I don’t know how many times that I’ve ever said this on here, but I don’t consider myself a critic. I’m just a guy that writes some things on the internet and maybe has some people looking at them. Maybe. A lot of posts that I write are reviews of a series that I recently watched and I want to share with the community out there. Some of them are “hey, let me tell you about this series that you might have never heard of” while others are telling my thoughts on something that is well known. So as a whole, it’s for informational purposes and reference. I’m also writing them for myself too, because I don’t have the best memory. Sometime in the future I may need to read up my own thoughts for reference purposes.
What you review and how you approach your review says a lot of things about your personality and the way you think? Are you writing the review with a more personal approach on how the show personally affected you? Are you analyzing the different aspects of the show and why some worked and some didn’t? How about how fair you are on a show that you don’t like? Are you going to bash it completely without not even considering some positive aspects? I’m not going to lie, some series deserve to be destroyed. With that said though, there are still many ways to go with the reviews. That is why I asked a question about this on twitter to see what other people think.
Some of you may remember me asking a question about how a lot of people what some reviews should be like.
Here are the responses I got.
Please follow all of these people on twitter because everyone here is a cool person and adds a lot to the anitwitter in positive ways. Believe me.
From all of these tweets, it seems like there are two schools of thought here with a lot of mixing between the two. One school seems very interested in what an individuals interpretation of a show is and how the piece of media in question affected the writer. The other school is focused on attempting to go the objective route and writing about what audience a show is meant for and what the flaws and strengths of a specific work are. Also, there was some people following along with my point of view on synopsis reviews. Just know that while I don’t prefer them, it’s sometimes nice to read them to reaffirm what I just watched.
With the other schools of thought, I definitely agree with using both of them are very specific times. I don’t think there is a wrong way to write a review because there are too many ways and voices out there to sit down and decide something like that. It might depend on what series or movie you recently watched though. For example, if something connects to you as emotionally as A Silent Voice or Liz and the Blue Bird did for me, then focusing on the emotional impacts more then what a series did right and wrong would definitely be a solid approach way. That can sometimes connect you to an audience in a more meaningful way then stating out the clear facts for some things. Once again, it depends on how the thing you watched affected you and what kind of series it is. Still depends on the movie or series you watched though. Finding a fulcrum on where to balance emotional points and details of what you are writing about is going to be difficult. Some series may be similar, but each series have a different balance point.
At the same time, I think episodic reviews are harder to write. Especially with how disposable in nature they are. Writing them requires analyzing the different aspects of how an episode works compared to other ones. If you are not a detail oriented person that can find subtle differences in animation, background events, art style, and so on, then it is incredibly easy to be monotonous with your reviews. “This show is good because _” many times in a row doesn’t really amount to the most interesting set of episodic reviews. Then there are predictions for what might happen in the next episode or how the show is going to go. I know that I am weird for thinking this, but each episodic review feels like a data point and while you can tell how you feel about a show or what the show is like after a few of them, it’s hard to completely judge something until you’ve collected them all. Predictions might come to be or you could have dropped a show right before it got amazing. There are so many risks with episodic reviews.
Over my three and some change years of blogging, I’m amazed by how many types and styles of reviews that people write. It’s so much more then just episodic reviews vs full series reviews. There is so much variability people in those sections that amaze me. One of my favorite styles of reviews that I’ve seen are the two people having a conversation style. It doesn’t look that hard, but I’ve tried it few times. Having a conversation with myself in text form takes a lot to feel natural. Kudos to Cactus Matt and Irina and Crow that do it, because you guys are amazing. I’m not usually a fan of episodic reviews, but you guys put so much personality and detail in your reviews that I can’t help but love them and enjoy them. No matter what you do, find your own voice and way to approach reviews.
I don’t have a lot of advice to give because everyone is so different and has different goals when writing them, but how do you approach reviews?