My Main Critique of MST3K

Yes, you read that title correctly— this post is the biggest complaint I have regarding my favorite show. While this blog is about my favorite show and I find it kind of silly to question decisions that can not be undone, I believe it’s important to remind one’s self that just because it is the “best show ever” does not mean it is perfect.

The main problem I have with Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the inconsistency of the humor among the various (and I mean VARIOUS) episodes. This is kind of an obvious complaint for a comedy television show, but I just feel disappointed sometimes with the potential for a hilarious episode or better timing or higher amount of jokes when I watch multiple episodes back-to-back. While it isn’t really a problem in most sitcoms if an episode is less funny than others, MST3K is an exception due to its longer than normal length. If a movie is boring and the episode isn’t as full of jokes (Seasons 1-2 mostly had this problem) or possibly too full of jokes (Seasons 6-10 mostly utilized between 600-700 jokes per episode) the episode just pales in comparison to other on-the-money episode and can leave you bored or more prone to distraction.

There is a probable solution to this problem which I’ve yet to try—watching the show with friends. If you can watch the show with a friend and there’s a funny moment or line that goes unused, why not join in and do the writer’s job for them?… at least, until they come back in and say something ten times funnier than you or I could think of.

Let me know in the comments if this complaint is important to you also, or tell me “I should really just relax” if you’re up to it. 

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6 responses to “My Main Critique of MST3K”

  1. jbrannon2013 says :

    I think this is a valid critique to have, and one very fitting of MST3K. It sounds like the show did some evolving over it’s course (it would be impossible for a show with such a long run not to) that was possibly for better or worse. The nature of the show almost requires the show to be different from episode to episode – it is not an independent piece of art but rather it relies on the content that it exhibits that week. No show hits a home run every week, and MST3K opens itself up to even more variables, making that task harder, yet much more admirable when accomplished.

  2. srob10 says :

    I liked what you said about watching the show with friends. In a way, that’s exactly what the show is. It’s about spectatorship and having to sit through actual crap. It’s just as much about previous criticisms and jokes as the ones you imagine yourself. Sometimes the show doesn’t offer any particularly clever insight into the badness of a film, but in its own mediocrity, and in our awareness of it, that invites even another layer of jokes to make. That doesn’t forgive the show for it’s shortcomings, but it’s the fact that we care enough to sit through the worst of these episodes, even if the episode is as bad as the film it picks apart, that proves how good it is.

  3. kaygirl91 says :

    I agree with Brannon, this is a valid critique. I think every avid TV watcher has experienced this, though and it’s not necessarily just with comedy, this happens in other genres as well. It’s more underwhelming in comedy though, I will say. You can’t win ’em all, even highly regarded writers.

  4. tkmboyd says :

    I have never watched/heard of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but MST3K is a bad ass abbreviation. I think this is a valid complaint and is most likely present in all TV shows; not funny enough, not dramatic enough, not scary enough. But unfortunately, not all episodes can be winners.

  5. modernmaddie says :

    This is definitely something I’ve noticed in shows that I watch more religiously. The content just isn’t consistent across seasons, and it bothers me. There have been times when I’ve planned on watching a series start to finish, but one season starts to bore me and I have to quit. Maybe I’m just too picky…

  6. taylorkyles says :

    Brooklyn nine-nine had this problem, which was the only comedy I watched this year besides Rick and Morty, and you know what my thoughts on Rick and Morty are. I try to just set my expectations low, when I watch TV because I typically don’t think there is much redeeming value. Then when I do sit down, it’s all entertaining! wubba lubba dub dub

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