Hey there, and welcome to my review site. But it isn't just any review site. Heck no! On this site you'll find great mounds of info on all of your favorite Mst3k episodes including...
-Plot summary of the target movie
-Descriptions of main characters from the target movie
-Personal reflections concerning the MST3K episode
-Overall ranking and grade for each episode
-Awards given to certain episodes
-Host segment summaries and rankings
-Individual short summaries
-RPMs of each episode. This stands for "Riffs per Minute" and is a reflection of how many riffs the crew throw at the target movie. For more information on RPMs, go here.
On the left of of your browser you'll see the table of contents. There's the "Season" header followed by the numbers 1-10 and "Shorts". Click on those to go a season's review page or the shorts review page. Below that is "Boxed Sets" which reviews the collections that have been released by Rhino and Shout! Factory. Below that is a list of different places on the site to get info about updates to the sites, review info (this page), a summary of awards, various sorted lists, and an FAQ (But Andrew...) page.
At the top of each season's page, you'll find a season recap. This is a short summary of what went on in the season; on
camera, behind the scenes, etc. After that you'll find my personal reflections on the season and where the season ranks in my
list of favorite seasons. After that is the RPM-o-meter when I describe what the RPMs did during that season. Did they rise? Fall?
Go all over? How does that relate to what was going on behind the scenes? Next is a list of my favorite episodes from each season,
the top RPM getters from the seasons and the Mstie community's favorite and not-so-favorite episodes. What do I mean by "Mstie Community"? I conducted a poll in which fans submitted their own list
of favorite episodes and tabulated the results into a full ranking of all episodes.
Next, I have a section called "Defending the Classics".
If I loved an episode, but the Mstie Community didn't, I let you know why I liked it so much and why I think the Mstie community doesn't.
Finally, you'll see what episodes are available on DVD and what set they appear in.
Oh, and why did I pick 44 episodes for the top RPM getters and least favorite Mstie episodes? Well, there are 176 episodes and I feel that
the top 25% is an important cutoff. So, 176 * 25% = 44 shows.
Now, let me describe what you'll see in a typical episode review. I'll use "Day the Earth Froze" as an example because it has pretty much everything I need to explain (and it's my favorite episode!). So go click on "4", and then click "422" in the show list that appears at the top of your browser.
First, we see the MST3K show number and title. To the right of the movie title, we see four "boxes". The first one, with the tachometer background, is the RPM average for the whole show. The RPM level has five rankings: Vroom!!, Speedy, Steady, Slow, and Snail. The second area is for the episode's grade. The grade is based on my own personal feelings about the movie itself, riffing quantity and quality, the host segments, how many times I've seen the episode, and a myriad of other things. If I loved it, it gets an "A+". If I didn't like it so much, it gets an "F". "F" shows are hot hated, they just aren't in my usual MST3K rotation. The third and fourth boxes may or may not exist for every episode. They are awards that I give to my favorite episodes for being good overall and/or for having really good host segments. The awards are...
Enshrinement is the dream of many; the realization of few. These episodes are the best of the best, the cream of the MST3K crop, and a good friend. Awarded to the top 25 or so movies in the series (the top ~15%).
These episodes aren't quite up to enshrinement standards, but are still in my "Greatness Rolodex". Awarded to 20 or so movies (the next ~12%).
These are episodes that I don't actively pursue, but I'll watch if I happen across them. I give this award to 20 or so movies (the next ~12%)
This is the "consolation prize" given movies that are simply better than average. This is given to 20 or so movies (the next ~12%)
This is an award you don't want. These episodes are my least favorite. They just rub me the wrong way or something. These go to the bottom 25 or so movies in the series (the bottom ~15%).
The "Oh!" award is completely independent of the episode's RPMs or grade as the "Oh!" stands for "Outstanding Host-segments". If there are plenty of great segments and minimal bad segments, the episode is awarded with either Gold, Silver, or Bronze. I can also give a "Crap" award if the host segments just didn't do it for me.
Below that with a grey background is the genre of the movie, the year the target movie was made, if it was black and white or color, and if it's available on DVD. The genre is a personal categorization and I've settled on nine possible genres. They are...
Movies with aliens visiting our planet or humans being out of place in an alien society, thus becoming alien themselves.
James-Bond-clones, movies about ninjas, or anything starring Joe Don Baker.
"Sword & sorcery" type flicks or Russo-Finnish productions.
Movies with a supernatural flavor or movies about cults.
Movies with people talking at great length about absolutely nothing, or fist fighting.
Movies about once-normal people who are now products of increased size, transformation, or awry experimentation.
Movies about native large shrews, spiders, or Japanese reptiles.
Movies taking place in or dealing heavily with outer space, or that involve planetary discovery.
Movies with knee-deep techno-jargon, or Nazi-type governments harassing the few remaining humans.
Below that, you'll see "Andrew's Rank", "Mstie Rank", and "RPM Rank". For "Andrew's Rank", the lower the number, the higher I rank an episode. Simply put, this is THE list. I like episodes ranked higher better than episodes ranked lower. Period. Paragraph. End of story. Sometimes the difference is slight, but it is indeed there. You can find the complete list in the "Sorted Lists" section. Along those same lines I have the "Mstie Rank". The difference here is that this ranking comes straight from the Mstie community; the members of which submitted favorite episodes to my online poll. Finally, "RPM Rank" is based on how many riffs the episode had. The lower the number, the better the RPM's.
Next, you might see a award. This is given to episodes that both the Mstie community and myself hold in high enough regard that they have been awarded an "Enshrinement" and/or "Choice" award from both of us.
A very few shows receive a award. These shows, 10 or fewer, are held in VERY high esteem, i.e. a ranking of better than ~20 from both Andrew and Msties.
Or, you might see which means that both myself and the Mstie community ranked this among the bottom ~40 shows.
Below all of that, we see any short(s) that the episode contains. Reviews for shorts are located on the "Shorts Reviews" page.
Next comes the photo gallery, if I've done one for this episode. A photo
gallery is a few stills from the episode that feature memorable scenes,
characters, host segments, title screens, and whatever else I deem awesome.
After that, you'll find character descriptions, a summary, favorite riffs, personal reflections, and a summary of the host segments for each episode.
Speaking of the host segments section, the first thing you'll see there is "Host Seg Rank". Hold that thought. After each host segment, you'll see my rating for each segment. The possible ratings are Classic!!, Great!, Okay, and Not Good. The "Host Seg Rank" is a ranked list of the average quality of an episode's host segments. Imagine that each Classic!! segment is worth four points, Great! is three, Okay is two, and Not Good is one. Add them up, divide by the number of host segments, and then compare that to other episodes. "Day the Earth Froze" has two Classic!! segments and two Great! segments. That's pretty good. The full list is in the "Sorted Lists" section. This average also effects if an episode gets an award for having good host segments.
That's it! The reviews for the shorts are pretty much the same. You are now ready to be turned loose into my review site and find your favorite episodes! Now shoo!