It's Just a Show is a Canadian podcast discussing and recapping Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. Each hour-long episode (usually released every two weeks) sees hosts Beth and Adam discuss a different Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment, (over) analyzing both the source film and the host segments and riffs.
Recurring segments include:
- MST3k news, and if the episode is recorded in advance, they've hung a lampshade on it and called it "Old News."
- Some follow up, usually responses to mail regarding an earlier episode
- A recap of the film watched, followed by a recap of the host segments.
- "The Shallow 13," a play on the Mads' lair Deep 13. This is thirteen quick facts that usually elaborate or are related to scenes, lines, or creators. Frequently they delve into the other works of those who worked on the movie, or if they have another connection to MST3k.
- "The Scorner," an occasional segment where Adam does a deep dive into the score of the film.
- "The Corner Corner," an aside where Beth discusses architecture in the film.
- A random question from a listener.
- Producer Chris' fun factoid.
- Chris revealing the next episode.
Like many shows, around Christmas they usually cover one of MST3k's Christmas episodes. They also have a few less expected seasonal episodes, like (you guessed it) Donald Pleasence Day (October 5, the late actor's birthday), Gamuary (January is usually devoted to Gamera films), or the original dodeca-laborer day (Labor Day is dedicated to Hercules in honor of the twelve labors of Hercules).
Not to be confused for, though certainly related to, the MS T3k Mantra.
This podcast provides examples of:
- Brand Name Takeover: Chris and Beth refer to the plane in the Time Chasers as a "Cessna" despite being made by another company (an American Champion Citabria, to be precise).
- Canada, Eh?: The hosts are unabashedly Canadian, and it shows. Early on it's relatively subtle, with some "aboots" here and there, but as the show goes on they really lean into the Canada-ness, with one segment in the episode "Don't Eat the Good Bug" being a speech about a construction project in Canada with "O Canada" playing in the background.
- Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: In this case, it's "Comedy Central vs. Sci-Fi era" and both Adam and Beth are firmly on the Comedy Central side, but they acknowledge that it's very contentious in the fandom. A much less contentious discussion they have is "Team Joel or Team Mike". Adam is the former and Beth is the latter.
- Couch Gag: Almost every episode is preceded by an outtake before the theme song, with a few exceptions:
- D-Cup Distress: Discussed in the episode on Girls Town, "It's Good When People Age." Beth and Adam discuss the back-pain related issues of being well endowed, and relate an anecdote of people who have undergone breast reduction surgery.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- As explained under Couch Gag, the first episode and only the first episode has a pre-theme song discussion topic being brought up.
- Discussed at length whenever discussing an episode from the KTMA era or Season 1. Changes in the bots, the riffing style, the "story," or even the fact that the series was trailblazing a genre and finding its footing are discussed in various episodes.
- Fan Boy: Adam is a huge fan of, you guessed it, Donald Pleasence and given his extensive filmography, frequently works him into discussions.
- Jumping the Shark: Discussed.
- Firstly the hosts agree the show itself jumped somewhat when it channel hopped to the Sci-Fi era, leading to a stark decline in quality.
- They also discuss what they consider signs that a show has jumped the shark. Beth considers The Other Darrin as a surefire sign a show's jumped, while Adam is worried about a surprise visit to the backdoor, if you know what I mean.
- Mars Needs Women: Along with Monster Misogyny, a topic that frequently comes up. Since so many of the older B-Movies focus on monsters and aliens seemingly lusting after human women for no apparent reason, they try to delve into why this is. Hint: It's because stodgy white dudes are scared of black men taking their women.
- Monster Misogyny: Boy, monsters in 50's B-Movies really love going after the women, huh? Adam and Beth find this exploitative and cheer any time it gets subverted or if there's a Damsel out of Distress situation.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Shows up a few times, with the hosts not actually familiar with a work but more knowing it through its appearances in pop culture. This is largely due to the fact that MST3k is such a reference-heavy show, and Joel and Mike are a bit older than Beth and Adam, so their references tend to skew older. One specific example is Steve Allen, whom they mostly know through appearances on The Simpsons.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: When discussing Richard Kiel, Adam talks about his most famous role, and jokingly says it's that Bond villain "Toofs." Rather than correcting him and saying it's Jaws, Beth basically goes Sure, Why Not? and takes his words at face value since she doesn't know the franchise.
- Postmodernism: Beth apparently isn't a fan, despite the fact that she does a podcast breaking down and analyzing a show that exists to mock and reference terrible movies, which is about the most postmodern thing possible. Producer Chris lampshades this.
- Seasonal Rot: Discussed. The cast of the podcast are completely in accord that the Sci-Fi Channel years of the show's run after its Channel Hop were of inferior quality
- Serial Numbers Filed Off: While some films are just trying to jump on a bandwagon, others seem to be outright ripoffs. Eegah! is mentioned as basically being a Mad Libs of King Kong, swapping out a Skull Island for a mountain, an ape for a caveman, and adding dune buggies.
- Shout-Out: It's a podcast discussing MST3k. As such, there will be callouts to plenty of pieces of pop culture, both obscure and obvious.
- One bonus episode is titled "Tom Servo's a Dalek."
- It is difficult to discuss Gamera without talking about turtles, or turtle soup, and Beth and Adam remind us that it is impossible to discuss turtle soup without bringing up Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- "Nothing Really Changes," the Time Chasers episode has a reference to The Simpsons's Show Within a Show Knightboat, itself a shout out to Knight Rider.
- The Stinger:
- In true MST3k fashion, a brief sound clip from the episode (or sometimes a new clip from one of the hosts) is played after the theme music at the end.
- In the episode on The Time Travelers, the stinger is the entire episode done in fast-forward repeatedly, getting faster with each iteration. This is a reference to the cut-from-MST3k original ending to the film, which ends with the movie being played in fast-forward to indicate some time loop shenanigans.
- Tagalong Kid: Discussed, particularly in the context of Japanese films that have a "Kenny," which is an annoying kid who joins the plot and doesn't contribute much except annoy adults watching.
- That Came Out Wrong: The hosts frequently blurt out an Accidental Innuendo and then lampshade it. This is particularly common when discussing Mamie Van Doren as they can't seem to stop making accidental allusions to her chest.
- Title Drop: A downplayed example because most episodes verge on Trivial Title, but the title of each episode comes from a line of dialogue from the podcast.
- Trivial Title: The title of each episode comes from a line of dialogue in the podcast, whose relevance can range from a loose summary of the film or their takeaway of it ("Cobbled Together in Someone's Backyard" for the episode on Eegah!) to referencing a fairly vague or unrelated line of dialogue (such as "Scrambled Eggs" for The Crawling Eye, which is referring to a brief aside about the potential smell of burning eyes).
- You Keep Using That Word: In the Time Chasers episode, "Nothing Really Changes," Adam repeatedly refers to protagonist Nick Miller's Citabria as a biplane, despite only having one set of wings. Chris and Beth refer to the plane as a "Cessna" which is more of a Brand Name Takeover. This is addressed in the followup on the next episode.