[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★★]
CULT TV SERIES MAKING A COMEBACK
(P2) Fans of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” known as “MST53K” for short, will see the comedy series return with a new cast and star CAMEOS.
(P3) The KIckstarter campaign, launched by show creator and original star Joel Hodgson, raised $5,764,229 in a month. That money, plus another $425,000 raised outside of Kickstarter, is enough to shoot 14 new episodes.
(P5) Based on the idea that B MOVIES are better with SARCASTIC comments, the show DEBUTED in 1988 on a local television station in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Its LOW-BUDGET CHARM attracted Comedy Central and, later, the Sci-Fi Channel.
(P6) Hodgson (and later Michael Nelson) starred as a CAPTIVE sent into space by MAD SCIENTISTS and forced to watch CORNY horror and sci-fi movies with his robot companions. Each episode featured a B movie in its ENTIRETY with RUNNING COMMENTARY from the gang on the “Satellite of Love.”
(P7) “Mystery Science Theater 3000” ran for 11 seasons and ended its run in 1999, developing an enthusiastic fan base. Nearly 48,300 people PLEDGED money to the Kickstarter project.
(P8) A campaign to fund a new movie based on the lead character from another cult television show, “Veronica Mars,” set the previous Kickstarter record for most-funded project in film & video at $5,702,153.
(P10) Comedian Jonah Ray has agreed to play the new lead character. Comedian Patton Oswalt and actress Felicia Day have also SIGNED ON TO the project.
(P11) Hodgson said he invited Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Hamill, and Bill Hader to do cameos. Hamill tweeted his support for the campaign, and Seinfeld promised to make an appearance if the campaign reached its goal.
(P12) Hodgson said the campaign was not about besting “Veronica Mars” or “Super Troopers 2,” another CROWDFUNDED film. The goal is to revive the series for fans and introduce it to a new generation.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Are you familiar with Kickstarter and the concept of “crowdfunding”?
- Many people enjoy “bad movies” because they can be so UNINTENTIONALLY funny. Do you like bad movies?
- A cult classic has a small or medium-sized but very INTENSE fan base. What movies or TV shows are cult classics in your country?
- Some people love sarcastic humor, also known as SNARK; other people think it is very ADOLESCENT in tone. Do you like sarcastic humor?
- Why do big stars sometimes make small UNBILLED cameo appearances in movies and TV shows?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Cult classic
- B movie
- Low budget
- Mad scientist
- Running commentary
- Stand up
- Sign on to