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12 Apr 2017

True TV: ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Returns; ‘Fargo’ Spins Another Frozen Fable

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Netflix, proving that not all pop-cultural reboots are heinous abominations, picked up MST3K after creator Joel Hodgson sparked a revival firestorm via Kickstarter. Netflix, proving that not all pop-cultural reboots are heinous abominations, picked up MST3K after creator Joel Hodgson sparked a revival firestorm via Kickstarter.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Friday, April 14, Netflix), season premiere: While MST3K O.G.s Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett continue their movie-mockery biz at a staggering pace with RiffTrax, Mystery Science Theater 3000 proper is still missed. Netflix, proving that not all pop-cultural reboots are heinous abominations, picked up the 1988-1999 series after creator Joel Hodgson sparked a revival firestorm via Kickstarter. Hodgson has also recast the show, with comedian Jonah Ray as the new astro-host on the Satellite of Love, as well as new ’bot voices (Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn as Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, respectively), and Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as MST3K’s new “Mads.” Exactly which cinematic disasterpieces the crew will be viewing and skewering in these 14 fresh episodes are currently unknown, but who cares? New MST3K!

Doctor Who (Saturday, April 15, BBC America), season premiere: After Series 10—that’s U.K. for Season 10—latest Doctor Peter Capaldi is outta here. For his final go-round of 12 episodes, Capaldi will joined by a new companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie). Nardole (Matt Lucas) and Missy (Michelle Gomez) are still around, as are those steel salt shakers of evil, the Daleks. With Capaldi set to exit Doctor Who after the 2017 Christmas episode, the question of, “Who’s going to be the next Doctor?” has pointed up a whole lotta British actors you’ve never heard of, but also a few intriguing U.S.-known quantities: Former Agent Carter Haley Atwell, Supergirl’s David Harewood and The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade. After 50+ years of white guys in the lead, could we finally get a female or black Doctor? Nah; it’ll probably be a ginger.

The Leftovers (Sunday, April 16, HBO), season premiere: Now that Rectify is done, The Leftovers could claim the Most Depressing Show on TV crown—or at least battle it out with Mama June: From Not to Hot. While the existential drama—about those left behind after a seeming Rapture took 140 million from the planet, if you recall—did lighten up in Season 2, there’s still plenty to ennui on about in this third and final run: The seventh anniversary of the event is looming; the pesky Guilty Remnant cult has invaded the new Miracle, Texas, hometown of Kevin (Justin Theroux); Kevin Sr. (Scott Glenn) is searching for an apocalypse-stopper in Australia; and creator/producer Damon Lindelof has asked the “Critical Community” to not spoil anything else. Fine. Except for this: Australia does not exist. (Look it up!)

Veep (Sunday, April 16, HBO), season premiere: In these stoopid political times, the phrase, “Now, more than ever,” gets tossed around frequently in regards to art-imitates-life shows like House of Cards, The Man in the High Castle—hell, maybe even The Last Man on Earth (which was the first series to “kill off” the Trump administration, after all). But it’s modern comedy treasure Veep that will carry the burden of detracting from real politics, and Season 6 continues to go gloriously blue while largely ignoring the New Orange Order. Ex-president Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) may be out to heal the world in public, but she’s out for private, personal vengeance against old pains-in-the-ass like now-Congressman Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons): “I want to let you know that I will destroy you in ways that are so creative, they’ll honor me for it at the Kennedy Center.” Now, more than ever.

Fargo (Wednesday, April 19, FX), season premiere: It’s been a while—16 months since the end of Season 2, give or take—but Fargo has earned its Game of Thrones-esque lag time. Season 3 is set in 2010, and concerns the soon-to-be criminal misadventures of “The Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor); his bridge-loving parolee girlfriend, Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead); and Ray’s loser brother, Emmit (also MacGregor). On opposite lawful sides of this trio of hilarious clothes and hair are this season’s Endearing Cop, Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon), and Greasy Villain, V.M. Vargas (David Thewlis). It’s another taut tale of small-town good vs. evil vs. dim, and since Fargo is an anthology with no obligation to keep characters around for next season, anyone could meet their bloody end at any time. Yes, even Gloria’s doughy deputy (doughy Jim Gaffigan).

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