Anyone else feel like reviewers are increasingly getting it wrong?

Anyone else feel like reviewers are increasingly getting it wrong?

Hello, don't know if this has been talked about at all, and if it has I apologize for that. Anyway, I'm always on the look out for the next great show. I watch every genre from comedy to foreign dramas. The only criteria I have is that it's well written. As time has gone I find myself relying less on the reviews as I have found them increasingly unreliable. Five years ago I could trust Rotten Tomatoes as the word of God, and now if I were to I'd miss out on some of my favorite shows. I don't want to give the impression I'm just pissy that my favorite show got bad reviews, as it seems systematic. There's also the issue of reviewers giving shows too high of a rating.

 

What spurred me to make this post was the reviews for The Punisher. It's definitely not my favorite show of the year, but I feel like it's been unjustly given a lower rating by numerous reviewers than it deserves. As of writing, it currently sits as a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which I guess is not 'rotten,' but speaking for myself I would never want to watch a show barely scraping by. I noticed two prevailing issues with the reviews, one they were overly political, and two, they're criticisms were very shallow and show a lack of understanding of the show. For exhibit A I'll bring up this review from theverge by Laura Hudson. She writes as closing remarks, "It's hard to think of a Marvel character that better channels the mentality at the heart of the American gun epidemic; it's too bad The Punisher has so little to say about it." As she says, basically because the show never made a firm stance one way on gun control the show sucks. Completely disregarding the characters and the plot. Basically what makes television, television. Then we have from the Atlantic Sophie Gilbert's main criticism is that the show's pacing is too slow. I would also like to point out she incorrectly attributes a quote Billy said to Curtis. Now, she doesn't give arguments to support her position. This is just her opinion and to me this serves little to the career of being a professional critic.

 

For this next bit I'll probably kill my karma because I'll be talking about Game of Thrones. The show season 5 and onward has been on a slope of decline in quality. The lack of good dialogue. Too many jumps from place to place. Poorly choreographed action scenes. Lastly, a complete disregard to a consistent plot. You may disagree with these things I'm saying. Which is fine, the show is still widely entertaining and well loved, but you would at least expect SOME professional critics to take note of these things. But they don't.

 

There are more examples, but I feel like these two examples should articulate well enough what I see as some problems nowadays with 'critics.' I'd like to know if I'm the only one that feels like mainstream reviews are systematically getting it wrong.

Nope but I definitely increasingly feel like there is a certain demo that can't take any criticism about "their" shows/films.

Also, plenty of people have criticized Game of Thrones the last couple of seasons.

While they do follow trends sometimes, reviewers aren't a monolith. The trick is to find ones that share similar tastes to you, then you'll have more of a feel if the recommendations they have are up your alley.

Comic book tv shows are way over rated in fans eyes, they really aren't that good, they are pretty formulaic, and are pretty much CSI versions. Some of them aren't even that good. Watch them enjoy them but in no way are they great TV, they are at best, alright

"...overtly political..."

I'm sorry but that's a load of shit. This was series I was interested in, and I read about 8-10 reviews on metacritic for this, and nearly all criticized it for its slow pace (not shocking considering the recent Netflix Marvel shows have stretched out barely a single issue comic story to a dozen hours of tv) and lack of originality.

Do you really want critics to pander to your tastes rather than be honest about their view? There are specific sites that you can visit which will echo your views on a show for the fan clicks.

I definitely increasingly feel like there is a certain demo that can't take any criticism about "their" shows/films.

I agree, people like to hide in their echo chambers.

You can't really be objective in a review. Anyone who pledges you that is trying to pull a fast one. As I say, just find common interest reviewers and it's not nearly as frustrating when "the crowd" sways one way or another, because you'll have a much better guide for things you might enjoy :)

For this next bit I'll probably kill my karma because I'll be talking about Game of Thrones. The show season 5 and onward has been on a slope of decline in quality. The lack of good dialogue. Too many jumps from place to place. Poorly choreographed action scenes. Lastly, a complete disregard to a consistent plot. You may disagree with these things I'm saying. Which is fine, the show is still widely entertaining and well loved, but you would at least expect SOME professional critics to take note of these things. But they don't.

That's just like, your opinion man. This whole thing kind of reads like you are the determiner of what is good and what is not and that if a critic disagrees with you, they are a bad critic.

Critics don't get it wrong just because they have different opinions than you.

The tomatoscore doesn't have as much to do with the quality of the season as much as it has do with the amount of people that enjoyed it. Even though the show was heavily criticised by the fans, most people would still say they enjoyed the season overall which would result in a fresh tomato. If you look at the things you really should be looking at on RT (Average Rating & Average Episode Score) you'll find Season 7 is actually the lowest of the pack, which is also strengthened by season 7 being second lowest in RT score.

Yeah, the "overtly political" complaints about reviews of just about anything always ring hollow. Content doesn't happen in a vacuum, and it's something we all take for granted when we read criticism of things that we have separation from. No one talks about keeping politics out of criticism when we acknowledge that Godzilla was Japan dealing with the bomb or '70s thrillers were about Watergate and dealing with a distrust of the government.

It's weird to think that at least some people wouldn't bring their real world feelings about guns to their viewing of The Punisher, and that a critic wouldn't feel the need to address that.

A lot of people can't even seem to handle positive yet somewhat critical reviews about their shows and movies, like giving a movie a 7/10 is enough to send fanboys into a fit of rage.

I think in general though it just speak volumes about how self-involved a lot of people are, to the point where the genuinely believe that reviewers aren't just criticising something through their personal lens, and that they have some sort of sinister intentions in mind just to spite fans of the show/movie or something. Like how far up your own ass do you have to be to believe that the only reason why someone would disagree with your opinions is to be a contrarian?

The nuance is gone these days. Every show/movie is either 10/10 the absolute best or 0/10 the absolute worst.

With so much content out there, watching a show that is only a 60-70% RT feels like it isn’t worth your time when there are so many 90+% RT ones you haven’t watched yet.

Only... Most shows fall somewhere in the middle and falling in the middle isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It feels like on Reddit the most polarizing opinions get the most attention. The posts giving a show the highest praise or the highest criticism usually get upvoted to the top, while comments that aren’t as over-the-top usually aren’t as well-received.

Not increasingly, just as its always been...if they aren't getting better. Today I saw "Taboo" on a worst of 2017 list which I thought was some fucking nonsense, but the same list had Mr. Robot and Handmaid's tale in the top ten, and the very fact that those three shows exist tells me TV is just continually getting better, which wouldn't happen if critics weren't guiding people toward ever-improving programming.

I think the problem is that too many people go to reviews solely to have their own opinions and assumptions validated.

There are still great TV reviewers. Main example: Alan Sepinwall. I don't always agree with him (for example he didn't like Westworld though I enjoyed it a lot), but he always makes you understand WHY he didn't like something, and you may or may not agree but it's always a pretty good explanation. Another example, he didn't like The Punisher, but his review was about what didn't work in the show as a TV show, not as a political conveyor of some message. He also was one of the harsher out there towards Game of Thrones Season 7 (and previous seasons too).

But you're right when you say that the overall quality of reviewers is probably dipping a bit, with Television increasingly getting bigger bigger (more shows, more outlets, more way to watch it) the number of people reviewing it has increased too and that leads to some dilution and overall quality going down. Alan is part of the "old guard" and is not the only one. Daniel Fienberg, James Poniewozik, Matt Zoller Seitz, Tim Goodman, Todd VanDerWeff, Maureen Ryan, these are guys (and gals) that off the top of my head are still putting out great content out there.

As of writing, it currently sits as a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which I guess is not 'rotten,' but speaking for myself I would never want to watch a show barely scraping by.

The Punisher did barely scrape by...

They do still have good choreography for 1 maybe 2 episodes, but the rest can be god awful. Arya and Waif's parkour scene. Sandsnakes, Even the Tower of Joy scene. Main opponent was dual wielding longs swords lol

After what happened with Suicide Squad I fear that I'd just be labeled into that demographic, but I believe I see widespread laziness and bias from critics. As for Game of Thrones, season 7 definitely got more criticism, more so from the fans, but if you were to peruse rotten tomatoes you wouldn't get that sense.

The battle was the only GOT I've watched. The battle was shit. Made no logical sense and that not how lines deploy or muster. That was literally staged as fuck and made zero sense.

Gah, that Arya and Waif crap was terrible. Her whole storyline is absurd, downright awful.

I'd say it goes the other way too, theres more people willing to just shit on something just cause (usually just cause its popular tends to be good enough reason for most).

Not defending anything in particular just a trend with pretty much everything these days of people on either end of a spectrum being overly vocal as if its some prize show who can love/hate something the most and like everything else theres little to no room for a middle ground.

GoT has had great choreography in action scenes. Bastard battle was brilliant for, that, despite its schlock writing. That show is on cruise control now anyway, just waxing off to make room for the spinoffs.

I think reviewers aren't savage enough in general. Look at RT and see how most shows are lauded, despite most being trash.