Terrible reviews. Everyone hated it. One of our favorites.

Terrible reviews. Everyone hated it. One of our favorites.

I almost never read the “professional” critics these days.  By professional critics, I mean those men and women who are paid to review entertainment: television, movies, and books. Reviews by “the pros” never seem to have anything to do with me. I don’t know from what planet these folks are coming, but it isn’t my part of the galaxy.

Do they see the same movies? Read the same books? Watch the same TV shows? Almost all my favorite moves were panned by critics, though many have since achieved “classic” status. Many favorite books were ignored by critics but have ultimately done pretty well, if they had a publisher who believed in them.

Got mediocre or bad reviews -- we loved it

Got mediocre or lousy reviews — we loved it

It’s easy to slam something for its imperfections. It’s harder to find the good and put the less good into perspective. I have wondered why critics are so negative so much of the time. Is is laziness? Are they are just taking the cheap and fast way out? Are they jaded? Do they get paid more for bashing than praising? Are they completely out of touch with the idea that entertainment should be “fun” — and that entertaining fun is a legitimate “good thing” — not to mention that it’s the stuff most of us want from TV, books, and movies?

Serenity got tepid or worse reviews. Love it. Of course.

Serenity got tepid or worse reviews. Love it. Of course.

So here’s how it works. I read the review. If the critic totally hates it, I might love it or at least, enjoy it. If they love it, I might enjoy it, but probably won’t. If the words “poignant,” “sensitive,” “heart-rending,” or “artistic” appear up in the review, I’ll probably run screaming from the room.

And then, there are the movies and TV shows about which I have to ask: “Did they actually see this show/read this book — or did they write the review based on a summary provided by the publisher/producer/publicist?” I can’t help but wonder.

20 thoughts on “CRITICS

  1. A good critic gives a critique that is as informational as it is critical. Then you can read between the lines and determine if that book or movie is for you.


  2. Critics aren’t everyday people in that they’re “educated” in what films should be like based on artistic standards and hold little regard for what entertains the hoi polloi. A professional food critic would mercilessly pan all of my favorite fast food joints, but I love eating at them and so do a lot of other people… which is why they’re successful. And films the critics detest keep getting made because the people who actually pay to watch movies love them. It all makes me wonder why professional critics even exist in the first place…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the question. All of the “best critically reviewed movies” have turned out to be films I couldn’t get 15 minutes into before starting to scream. Pretentious, boring, and incomprehensible. Why DO they pay them? I always thought they should hire Garry. he knows as much about film as anyone, but he IS the hoi polloi 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Squirrel, I used to argue vehemently with my Film Appreciation Prof back in college a thousand years ago.
      He used phrases like “It’s the juxtaposition of the montage which equals pure cinema”. We banged heads a lot because I was already a movie maven who didn’t back down to anyone.


        • Squirrel, I had a college “acquaintance” who sniffily informed me that American films were pedestrian as was my taste in films.. He quoted N.Y. Times reviews of foreign movies. I learned he was a closet John Wayne fan.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always puzzled by what people ‘like’ in general. I’ve watched blockbuster movies and loved them, of course, but then take the fringe shows like ‘Fire Fly’ and I’m all over that! Sadly, favorites often die out before they can gather enough moment to stay the course any more. It’s hard to be a fan in fickle times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read book reviews by fellow bloggers and readers. I don’t bother with the “columnists” online or in print because what they like is not what I like. It’s not that I have a problem with reviews in principle. I have a problem with professional reviewers 🙂


  4. I never read reviews, prefer my own judgements. Mr. Swiss seems to live on reviews. looks like a good film, the book had good critics – not always my thing. Can quite agree.


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