Oct 11 2011

I Don’t Think I’m Going to Review TV Shows Anymore

Published by at 11:00 am under Television

Update: Mmm, you guys are doing a good job talking me out of this. I’ll see what I’m feeling after next week’s episode.

This is normally the spot where my Dexter review would go for the week, but I’ve come to the decision that I’m just not sure it’s worth it to review TV shows anymore.

I’ve spent the last three months getting flak for my “not good enough” Breaking Bad reviews, culminating in yesterday’s finale where people wrote entire essays practically begging me not to review the show again.

I don’t fault them for that. It’s their right to say I’m wrong about things or my reviews are lacking in some way. And really, they’re probably right. My TV reviews have always largely been recaps, and though I thought they had some decent analysis as well, it overwhelmingly doesn’t seem to be enough for people. I’m sort of just discouraged about the whole concept, and so I don’t think I’m going to review Dexter on an official weekly basis this year.

I might do a post every so often that’s a discussion thread for the show, so we can still talk about it, but I’m not sure full length reviews are really my thing for TV. Movies yeah, games yeah, but I guess I just don’t really have a handle on how to properly “review” a 45 minute show at this point. Also it will be nice to be able to watch these shows just for the sake of watching them for once.

I really did enjoy reviewing Game of Thrones, so maybe I’ll start that up again in the spring, but for now, I’m going to focus on other things. Thanks for the mostly constructive criticism that led to this decision.





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57 responses so far

  • Keith

    Aw chin up, keep writing about Dexter I like reading them!!! Even if you did just recap episodes, it reminds me of stuff that happened and it’s interesting to hear other opinions about what’s going on!!

  • Ed0

    some people are not going to like your reviews and that should be fine if they want to write essays about it good or bad they are still going to do it. I think you should keep doing your reviews since you will find people that like the reviews, gives them a different point of view on their favorite show. I think you should just keep up the good work.

  • McTimm

    I haven’t watched Dexter or Breaking Bad, but I really enjoyed your reviews of Game of Thrones and was looking forward to reading them again with the new season. I liked to see your perspective as a person who hadn’t read the books before and also how you were able to explain the show in a new way by being able to relate it to other series.

    Your enthusiasm for the shows you watch is entertaining, and I hope you don’t stop discussing them now.

  • Bernie

    You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. You cannot please all of the people all of the time.

  • Drester

    Haven’t read the Breaking Bad reviews, but I really enjoyed the Game of Thrones ones. So I hope you will be doing that again.

  • rcunn87

    I enjoyed reading your ‘summaries’ of episodes that I have just watched because you injected your thoughts into there and caught little details that I had missed. I also knew to avoid the reviews if it was a show I was going to watch until after I saw it. More video game review time!

  • andrew

    Ed0 and Bernie are right. Just because some people didn’t feel you reviewed their favorite show well enough doesn’t mean you should quit. A lot of people enjoy your reviews. Let’s not forget, this is your website, Paul. If people don’t want to read your stuff, fuck ‘em. They can skip over it.

    The internet is a medium for people to spread their opinion and, in your case, sharpen their craft. There are always, always going to be naysayers. If you don’t want to write the reviews because you feel it’s not worth your time or you want to focus on movies and games, that’s fine, but don’t let the nit-picking of just a few people influence your decision.

  • Kevin

    Your reviews are on par and mostly better than any other sites out there. I especially enjoy your Game Of Thrones reviews. You have a perspective that forces me to rethink how I interpreted some elements of the show, and I find that it makes it a much richer experience. Keep at it; your biggest fans rarely post replies because we enjoy, appreciate, and look forward to your reviews (even when we don’t agree with them), and we just assume you know that. Your fans have just forgotten that the disgruntled speak the loudest.
    So speak up folks with a well deserved ata’ boy!

  • lacy

    You get my vote to keep writing them.

  • Sara

    I’ve never watched Breaking Bad but I enjoyed your reviews.

    What I didn’t enjoy were the jerk in the comment section who kept saying your reviews weren’t good enough. They actually sounded angry about that. Seriously, if you enjoy writing them, do it. Just start your posts with a short section telling people to fuck off if they don’t like it. No one makes them read the reviews.

    Anyways, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your opinions and reviews of shows I haven’t seen.

  • http://mandyatlarge.com Mandy

    I don’t watch BB, but do love the Dexter and Game of Throne reviews. I even like reading peoples opposing views; keeps things interesting. I say do whatever *you* want to do, but some of us really liked them.

  • Bad Acid

    None of my friends have kept up with Breaking Bad (despite “Like”ing it on Facebook >_< It's the only show besides Psych/White Collar that I watch) so I enjoyed getting another perspective on the episodes the day after. I hardly go out to movies or buy games that don't have the staying power of like Minecraft / Diablo, but I'll still like the site for all the other random stuff :P

  • Nilsilly

    I would encourage you to keep doing at least the GOT recaps. As a fan of the books it’s been really need to see someone get into the story through the show.

  • carlip

    even if they come back to bitch, they are still coming back…

  • matt

    i like your dexter reviews and Your game of thrones reviews are awesome, you shoudn’t stop writing reviews if poeple don’t like them

  • Romple

    We love you Paul Tassi. Don’t ever change.

    And keep reviewing Game of Thrones at least. As a “reader” that knows what’s going to happen it’s fun reading the viewpoints of people who don’t. Let’s me relive some of that initial excitement and wonder.

  • Rogan

    I really like the reviews as well. That’s what blogging is all about. You don’t have to be a professional to write on the Internet! Keep doing it man, it’s your website. Even if some people don’t like the reviews or don’t find them “professional”, they’re still reading them! That’s the point.

    The series that I’m following this year are exactly the ones you’re reviewing. Last night I was even excited that your next weekly review was going to be Dexter, since I’m going to start with the 6th season this week. C’mon Paul.

  • IBrokeMyBad

    It’s good that you are stopping your reviews. Not all of us get a chance to see the shows when they first air. The spoilers are a pain. Maybe you could keep them off from the main page and stick them over there ——> with some sort of a permanent link. As for if people like your reviews, well who cares can’t please everyone me included. Cheers Mate!!!

  • Rosstopher

    NOOOOOOOOOOO. Dont let the haters get to you. I love your review of movies and especially Dexter. You and I have similar tastes and I value your opinion more than any other critic. You were right to criticize breaking bad. The season kinda stalled for a little bit and you were just pointing it out. That shouldnt discourage you, but there were prolly hundreds more people that didnt comment that felt the way you did.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Thanks for the support everyone. I guess I have to look at it on a show to show basis. Breaking Bad I just don’t think I had the fine eye for detail that was required to really appreciate and fully review that show. Dexter feels like there’s not as much to discuss, as it’s just “So how is this religious killer/nice pastor/hot intern thing going to play out?” without too much more to say other than recapping what happened.

    Back in the day, I loved reviewing Lost because that entire show was full of endless mysteries and opportunity for speculation. For these kinds of shows, it doesn’t quite feel the same, and there are usually just a handful of questions to be asked, and most are the same each episode.

    Game of Thrones is a bit of a different story. There aren’t many “mysteries” per se, (what’s going on north of the wall?), but there are so many characters with so many interweaving plotlines and the show kills of characters so often, it’s a lot more fun to speculate about what’s going on and where the show is heading. It seemed like there was a lot more to talk about, and you guys would get really involved in the comments discussing it. That’s why I probably will end up reviewing GoT once it comes back, but probably not other shows before that. As I said, if some really crazy shit goes down on Dexter or like The Walking Dead or future shows, I’ll probably make a post to talk about it, but I just won’t be doing weekly official “reviews” for those shows anymore.

    Thanks again.

  • Danny

    Screw everyone else. If they want to wank on and criticize your thoughts on a TV show, they can get their own website and post their thoughts for everyone else to disagree with.

  • Saurav

    Dude, I love your Dexter reviews..
    Heck, I rely on em week in week out.. I live in India.. I don’t have Showtime and on the internet I don’t get to many of the episodes on time.. I always watch em a day or 2 late.. I rely on your reviews..

  • Schiapu

    I don’t really read your reviews on TV Shows, mainly to avoid spoilers. That being said, you can’t let what others think guide what you want to do. Even if some people dislike what you do, others enjoy it, and your reviews as well.

    Also, how long have you been on the Internet? By now you must have realized that it’s full of whiny bitches.

  • Uncoolaidman

    These ‘critics’ obviously do not read many Television reviews. A recap is kind of necessary. It helps keep the entire review straight and organized, as well as filling in details that other viewers may have missed. Analysis is great, but by itself it cannot form a full article or review.

  • Matthias

    I reallye loved your Game of Thrones reviews, please keep on reviewing this show at least :( I was always eager to read your funny but critical texts to the show!

  • Diego

    Paul, please keep the reviews on. I really enjoyed the GOT ones. For the ones that are complaining about spoilers it’s your fault. don’t read the damn post untill you see the show.

    You are a funny guy and it’s cool to read full spoilerish reviews. I always wondered why nobody started a website with movie reviews ONLY for people who have already seen the movie.

    Anyway, it’s your web and you should do as you please.
    :)

  • Cal

    Paul this is what I say… fuck em! Don’t give up or chicken out on something just coz some folks bitched about it. They can go somewhere else to get the sort of reviews they want. This is your house, your rules, we’re only guests. Don’t like the entree find another restaurant that serves up what you want.

  • Alex

    Dude come on. One of the reasons I come to this site is because you guys do great reviews. You have no idea how dissapointed I was that you didn';t do any True Blood reviews this year but at least you made it up with the Dexter reviews. And you can’t stop now

  • Rob J

    As a big unreality fan I can say the most valuable thing you can offer your readers are your opinions and I will always come to unreality for that whether I agree with your or not. You post a lot of cool links or pics for content you find on the web but 9 times out of 10 I have already seen that stuff before you get around to posting it and I individually check nearly all the sites you like to link to in your daily round up and morning links.

    Your opinions on tv shows, video games and movies are usually brilliant and the only place I can find them is right here and that is what I think earns unreality a respectful place on my bookmarks bar.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Mmmm maybe. I’ll see how I’m feeling when next week’s episode rolls around.

  • http://nicktc.com LocalCrackpot

    I had this friend who wanted to take a photo of this kid holding a balloon in front of a blazing firestorm. He said people would laugh at him for the angle he’d have to get to take the photo. I said, it’s a rare opportunity. You might never get a shot exactly like this again. He let someone else influence his opinion, and never took the photo. Now all he talks about is the photo he never got.

    You have a chance to review one of the few GREAT shows on television, one that is groundbreaking in many ways. Do what makes you happy.

  • http://theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com/ Buxxy

    I may be a little late…. and I rarely comment on your posts BUT I feel like I had to say something. Just like everyone else above me… I really think that you should continue doing your reviews. I know I personally look forward to them! I have been following this site for a little over a year. I even go through your past reviews on shows that I am currently watching. So with that said, screw the trolls and continue reviewing. I can’t tell you the amount of things I’ve bought, shows/movies I’ve watched and games I’ve played due to this website and your reviews.This may sound selfish but please don’t mess up my daily/weekly blog roll. :)

    As for the Breaking Bad finale review… I just think everyone was confused by your “lack of excitement”? (I’m struggling to find the perfect phrase). I know I thought I was going to read “HOLY CRAP” or something like that. So when I didn’t I was just like… oh ok. Anyway, your reviews are good… keep doing them please.

    But if I must settle for only GoT reviews… I guess I will. ::dramatic wall slide:: :(

  • Connor

    Instead of an episode, how about an series review which highlights pros and cons of the chosen show. Such as people who haven’t seem AD, you could highlight the humor and plot and draw readers into the series.

  • tuffy

    Please keep reviewing them, I love reading your recaps. you always have a good insight on these shows

  • CPLane

    I made up, but never posted, a response yesterday in the Breaking Bad topic to call out those **** who ‘suggested’ you never review the show again; it looks like they had more of an effect than I imagined. When it comes down to it, they’re not forced to read your reviews. Never do you claim your reviews are going to be academic-level analysis of the shows. They’re you’re opinions and your reactions, and there’s value to that, even if it isn’t there for everyone.

    Are you going to listen to two people who actually put the time in to write what amounts to a 1-2 page essay describing why you should not review a show? Don’t give them the satisfaction of being successful. They may be more knowledgeable, hell, maybe smarter, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to act like a complete ass. If you don’t like something someone wrote, just move on.

    And that’s not to say even your Breaking Bad reviews lack value. They represent your views, and probably, the views of many others. Not everyone is going to be watching their TV with an eye towards themes, symbolism, camera techniques, story composition, etc. Some people are just watching for the entertainment factor, and you’re a voice for those people. Don’t disparage yourself because you’re not doing more. There are plenty of other sites that already do more–if anything, you’re offering something that’s sorely lacking when it comes to the more complex shows like Breaking Bad. Everyone wants to seem like an intellectual with a stick up their ass when discussing that show (including myself, I’ll admit), so in the end, there are very few reviews available that just describe the effectiveness of the show–how it impacted you as a viewer and your feelings on what you saw.

    In the end, you just need to ask yourself what you get out of these reviews. If you enjoy writing them, if they push you to think about the shows in ways you would’t have, don’t stop. Regardless of how many hate your reviews, some will appreciate them.

    Note: This is not to say that you shouldn’t continue to improve your reviews–for instance, keep moving away from summaries and make sure you push yourself to review any relevant background info from previous episodes. Improve though, don’t quit. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

  • Ozy

    Yeah, like everyone is saying, continue with the reviews. Every morning, I’d look forward to your reviews to see your perspective on Breaking Bad, for example. Now I’ve been looking forward to your Dexter reviews and I loved your Game of Thrones reviews. You may have a different way of reviewing an episode and it may be more recap than review/analysis but that’s your thing. It’s your reviews and it’s your site. Trust me, the people that love your reviews far outweigh the ones that don’t.

  • JohnC

    Continue reviewing movies, no doubt. You have a knack for that.

    But I wholeheartedly agree that you should stop with the TV shows. There’s a big drop in quality between your movie reviews and the TV ones.
    I think it might have to do with being stuck in a weekly cycle of shooting out TV reviews to remain relevant. The end result just seems forced.

    I’m glad that your working towards being more focused and cutting away the fat (filler content) of this site.

  • LisaW

    I have to say, I’ve never commented here before but I had to comment on this one.
    Who’s blog is this? Yours right? If you want to review Spongbob Squarepants….DO IT!!! It’s your frickin’ site. And if they don’t want to read it they can just scroll down past it. Everyone isn’t going to always like what you do, but that doesn’t mean you stop doing what you like to do. I used to worry about what people thought of me, that has changed, so now if they don’t like me F’em.
    I can’t believe that you would stop doing what you love to do because some people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it!
    I say keep doing what you are doing, that is one of the reasons I love coming to your site.

  • Jim Lahey

    I agree with everyone saying you should write what and how you want to write. it’s what brought all of us to this site in the first place.

    That being said, I feel this article was pandering. I went back and read the comments from your last Breaking Bad article, and you only had 2 negative comments out of 20 total comments. That’s 90% positive reviews. You’re going to tell me that just because 10% of your readers dislike your articles that you are going to stop writing them? That doesn’t sound like you at all, which is what makes me think you just want someone to tell you you’re doing a good job.

  • Anthony D

    Please write the Dexter reviews….I have canceled Showtime and was going to enjoy Dexter solely thru these reviews. Been watching since day 1 but last season was atrociously bad.

  • Steve

    I never usually comment but have been on the site pretty much daily for a few years. As many people above have said, it’s your site so you should be able to run it any way you see fit. If you want to review tv shows then fine. If you want to stop, others are going to be disappointed but thats fine too.

    You can’t please everyone i guess.

    Anyway, keep up the usual good work.

  • Luke

    nooooooooooo you need to review dexter!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew Cotten

    Dont make me bitch slap you for being a pussy. your web site your rules. The internet is full of people doing a hole lot of bitchin……
    Tell them to suck your nerdy dick and move on.

  • MM36unn

    As someone who frequents the site but doesn’t comment, you can also add my vote to continuing episode reviews. There’s always gonna be a vocal minority and I understand how you could take that as most people not liking them, but I always enjoyed your takes. I think the fact that people have time to throw essays at you about your reviews says more about them then about your writing.

  • D-Money

    Paul, I’m sorry for coming off as a troll on your last BB post. I think you’re a very talented writer and Unreality is one of my favorite websites (I check it daily). Your Insert Coin blog offers a degree of professionalism and objectiveness not normally given to the Video Game Industry by bloggers your age. I know I’ll probably incur the wrath of your biggest supporters for my slight against you, but please let me explain myself.

    Breaking Bad has been my favorite show for the last 4 years because of the ways it has constantly pushed the television drama as an artform. BB reinvents the basic structures of so many tv tropes so that, while the story isn’t the most original, the way it is prevented is breathtaking. I’m used to discussing and viewing this show in an almost academic (and thoroughly reverential) way and this has definitely seperated me from many other viewers. I don’t view Breaking Bad as just another drama, I see it as the greatest show currently on tv. That being said, there are other reviewers on the internet who pander more to my opinions of BB and it was wrong of me to attack your desire to present your own view on your own website. I’m sorry for my selfishness and I’m sorry for the effect it’s had on you. It says a lot as a writer that you take your followers’ opinions to heart in such a strong way. If someone attacked my writing the way I attacked yours I would be similarly hurt. I am ashamed that I basically criticized something you’ve risked your livelihood on for months without a second though from myself. The ambiguity the internet provides makes people act in ways they wouldn’t normally, but that is still no excuse for my behavior.

    Paul, please don’t stop reviewing television shows. I’ve been following this site for years and it has progressively improved in large part thanks to your writing.

  • Mutt

    Yeah got to agree with the above, haven’t posted on here before but I always read your reviews of a show (bb, dex, got) after I’ve seen it, because I like reading your opinions and speculations, often finding things I’ve missed, which lets me enjoy the shows more! Please continue, it’s my favourite part of the site!

  • SickP

    I’m always excited to read your reviews. Whenever I read the comment sections to them I get pissed off. I only post every now and then, but most people who post are the dicks that no one wants to listen to in real life. You’ve got my vote.

  • CPLane

    Kudos D-Money. That was a very mature, refreshing response.

  • Crash

    Honestly your TV reviews are the one thing I never read. It costs me nothing to watch a show so if I’m going to watch it I’m going to watch it. Movie reviews are only important to me because I go out and actually spend money on movies.

  • Nima

    Paul, this makes you such an attention whore! Complaining like a little girl that people don’t like your reviews… Come on!

    Just try a different approach, or keep doing it your way, but don’t make such a fuss out of how hurt you are that people don’t appreciate your writing… There will always be people who won’t like you, or what you do, and as others said above, you can’t satisfy all demands and expectations.

    Do your thing, and if people don’t like it, stop taking it so personal! Moaning about it sure makes you VERY unprofessional!

  • Rogan

    This post has generated enough support already Paul, c’mon. It would be wrong to take in account the opinion of 2 when you have over 30 other supporting your reviews.

    Nobody comes here looking for a professional or academic insight of a TV-Series (just two people, and even they still read them).

  • http://mandyatlarge.com Mandy

    D-Money sounds like a 12 year old with a tv crush and a thesaurus.

  • illeaturfamily

    classy paul tassi, don’t stop doing reviews. please. they are vital to me surviving the work day. and besides, haters are always gonna hate. dont let them bother you or make you think that you’re not doing a good job. unrealitymag is the only blog i still read religiously. everything else on the internet is just a hot mess. but this, this site is something i can relate to.

  • D-Money

    Mandy, I’m 12 and a half thank you very much!

  • D-Money

    I’m not actually, I just thought you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

  • http://www.btpcast.com Dane

    Your Breaking Bad reviews were one of the main reasons I kept coming back to the site. I won’t be reading your Dexter reviews (only because I don’t watch Dexter) but I would hate for you to stop reviewing shows for the people who do enjoy them just because some people on the internet said some mean things in the comments.

    Keep on keeping on!

  • Andy

    D-Money, you’re obviously a well-spoken and intelligent individual. I respect you for admitting that you may have reacted a little to harshly and also for apologizing to Paul.

    That said, Mandy’s comment made me laugh pretty hard.

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