Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Everyone's a Critic

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes 'Bonekickers'. I've watched four of the episodes so far (not last night's yet), and read a lot of hostile reviews on the internet and some in the press too. But I love it. I thought I was missing something obvious that was wrong with what seems to me to be a fun adventure series. But I've asked other people (a lot of them writers, but some normal people as well) and they were all positive about it. And it's figures have been pretty solid, too.

The latest copy of the Radio Times (I buy it for the articles) has a piece laying into the series by their TV editor - and presumably no relation to Matthew or Julie - Alison Graham. (Oh, Alison Graham. My mother taught me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, so here's my thoughts about Alison Graham: .) She trots out examples of the show's 'terrible' dialogue, such as "Don't mess with me, I'm an archaeologist". Excuse me? Isn't that line, well, fab?! Maybe it's just me.

This all got me thinking about critical reactions in general. I remember asking Matthew Graham when I met him at the BBC writers' room event whether he was still (or ever?) brave enough to visit any 'Life on Mars' online forums. The worst he'd ever spotted was someone claiming he should "die" for something he'd done in a LoM script. He stopped looking upon finding that. I didn't ask what had prompted this reaction, but this was on a fan site for goodness sake. With fans like that...

Still, Matt can take anything in his stride: he had earlier told a very funny anecdote at that same session about having a very famous producer feign a heart attack during a recent pitch he'd done(his reaction - to persevere to the very end of the pitch, as the guy might think it got better, you never know).

I don't know if I'd be able to resist taking a peek if it were me, though. And I'd probably be paralysed with fear an unable to write for weeks upon seeing the first page of bile. God bless the internet. Luckily I've worked mostly in UK film, so my work is generally unmade and/or unseen. God bless the British Film Industry. So double kudos to Piers for putting up his recent short film Fatal online, for all to see and form an opinion upon. Go see it, and comment if you like, but try to be polite and constructive. Spewing forth rabid reviews online or in the pages of the RT does not necessarily equate to having discerning taste.


David Lemon said...

Well said, Stuart. The one thing the world doesn't need is more online critics with negative, ill-thought-through comments.
It's also very easy to lay into anything ambitious, new or different. As the critic says at the end of 'Ratatouille', 'the new needs friends'.

Robin Kelly said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one either - you beat me to it!