Film Criticism vs. Television Criticism

The movie review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com will expand and start compiling television reviews as well, according to Variety. Now TV shows can be ranked as "fresh" or "rotten" based on mass critical opinion. I thought it was long overdue -- Metacritic, for example, has been compiling both movie and TV reviews for years, but the sudden backlash against the Rotten Tomatoes change surprised me.

Esther Zuckerman of The Atlantic Wire argues that "TV criticism isn't the same as movie criticism." The new TV Tomatometer will tally a show season by season rather than episode by episode, whereas the movie metrics seem to be much more straight forward, since it's one review for one film.

Film criticism has a century of history behind it, while television has struggled to be viewed as more than just a vast wasteland. There has always been quality content that rose above the dregs that gave the medium its "boob tube" reputation, but finally TV has reached a true golden age of superb series that often outshine any cinematic counterparts. Now is the perfect time to celebrate television criticism and analysis.

Zuckerman asks, "What's the point of a TV Rotten Tomatoes?" My answer is that the point is the same as the movie version.  TV and film are different, yes, but they elicit the same desire from their fans to discuss with others what they've seen, to consume well-written breakdowns of what they've experienced.  Despite their difference, deep down they're very much the same.

 

Comments