Falling Down the Rabbit Hole: Internet Reviewers

Ever try to describe your own stream of consciousness to someone?  You know, it goes something like, “Well, I was watching this episode of Dexter, and I recognized a specific part of South Beach, and then that made me think of The Birdcage, which made me think of waxing, so then I thought of how gross eyebrow threading is… and it reminded me I need to floss.”

Yeah, that’s kind of how I live my life.  Especially now, with the Internet – I sit down to check the weather and suddenly it’s two hours later and I’m learning how they tanned leather in the 19th century.  As a result, I’ll find myself with a new fascination or hobby, and two months later, I have no idea how I even discovered it in the first place.

Well, not this time!  Since March I’ve been spending an insane amount of time watching something new (to me, anyway, I know I’m always the last to catch on to things) and I want to share it with everyone else.  While I still remember how I got here.

It all started because of a Twitter friend.  Sharky  of Pursued By a Bear and GeekWing.net had been chitchatting with me for some time, and he always has the neatest links to share.  He knew of my passion for Doctor Who (who doesn’t, by now?) and passed along a review.

Now, I’m no stranger to reviews – I read them, and write them, all the time.  However, and feel free to call me a moron, I never thought to watch any reviews.  Or film them.  And if you’d asked me about it, I probably would have said it sounded boring.  Oh, capricious youth.

The Who Rabbit

The link was to a guy named Nash, who was reviewing one of my least favorite new Who episodes (well, hilariously ripping it to shreds).  Now, by and large, the Doctor Who fans I’ve seen on the Internet absolutely love David Tennant and Russell T Davies; I was beginning to think I was one of the only people who had major issues that era.  Hearing Nash say some of the very stuff I had been thinking for years was fun and liberating.

But it got better!  I discovered that he doesn’t typically review new Who – he delves into classic (and not-so-classic) episodes.   Some of them I’d seen; some I hadn’t.  I tend to like the Classic reviews better than his other specials.  Sometimes the humor is a little shouty and over-the-top for me, but in the Classic reviews, in particular, he provides behind-the-scenes information about the BBC which I always find extremely interesting.  I don’t always agree with Nash, but I’m always entertained.  I’ve since watched almost all of his videos, and sometimes I even catch his radio show.

The Mad Tea Party

Once I started watching Nash’s shows, however, I couldn’t stop there.  See, one of the places you can find Nash’s videos is at That Guy With the Glasses – a veritable treasure trove of reviews.   I can’t talk about everyone on there because I haven’t even watched everyone yet (it’s only been a few months after all, and I have to do other things occasionally, like shower).  However, I’ll talk about a few of my favorites.

First and foremost, there’s the Nostalgia Critic.  It’s probably not a surprise that he strikes a chord with me, seeing as I’ve claimed the movie Space Camp actually helped shape my life.   I mean, just look at the list of movies and TV shows he covers!  It’s a Pringles can of memories, viewed through the somewhat jaded and snarky lens of today.  But I also like his reviews because they’re pretty reasonable, too.  I particularly liked his comparison of the new and old Karate Kid movies.

But though the Nostalgia Critic covers most of the hits of my childhood, there are, of course, holes – maybe he didn’t spend as much time watching Rainbow Brite as I did, for example.  Enter The Nostalgia Chick, who covers the more “girly” bits of our pop culture past (and more, too).

I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure I was going to like The Nostalgia Chick.  That’s because I absolutely adored Jem and the Holograms as a child (though I may have watched all the episodes on youtube last year, cough), and Nostalgia Chick’s review stomped on my 80′s-bubblegum-pink heart.  And it was the first review of hers I’d watched.  But the compelling list of movies lured me in, and now I’m happy to say she might be my favorite yet.  Not only are the topics she covers near and dear to my heart, but it might actually be some of funniest and smartest writing I’ve seen in reviews thus far.

One of my favorites has been her commentary on The Craft.  When this movie came out, it’s quite possible I was a goth, and it’s quite possible I scoffed at the movie because it wasn’t “realistic enough.”   I nearly cried laughing, watching this, and I’m not sure if I was laughing at the smart writing, the terrible movie, or myself.

Oh, and remember Sharky, who sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place?   Turns out he’s a reviewer too, on his own site.  I like his reviews because they appeal to my inner literary buff.  I think my very favorite is probably this review of The Unicorn and the Wasp, because it covers two loves – Doctor Who and Agatha Christie.

So now you know how I’m passing my spare time: completely unproductively, but with tons of giggles.  For about a week I even got starry-eyed thinking about someday having my own video reviews… but then I realized I haven’t the acting skills.  Or the technical knowledge.  Besides, why bother when it’s already being covered so well?

What about you?  Do you have a favorite reviewer or another podcast or vlog to share?  Tell me all about it!

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