In the not-too-distant past, Thanksgiving A-D…

Mystery Science Theater 3000 celebrated its 30th year with six new episodes in what was called “The Gauntlet”, a challenge that was supposed to drive anyone into despair.
Actually, watching six bad movies in a row and heckling them was once called “Turkey Day”, or what an average fan did while waiting for the roast turkey was done.

Poor Kinga Forrester never knew about the previous 30-hour binges of bad movies Comedy Central had back in the early 90’s. If she did, she could have tried 31 hours in a row.
She still considers “The Gauntlet” an evil version of binging episodes like Stranger Things, Daredevil or Sabrina, and hopes it’ll almost kill Jonah (Jonah Ray) and the bots,

The opener was the “E.T.” knockoff, Mac and Me. It’s best known for inventing product placement via Coke, Sears and McDonald’s. It’s about an alien family that get somehow get to Earth when they get sucked into a satellite. The youngest, Mac, meets Eric, a wheelchair-bound boy, and lots of antics ensue. It does get dark in some places, especially when the FBI confront Mac and his alien family. There is a happy ending that is downright weird, though.

As for Moon 13, Jonah did survive the near-fatal wedding when he was “eaten” by the Reptilicus Metallicus.  How he survived….well, we never get to find out. In fact, Servo and Crow (Baron Vaunghn and Hampton Yount) even forgot about what happened.

What about Kinga (Felicia Day)? She’s gotten over it thanks to the Gauntlet, and deciding she’s not annoyed by Max (Patton Oswalt). He’s still not her type, though, despite his best hopes.
Still, why does she cling to the idea Jonah does like her? Is she still hurting after Neville, the two-timing space magician from last season?

The host segments were pretty good, especially a spoof on holding a birthday party at a McDonald’s with Jonah and Gypsy adding their own scary touches, and a comment on how Mac tries to “whistle home” rather than “phone home.”

Felicia and Patton do a great job being the crazy successors to Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank. However, Felicia’s style is starting to get a bit stale, saying every movie is a nightmare-fueled world.

Synthia (Rebecca Hanson) aka Pearl Forrester’s clone, has apparently jelled into sentience, and has become a full-fledged member of the new Mads. This has been apparent since she was the “host” of the live show tour.
Aside from that, the riffing for the first movie was some of the best in years. They were able to yell out the comments with a better pace, and didn’t try to stuff a lot of riffs per minute.

Here’s a sample:

The aliens seem to drink from their planet
So that’s where LeCroix comes from.

The famous scene where Eric falls into a lake in his wheelchair
They went through three Erics making this

There’s also some comments about what MAC looks like (“somebody shaved ALF”), and riffs on the Righteous Brothers, Doug Jones, Bakersfield and The Purge.
It ends with Kinga and Max telling him to make a new rack for the tubes where the movies are sent for storage. They’re not worried because Jonah couldn’t pull a fast one on them…could he?

MST3K taking on a cult classic is a good start to its 30th anniversary. Coming next is a very-low budget knockoff of Pacific Rim. Now the real challenge begins.

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