When Critics Go Soft, Audiences Pay the Price
Critics are criticized for being offenders of a few specific types:
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We've all have experienced shows that we've read high praise for, then been disappointed by. One of the root causes of the reviewer's fallacy is based on the opinion that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods are mediocre or worse.
It would be tiresome for critics to find new ways to condemn worthless work. The editors and owners of the publications would also not be happy with a consistently downbeat arts section. Therefore, critics are unconsciously inclined to use a rating that if something isn't very good, but is better than two-thirds of other entries in the genre, it can get a B or B-plus.
Critics experience so much bad work that they get accustomed to it.
When they do see originality, or arguably interesting intentions, or technical proficiency, or something that is bad but not bad in the usual way, they will give these things undue credit.
The wish list differs for different people.
In books, films, and TV, it comes down to a story to which we gratefully suspend our disbelief and allow ourselves to be carried away. In music, the distinction is between words that we find merit in and music that enhances the meaning of the words.
The set of critics’ and audiences’ interests overlap but are not the same.
The audience wants to know if they should spend their time and money on it. The critic gets in for free and has to listen or read or watch to whatever is next. Their questions are about craft and originality and wallet quality.
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