Wednesday, July 31, 2013
In defense of TV critics
But TV critics have a tough job that is only getting tougher. And lest you think I’m sucking up, I have no show for them to judge. They can review my blog and wardrobe and that’s about it.
The demands on them are greater and their security is not much better than the shows they critique. Newspapers are the UPN of media.
TV critics used to write for established newspapers founded before even Cher was born. They’d review new pilots, movies-of-the-week, do a few articles about the state of the industry, interview Tony Danza, and occasionally do follow-up pieces on series – usually when the show they called a stinkburger became the breakout hit of the season. There were primarily four networks. The fall and mid-seasons were clearly defined. Tony Danza always got a show so they could replay that interview every season.
Life was good.
Alan Sepinwall from HitFix (pictured: left) and Maureen Ryan from the Huffington Post (pictured: below) now critique every episode of dozens of shows. I can’t imagine watching every episode of THE CARRIE DIARIES much less analyzing them every week.
That’s the tip of the iceberg though because they have to WATCH all this crap. Every year I get Emmy screeners and it’s like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice – the DVD’s just keep coming. Shows I’ve never heard of. Networks I’ve never heard of. How can anybody keep track of all this material? And yet, they have to watch it all and then some. Studies have shown that most people even get bored with porn if they watch too much of it. Imagine having to wade through THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM.
So if you’re in LA and sometime in the next few weeks you see a shell of a person sitting alone at a Starbucks, rocking back and forth, coffee dribbling out of his mouth, mumbling “TODDLERS AND TIARAS, season eight” over and over, show a little kindness. Remind him that BREAKING BAD is returning soon and SMASH has been cancelled. Another angel will get his wings.