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Weekend Discussion Thread: MST3K Looks at the Future

Alert reader Tanya writes:

Now that the new year is here and we’re well into the 21st century, you could say we’re now living “In the not too-distant future, next Sunday A.D.” So what do you think of the future as seen on MST3K? Most of the movies and shorts were made well before the year 2000, so it can be interesting looking at what the filmmakers thought might happen. What did they get right? What did they get wrong? What views were hopeful, depressing or just plain ridiculous? My favorite is “Century 21 Calling” because, unlike most of the movies and shorts, it actually got some things right. We really did get features on our phones like call waiting, call forwarding and three-way calling. Of course, we didn’t access them with rotary phones, but it got pretty close. What do you think?

I think it’s interesting that, in episode 403- CITY LIMITS, the opening of the movie says that it takes place “15 years from now.” The movie was made in 1985, so “15 years from now” was 2000. Thankfully the world in 2000 looked very little like the one that movie predicts. (By the way, it’s been more than 15 years since this episode debuted, and it is 15 years [and counting] from “15 years from now.” Still no comic book-obsessed motorcycle gangs.)

Your thoughts?

Have a WDT idea? Email me at msampo@aol.com.

60 comments to Weekend Discussion Thread: MST3K Looks at the Future

  • 51
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’ve given this some thought, and it seems to me that the futures presented on MST3K are extreme futures. We either have high technology, international cooperation and interplanetary (or even interstellar) travel, or we have total dystopia, post-war devastation and poor hygiene. And they all seem to happen, like in the theme song, “the not too distant future”.

    By comparison, the actual future we now live in is kind of…blah. Yeah, we have technological advancement, but we’re still basically the same as we were in 1988. We’re not “The Jetsons” or “City Limits”.

    Should I feel disappointed?

      (Quote)

       3 likes

  • 52
    EricJ says:

    Kenneth Morgan:
    By comparison, the actual future we now live in is kind of…blah.Yeah, we have technological advancement, but we’re still basically the same as we were in 1988.We’re not “The Jetsons” or “City Limits”.
    Should I feel disappointed?

    Nope, you can just blame Dubya for putting the entire Year 2000’s on hold while we looked for Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren’t there–
    By the time it was over, it was almost 2010, and we didn’t get the chance to go looking for space monoliths with Yakov Smirnoff.

    (And the first person who says “In Russia, monoliths look for–“, I will hit with a Piece of Pie.)

      (Quote)

       2 likes

  • 53
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    EricJ: Nope, you can just blame Dubya for putting the entire Year 2000’s on hold while we looked for Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren’t there–
    By the time it was over, it was almost 2010, and we didn’t get the chance to go looking for space monoliths with Yakov Smirnoff.

    (And the first person who says “In Russia, monoliths look for–“, I will hit with a Piece of Pie.)

    Actually, the problems with the space program started back in the late 60’s, when the cost of the Vietnam War and a worsening economy resulted in the Apollo Applications program being heavily cut, and anything beyond that being cancelled. And later problems with, and the ultimate cancellation of, the Space Shuttle program, along with more economic hassles, led to the program stalling again.

    I’m off-topic, here. Sorry about that, Chief.

      (Quote)

       3 likes

  • 54
    Jay says:

    EricJ: Nope, you can just blame Dubya for putting the entire Year 2000’s on hold while we looked for Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren’t there–
    By the time it was over, it was almost 2010, and we didn’t get the chance to go looking for space monoliths with Yakov Smirnoff.

    (And the first person who says “In Russia, monoliths look for–“, I will hit with a Piece of Pie.)

    If one wishes to point the finger of fault at politicians for the current state of manned space exploration then it is necessary to go back to the Nixon administration which pulled the plug on Apollo reasoning that at that point its goals had been achieved. Nixon was also an early proponent of the Space Shuttle program which became NASA’s 500 pound gorilla, eating up huge amounts of the budget for decades. To NASA’s credit their various remote sensing programs such as those to the outer planets and Mars have been spectacularly successful beyond the wildest dreams of space scientists in the sixties. Today we are seeing private enterprise succeeding in the production of manned space technology and I would not be shocked to see for-profit ventures to the Moon and the asteroids within my lifetime.
    Please forgive me, my dear MSTies, for gassing on (electronically) at such length, but this is a topic near and dear to me. Happy New Year to all both on and off the Earth.

    PS – Just saw the post above this one. Great minds think alike, eh?

      (Quote)

       12 likes

  • 55
    Gobi says:

    Jay: If one wishes to point the finger of fault at politicians for the current state of manned space exploration then it is necessary to go back to the Nixon administration which pulled the plug on Apollo reasoning that at that point its goals had been achieved.Nixon was also an early proponent of the Space Shuttle program which became NASA’s 500 pound gorilla, eating up huge amounts of the budget for decades.To NASA’s credit their various remote sensing programs such as those to the outer planets and Mars have been spectacularly successful beyond the wildest dreams of space scientists in the sixties.Today we are seeing private enterprise succeeding in the production of manned space technology and I would not be shocked to see for-profit ventures to the Moon and the asteroids within my lifetime.
    Please forgive me, my dear MSTies, for gassing on (electronically) at such length, but this is a topic near and dear to me.Happy New Year to all both on and off the Earth.

    PS – Just saw the post above this one.Great minds think alike, eh?

    I hope that in my lifetime, we’ll be able to answer the question “Is there beer on the sun?”.

      (Quote)

       6 likes

  • 56
    Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “Still no comic book-obsessed motorcycle gangs.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that

      (Quote)

       1 likes

  • 57
    Jay says:

    Gobi: I hope that in my lifetime, we’ll be able to answer the question “Is there beer on the sun?”.

    Maybe not on the Sun, but in 1995 a spectral analysis of a gas cloud in the constellation Aquila (as viewed from Earth) was found to contain enough ethanol to equal something like a million million million pints of beer. Please don’t tell Zap because the alcohol is laced with a lethal cocktail of other compounds that really would make for his Final Sacrifice.

      (Quote)

       6 likes

  • 58
    EricJ says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight:
    “Still no comic book-obsessed motorcycle gangs.”
    I wouldn’t be so sure about that

    Most of the motorcycle gangs are watching the DC Comics movies. From the looks of “Suicide Squad”, some seem to be MAKING them.

      (Quote)

       3 likes

  • 59
    ck says:

    #45

    There’s also the giant tv screen in Fahrenheit 451 with the housewives gathered to
    interact with the story (phony there—silly women, but now interactive computers).

      (Quote)

       1 likes

  • 60
    schippers says:

    Cam:
    The continued trajectory of Sean Connery’s brother’s career was precisely predicted.

    Absolutely no deviation.

    (And it retains the same save:At least he didn’t make Zardoz.)

    As far as from the films, I’m going to cheat and use Cinematic Titanic.

    China’s Doomsday Machine has been stolen by North Korea and is a clear and present danger.

    Like Kim Jong-un’s haircut.

    I haven’t seen Zardoz, but I HAVE seen League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and I think you could substitute that movie and still have a perfectly workable sketch script.

      (Quote)

       0 likes

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