I've seen the first episode 3 or 4 times now, since I bought these DVDs, I watched it by myself, I showed it to my girls, and I watched it again, just now. It's a really good introduction to the franchise.
In MTMTE part 1 we are introduced to nearly all of the Transformers I remember as a kid, those that are staples of the franchise, as well as some of my favorites, including Soundwave and his main cassette minions, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, and obviously, Optimus Prime and Megatron. The introductions are enough to inform us of their personalities (which I imagine don't change much throughout the show), ie Soundwave is awesome, Starscream is a bit whiny and power hungry, Megatron is a maniac, Prime is heroic, etc. They all have distinct voices as well as looks - excepting the Seekers, being redecos of Starscream, but even so, each of them is featured individually, they're not just Starscream and his clones, they're definitely three different characters.
We also get a good amount of footage of Cybertron, with a nifty voice-over to start the episode, explain the Heroic Autobots and Evil Decepticons, the war, and their search for Energon. My favorite part of Cybertron is the cybertronian modes, that in my memory we don't see ever again. They're all decent, the Seekers having the best forms in my opinion, though Laserbeak's is also great, though Soundwave's is pretty darn lame, pretty much being just a 'T'. I'm still waiting for toys of the Tetrajets, in Starscream and Skywarp colors
The Autobots are leaving Cybertron to seek new sources of Energon, the Decepticons follow because anything Prime can do, Megatron must to better, and first. They fight, they damage the ship, it crashes on earth and 4 million years later the ship's computer awakens and goes exploring (Explore! Explore!). The first vehicle it scans is an F-15 jet, and the first Transformer revived (Repair! Repair!) is Skywarp, which I think is awesome, his is the best deco after all. The Decepticons start building a base, and attack an oil derrick to harvest the oil into Energon cubes, for storage and eventual return to Cybertron. The Autobots show up (flying? I didn't think they could fly, and (spoiler) it seems to be forgotten by the end of this three episode story arc), disrupt the Decepticons plans, who flee to their base. And thus is established the basic pattern of the show (or so I'm told).
Unfortunately, we also meet the humans. Ugh. Spike and Sparkplug Witwicki are okay, but damn they have stupid names. Hopefully they won't be too terrible as the show progresses, and maybe we'll meet some evil humans that will team up with the Decepticons, like Cobra Commander or something.
One last thing to mention, the theme song. It's awesome. The lyrics are primitive, and the song just kinda stops, but it is very catchy and I like the instrumentation of it. The first episode was a decent enough hook that I can totally see how it captured the attention of kids, and though it took me 4 years of toy collecting before I started buying Transformers, I was tempted by them on several occasions long beforehand. In the end, it was my love for Skywarp (and finding the Masterpiece figure on clearance for $15) that started me down that dark path, from which there is no return. Anyway, despite some very terrible art in places, the voice acting was decent, the story was interesting enough that so far I can say I enjoy the show, and I'm curious to see where it goes. And of course I cannot wait for the eventual introductions of my other favorite characters, Ultra Magnus, Ramjet and Devastator, all of whom, like Skywarp, I like for their designs, I don't remember them at all as characters.
Oh yeah, and Soundwave's voice is AWESOME.