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In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of Riffing Paperback – March 4, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0786445325 ISBN-10: 0786445327

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The first full-length scholarly analysis of MST3K...a thoroughly engaging work." --Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance

About the Author

Robert G. Weiner is associate humanities librarian at Texas Tech University. His works have been published in the Journal of Popular Culture, Public Library Quarterly, Journal of American Culture, International Journal of Comic Art and Popular Music and Society. He lives in Lubbock, Texas.

Shelley E. Barba has written for Texas Library Journal. She is a metadata librarian at Texas Tech University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (March 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786445327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786445325
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sir Jub-Jub on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays by a variety of authors who all share an obvious love and serious obsession with Mystery Science Theater 3000. These essays delve into some expected subjects like the culture of riffing and bad movies, but also include an extensive analysis of Gypsy and gender roles, as well as an examination of Cambots impact on the show. In all, there are twenty five different essays included in this collection, each by a different author. I found some esays to be very interesting, like the discussion of Cambot, and some not so much. I assume most readers will encounter the same while reading this collection. I also believe that the people who will like this collection the most are the hardcore MST3K fan, as the essays, for the most part, demand intimate knowledge of the show. This collection is a serious examination of MST3K and is a long overdue scholarly honoring of one of the greatest shows of all time.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jason on October 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
IN THE PEANUT GALLERY WITH MST3K takes a scholarly look at some of the tropes of this inventive comedy show. As a reading experience, it's generally engaging if a bit repetitive and lacking the high (and low) humor of the series it deconstructs. Here's an overview of what you get from the two dozen contributors:

Brief, not-very-notable foreword and stinger by Kevin Murphy and Mary Jo Pehl, respectively
Historical and contextual examinations of certain MST3K-presented films like First Spaceship on Venus, Space Travelers, and Invasion, U.S.A.
A look at Manos: Hands of Fate and the Coleman Francis trilogy through the lens of audience appropriation
Analysis of the show's encouragement of community reference sharing and pop culture intertextuality
Essays on cultural and media frames built into MST3K, with lineage from Brecht to Elvira
Historical and socio-political factors that created the "mental hygeine" shorts of the 1950s
Cambot's role on the show as observer and audience proxy and liaison
Gypsy's problematic representation as the show's woman figure and her feminist role (which is a fantastic area of exploration, and I wish the scholar was up to this task; the article was one of the weakest and poorest presented, unfortunately)
Modes of tape circulating/collecting inspired by MST3K and the Internet, and their influence on fan identity
A synopsis and collected reviews of Jim Mallon's Troma-released movie Blood Hook, shot in Hayward, Wisconsin

THE GOOD: quality varies based on the intelligence and acumen of each contributor, but generally there's enough engaging scholarship to keep you reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MaxRD on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a huge fan of MST3K this was a fascinating, interesting, entertaining summary of the series. From conception to execution with great interviews from the creator and other cast members, a must read for fans! If your on facebook search : MaxRD's Mystery Science Theater 3000 Hub.
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By Morgan Painter on February 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't get enough of these talented people from MST3K. Their skill at writing makes me want to watch even the worst of the worst movies over and over again.
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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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