Thursday, October 30, 2003

Storm Clouds

Shallow Center's Washington Correspondent and I talk often about the frustratingly large number of pop culture critics who seem not to enjoy the various media they cover. Whether reviewing films, TV shows, records, or books, they revel more in their ability to turn a snarky phrase than actually offering intelligent, defensible opinions of the works they're covering. Granted, a lot of what they have to write about is trash -- would you want to review a new Celine Dion CD? -- but too many critics just don't appear to like what they do.

Exhibit A is in today's Inquirer, where TV critic Jonathan Storm's 465-word review of Fox's new Eliza Dushku vehicle Tru Calling contains exactly one word of explicit opinion about the show's quality. (For the record, the word is "phony.") Storm spends most of his review riffing bitchily on Dushku's hotness and on Fox's efforts to reel in young male viewers with discretionary income and loose wallets. As if any of that -- either Dushku's looks or the network's intentions -- is news.

Stop trying to be clever, Jonathan. Spend less time analyzing Dushku's wardrobe and more time telling me whether any part of the show -- writing? acting? set design? -- is worth watching. If that's too hard, keep your review at two paragraphs and find something else to cover that you actually might care about.

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