The Witcher series finally dropped on Netflix this week, and fan reactions have been fiercely positive. Critical responses have been decidedly less enthusiastic.
Entertainment Weekly, for example, hated the show so vehemently they slammed the first season with the worst grade possible: F.
Now, whether you’re a fantasy geek or not, you have to admit that’s a bit silly. An F, in critical terms, means that the work is utterly devoid of the slightest redeeming quality. But that’s not the worst thing about Entertainment Weekly’s The Witcher review.
Buried in Darren Franich’s review, the so-called reviewer admits to skipping straight to episode five of The Witcher because “life is too short.”
Too short for what? Doing his job, apparently. The fact that this person actually gets paid to write about TV professionally is frankly ludicrous.
It would be like sitting down to review Lord of the Rings and fast-forwarding past that bit about the Shire because it’s “too boring.”
You cannot get a complete picture of what a work of fiction is about if you keep jumping around the narrative. Especially not when it’s a fantasy show that already does its own fair share of shuffling the timelines.
Don’t get me wrong. My issue is not that the reviewers didn’t enjoy the show. After watching through eight hours of it myself, I can totally understand why it’s not for everyone.
It’s a very dense piece of grim fantasy fiction, and other critical reviewers managed to raise legitimate questions without skipping past half the season.
But Entertainment Weekly’s reviewers seem to lack any sense of professional obligation whatsoever. I wish things were that simple in the critical world. There have been many times I’ve wanted to stop partway through a video game review playthrough but didn’t – because it’s my job.
If Franich really wants to burden The Witcher with a failing grade, he at least owes it to Netflix – and his readers – to actually watch the show from start to finish. After all, that review factors into Metacritic’s official “Metascore.”
Assuming Entertainment Weekly has any professional standards, they should never let this “critic” near a TV review ever again.