I could go in reductive circles here following the rabbit down the hole of reviewing the reviewer’s reviews of their reviews, but I think it’s all mostly been said, and it seems pretty obvious that the New York Times is host to a plethora of issues about women in their stories (see: every article they’ve ever printed on sexual assault.) One of their reviewers also showing an ignorant lack of respect for the versatility of women and their reading/tv-watching tastes doesn’t really shock me.
In short, critiques are not meant to be elusively personal and wildly impressionistic beasts; that’s a failing, I think, of the Enlightenment, where everything personal is okay because it’s just an opinion. A critique, whether positive or negative (and there is a sense that a critique is always negative, stemming from the pejorative idea of to criticize), has to have meat to it. There has to be something in the original work to refer back to. Ms. Bellafante states in her new address that none of the people writing in had seen the show where she had, but nothing in her review indicated she had seen anything – or if she had, she didn’t care enough to remember anything. Furthermore, some of the complaints were from other reviewers, who presumably, also received promo copies of the Game of Thrones.
Fortunately, negative non-reviews like the NYT didn’t seem to hinder Game of Thrones’ progress, as after only one episode, HBO has already greenlit season two. Hurray! I’m looking forward to catching up on episode one myself, hopefully tonight.