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In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of Riffing

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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The award-winning television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999) has been described as "the smartest, funniest show in America," and forever changed the way we watch movies. The series featured a human host and a pair of robotic puppets who, while being subjected to some of the worst films ever made, provided ongoing hilarious and insightful commentary in a sty ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published March 4th 2011 by McFarland & Company
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Start your review of In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of Riffing
Terry Collins
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of academic essays on one of the best known and beloved cult television shows (and cult movies, for that matter since Mystery Science Theater 3000 encompasses both) proves to be surprisingly readable for the most part (admittedly, a few of these are a bit of a snooze and invite skimming). The most fascinating pieces of writing dig deeply into the characters and what they represent to the viewers, along with the origins of the show, and how MST3K is a throwback to the days of earl ...more
Meredith Ann
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
as a newer fan of mst3k (a little less than 2 years), i knew i wouldn't get all the references in this book nor would i have seen all the episodes. still, i wanted to read it.

some of the essays were a little too far out in their theories - i felt like there was some grasping at straws to make certain theories applicable to the show (especially theories popular in science fiction culture). another criticism is that i felt it was written for people only who had watched the show when it was on and
...more
Cherilyn Pearson-guerrero
If you love MST3k, are deeply nerdy and or an academic, you will enjoy this publication. Tying the act of riffing to theory! Why would'nt you want to read this? (unless you are too busy 'hanging out with your family').
Bloody
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has several feminist critiques on Gypsy that I found to be fascinating. Not every day that you read several essays in a row about the critical theory in regards to a purple tube robot that sounds like a cow.
Courtney Golden
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
mostly academic articles so a bit dry
Anna
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was going to be TOO academic, and I am happy to say that I was wrong. Of course it's going to have academic jargon--it's a collection of essays on MST3K from a cultural studies perspective! If you're looking for a book of interviews with the cast and crew or behind the scenes-type info, this may be the wrong book for you. If you've wondered, however, exactly HOW this amazing show could actually be fodder for cultural studies and a DEEPER, serious analysis of a very funny, seemingl ...more
Cindy
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been a fan of this show ever since my then-boyfriend, now-husband, introduced me to its peculiar brand of humor about fifteen years ago. I'd been riffing back at the screen for years, and now I knew I wasn't the only one!

So, this book. Some essays delighted me and others made me roll my eyes, but overall it was awfully fun to see MST3K presented as something worthy of academic study. On the one hand, it's a silly puppet show that makes fun of cheesy movies, but on the other hand, it's a ver
...more
Mark
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
This collection of essays regarding Mystery Science Theater 3000 manages to pull off something I would have thought impossible. It made MST3K seem boring. The articles written are far too academic for the subject matter, as if they were meant to appear in scholarly journals. There are a few exceptions, the interviews with the cast and crew are fun and interesting, but mostly these articles are just dull.
As Joel and the bots would say, "It stinks!"
PsypherPunk
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Whether MST3K is really a fitting subject for academic study is an argument best left to persons more ed-joo-key-ted in the ways of postmodernism than I. The selection of essays, anecdotes and musings on offer here, however, are (for the most part at least) thoroughly entertaining.

The language can get a little dry and the topics occasionally odd but I left this equal parts informed and inspired.
Clare
Jul 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Like most collections, In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000 is uneven, but it’s a decent, if padded, collection of essays that focus on the power of riffing and the evolution of fan communities. If you’d like.
Amy
May 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Some things shouldn't be over-analyzed; MST3K is one of them.
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