I was always a Mystery Science Theater 300o0 fan. I obsessively watched the TV show in the 90's and I have been to most of the Rifftrax Live shows. I knew that The Mads--Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff--were doing tours and riffing movies. They appeared in the Riftrax Live Mystery Science Theater 3000 show, and they provided some of the night's biggest laughs.

I liked the Movie Sign with the Mads podcast too. Each week Trace and Frank, along with Carolina Hidalgo, would discuss a movie. The show was often funny, but it was a mostly serious show by and for serious movie fans.

Movie Sign with the Mads was cancelled due to complications resulting from the current pandemic. I badly miss it.

So, yes, I was excited when I heard that The Mads were doing a live online riff. The movie: Ed Wood's immortal Glen or Glenda.

The show got off to a rocky start. We couldn't figure out how to configure it onto our smart TV. Which, by the way, I hate. I don't want to sign up for the latest streaming platform, sync my accounts, or divulge my financial information.

The show was a little late, but it finally began. I hate to say this, but the entire affair felt awkward from the get. The guys looked uncomfortable and they were stumbling on words.

Glen or Glenda began, and again, the whole thing seemed uninspired. Even though by their own admission, the Mads had riffed Glen or Glenda forty-seven times, they came off as ill-prepared. The jokes were largely flat. And Frank in particular got kind of nasty here and there.

I hate to sound like a prude or a hypocrite. I like a lot of rude and offensive material, but the charm and joy of MST3K always derived from the innocence it had. Obscenities and sex jokes came off as completely inappropriate.

OK. This was their first Zoom show. I guess they probably did feel awkward. While it was a disappointing experience, my wife and I still had fun. I'm not giving up on Trace and Frank. Next month's riff will be William Castle's The Tingler, and I've already dropped the ten bucks to see it.

Written by Mark Sieber

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry