Originally posted by Steve Hook:
Does anyone else feel that Garrett didn't get a fair shake from the review?
The nub of Steve's question is "was the review fair", and we can ask one another what 'fair' means and debate the role of critics forever.
As a writer and former Genii video reviewer, and as a current reviewer for the magazine I edit, The Magic Circular, this question often arises.
I gave a less than wondereful review to a Terry Herbert video some years back and got lambasted here on the Forum by my friend, David 'Silly Billy' Kaye. Since moving to England I've become friendly with Terry and have had the opportunity to explain in greater depth why I didn't think his video was top notch (he's since released a new DVD, "Magic for Under 5s" that is, in my opinion, first rate). I got called names, was told I was ignorant, and all the rest.
A reviewer tries to provide a guide for a potential consumer. He might, and in my opinion should, do more -- entertain, inform and enlighten his readers. Ultimately, those who know the creator of the item, or fans, will bring other matters to bear on their opinion, and rally to the creator's defense, and that's fine.
The opinions here on the forum detailing others' views as to the shortcomings of the Thomas videos show that, at least, there is almost always a difference of opinion as to how high up on the scale something should be rated.
Steve's implication that Garrett did not get a 'fair shake' is the sort of comment that implies (whether Steve meant to or not) a hidden agenda or lack of credentials on the part of the reviewer, and I think Steve needs to better phrase his comments in the future to remove that implication and just disagree with the review.