MONDO EXTRAS

Ask A TV Critic: Alan Sepinwall

Alan Sepinwall is the TV critic for The Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ and also maintains the blog What's Alan Watching?.

Sars: What's the most common misconception that you run across about TV critics?

Alan Sepinwall: That we're snobs, that we all like the exact same shows and all hate anything that's popular. I suppose that's common to most critics.

Sars: The one I get the most is that I watch every show on TV. How much TV do you watch that's not for work?

Sepinwall: Well, if you define my blog (which is technically personal, even though I use it to raise my professional profile) as "work," then I watch very little that I'm not either writing about immediately or filing away for some kind of later use.

But the problem is that there's too much to watch these days. I started in '96, and you could count most of the worthwhile non-network shows on one hand. Now there's new stuff all the time, everywhere. And there's only one of me.

Sars: Has watching TV taken on a sort of busman's-holiday quality for you?

Sepinwall: I used to know what that expression meant, but I think that knowledge got pushed aside by Fox's latest scheduling-change press release.

Sars: A guy who drives a bus going on vacation by bus, that kind of thing. Can you still enjoy a TV show for what it is? Or is there some work creep regardless of what you're watching?

Sepinwall: Well, I'd say that I'd have a big problem with almost any other job, given the amount of TV that I love to watch. On the other hand, would I watch nearly this much if it wasn't my job? (Probably, yeah.) I'm always thinking about what I might write about something. Almost. The internet has changed things, in that I'm usually multi-tasking while I watch something -- even the great shows that demand my full attention, I'm at least typing away notes for reviews or blog entries -- so it's very rare to find me just sitting on the couch, watching anything without a second activity happening.

Sars: I was going to say that baseball is my one exception to that, but it isn't, I'm usually doing something else. Like sleeping.

Sepinwall: Too much to do/see, not enough hours in the day. I do miss the idea of just sitting down to goof off and watch a show I like, though. The only way I could justify rewatching all those old Freaks and Geeks episodes is because I was going to blog about them (and write a feature on Apatow).

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Ask A TV Critic: Alan Sepinwall

Alan Sepinwall is the TV critic for The Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ and also maintains the blog What's Alan Watching?.

Sars: What's the most common misconception that you run across about TV critics?

Alan Sepinwall: That we're snobs, that we all like the exact same shows and all hate anything that's popular. I suppose that's common to most critics.

Sars: The one I get the most is that I watch every show on TV. How much TV do you watch that's not for work?

Sepinwall: Well, if you define my blog (which is technically personal, even though I use it to raise my professional profile) as "work," then I watch very little that I'm not either writing about immediately or filing away for some kind of later use.

But the problem is that there's too much to watch these days. I started in '96, and you could count most of the worthwhile non-network shows on one hand. Now there's new stuff all the time, everywhere. And there's only one of me.

Sars: Has watching TV taken on a sort of busman's-holiday quality for you?

Sepinwall: I used to know what that expression meant, but I think that knowledge got pushed aside by Fox's latest scheduling-change press release.

Sars: A guy who drives a bus going on vacation by bus, that kind of thing. Can you still enjoy a TV show for what it is? Or is there some work creep regardless of what you're watching?

Sepinwall: Well, I'd say that I'd have a big problem with almost any other job, given the amount of TV that I love to watch. On the other hand, would I watch nearly this much if it wasn't my job? (Probably, yeah.) I'm always thinking about what I might write about something. Almost. The internet has changed things, in that I'm usually multi-tasking while I watch something -- even the great shows that demand my full attention, I'm at least typing away notes for reviews or blog entries -- so it's very rare to find me just sitting on the couch, watching anything without a second activity happening.

Sars: I was going to say that baseball is my one exception to that, but it isn't, I'm usually doing something else. Like sleeping.

Sepinwall: Too much to do/see, not enough hours in the day. I do miss the idea of just sitting down to goof off and watch a show I like, though. The only way I could justify rewatching all those old Freaks and Geeks episodes is because I was going to blog about them (and write a feature on Apatow).

1 2 3Next

Comments

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