Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Missmediajunkie v. A Serious Editorial Error

I've screwed something up. I realized today as I was going over the last several months of posts that my rate of television reviews had shot way up. November was absurdly lopsided, with eight posts about specific television series only one review of a recent film. And upon more thorough inspection, I realized that I had essentially reviewed every single series I had watched throughout 2017, but maybe only a fifth of the films, throwing the balance of the content on this blog seriously out of whack.

I know exactly why this happened too. I find it easier to write about media I like, and I've spent most of the fall catching up with "Twin Peaks" and "Game of Thrones," while my rental queue has been mostly full of the so-so remainders of last summer like "Cars 3," "The Dark Tower," and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." However, I want to clarify that I don't think the issue is that television has been better than films lately. It's just that there's so much more television. Series take much longer to watch than films, so I end limiting myself to only the very, very best shows to maintain any kind of parity with the amount of time I spend watching movies.

Except, there hasn't exactly been parity lately. Over the last few months my schedule has changed and it's been more convenient for me to watch 20-40 minute episodes of a series than 90-150 minute features. On top of that, the latest seasons of several major shows have become available recently and I've been playing catch-up while I can. This is actually fairly out of the ordinary for me because I'm more of a completist about cinema, so I tend to watch more titles, including a lot of the mediocre ones. On the television side, I didn't even bother watching "The Defenders" crossover event series after some of the less-than-enthusiastic reviews came in.

And since series represent more of a time commitment, it feels like a much bigger omission if I don't write about a season of television that I've watched compared to a film I felt similarly about. That's why I have a review of Netflix's "Mindhunter" in the works and not Taylor Sheridan's "Wind River." They're both about as equally compelling and well made, but "Mindhunter" was ten episodes and took a whole weekend to get through, while "Wind River" was two hours and took an evening. Honestly, "Wind River" probably could use some more exposure because it was one of those smaller films that went under the radar, but I don't feel strongly enough about it to write anything. With "Mindhunter," spending ten hours with the main characters at least helped me to solidify a more concrete opinion.

And I think this is a problem because my output on this blog ends up not reflecting the kind of media that I'm actually watching. If I'm watching more movies, why aren't I writing about those movies? If I took the time to watch "Cars 3," why not spend a couple of paragraphs taking it apart? If I'm mostly writing about the media that I enjoy, we could take that to mean that I'm not writing as many negative and ambivalent reviews as I should. But on the other hand, I don't care enough about "Cars 3" to do more than acknowledge that it exists. If I'm going to put my opinions on this blog, shouldn't they be the opinions that I'm more invested in? When I write an mixed or ambivalent review, I think it should be one I'm writing because I still care about the media I'm reviewing.

This all may be beside the point anyhow. With Oscar season upon us and the prestige pictures starting to roll in, I expect that the balance is going to shift towards movies for a while. Pretty much every television and web series I've been watching is on hiatus, and I have my usual massive end-of-the-year list of movies to go and hunt down for 2017. Still, now that I've identified this set of biases, I can keep a better eye on them and ensure that they don't get out of hand again in the future.


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