Reviews Comments: A shame to online reviewers

A shame to online reviewers
Let's ignore the screeching voice. Let's ignore the unfunny character antics. Let's ognore the toilet humour and lowest common denominators of comedy Doug Walker applies ad infinitum. They're trivial, because the very core is rotten beyond that.

First off, The Nostalgia Critic is not a critic, not anymore than YT commenters or the religious right are. What many people forget is that criticism is supposed to inspire people to improve their work and themselves. The NC started off his career as an angry brat hatefully demonstrating ignorance and spite for the sake of entertainment. That is not criticism, that is a clown's act. Over the years, he improved, he became more nuanced and tried to give off a fairer treatment. But:

- He relies on misinformation, either ignoring facts or presenting blatantly false statements;

- He is more focused on shaming the author than offering a constructive foundation;

- He cares less about critiquing and more on comedic sketches, which often distract significantly from the review itself (and, in some cases, blatantly showcase that he simply does not have much to say about the movie).

Upon his return, these problems became far worse. Now, he engages in bizarre, pointless sketches, and when he does criticise, his criticism is both incredibly inapropriate, unappliable, and actually more offensive than the material he reviews. When he isn't deliberately mean spirited, he is in an oblivious, Moral Guardians-esque moral indignation that makes most soccer moms blush. The fact that he was always an homophobic, sexist douche doesn't help matters: either before as an angry, frankly sex-starved looking manchild, or in a pretentious, prudish, higher-than-thou sex shaming manner.

Reviewing is every bit as much of an art as any other, and many reviwers revel in working with what they have. The NC, by contrast, basically is less interested in reviewing than using the review as a vehicle for other things, from unrelated humour to his own morality, and as such like with any artwork that commits such, he is productive solely in the realm of the gentile


I don't agree on the "always being an homophobic slut-shaming sexist" part (as a bisexual woman who loved him seeing get his happy ending, I wouldn't be so upset at the awful of reboot if he'd always been like that), but he really is terrible now. Demo Reel tried so damn hard to be inclusive, but that doesn't make money so on we go to being as gross as possible.
comment #23786 emeriin 11th Apr 14
"[[Heliosphoros]] is more focused on shaming the author than offering a constructive foundation;"
comment #23787 TomWithNoNumbers 11th Apr 14
^ Ze's not shaming Doug though, ze's talking about how nasty and problematic his work can get.
comment #23788 annette 11th Apr 14
"he is in an oblivious, Moral Guardians-esque moral indignation that makes most soccer moms blush. The fact that he was always an homophobic, sexist douche doesn't help matters: either before as an angry, frankly sex-starved looking manchild, or in a pretentious, prudish, higher-than-thou sex shaming manner. "

I'm sure Doug would take being described as a sex-starved looking manchild as a useful piece of constructive criticism that he'll get on fixing right away. I can see how that's something which Heliosphoros would happily say to his face aware of how that isn't at all rude. I'm also sure if I look really hard I might be able to find some comment about a creator that Doug has said which is maybe at least 1/10th as aggressive and personal as that.

I mean this is the dude who won't even say 'I've heard Shyamalan is arrogant' without qualifying it with how he's got no personal experience about that and he's probably a lovely person to work with and it's not his place to say it.

Now to be fair, I'm not exactly being constructive either. So I will say this, I'm genuinely confused as to the sort of events that this review refers to. I've seen most of his videos and I'm not sure where this is coming from. But this is clearly a subject that the reviewer is very passionate about. Moreover the review is articulate and readable so it feels to me that there are very specific things which are at the centre of these complaints and Heliosphoros is probably more informed about them than I am.

So I would be honestly interested if you could describe what these problems are and what Doug/NC has done to deserve some of the comments (homophobic, sexist) that sort of thing. This review is a good way for the people who already agree with those opinions to get some sort of affirmation from, but those of us who missed those aspects of his personality are just going to be a bit puzzled. If you would go into more detail on it it could help inform us
comment #23789 TomWithNoNumbers 11th Apr 14
-sneaks in again- Well there's two articles on just how bad the Sailor Moon review was, and Doug's response was to first just consider it a matter of opinion, and later called it "Jail Bait The Show" at a con as well as sing the theme when someone else said the word "slut" in a commentary. If we're going "this is the guy", this is the guy that apologized way too many times for the LP, and nothing in the LP had victim-blaming of teenage girls.

There's also two behind the scenes videos (Man of Steel and The Shining) where Malcolm expressed worry over how racist things are, and going back to Sailor Moon, Lindsay called it a failure in many ways.

And then there's the "men can't get sexually harassed/women hating men just makes them more attractive" awful in Dawn Of The Commercials, which hurt a lot of sexually harassed people (including myself) and he just dismissed as MRAs talking in his commentary of The Room and in his vlog of "The Real You".

Besides, giving Doug some credit, "The Guyver" was all about how much worse Critic has gotten in terms of fan-hating, so I'm hoping the increasing mean is intentional.
comment #23790 emeriin 11th Apr 14
"- He relies on misinformation, either ignoring facts or presenting blatantly false statements;"

...Examples if you don't mind?

"- He is more focused on shaming the author than offering a constructive foundation;"

He shames the author BECAUSE he makes the criticisms. Do you even pay attention?

- "He cares less about critiquing and more on comedic sketches, which often distract significantly from the review itself (and, in some cases, blatantly showcase that he simply does not have much to say about the movie). "

He only does story arcs a handful of his HUNDREDS of reviews, and he always connects them to the plot. You're either completely ignorant, or a total troll.
comment #23793 Awesomekid42 12th Apr 14
There's being sexist as in disrespecting women and their equal place in the world and then there's not 100% supporting some more out there positions that aren't agreed upon by feminists themselves. One is bad and one is just a thing. Lindsay didn't say he was sexist, she just said he didn't understand what made Sailor Moon good, just as she didn't understand what made Sailor Moon good.

I mean those articles you linked are as pedantic as crud. They're written from the perspective of big fans of the show being annoyed that someone else is criticising them and who couldn't understand what them good, not from the perspective of people who are being denied social justice. That's fine reason and understandable reason to dislike the review but it doesn't make him misogynistic.

For example the Nostalgia Critic makes a joke about the theme song talking about the hero never running away... whilst the show displays a clip of her running away and the article describes that as 'sneering' and decries him for not understanding fundamental aspects of the character. It's a joke! It doesn't mean anything! It's like reading an Abridged Script and arguing that it misunderstands the point of a film.

And then he makes a joke about a fridge logic trope and not only does the article again take offence about that, but they argue that it's deliberate and enhances the underlying themes.

Now I do agree that calling anything slutty in a derogatory way is bad and brings up a whole heap of bad things. If you apply it to girls and not equally to guys then it can also be sexist. But during the sailor moon review he wasn't bringing it up because of disapproval of the idea of people dressing it like that. He was bringing up because she's like 13. There's a difference between 'oh look at her, isn't her shot dress shameful' and 'why are they sexualising children??'. If a parent dressed their kid like that it would cause problems for the kid, problems for the school and it would be really really hard to understand why.

The second article is much more focused on the point and does seem to come from more of a perspective of someone who has seen some social injustice going on, but it's still written from the view of someone who adored the series and can't see wrong in it because it can't even see any fan-service in Sailor Moon.

The Mo S and Shining things along with Dawn of the Commercials on the other hand are pretty bad -_-
comment #23794 TomWithNoNumbers 12th Apr 14
Hmm. I regret some of the things I said in the comment above already. I'll think about this one for a bit
comment #23795 TomWithNoNumbers 12th Apr 14
Okay this is my thoughts on reflection (and thanks by the way emeriin you raised some good points and created a lot of things to think about. I might not agree with everything you said but I'm greatful to you for sharing those points of view).

So firstly, I was wrong to defend NC on the slutty comment. It was a horrible joke and he should never have made it. The articles were completely right to take him to town for it and I hope that if more people are aware of the effects of those kind of comments they'll stop happening and society will be a better place.

But the rest of those articles are people unwilling to admit that their childhood loves were rubbish. I can fully believe that a lot of people got a lot of good out of Sailor Moon, but it wasn't Sailor Moon that was doing it, it was what the people themselves brought with them. They took something ordinary and chose to focus on the positives they could get out of it and how it could improve themselves as human beings. But Sailor Moon itself wasn't some great feminist work, it was a cruddy childrens cartoon that reinforced horrible gender norms just like all the other cruddy cartoons we were bombarded with as kids that told us what it meant to be a 'girl' or a 'boy'. Kim Possible was what Sailor Moon should have been, it taught people that everyone could be a hero, that it was okay to like clothes and looking nice and boys but that didn't define who you are and it taught us that someone could be compassionate and brave, socially aware and heroic. It didn't tell us that 'girl' traits were okay, it told us that certain traits were awesome because of what they allowed us to do and that any person could have those traits.

I particular hate the Dawn of the Commercials line from the NC because the idea that guys can't be harassed causes so many problems and even a joke makes it that much more embarrassing for a guy to actually tell people there's a problem and get it sorted out. And I think at times the NC has made jokes which border on sexist and racist and homophobic.

But! I don't think this is as an adequate descriptor of him as a person or his work as whole. There are far more times when he hasn't made that joke and he's recognised someones brilliance for being who they are, or has become indignant at a filmmaker refusing to recognise people properly. I don't think it's fair to judge someone on one or two lines made in bad taste and poor judgement without looking at what they say the rest of the time too.

But! I can understand why people would describe him like that and be hurt by the mistakes his made and whilst I don't agree with it, I feel like I can understand where those people are coming from
comment #23796 TomWithNoNumbers 12th Apr 14
@Tom With No Numbers, the crazy thing is, I got a more well-rounded, reasonable, and likely well-researched opinion from your comments than I did from the actual review. While I agree that the Critic has made some jokes that are in poor taste, I still like him, and I think it's important that we acknowledge something: NC is not Doug Walker. NC is a character created to comedically review movies, generally bad ones, and make the viewer laugh, not necessarily to present them with an informed opinion. Most of what he says that is not fact should be taken with a grain of salt. If you don't like that kind of thing, well, that's fine, it's your opinion, though I am sorry you had to spend your time watching something you didn't like. But attacking the creator isn't necessarily the most prudent course of action, as without knowing him in person, it's difficult to tell where Doug separates from the Critic. So yeah, to each their own.
comment #23802 JamesPicard 12th Apr 14
@Picard: Except even Lindsay said the "it's just a character" excuse when it's against complaints of sexism is gaslighting. Sure, he is a character, the whole point of To Boldly Flee was that he'd been developed enough to die, but any piece of work can be criticized and it can't work both ways. Doug can't go on about the best part of his job being helping people through depression and then accuse minorities of letting themselves get hurt when he says something shitty.
comment #23803 emeriin 12th Apr 14
@emeriin: When did he say he helped people through depression? I certainly missed that video.
comment #24022 JamesPicard 23rd Apr 14
I'm not saying he didn't, but if he did, I missed that. Do you know which one he said it in?
comment #24023 JamesPicard 23rd Apr 14
Well granted most of it is post-To Boldly Flee where he could both be affectionate and done with the character, but you have cons, said movie's cast commentary where his friends were talking about Critic's "I want to matter" arc being the thing that most fans identified with and got comfort from, and there's a video on the reloaded DVD... just trying to find it... there we go.
comment #24029 emeriin 23rd Apr 14
Here's the thing; the Nostalgia Critic, despite having the word 'Critic' in his name, is not a real crictic. Mind you, he does have something insightful to say every once in a while, but his mundus operandi is to make jokes, and by doing so, make people laugh. The Nostalgia Critic is not a critic; he's a comedian who use the image of a critic as his shtick. And from that perspective, he does what he does brilliantly, lampooning the films he reviews in hilarious fashion while occasionally getting a decent point across. (Like the Cat in the Hat review.) If you don't like that, then just don't bother watching him.

And as others have said, The Nostalgia Critic is not Doug Walker. Doug Walker is a genuinely good, intelligent, tolerant human being, who could probably be a decent real critic if he wanted to. It's just that he chooses not to.
comment #24298 kkhohoho 6th May 14
And again the other producers (who know Doug a lot better than we do, are grossed out by the "Critic's a character so you can never be offended" excuse.
comment #24299 annette 6th May 14
I've seen some NC stuff (not the Sailor Moon video I think) and honestly while I think it's perfectly fine to dislike him and, hell, even rag on him for stuff, I certainly don't think he's the WORST internet critic on the 'net, or at least, not as bad as this review puts him to be.
comment #24356 FullBlast 10th May 14
He's not as much of a reviewer as he is an entertainer who likes to talk about movies. I myself happen to disagree with his opinions a heck of a lot; but there's nothing like watching him cinematically tear something I hate to pieces.
comment #24357 Deebro 10th May 14
Also, he does elaborate often in several reviews such as Patch Adams, 8 Crazy Nights, and Neverending Story three.
comment #24360 Awesomekid42 11th May 14
It's comedy, not an opinionmaking flick. Same as Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation, for example.
comment #24863 MajorMajor 18th Jun 14

In order to post comments, you need to

Get Known