Posted in: EntertainmentOp-ed
Published:
December 21, 2019 11:00 PM UTC

Scathing The Witcher Review Didn’t Even Watch 50% of Netflix’s Show

Netflix's The Witcher is here. Despite middling reviews, it is loved by fans. However, certain 'critics' didn't give it the time of day.

  • The Witcher dropped on Friday to rave reviews from fans.
  • Critical responses have been less positive, leading to mediocre scores on Metacritic.
  • One website’s reviewers didn’t even bother to watch the whole show before publishing a scathing review.

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.

They Didn’t Even Watch the Whole Netflix Series

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.

This EW reviewer didn’t have any scruples about slamming The Witcher, despite skipping the first half of the season. | Source: Entertainment Weekly

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.

It’s fine not to like a TV show, but professional reviewers at least need to give it a fair chance. | Source: Netflix

The Witcher Deserves Better – And So Do You!

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.

Source: Twitter

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.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: December 21, 2019 8:08 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a freelance writer based out of the UK who has been writing professionally about video and tabletop games for over half a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Reach him at wsworrall.co.uk or on Twitter at W.S. Worrall.