Sci-Fi era episodes are wildly overranked; Comedy Central episodes are too heavily skewed toward the ones that came out early on video. More a list of “most familiar” episodes than “best” episodes.
Not bad. Some of these are in line with where I’d rank episodes I enjoy but which don’t quite reach my Top Ten. Apart from Overdrawn. I dislike it immensely and find the segments to be about the most wildly uneven in the whole series. Public Pearl: Yea! The rest: Bleah!!
I didn’t read it but it’s wrong. Those lists aren’t about actual information. They’re about getting the website trending. No need to bother scrutinizing it for accuracy. The writers didn’t. Why should we?
Nice to see the love for Laserblast, but - as often seems to be the case - I have to wonder where it is for another stellar season seven effort - The Incredible Melting Man.
Any time I see a website I’ve never heard of pop up with one of these “best of” or “12 biggest unanswered questions in Doctor Who” or “7 times Star Trek got it wrong” listicles in my feed, I give it a wide berth. It’s always click-bait in slideshow format that only exists to get you to scroll past as many ads as possible for some middling recycled nonsense that was probably cribbed from a fan forum.
Sing the praises of AdBlocker!!
As far as I’m concerned, these lists are best consumed as a reminder that some people really like ones that aren’t your favorites, and if you haven’t watched them in awhile they may be worth revisiting.
One of the things I like most about MST3K is that it contains a lot of different colors and flavors – if your favorite bad movies are weird, old black & white sci-fi, they ran a lot of them. If you prefer giant monster movies, they have you covered from Gamera to Gorgo. More grounded fare, like extremely dated crime dramas and bad action films? Plenty to choose from! Terrible experimental filmmaking that somehow got made and maybe even paid for? Almost every season has at least one movie that’s a tribute to somebody’s utterly baffling vision.
One of the things I like most about watching MST3K with people is that we don’t all laugh at the same jokes. And when I hear someone else laugh at something I didn’t, their enjoyment helps me enjoy the whole thing that much more. In the same vein, I may disagree with the conclusion that Manos deserves top honors just because there’s a long tradition of crowning it – I just don’t enjoy watching it enough to call it “the best” or “the most essential” – but I recognize the strength of feeling behind people’s desire to do that, and I honor it.
I wish that I could give more than one like for this.
Seeing Manos almost invariably at the top of these lists reminds me of how, during the '80s, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” was anointed by rock radio as the greatest rock song of all time. It quickly became tradition.
(and, as an aside, I suggested to a friend who held this belief that, had “Stairway” not existed, I could see how “Kashmir” might have filled that void)
Skimmed through (I have an ad blocker). Nope. Not even close. They have episodes on there that I regularly skip and would never put even in my top 50, let along my top 30.
Let’s talk about “Manos” for a minute.
I 100% agree that it is the worst film they ever did. By a country mile. But is it the best MST3K episode? I personally don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong - the ep is really good. And Torgo is the gift that keeps on giving. However, I maintain that the ep attained its legendary status by virtue of the terrible quality of the underlying film, not by having the very best riffs.
Do I have to agree with it?
It’s not my list, it’s Kayleigh Herns, and I can appreciate it on that basis. It’s the same with the Yardbakers Top 25 that was shared a while back, or Jim Vorell’s list at Paste, or Matt Peri’s at Workprint.
And anything that celebrates the show is alright with me.
I saw Manos in a full theater, and the laughter was loud, frequent and infections (I roared right along with them). I came to truly appreciate the experiment after that night.
I left the theater feeling good, floating on clouds… and isn’t that the point of it all - MST makes you happy. So even if it’s not my #1, I’ll never argue with someone who who rates it that highly.
First, for an article dated yesterday, there’s absolutely nothing from the Revival Era. I would easily posit Cry Wilderness, Wizards Of The Lost Kingdom, or Mac & Me right up there with anything from the “classic” era.
Second, none of the Hercules films? For real?
Third, Manos is terribly overrated as an episode. A lot of the riffs can be summed up as “So… Manos.” I’m not saying it’s a bad episode, but not #1. (Though Hired Part 2 absolutely slaps.)
For straight riffing I have to agree. The revival era has some truly top notch stuff. They’d been honing their craft for years and years and found the right group to carry the torch forward, so to speak.
I never agree with any ranking of Manos at #1. It’s the most iconic episode of MST3K, it could very well be the most important episode, but riff quality-wise, I don’t see it as the show’s greatest moment.
That’s not to say that I dislike the episode, certainly not. I love rewatching Manos, consider it to be a very funny episode, and think that it has a lot to offer. But MST3K’s best? I don’t necessarily truck with that.
Also, I gotta question the absence of the revival era from the list. Jonah and company came out blazing, and you have a number of episodes that could easily rank among the top 20, even the top 10.
Personally, I wouldn’t put The Touch of Satan or Fugitive Alien up quite so high. But that’s a personal taste preference kinda thing (I enjoy Fugitive Alien and think that The Touch of Satan has an A+ first half).
All in all, a fun read, this! Definitely some points of agreements here and there, or parts where I could think, “Yeah, I can see why this episode would be ranked so high.”
All of that being said, I love reading other fans’ rankings of the episodes. Our different walks of life help to make the MSTie community something that’s really fun and eclectic, and so it is with episode preferences. It would be TREMENDOUSLY BORING if we all had the same exact tastes in episodes and things that make us laugh, if we were all hivemind-like about everything. Our different perspectives and opinions towards these episodes go a long way towards making (and keeping) these discussions involving, thought-provoking, and entertaining.
What’s more, I just love seeing what it is that different MSTies respond to, what episodes and jokes and humor styles they enjoy. When folks talk about episodes they love, it’s like I feel and experience their love for those episodes, and that’s a hell of a thing. The Castle of Fu Manchu may be my least favorite episode, but to hear someone speak of that as an episode they love? I am absolutely all for that.
All of that to say this: I’ll always welcome these lists, rankings, and retrospectives!
… this is a god-tier paragraph. Spot on. The MSTie experience in a nutshell, right there, the idea of different and wide-ranging aspects of enjoyment throughout the series for different folks.
So much to disagree with! Why is Giant Spider Invasion behind so many inferior episodes. Manos is great, but number one? I guess it’s all opinion based but my list would be way different. Still, some good episodes here and, again, one person’s opinion so I won’t be too harsh.
I’ve never watched MST with other people.