I don’t think they meant that. It probably just plopped out.

Out of twenty-nine user reviews of Red Dwarf Series VII on Amazon.co.uk, only seven were written after the DVD was released. Out of those seven, one is short enough to possibly qualify as a haiku, another says little about the series itself and talks instead about how Grant and Barrie left the show, another compares it to Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and Only Fools and Horses, and another compared Kristine Kochanski to Jar-Jar Binks. An excerpt from one of the reviews:

The blame must be put on Doug Naylor, the co-creator. Doug Naylor, the other creator of the show (and a more talented writer than Doug) left the show after Season 6 because he didn’t want to be remembered for just RED DWARF. And Doug Naylor seems to throw everything but the humour into the scripts of Season 7, failing everybody.

Hm.

To all DVD reviewers: WAIT UNTIL IT’S RELEASED PLEASE. It’s bad form to rate a product before you’ve even seen it. Oh, and no one wants to read your episode listing.

And please, please, put some thought into it.

9 Responses to I don’t think they meant that. It probably just plopped out.

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  1. The review that’s now at the top is primarily a complaint about how the episodes are spread over two discs instead of 2 entertain/GNP somehow breaking the laws of physics and squeezing all that extra running time on to one disc.

    I MEAN FOR FUCK’S SAKE.

  2. My favourite review is the one which, instead of offering a critique, elects to give you the lyrics to the munchkin song.

    Amazon should definitely have a policy of stopping people reviewing stuff before it’s released.

  3. >Amazon should definitely have a policy of stopping people reviewing stuff before it’s released.

    That’s a tough call, actually. As far as books and music, fine, I agree…but with films and DVDs of television programs, a good portion of consumers have already seen the product.

    Alright, so maybe they’ve not seen the deleted scenes or director’s commentary, but does that mean they aren’t qualified to offer an opinion on the product? Of course not. Anyone who has already seen the film or program will have an opinion and it’s as much their right to share it as anyone else.

    That said the majority of reviews on Amazon are pure horse-shit, which would be the case regardless of when they allow people to start posting them.

  4. Actually, I think it’s DVDs that are the problem. People all-too-frequently review things based solely on when they saw the programme as broadcast, and completely ignore the DVD as a package. And Amazon isn’t a site for reviewing how good a TV series is – IMDb and tv.com are there for that. It’s a site for reviewing products. A review of a TV boxset that’s just based on watching the series on TV, before the DVD is even released, is not reviewing the product.

  5. I did a review of it ages ago, just when we found out that IDW was gonna be on it. I put that it’s going to be a great set despite the fact that it’s a weaker series. There’s nothing wrong with that, surely?

    I really cannot fathom some of them though. I mean HOW exactly does it being 3 discs spoil the set for someone? And comments like “20 minutes of a Red Dwarf show was pre-recorded anyway”, this “I don’t care what any one else say’s red dwarf series 7 is the best series because it just is.”, this “Dallas 1963 – this is my 3rd favourite Red Dwarf episode ever (after ‘The End’ and ‘Legion’)”, this “I loved the first six seasons of RED DWARF (1988-1999).”, this “She totally ruins the show everytime she says something. She ruins RED DWARF like Jar-Jar Binks ruined the STAR WARS Prequels.”, this (sorry for going on) “the straightforward but plainly awful Brittas Empire”, this (yeah I’ll shutup in a sec) “the old show worked so well because you had a bunch of stand-ups in front of an audience”, and this “Personally I felt the gap between series 6 and 7 was thoroughly beneficial.” make me worry about peoples’ sanity.

  6. >It’s a site for reviewing products. A review of a TV boxset that’s just based on watching the series on TV, before the DVD is even released, is not reviewing the product.

    Agreed, to a point. But people DO have the right to give their opinion on the program itself, considering that would be the main reason for somebody to purchase the product.

    A DVD is a package, yes, but even that is arguably false. Many fans have no interest whatsoever in extras. I have certainly bought films on DVD without having bothered to watch the supplementary material. It’s a fact of the matter that not everybody is going to care about what the extras are, and that won’t change whether they review the program before or after the release.

    >And Amazon isn’t a site for reviewing how good a TV series is

    Alright, maybe not officially, but I have to admit I’ve used it to determine which region 2 programs to import, and it’s been a great help. If people spent their time reviewing only the supplimentary material for I’m Alan Partridge, Spaced, or The Day Today I probably I wouldn’t have imported them. Simply because I don’t care how exhaustive a documentary I am or am not getting on a program I’ve never seen before…I’m interested in whether or not the program itself is worth owning.

    In that way the review of the program being sold is much more important…if somebody’s not seen the show or film before, they really aren’t going to care what the extras are.

  7. >If people spent their time reviewing only the supplimentary material for I’m Alan Partridge, Spaced, or The Day Today I probably I wouldn’t have imported them. Simply because I don’t care how exhaustive a documentary I am or am not getting on a program I’ve never seen before…I’m interested in whether or not the program itself is worth owning.

    I guess this comes down to personal taste. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a TV show on DVD if I hadn’t have atleast seen a couple of episodes. The ‘early’ reviews on Amazon are therefore of no use if I’d alread formed my own opinions on the programme. The one thing I definitely haven’t seen are the extras…and neither have the reviewers.

    >I did a review of it ages ago, just when we found out that IDW was gonna be on it. I put that it’s going to be a great set despite the fact that it’s a weaker series. There’s nothing wrong with that, surely?

    I think there is. You hadn’t seen the performance of IDW so how could you know that the extras would redeem this ‘weaker series’? The previous discs had been great but the documentary could have consisted of footage of Doug Naylor sitting on the bog and straining one out for all you would have known. Okay, so I’m being daft, but I really don’t think you can review something until you’ve actually seen it. The extras on Red Dwarf VII account for more than half of the material on the discs, I’d say that was worth covering.

  8. >I guess this comes down to personal taste. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a TV show on DVD if I hadn’t have atleast seen a couple of episodes. The ‘early’ reviews on Amazon are therefore of no use if I’d alread formed my own opinions on the programme. The one thing I definitely haven’t seen are the extras…and neither have the reviewers.

    The thing is that both reviews are going to be there no matter what, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If I’ve never seen the program before I’ll skip over the ones that focus on supplementary material. If I have, I’ll skip over the ones that go on about episodes.

    Personal taste is the real issue here, I definitely agree, but we should also remember that the episodes are the product and the extras are just that–extras. They are an added incentive to buy. Sometimes that’s a big incentive (Dwarf), sometimes a very small incentive (Father Ted)…but the product you are buying is the program itself, and therefore I really think whoever has seen it is qualified to write a review.

  9. I think one of the difficulties is the actual rating system. You can’t post a review on amazon without ultimately shifting the overall star rating of the product. Some people have gone onto the website and posted a review (before the release date) saying things like “one star for the series, but I’ve added three for the bonus material” which means a star-rating of four out of five for something that still hasn’t been seen and on its own merits as a television series apparently deserved only one. And idiots going on and posting five stars (still before the product release date) just because they don’t agree with the one-star reviews… for fuck’s sake. Have you read “the beginning of the end… for Dave Bassetts review!!” which is essentially a review of a review, pretty much ignoring the series altogether other than saying “go on just buy it!” and “it’s only a comedy so what are you complaining about?”. I’m paraphrasing because I’ve not read those reviews for a while, but people might as well just say “it’s not even supposed to be good so what’s your problem?” Twats.

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