For the uninitiated, ICWXP started as a passion project of a group of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans (MSTies) who'd had their gluttonous fill of episodes and wanted to ply their hand at something similar. While the first season of ICWXP follows a very similar chronological pattern as MST3K (riffing of a feature film with wrap around host segments), season two tones down the riffing to handle education shorts while expanding the host segments into a meatier entertainment meal.
It's because of these expanded live action segments that we're able to get to know the 'bots and their pet human better, despite the long time between releases (though that too has gotten better as of late!). Johnny Cylon is as delightfully innocent and foul mouthed as ever, with Zach Legler providing his unique and charming vocals. Seriously, Cylon's tiny body combined with his big voice makes for such a bad ass screen presence that it's been hard to this point for the actors handling Topsy to hold there own across the candy counter from him. All that's changed now, with Nick Evans taking over the role of Topsy Bot 5000 as of episode 201, the charming bot charisma battle is an evenly matched one and the sarcasm quotient has skyrocketed! Nick's also all over the episode assuming an enormous number of roles, many of which I don't want to mention for spoiler related reasons, but his turn as an over the hill Count from Sesame Street (replete with an amazing puppet) is side splittingly histerical.
Puppet newcomer Flex Namtari, human arcade relations, joins the cast as a bot originally designed to maintain the theater's arcade; a place that no longer exists. His touching man out of time story really tugs at the heart strings, recalling Christopher Reeve from Somewhere In Time... Ok ok, so it's really just a great excuse to crack well deserved jokes about the artery busting glut of remakes which we've been subjected to over the past decade. With them as always is Commander Rikk Wolf, who we caught up with last week, as the unflappable human just trying to stay sane in this zany soup of absurdity.
Being riffed here is the incredibly creepy educational short Soapy The Germ Fighter; the haunting tale of a scum covered boy of the 50's and the limb equipped bar of soap who refuses to wear pants while admonishing bad lathering technique (in the boy's bedroom....at night...). The crew also take on an absurd cigarette ad, some classily outdated drive-in snack bar bumpers (by now you must know how I love those!) and in an absolutely genius move they are lambasted with absurd amounts of Internet spam.
More than just mastering movie bashing, the crew at ICWXP is growing their film craft; cinematography, makeup and editing all looking better with each successive release. I'd be remiss not to mention the excellent zombie makeup by Bethanie's Woods (also working the camera) for her excellent Spock zombie in this episode. Adding it all up, this DVD release packs ten shitloads of entertainment value; with loads of special features to keep you entertained until episode 203 comes along. Give them your money here and if you're still unconvinced tune your eye ports to the vid below.