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Sam Wollaston No Longer Guardian TV Critic

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    Sam Wollaston No Longer Guardian TV Critic

    Well, my emotions are all over the place in response to this news. Sam has marked the occasion with a piece illustrating his immense achievement in coming into the job with no understanding of television and maintaining that ignorance for no less than fourteen years.

    It has been a decade and a half of writing off whole genres (science fiction "doesn't work"), failing to comprehend things about comedy that have remained constant since Aristophanes, sitting on the fence rather than passing an opinion whenever something unusual comes along before leaping wholeheartedly onto any Guardian critical bandwagon once it's been decided whether said show is GENIUS or APPALLING, and never getting distracted by the business of actually appraising a programme when there's an opportunity to talk about yourself and your worthless prejudices.

    You can pick up any Sam Wollaston article and find evidence of what a twat he is, so we might as well use this one. His "guilty pleasure" is watching the Inbetweeners. Because what could be more sordid a secret than watching one of the most universally acclaimed, serial-award-winning shows of the last decade.

    He goes on to say that his one mistake was saying the 2006 Robin Hood was good. Which is very modest of Sam, who makes a mistake every time he wakes up in the morning, but also ludicrous, because the piece presents said show as if it was a massive, universally agreed-on turkey (I know it's not his responsibility, but the photo caption even calls it "ill-fated"). I didn't ever watch it, but it ran for three series. It's hard getting something to run for three series. Several of the things that he lists as classics from his era didn't make it that far.

    The list itself is extraordinarily bland - think of a big award winning show from the last decade, it'll be on there - except for the fact that it lists Ricky Gervais's embarrassing Extras twice, which sort of says it all.

    Anyway, I've never been a big fan.

    #2
    His very own thread...

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      #3
      Haha, I'd completely forgotten that. You can't fault me for consistency.

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        #4
        Well put. God, he's shit at his job. How the hell he and Brian Logan have the well paying, long standing gigs they have is beyond me.

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          #5
          He was rubbish. The grating 'er-indoors-eh? wannabe laddishness was my least favourite aspect of his work, the overreliance on plot summaries the clearest indication that he wasn't technically up to the job.

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            #6
            One of the worst critics in print media I've ever come across. At some point in those FOURTEEN YEARS you'd think he would have questioned the approach of describing in minute yet ironically distanced style what happened in the programme. As above, "the overreliance on plot summaries the clearest indication that he wasn't technically up to the job."

            Who's next for The Guardian TV? They desperately need a new man about The Horse, I mean about the house, who can keep on top of all this great TV.

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              #7
              They'd be very sensible to seale that deal.

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                #8
                Just out of interest, are there any TV critics people on here would recommend? (I don't disagree about Wollaston, I just can't think of any good ones offhand)

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                  #9
                  Other than The Horse? Grace Dent was excellent, I'm not sure if she still does TV reviewing though.

                  [Edit: and Callooh! Callay! to the news itself. Wollaston and Jonathan Jones were the two Guardian writers who I would never bother with even if the subject of their article seemed interesting]
                  Last edited by Etienne; 13-09-2018, 12:25.

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                    #10
                    Etienne - I [sub]tweeted today, "One down, one to go".

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                      #11
                      Grace Dent writes about restaurants now. Although I'm not massively interested, she's still very much worth a read.

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                        #12
                        Oh thank God.

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                          #13
                          Yeah, I know she does the restaurant stuff, I just wasn't sure if she still did TV anywhere else.

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                            #14
                            Regardless of what might be seen as his Centrist Dad-ness I think Hugo Rifkind is good talking about TV. Unlike most of them, he has an awareness of why something might have been commissioned, and that there are different types of audiences for different shows.

                            Camilla Long is awful in the Sunday Times.

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                              #15
                              Fourteen years. Fucking hell.

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                                #16
                                Oh happy day, this is just tremendous news.

                                Agree with Rifkind as a good potential replacement too.

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                                  #17
                                  Dave Simpson is another occasional guardian contributor that always makes my heart sink. Almost all their US based columnists or features writers as well. Whoever wrote the meat free diet piece, just awful.

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                                    #18
                                    Seconded on Jones being rubbish. Does the Brexit vicar still write for them as well?

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                                      #19
                                      It seems on the grapevine that a man gan, I mean gone got the job already.

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                                        #20
                                        Hmm. Well, I'm not excited about that, but happy to give the benefit of the doubt.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Lucy Waterman View Post
                                          You can pick up any Sam Wollaston article and find evidence of what a twat he is, so we might as well use this one. His "guilty pleasure" is watching the Inbetweeners. Because what could be more sordid a secret than watching one of the most universally acclaimed, serial-award-winning shows of the last decade.
                                          Although I've loathed his articles as much as anyone, I'm going to defend him on this because I've come to the Inbetweeners recently and felt a similar sense of guilt. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it because from the snippets I'd caught, it seemed like everything was just a vehicle for the main characters to constantly fire low-brow insults at each other, which felt like a lazy way of writing.

                                          When I actually watched every series properly, the guilt from my preconception still lingered, but it also turned out to be a charming, warm, well-observed and witty look at life in your late teens.

                                          Sam Wollaston's still a twat, though.

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by Thierry Ennui View Post
                                            Although I've loathed his articles as much as anyone, I'm going to defend him on this because I've come to the Inbetweeners recently and felt a similar sense of guilt. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it because from the snippets I'd caught, it seemed like everything was just a vehicle for the main characters to constantly fire low-brow insults at each other, which felt like a lazy way of writing.

                                            When I actually watched every series properly, the guilt from my preconception still lingered, but it also turned out to be a charming, warm, well-observed and witty look at life in your late teens.

                                            Sam Wollaston's still a twat, though.
                                            Oh, I can see where youíre coming from. But itís a show thatís won a BAFTA and a Rose díOr, which youíd expect Wollaston to know.

                                            What am I talking about? You wouldnít expect Wollaston to know which hole is a nostril and which is his anus.

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                                              #23
                                              After years of disagreements with Lucy Iím delighted to find a cause I can stand four square beside him, on the incompetence of Wollaston

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                                                #24
                                                Yeah he is terrible although Stuart Heritage is worse.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Stuart Heritage sounds like the name of a comedy character.

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