YMMV / Siskel & Ebert

  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Of the guest hosts following Ebert's departure, A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips seemed to live up to this trope well enough (to the point where they ended up serving as the permanent hosts in the year after Ben Lyons and Mankiewicz departed).
  • Even Better Sequel: In the eyes of a handful, Roeper's reviews with guest critics (ESPECIALLY A.O. Scott and eventual regular Michael Phillips) produced some great camaraderie that may have surpassed his chemistry with Ebert. One could attribute this to the notion that Roeper's energy complemented critics around his age group more than Ebert (who was roughly 20 years his senior).
  • First Installment Wins: No matter the performance of the new reviewers, the original show with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert is the version everyone remembers.
  • Gateway Series: This series encouraged at least a few viewers to try films they otherwise would have ignored like Documentaries and foreign language films.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks: While Gene Siskel liked Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, he got flak from Batman: The Animated Series fans after he said he didn't like Mark Hamill's performance as the Joker.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: For one of the holiday gift guide episodes, Siskel & Ebert had to demonstrate the ill-fated and unresponsive Activator peripheral for the Sega Genesis. Watching them flail around trying to use it on national syndicated TV could make it easier to understand why Ebert was never fond of the medium.
    • When the duo reviewed Bean, Ebert gave it a marginal thumbs down. Siskel gave it a thumbs up and pressed Roger: "You really wouldn't recommend this picture?" Ebert replied, "I'd tell people to wait until it comes out on video, something like that." Siskel said that he never makes that distinction and furthermore doesn't understand the distinction; Ebert replied that going to movies requires leaving the house. Siskel thought that argument made no sense, since you'd have to leave the house to rent a movie as well. Of course, nowadays it's very easy to stay home and rent a movie on iTunes or Netflix, and is much cheaper than going to the movies.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: More than a few viewers regularly watched the show just to see Siskel and Ebert argue. Which is funny because they actually often agreed with each other more often than not.
    Ebert: Some people thought he fought all the time; actually, we agreed most of the time. A lot of movies were clearly good or clearly bad, leaving only the ones in the middle to argue about.
  • Misblamed: Lots of fans of the show (and Ebert himself) believed that Ben Mankiewicz had been given a raw deal to be paired up with Ben Lyons, and should be remembered for trying his darndest to salvage the show from the mess the execs and Lyons were making.
  • The Scrappy: One could say this of the entirety of the Mankiewicz/Lyons year.
    • A multitude of reasons explaining the hate of the Mankiewicz/Lyons era have included:
      • The two having to live up to the precedents of Ebert and Roeper (the latter having actually found a pretty perfect onscreen partner post-Ebert in Michael Phillips, after over a year of subbing in guest hosts).
      • The overall lack of chemistry between the two critics.
      • Its adjustment leading to the destruction of the old Siskel and Ebert set, something Roger only found out afterwards, enraging him to no end (the fact that the original review archives were taken down certainly didn't help).
      • The use of a brighter, in-your-face, color palette and opening theme, likely used to bring in younger audiences.
      • The use of gimmicks uncommon during Ebert's run, such as an occasional feature where 3 guest critics would join the two to offer their input on various films in release.
      • Lyons' qualifications in particular were questioned, as he was in his 20s (as well as a regular correspondent on E!News) and viewers found that he lacked the same understanding of film that his predecessors shared. His negative review of Synecdoche, New York earned scorn from Adam Kempenaar (of the Chicago radio program "Filmspotting"), who reflected that Lyons hadn't taken the time to register what the film was actually attempting to say, but rather that the film was difficult overall. Mankiewicz himself averted this, as he's a regular contributor to Turner Classic Movies, a descendant of Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz (each of whom were Oscar-winners for writing Citizen Kane and directing All About Eve, respectively), and actually showed himself to be rather knowledgeable about the films they were reviewing.
    • Ebert himself seemed to offer a slight Take That to this section of the show, even remarking that, while he offered condolences to Mankiewicz over the show's mixed reactions (calling him "a perfect gentleman" and saying that he had suffered roughly the equivalent of "a drive-by shooting"), putting Lyons in the chair was very much a mistake. Ebert was quick to point out that Lyons had never even actually written a review for a film before his selection as co-host.
      • Roughly a year before this, just as the Bens were getting started, Roger actually published a column relaying the general rules and ethics for film criticism (seen here). Commentators were quick to point out that the timing of this seemed to be a subtle Take That to Lyons, something that Ebert's eventual examination (seen above) seemed to all but confirm.