Critiquing the Critics, part II

THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC (That Guy With the Glasses)

Critiquing Skill: 8/10
Humor Quality: 6.5/10
Production Quality: 7/10
Frequency of Updates: 10/10

The Nostalgia Critic is a persona of Chicago native Doug Walker that he portrays on his site, which is full of nerd critics of all kinds, from more movie and television reviewers, to video games, to comic books, to music.  There’s probably a bigger variety of stuff there besides reviews, too, but I’ve never bothered to look.  Some of the other reviewers on his site are decent, though most are intolerable, but The Nostalgia Critic is nearly always, very entertaining.

Of the three critics I’m discussing in this series, he’s the only one that ever actually appears on camera.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it at least a little annoying, but he honestly has good screen presence most of the time.  He has good wit and clever observations about things, too, and goes beyond making all the obvious jokes.  One of my favorite examples would be his review of the He-Man and SheRa Christmas Special when he promised to make no gay jokes, but would, as a compromise, keep a counter of all the gay jokes he could have made.  That’s only one example.  Most of his gags are at least chuckle-worthy, and I have fully laughed out loud more than a few times.  After watching a large handful of his reviews, you’ll start to notice a series of irritating physical mannerisms he has, which I think is the weakness of appearing on camera, but I don’t find it bad enough to keep me from watching.  (The Nostalgia Chick–one of the other reviewers on his site–however, has this looking-to-the-side thing every 4 seconds and it makes her completely unwatchable).

He focuses on 80’s and 90’s (and in some rare cases, 70’s or early 2000’s) TV shows and movies.  Usually they’re kid’s programing of some sort, but he does take on some action movies (like Commando), lame comedies (like Bio-Dome), and some others.   His opening slogan is always, “I remember it so you don’t have to,” so you can infer that he’s not really about current media.  But don’t make the mistake thinking he’s only about making fun of old stuff.  He celebrates quite a bit of it, too.  Add all of these more-than-decent factors together, throw in very frequent site updates (a handful of new videos every day, and new Nostalgia Critic every week or so), and I’m set.

In the end, I think I come back to Walker’s site over and over because even though he has some cheesy, and even more low-fi, moments, he obviously loves what he’s doing.  It’s easy to forgive quite a bit when it’s clear that the person is having a good time doing it, and not obviously doing it out of a sense of overblown self-importance (*cough* FORESHADOWING!); that kind of attitude on screen is contagious.

There are well over 100 reviews from The Nostalgia Critic, so picking just the right one to post here was kind of tricky.  I decided to dilute the negativity of ridiculing poorly done cinema and television with one of Doug’s Top 11 Lists, celebrating eleven underrated, overlooked, or forgotten–but still great–kid’s movies.  (Note: for some reason this You Tube posting by a 3rd party has awful audio.  Check out his site if better sound is important to you).

Tune in next Monday for the third and final Critique of a Critic.


Explanation of scored categories:

Critiquing Skill:  How insightful are they?  Can they provide objective support for why they say something is bad or good?  Are their issues with a particular film based out of misunderstandings, a lack of paying attention?  Or are they based out of something genuine?
Humor Quality: How funny are they?  Most, if not all, internet video critics attempt at some form of humor.  Are their jokes cringe-worthy and cliche, or are they genuinely funny?
Production Quality: How good is their editing?  How do they handle their segments vs. clips from the movie, etc?  If there is added dramatization or acting involved, is it any good?
Frequency of Updates: An entertaining site is one you can visit fairly regularly and have something new to see on most visits.  How do they fare?


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