TBH, it’s been a while. I remember it being one of the better episodes of the season. Despite the fat jokes. I really should go rewatch Season 0 again.
Usually I’m not much for disaster films. I don’t like watching people suffer. But this one has good pacing and interesting characters, while taking itself far too seriously. Excellent material for riffing, and they rise to the occasion.
For me, what I like about KTMA is:
SST Deathflight - my favorite of the season, I think. I’d love to see them redo it now with a full writer’s room, but it really stands on its own as it is.
Sandy Frank - We get to compare Gamera, Mighty Jack, etc. to the more polished scripted versions from seasons 3 & 4. They kept some of the original riffs, took different approaches to some things, etc. It’s interesting to watch how the show developed that way. Plus, the KTMA versions have more of the movies. Host segments (and I’m guessing commercial breaks) were a little shorter, so we get an extra few minutes. Like the full opening sequence to Mighty Jack, and the ridiculous part where the guy sent to rescue Atari botches the whole thing because it never occurred to him that the cell door would automatically lock behind him, leaving them both in need of rescue.
Phase IV, City on Fire, Hanger 18, Superdome - All solid episodes, even if the riff pacing is slower and less organized than the scripted riffs we’re used to from later seasons. Like I said, these 70s movies are a real staple of the show for good reason. Phase IV is one I could watch unriffed because it’s just weird and interesting, but the riffing helps a lot. I do wish they’d had some riffs about the laughable junk science, though.
Like Superdome, City on Fire has multiple character arcs and subplots, and they’re cut together pretty well. Unlike many of the 70s movies we’ve seen, stuff actually happens. There’s a growing sense of urgency and tension as the city continues to burn and new and dangerous situations continue to evolve and the people in charge struggle with how to contain it (while, at the same time, corruption comes to light). It’s well done, and that’s what really helps this episode, especially given the slower pace of riffing. The movie is genuinely engaging and even fairly plausible. But the characters are still 70s TV movie people. It’s a great combination. There’s plenty to riff on, but also enough going on with the movie that you can settle in and watch it even when the riffs slow down.