Your chance to ask the questions

Something completely different today: I'm going to be taking part in a panel discussion tonight as part of Script To Screen's The Writers Room series, joining film critics Sarah Watt, Peter Calder and Helene Wong to discuss the place of critics in the film/TV industry, what part reviews play in sales, whether critics have a "duty of care" with local material, and much more. The panel is being moderated by Go Girls/This Is Not My Life co-creator Gavin Strawhan.

It should be a heap of fun - and really, there'll be no better opportunity for you to heckle me in public.

I'll be honest, I don't really think of myself as a "critic" in the traditional sense - yet, I guess this blog does have some things in common with more journalistic criticism. American academic James A. Brown explains that "the critic serves as a guide, offering standards of criteria for judgment along with factual data, so readers can make up their own minds." I guess that is a part of what I try to do here. Sometimes I might even do a good job of it.

In addition to reviewing (and hopefully entertaining), a critic should inform - not just readers at home, but also those in the industry; by providing a voice, a response to the work those creators are doing, the critic gives valuable feedback to those in the industry (of course, whether they take it on board is a different matter altogether).

On a blog, a lot of that falls to you - the readers and commenters. While a critic (or blogger) provides just one voice, the nature of the blog, and its call-and-response format, means that every reader has the opportunity to give feedback. The comments thread becomes a miniature court of public opinion. I'd like to think that those in the industry take some of what we're saying onboard or use the comments thread as a resource. You are their viewers, after all.

Anyway, I don't really have too much more to say today - Monday and Tuesday night TV is just ticking along now, though last night's Homeland was a wonderful showcase of Damien Lewis and Claire Danes' talent. I also enjoyed last night's episodes of CSI and Person Of Interest (which was recently renewed for a second season), though I fear my patience with Revenge is starting to run out. Also, I'll be reviewing the third season finale of Misfits (and its notion of time travel mechanics) in tomorrow's post; it airs tonight at 9.30pm, on Four.

So, in the absence of anything more substantial, I thought I would open myself up to you: since many of you won't be able to make it tonight, I thought you could fire your questions at me now. I'll answer them as best I can. Feel free to ask anything you like - there are no stupid questions, and nothing is too private.

If you are interested in coming along tonight, The Writer's Room is open to the public: it's being held at The Classic Comedy Club on Queen Street, Auckland, starting at 7.30pm. Full details are here - and if you do come along, make sure to say hello!

In the meantime, post your questions in the comments section, and I'll answer them as soon as I get a chance. And while you're here, what are your thoughts on critics - particularly TV critics? What would you like to see more of at OTB?

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