Mystery Science Theater 3000
General idea: bad movies IN SPAAAACE
Interesting because: This was one of the funniest shows of the ’90s and really was a cultural marker for anybody growing up. By about season 2, they had the system down and seasons 2-8 were fantastic. I have laughed until I cried more times than I can count watching this show, and although a fair number of the jokes were period jokes and don’t hold up so well anymore, you can watch an episode from 20 years ago and have it be laugh-a-minute (literally).
Annoying because: By the time the Sci-Fi channel took on MST3K, they were running out of really bad movies that they could afford to show, and many of the films were more mediocre than bad. It’s a lot harder to make fun of a mediocre film than an absolutely atrocious one (like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians or Manos: the Hands of Fate). Also, the Sci-Fi channel wanted to introduce a plot with Mary Jo Pehl’s character trying to take over the world and traveling through time, etc. This wasn’t necessarily horrible, but the problem is that Sci-Fi aired the episodes out of order so the plot part didn’t make any sense. Also, it was fun seeing what unique things Joel/Mike and the bots would do between scenes, and force-feeding us a half-baked plot just didn’t work well.
Also, Tom Servo’s voice is all wrong in season 1. I’m sorry, Josh Weinstein, but Kevin Murphy was so much better at that. A bigger debate would be Trace Beaulieu vs Bill Corbett as Crow’s voice. I kind of preferred Beaulieu but didn’t mind either.
Best season(s): 2-7
Worst season(s): 1, followed by 10-11