Trust me. They're not reading good reviews on that phone!
Going back to Arrested, it seems awfully tacky to attack these people that once rallied for your show. If it weren't for them telling what people they did to watch and writing their constant praise the show might not have survived for as long as it did or gain any cult following at all! To be fair, Mitch sent out another tweet clarifying his stance, but the idea of him refusing criticism bothered me. Mostly because it was all pretty constructive... and it was coming from people who did LOVE the show...they just wanted and expected the best from it. They understood what made the first three seasons brilliant and saw what was lacking from this one. No one should be above criticism, and when you think you are usually your product suffers A LOT. The new season of AD and Hurwitz actually reminded me a lot of George Lucas and the prequels (and this comes from someone who likes the prequels just fine, though yes I can admit their flaws and inferiority.) In every interview, I read of the cast they all just had blind trust in Hurwitz and called him a genius in every step. When you're surrounded by people worshiping you, it is hard to step back and see the full picture...but you've really got to get an outsider opinion otherwise you're not seeing anything how it truly is. Another person whose story this echoes? The man I wrote my last blog post on, M. Night Shyamalan.
Shyamalan followed a nearly identical path, and like Hurwitz did NOT like receiving any sort of negative criticism. So in his first true dud, Lady in the Water, he thought it'd be fun to show critics he didn't care about their opinion whatsoever with the inclusion of a critic character who [SPOILER ALERT- highlight to read] dies a gruesome death. [/SPOILER ALERT] And, to be honest, I don't think critics ever forgave him for that. Yes, his next two films following were completely worthy of all the things said about them. But After Earth? The critics TORE that apart with comparisons to BATTLEFIELD EARTH of all things. Whoa whoa whoa, guys. Vendetta much? The film is perfectly watchable. No, it's not GREAT. But it's not bad! The Worst film ever made? Come on. The reviews would have you believe it's Nicolas Cage quality and I can assure you that is NOT the case. And the level of hate some of them had towards Gatsby? I don't get it. Which brings me to the point that critics aren't always to be trusted. Like anyone else, they're human and they certainly have their fair share of prejudices even if they're supposed to be unbiased...most of the time they're not.
Another critic character in film actually describes the profession the very best. Anton Ego, the snooty food critic of Ratatouille says
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends."
HERE is a pretty entertaining article with some of his best slams, which includes two films I think he was a wee bit hard on (can you guess which two?) Perhaps one of the reasons he was so hard on some things though is that he really expected a standard of excellence from all of the things he took in. He said once “Entertainment is about the way things should be. Art is about the way they are." Searching for art in an entertainment obsessed world is almost a nearly impossible thing to do these days, which is why critics can serve such a valuable role in helping to decipher what is what, and which are worth your time. Roger Ebert was one of the best in this regard. His keen intellect was able to see and critique films in the best possible way, and his opinions are already missed. Well, that's about all for now, but for more Ebert goodness, BuzzFeed had some good articles HERE and HERE.