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Mystery Science Theater 3000 back to reviews
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Recommendations for MSTies-to-be
I love this show. I love the service it provides, bringing to prominence to the great art of snarking at movies that are bad. I love the zany characters who do said snarking (as well as the ones who don't). Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of those "once in a blue moon" kinds of shows, the unique, inspired, and (most importantly) fun.

But I understand that it can be hard for a person to get into the series. It takes a lot of resilience it keep watching a movie if it's just that bad, regardless of whether or not it is being made fun of. So, these here are some suggestions I have for the apprehensive yet eager-to-try-it prospective fan.

  • Ease yourself into the show. As aforementioned, watching a really bad flick can send nigh anyone to punch their TV/monitor/portable movie-watching device (?). If you don't think you have the patience or guts to start with a full episode's worth of movie, try watching some of the shorts first. The hosts would occasionally riff on short, often public domain films before riffing on the movie proper. These could be anything from 50s conformity propaganda ("A Date With Your Family", and yes, it IS as creepy as the title makes it sound) to instructional videos ("Hired!") to even an old episode of General Hospital! While you could find any and (probably) all of these with a quick YT search "mst3k short", I personally recommend starting with the first one I saw, "A Case Of Spring Fever", which is possibly the most insane thing ever committed to black-and-white film. Other comedy goldmines include "Alphabet Antics" and "Mr. B Natural".
  • When ready, choose a watchable movie. We're talkin' So Bad Its Good, not Manos. This is still training. Some of the best ones to start with, in my opinion, include I Accuse My Parents, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, Jack Frost, and Overdrawn At The Memory Bank (the first and latter being personal favorites of mine).
  • Most importantly, if something seems to vex you, just repeat to yourself, "It's just a show. I should really just relax." The show can be hit-or-miss, but at its peak, you'll be dying of laughter. Good luck, and Godspeed.

(Push the button, Frank!)
Cave Dwellers is also a great starter. It's cheesy schlock, but even without the riffing, it's still fun to laugh at. It was my first episode, and even when I was seven, this had me in hysterics. First-timers should avoid Red Zone Cuba though, that one takes a lot of willpower to sit through even with the MST3K track.
comment #22387 JamesPicard 4th Dec 13
I agree with Cave Dwellers. Aside from MST3K The Movie it was the first actual regular episode of the show I watched. And actually, MST3K The Movie is a good place to start too. Its a bit dumbed down compared to the rest of the series but I still laugh at that one 15 years later. I used to completely lose control at the sound of "NORMAL VIEW! NORMAL VIEW! NORMAL VIEW!"

The OP's suggestions are good too. May I add Space Mutiny and Time Chasers?

Also, its nice to see the OP recommends stuff from both the Joel and Mike eras. I like stuff from both hosts too. But the real glue that held the show together was TV's Frank.
comment #22411 gibberingtroper 6th Dec 13
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