When I heard that Mystery Science Theater had been signed on for a Netflix reboot a while ago, I was very excited. I remembered watching episodes of this show on Comedy Central way back when I was in junior high. I remember really enjoying it and it changing the way I watch movies. These people are the pioneers of watching movies ironically & gave birth to a whole new brand of sarcasm.
So that’s where the idea for this started. I wanted to honor the original series. And thanks to IMDB, you can quickly and easily scrape lots of data from movies & tv shows. This is was probably one of the quickest datasets I’ve ever created. I used import.io to scrape all the data and joined it all in excel. Gathering the youtube links for all ~200 b-movies took the longest time, maybe 4 hours. Embedding media vizzes is a great way to add some fun interactivity and keeps users in your viz longer. It’s super simple to embed YouTube videos. I simply followed Ben Jones’ tutorial, you can read through it here.
When it came to designing the viz, I knew I wanted to go simple as possible and keep everything at high-level. I also wanted to keep the consume-ability index very low.
Two of the more iconic features of the show are the moon (Satellite of Love) and the movie theater silhouette. A quick google image search led me to both images. This dashboard is mainly floating containers which worked best in this use case.
Here is a screen shot of my final dashboard here. Check out the interactive version here
As you can see, it’s a pretty simple viz with a season level bar chart and a horizontal DNA plot for each episode and movie. Again, sticking to the original idea, it’s pretty simple. My hope is that viz has appeal regardless of your prior knowledge of the tv show.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!