On Reflection: My Review Style

Today is going to be one of those self-reflection posts. Deep breath.I’ve been thinking recently about how best to craft my reviews, and how I’ve written my reviews in the past. If you watch the content on my YouTube channel (though admittedly there’s not much of it yet) you’ll notice that the tone is completely different to some of my early reviews on this blog, and that’s by design. I think that those videos are a better reflection of my abilities, and a better way (in tone, I mean) to present criticism.

My earlier reviews (I’ve been reviewing a lot longer than this blog has existed, too) were weighed down by a great deal of sarcasm, by fake indignation and anger. This is because of influences in the field of criticism, many of whom had an angry and/or sarcastic tone. Those who I still continue to watch, however, have moved away from that tone as time went on, and I think it’s best that I do the same.

It’s easy to act superior to something in a review, but it’s very confusing for your audience. They’re meant to understand that your opinion as you state it isn’t actually your opinion, and have to work out what that opinion is through the sarcasm and the positives hidden in negatives. Sure, being sarcastic is an easy route to jokes, but it makes it very difficult for your audience to tell when you’re genuinely angry at the product, and when you’re just playing a character.

Aside from moving towards critics who’d just calm the fuck down in their videos, I think what really led me to think this way was YouTube channels like CinemaSins. I mean, sure, we’d all like to be able to watch a movie and pick apart plot holes and mistakes as we watched second by second, but wouldn’t that take all the fun out of the movie? Also, CinemaSins is often wrong, and often just very flawed criticism, and hides behind the mask of “satire” with no distinction between what is meant to be satire and what is meant to be genuine criticism.

And you know that there is genuine criticism there, as there are “out of character” videos showing the exactly the same opinions as those in the actual CinemaSins video.

My criticism may not be perfect. My opinion may change with time, or a more convincing argument than my own. But I don’t want to write reviews that lead you trying to work out what I actually mean, and I don’t want to write reviews that make me sound like I think I’m inherently superior to the property I’m reviewing.

I’m also just not a particularly angry person. It’s a little disingenuous of me to constantly act angry because it makes jokes easier.

Overall, I don’t think a sudden dramatic shift is to be expected. I think that my content has been moving in this direction for a while. I just wanted to take a second to reflect on that and acknowledge it.

Thank you for listening.

Links: YouTube Channel, Twitter, Facebook 

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