Sunday, May 01, 2016

In which I am revealed to lack the courage of my own convictions.

How do you feel when something you like is judged to be worthless by the court of public opinion?

I recently starting watching the SyFy show Z-Nation on Netflix. I like the show a lot. Unfortunately I am not going to explain why because I cannot do so without sounding like I am trying to justify my opinion and make excuses for it. 

The problem is that Z-Nation was panned by critics. It was reviewed so poorly that if I had read reviews before watching the show I would never have risked it. Instead I stumbled across it by accident and didn't look at a review till I was six or seven episodes in. It was only then I became aware that the show I was enjoying was actually terrible according to most knowledgeable critics. 

How should one react in such circumstances? Shouldn't one dismiss the views of critics because in the end it is only our own opinion that really matters? That sounds like a sensible position but I think we need critics. Today's world offers every one of us a ridiculous over-abundance of  media content to consume and far too little time in which to consume it. Some form of selection process is essential. Even accepting that every critic has their own specific quirks I have come to rely on review aggregation scores. It isn't a precise science. A lot of worthy content ends up with a mid ranking critic score which can mean anything. However if a product is universally praised then it surely has some value and contrarily if a product is universally panned it is probably best avoided. 

So If I like something that the majority of knowledgeable critics have panned does this mean that my opinion is wrong? Can I even continue to enjoy the show knowing that it is actually a bad show? Even if I do continue to enjoy it will it be forever transformed from a worthy entertainment into a shameful guilty pleasure? 

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