As much as I love this show, the pilot episode always confused me. Jay dates Valerie Fox, a beautiful actress who only pretends to be in love with him so that he can give her upcoming movie "Kiss of Death" a good review. When Jay sees the actual movie, he finds out that Valerie's a terrible actress. What I don't get is, if Valerie is so awful in the movie, how did she manage to fool Jay so easily into thinking that she really loved him?
It's possible that she's a good actress, but she was given a bad script and the movie's director sucked. Watch movies like the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The acting overall is wooden, but the actors do better in other movies when they have more to work with.
In fairness, it's never outright stated that she was only dating him with the hope of goading him into giving her a good review - it's implied to be the case because of a comment made by Eleanor Sherman, but from what we have to go on from Valerie herself, the possibility remains open that she was merely too sensitive to handle Jay's critique. Not to mention, being a good manipulator of people in real-life does not necessarily equate to having Oscar-winning acting skills.
Fridge Brilliance: Why would she bother seducing a film critic if she didn't already know the movie was crap? She clearly knows she's a good actress, but the movie was garbage, and since it's one of her first major roles, it could make or break her career. Manipulating Jay in the hopes that he would give it a good review was her last opportunity to salvage her up-and-coming career. That's why she drops him like a bad habit, he can't do anything else for her.
For a show about the film industry, why didn't they ever do a parody of the Star Wars trilogy or Jaws?
Either they couldn't find something new to parody or they didn't bother trying considering that both films have been mocked to death, even by that point.
They actually did do a Jaws joke, albeit a very short one, in the episode where Jay gets a dog that grows extremely big. He has a nightmare about the dog attacking him while he's in a car ala Jurassic Park. When Jay yells "help, help, or atleast put me in a better Spielberg movie", the dream changes to a parody of the first shark attack scene from Jaws.
It was the mid-90's. Star Wars was always popular in the sci-fi nerd community, but geek culture didn't become mainstream enough to make Star Wars a cornerstone of primetime TV gags until after The Critic was cancelled.
In "Miserable", the reason Jay's No. 1 Fan holds Jay hostage is because she's often ridiculed by her friends about her tastes in movies. So now that she has Jay, she has first-hand access to know what movies are good and which are bad. Two problems with this: One, if Jay is tethered to the bed, how can he review new movies and give her a review of them? And two, if she wants to know what movies are good and which are bad, why not just watch "Coming Attractions" instead of committing a crime?
Three possibilities to the first question: A) Jay's #1 fan is a film projectionist, and in one scene we see her reading while the movie is running. Instead of reading, she will actually watch the movies she runs, take notes, and force Jay to listen to her about the movies she watched and demand to tell her his reviews. B) She will wait until the movies are released on video and/or until TV gets the broadcasting rights for them, and force Jay to watch them. C) She will do both A and B; watch the movies in the theatre and then show them to him on video and/or TV when they become available. And for the second question: When she invites Jay to her apartment, he sees that she owns a huge collection of Jay Sherman merchandise. By kidnapping Jay, and thinking that she'll be the only person to have sole access to his reviews, she thinks she has succeeded in obtaining the crowning piece to her collection: Jay himself.