "Why is Rotten Tomatoes letting me review this?" I mean, out of all the choices there are. [i]A Very Special Episode[/i], over at the AV Club (and it's a column I highly recommend; new columns every other Thursday), did [i]City Limits[/i] a few months ago. Officially my favourite episode of all time. But you can't review it here. You can't review Riff Trax at all. I suppose it's a rights issue, but you know, they were able to get the rebroadcast rights on DVD for a lot of this. No, not [i]Godzilla Versus Megalon[/i], which is all complicated, but something!
What I will say on the actual subject is that I'm always impressed by outtakes where the performers continue to screw up, but in character. "Hey, how about a little sugar for Crow?" says Trace Beaulieu (oddly credited on IMDB only as Crow, not as Dr. Forrester), still in the Crow voice. Muppeteers do this as well. On the innumerable cases where Tom Servo's head falls off (which did apparently happen all the time), there is at least one where Kevin Murphy starts, as Tom Servo, screaming like crazy. I think even Mike and Joel do it. It's also worth noting that there is very little obscenity shown even in this reel, and what little there is gets bleeped. Whether this is because they just don't swear very much or because of the staying-in-character thing, I cannot say. On the other hand, the reel is called what it is because it's the most common expletive on the show. There's actually an episode where the 'bots discuss what they can and cannot say, when it comes to foul language.
So yeah. "Poopie." Go ahead and watch it, because it's worth watching, but of course, it isn't the best place to start with the show. I think maybe the best place to start is with one of the "Shorts" sets. The thing is, a lot of movies--as you may have noticed--aren't long enough to fill out a full two-hour show, even with host segments. If it's only a few minutes short, they can manage that. But I mean, the longest of the several run times listed for [i]Glen or Glenda[/i] (which admittedly, they didn't do) is 74 minutes. That's not long enough unless you're willing to throw in about a half-hour of padding. And so instead, they'd take a short subject and riff on it instead. A lot of them are the dreadful sort you'd get in school as a kid--the ever-popular "cheating short." Or that weird one with a devil, an angel, and a bread-truck driver. Or ones intended to sell products, such as the infamous "Mr. B Natural," not a short for the faint of heart. Don't start there, and don't start with [i]Manos[/i].