What are the best episodes of MST3K for someone who hasn't seen anything of the series to watch? I want to watch the upcoming reboot, but since I have no familiarity with the old series, I'm afraid I might not be able to fully appreciate it.
It’s not a reboot, but a continuation. =)
And 9 times out of 10, the good news is you don’t need to know anything walking into it, because the theme song gives all the backstory. Season 8 had an ongoing plotline (which I quite enjoyed), but you don’t really NEED to follow it closely to know they’re parodying sci-fi tropes. I can’t think of a single dud in season 8 (although some of the movies are just more unpleasant to sit through, like Invasion of the Neptune Men). Still, generally-accepted good ones to watch are: Manos the Hands of Fate, I Accuse My Parents, Space Mutiny, and Pumaman. ^_^
Season 1 has a different voice for Tom Servo than the rest of the show, in the middle of season 5 the main human host changes from Joel to Mike (their riffing styles are a bit different - the Joel era on average was generally more laid back and relaxed, like a few friends just BSing while watching the movie together) while the Mike era was about zingers and getting the jokes really in there. In season 8 Crow’s voice changes and I’d really recommend watching all of season 8 in order because of the storyline that introduces a bunch of characters, but it’s okay if you’re more interested in the riffing.