I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Not to write as a post, but just been mulling it over in the back of my mind.  Sometimes opinions form quickly, sometimes they take time, like a snowball rolling down the hill. Gathering bits as it goes along becoming more cohesive over time. That’s what’s been happening here.

On the podcast we have our review sections. I’d like to think I’ve always tried to be fair. I’m sure some of our loyal listeners could probably point to episode X and point out that I said something that totally contradicts what I’m about to say here. I can’t remember every single thing I’ve ever said on the podcast. So I’d like to think nothing I’ve said would contradict the opinion I’m about to share with you, but I could be wrong. As I say, this has been long forming in my mind. If you do detect something that contradicts this, bear in mind I’m a woman & I’m allowed to change my mind! Ha Ha. And I’m human and part of growing older is learning forming opinions based on what you’ve learned, growing & moving on. No one should be anchored by something they’ve said in the past. Unless of course it’s damning, like a confession or something.

Anyhow, we were talking about reviews. I guess the crux of what I’ve been thinking is, the epiphany I’ve come to is … Don’t confuse ‘I didn’t like it’, with ‘It’s a piece of crap’. I’m sure everyone’s been guilty of it. You’ve read something, or you’ve seen a movie, and in your opinion it was the worst thing ever. You can’t understand how anyone could possibly like it.  Well, here’s the thing. Someone probably does. And here’s why that person gets upset if you say it’s a piece of crap.

For arguments sake, let’s say we’re talking about a movie. It’s the worst film you’ve ever seen. It’s one of those, ‘I’ll never get those two hours back’ deals. You say it’s crap, you go into all the reasons why it was crap. Someone is thinking, ‘but I really liked it.  If I really liked it, and this person is saying its crap, what does that say about me? Am I too stupid to tell the difference between a good film and a bad one?’

And there you have it – You’re not stupid if you like something that some expert (or a someone who thinks they’re an expert) has declared is crap. You just have different tastes. There’s also the thing where the person/people who made the thing have got up off their butts and made an actual thing. They got creative & they made something and put it out there. That, is an admirable achievement in itself. For that reason alone I think whenever I rate something it should at least get one Luke (Except ‘Your Highness’ because that movie offends me. No amount of whatever I just said will redeem that movie in my eyes).

I’d like to go down Stephen Fry’s route and only comment if I have something nice to say but that’s not my brief on NCP. We’re four different people and sometimes we’re going to cover something I don’t like. In that case I’ll give my opinion. I will however try to bear in mind everything I’ve just said.

Some things are expertly put together and for whatever reason I won’t like it. Some things might technically be put together all wrong, but I’ll love it (I mean look at those cardboard sets on Star Trek & early Doctor Who). If I don’t like something, I won’t be afraid to say so, but I will also try not to inadvertently make anyone else feel bad if they did. I’ll set myself a challenge and try to see a positive in something even if I’m hating it.

And so what is my conclusion from all this? What is it that I’m hoping to achieve?  With everything we look at I’ll form my initial opinion, but then I’ll have a think. If my immediate response was that it was crap, I will ask myself was it really or was it just not to my tastes?  Alternately, if I think something was brilliant, I’m not going to delve into ‘was it really or was it just to my tastes?’. I’ve just really enjoyed something, why should I spoil that enjoyment trying to find a negative? What I will do is be prepared to listen to someone who didn’t think it was brilliant and take their points on board. They may have valid points that I hadn’t considered.  Of course if we all think it’s brilliant, well what can you do. Perhaps a listener will disagree.

In the end, it is all just opinion. Everyone is entitled to have one 🙂

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