On Twitter a few days ago I put out a tweet:
‘noticed recently that TV reviews are often ‘say what happened & add a bit of humour’ rather than actual reviews with real observations.’
A follower, @sjhoward, succinctly tweeted back a few wise words, stating:
‘the best reviews often have little to do with television’ ‘the form historically suffers from folk not caring about [the] review if they saw the show, and inability to see it if they didn’t’.
He then finished up with the excellent observation:
‘Maybe with catch-up services, there’s an appetite for *actual* reviews of TV shows’.
Thecustard.tv thinks Simon Howard is right: catch up services have been going for a long time now: BBC iPlayer left beta in… wait for it… December 2007 and 4OD went live at the end of 2006! Yes, we’ve had the ability to catch-up with both the Beeb and Channel 4 for almost five years and yet still reviewers are spending the bulk of their TV reviews telling us what happened without a gem of insight into whether the show was much good, worth your time or even the money or effort spent in producing it.
Several TV reviewers are guilty of this laziness and, as Simon points out, is there any point in it? If you’ve seen it, you don’t want to read what happened: you want to hear an opinion, maybe even feel vindicated if you pondered the fact you’d never get that hour of your life back or buoyed by the discovery the reviewer has a similar sense of taste. And, as @IanSadler_ says, if you’re really interested in the plot because it’s part of a series and you don’t have the time, inclination or resources to ‘catch-up’, there’s always Wikipedia or IMDB…
Well, thecustard.tv strives to be better and actually tell you what’s good and what’s not, and, most importantly, why we think so… not just ‘what happened’.