Friday, September 5, 2014

Going Critical: Difference of Opinion

So back on the 23rd of August Doctor Who started up a new season (or series, Brits are weird with that).  I liked it.  Howard Taylor, the artist of Schlock Mercenary, did not.

I'm not going to highlight my disagreements or discuss the episode in particular, but more the point that differences of opinion exist.  Respecting them depends on the reasons they give.

I say that last part because there are a LOT of opinions out there about a LOT of different things, and not all of them are all that well thought out.  I'm not just talking about "that sucks" and "that rules" crowd, but people who don't put any real effort into their opinions.  You could say that about my opinion that I liked the new Doctor Who, and then promptly didn't qualify it.  I don't intend to either since that's not the point.

The point is that many people will simply parrot opinions given by others as their own.  It does take some amount of effort to state why something didn't work for you, as Howard did with that Doctor Who episode.  People are lazy, though, especially on the internet (please no comments about two weeks of lack of site updates), and often are more than happy just to take the previous person's opinion as gospel.  It's often hard to say that something is good or bad based on one review without knowing their history of reviews or seeing it yourself.

Knowing how a person reviews things does help.  Howard has a rather long list of movies he's reviewed (less TV, but some), and of course he's got all of Schlock as his background, so I think I see where he's coming from in his review.  It underwhelmed him, he saw that there were angles that could have been done better, but there were also distractions from the plot, and somethings that were a bit too heavy handed.

On my end, I tend to allow more leeway in design, let things develop over time and look more long term than the immediate plot.  I'm also more willing to overlook distractions and generally don't set my expectations too high right away.  Much of that likely comes from how I review comics, from the beginning, where weaker art, stories and characters are bound to exist and SHOULD get stronger over time.

So while Howard gets turned off by the episode (and the teaser), I'm more curious how they're going to take the ground work I'm seeing and use it in the future.

Never take any review as final, only as a guide.  Even mine are about "did I like, do I think you will" rather than "this is bad, don't touch."  Listen to multiple opinions when possible, and if there's still interest, go see it or read it yourself.

Next time, not sure.  We'll see.  Until then kiddies.

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