Attn: Ginia Bellafante and the NY Times

It might help to actually do some research on the number of women SFF fans before you go spewing uninformed, insulting drivel like this ‘Game of Thrones’ review.

Aside from the essentialist twaddle involved here (who knew that all women are exactly the same?) I’m also still gobsmacked that so many publications let genre-averse people do these reviews. Complaining that a fantasy series is … a fantasy series … isn’t a review. I’m not a fan of reality shows, but I’m not going to go review one and declare it to be awful just because it’s not scripted. If it’s awful as reality shows go, or has technical problems that cross genre (say, bad camera work)? Sure. But genre alone doesn’t determine quality.  Apples to apples, folks. That nice, ripe Gala in your hand isn’t bad just because you prefer mangoes, and consider apples to be hopelessly unsophisticated and pedestrian.

I think some reviewers get the idea that they’re there to write opinion columns solely about their perspective on the world. They’re not. Their reviews are a service to their audiences, not platforms for mental masturbation. A reviewer’s job is to tell people whether they’re likely to enjoy the thing they’re about to spend money on, not to spew acres of personal bias that have next to no use for their audience. If you just want a soapbox for your biases, get a blog. I did. ;)

Of course, it may well be that the audience in question is, in fact, such a collection of stereotypical,  more-sophisticated-than-thou  New Yorkers that maybe they would, in fact, find all fantasy to be inherently bad. Somehow, I doubt that (I happen to know plenty of geeky New Yorkers, thanks), and even if that were the case, then why review the show at all? If it’s a dead certainty that there are so few readers of the Times who would like fantasy, then why waste valuable newshole space to trash something they’d never consider watching in the first place? Is there really a point to this review that goes beyond letting Bellafante talk up the tiny little cultural bubble she apparently inhabits?

At some point, one begins to wonder whether reviews like this really are designed to educate audiences about their options, or are just exercises in ego for people who haven’t yet realized that the nerds they mock now run the world (or who resent them for that fact.) All journalism–reviews included–is entirely about one thing: serving your audience. And a review like this serves no one.

P.S.: Martin Scorsese is overrated, Woody Allen is a one-note, self-absorbed sexist and “Sex and the City” was a celebration of shallow bimbos. So there. :P


About Shawna (A Mediated Life)

Writer, singer, parent, fan, media maven, and general ne'er-do-well. Fierce protector of the rights of the disadvantaged and endless pontificator on subjects both ridiculous and sublime.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Geekery, Journalism, TV. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Attn: Ginia Bellafante and the NY Times

  1. Pingback: An open letter to Ginia Bellafante and the New York Times « DISCORDANT|pulchritude

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