Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XXIII

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XXIII
Has anyone ever explained why Rhino, and now Shout Factory, put out MST3K episodes in such a completely random order? The best explanation is entirely related to rights ― it can't be easy clearing some of the turkeys the team on the Satellite of Love were forced to sit through ― but it doesn't explain how little care they put into it for anyone who might be interested in completing a collection chronologically. Take the latest edition, which includes an episode from season two (King Dinosaur), an episode from season three (The Castle of Fu Manchu) and two episodes from season six (Code Name: Diamond Head and Last of the Wild Horses). Even with 23 collections, it's not like they're running out of episodes they could link together and, honestly, I have to think that it's simply to exploit the great MST3K divide: people who like Mike and people who like Joel. This set has two Joel episodes and two Mike episodes. So for many people, half of it's garbage. I'm not going to go that far (okay, I admit: I'm a Mike man, go ahead and pelt me with vegetables), but we'd all be better served if Shout Factory just cleaned the slate and began again with a new chronological collection as best they could, especially when sets like this run nearly $60 at the recommended retail price. (And heck, they're already trying to fill in earlier blanks with single disc releases like The Touch of Satan and The Atomic Brain.) This set is your average collection: bad films with decent, if sometimes dated, jokes (riffing on Ian McShane in Code Name: Diamond Head relates to his role as Lovejoy) and decent extras (documentaries/features on the background of the films, plus a collection of promos for die-hards). Oh, and the art from Steve Vance is lovely as always (so much better than when Rhino was in charge). If you're not already a collector though, this isn't the place to start. (Shout! Factory)