My TV and Me

February 14, 2011

My Favorite TV Critic

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:01 pm

Slate’s Josh Levin has written a really great piece on Alan Sepinwall , the emergence of online TV show analysis and how it differs from the old school TV reviewers:

Sepinwall-style criticism has obvious strengths. Week-to-week coverage reflects how people actually watch their favorite shows—we rehash the best lines, parse the meaning of weighty moments, and anticipate plot twists. At its best, new-school TV writing is brainy and inquisitive, thoughtful commentary borne out of a fanatical attention to detail. But hypervigilant criticism, written by obsessive fans for obsessive fans, isn’t necessarily an unmitigated force for good. Is it possible that today’s TV writers are sitting too close to the screen?

I think that, as a blogger, I don’t really have that issue: This is my personal blog, I write my personal opinion and choose which shows I want to talk about. My readers are people who share my TV interests. Once you move into doing that as a career, for a major media outlet, well, I wonder if readers’ expectations change? I started reading Alan’s blog during those early, heady LOST and Battlestar Galactica days. I not only shared Alan’s overall opinion of each of those shows, but reading his reviews – and his fantastic commenters – lent insight into what I had just seen. Many times Alan would point out a detail I had completely missed, or a commenter would tie a scene from the previous night’s episode to another one two seasons prior, a connection which may have been buried deep in my subconscious, but probably unretrievable otherwise.

I’ve always considered this type of TV reviewing/writing – something I’ve done since the days of The X-Files (Good God, look at that old site!), although not well enough to be a professional – as an essential part of watching and enjoying a TV show. You can read Alan’s remarks about the Slate article here.

What do you think?

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