The honeymoon period is over between Netflix and its users. Not that long ago they were known as the streaming service that would greenlight anything, but throughout 2019 they’ve gained a new reputation as the Cancel Kings, beheading promising young shows before they got a chance to grow while giving the Logan’s Run treatment to anything over three seasons old.
A brand as iconic as Mystery Science Theater 3000 is not immune to this either. Last year new host Jonah Ray took the occasion of Thanksgiving — a holiday embraced by MST3K fans — to announce and debut a second Netflix season. This year he took to the podium to announce its cancellation. And he did so in the flippant, media-oversavvy style inherent to this property:
So, Netflix decided to not do another season of MST3K. We are off to Get Down in Lilyhammer while the OA helps us take it One Day At A Time. We will be in group therapy with Tuca & Bertie, Jessica Jones, & Lady Dynamite. The sessions will be run by Gypsy (w/ Naomi Watts.) thread pic.twitter.com/ZONkUxUlFb
— JONAH RAY RODRIGUES (@jonahray) November 26, 2019
Well played, Jonah, well played.
In subsequent tweets, Jonah’s speech continued: “We don’t know what the future holds for the show, it always seemed to figure out how to survive. From Comedy Central to SyFy, then kept alive by RIFFTRAX & Cinematic Titanic. Whatever happens, I want everybody to know that getting a chance to be on this show was a dream come true. Getting to work with old friends while making new ones was a gift I didn’t take lightly. Collaborating with heroes from my childhood is something I’ll never stop beaming about.”
“So, thank you Joel & especially all the MSTies who embraced me as a mug in a (yellow) jumpsuit. I know it wasn’t easy accepting a new guy, so I appreciate the warmth. Now if only I can convince @shudder to pick us up and to let us share a night with Joe Bob Briggs?”
It’s important to note this: MST3K is not as dead as the shows listed in Jonah’s tweet. The series is not owned by Netflix, but by Shout Factory, who will no doubt be looking for another distributor. And in such a crowded, Peak TV market, we feel the odds are good they’ll find one.