So this week marked the tenth anniversary of Nostalgia Critic. I wanted to do a tribute, but what have I not covered? I already talked about my favorite episodes (twice), my least favorite episodes, my favorite jokes, a general tribute regarding my being a loyal fan for several years, and gone over how I became that loyal fan. But I wanted to do something…..then I came up with an idea which I think made sense.
I went through the ten “season” lists of episodes and tried to pick the best episode. Not my favorite necessarily, the one episode which I thought stood out above the rest as a solid episode which can be watched again and again. Thankfully the list is different than my top 10 favorite episodes, with one notable exception. So here at the Top 10 Nostalgia Critic episodes in order of season, in my opinion anyway. Two rules, they gave to be official episodes not specials, and no crossovers. Though that’s not a bad idea for another article….
#10.Batman & Robin
The first season was for obvious reasons not the strongest. Doug Walker has said many times this started as a hobby, and it kind of shows. The production values are weak and the reviews are kind of short. There were also little repetitive gags that would go away thankfully. But this episode is the best. Though it was a tough call between The Wizard and the Tom & Jerry reviews. Batman & Robin was the first review that started to feel like a true NC review, and of course it gave us a meme that continues to endure to this day.
#9.The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Ok this is where things get harder. While still not his strongest episodes here, they did feel more and more like the NC we would know and love. Though there were to many “tribute” episodes which were never very interesting. The other great episode here was North, but I already covered that in another article. So what makes this the top spot? Because it was a movie that Doug Walker truly despised. And I think when he really hates something it makes the anger the NC feels more belieavke (more examples below). You could argue it’s also the first review to add a bit at the end which showed that Doug can go beyond just sitting in a chair and talking, and while it’s lame it was a precursor to what would come later. This would be done again in Casper which came that same season but I still think this one is superior.
Season three was where things really started to take off. The format was finally clicking and even at their worst the reviews were still solid. Independence Day was one of the first I ever saw, and I laughed my a** off. And of course the IT review which would probably be here if I didn’t think The Room was better. But a lot of these were quick reviews (probably because he was working on Kickassia) and lacked a lot of passion. Now I am aware that CA itself did a top five best NC episodes. And this is one I agree with (Batman & Robin was also on there’s). This review was so well done. The funny thing is I put off watching it for a long time since I had no idea what the movie was.
#7. The Other Animated Titanic Movie
I wonder if fatigue was starting already for NC because even at the start of the year most of these reviews were losing a lot of passion. They were good, but a lot of the reviews you get the feeling were made because they were easy. Course Doug Walker spend a lot of the season with “Suburban Knights” taking up his time. And while Alaska was funny and Neverending Story III was a favorite of mine, I have to be fair. The effort and work in Moulin Rouge was just fantastic. There was a time I didn’t even consider it a normal review it went so far above the norm. But it’s not on top because it’s technically a crossover. So the winner goes to The Titanic move which is so wrong on so many levels! Yeah I talked about it before but this is really is a great episode especially the scene below.
And now the burnout was starting to become more obvious, and the fact he was busy with To Boldly Flee. This is also the point when it seemed like all NC ever did was get mad and yell a the movies. It got kind of old. Picking the best from this is still not easy, Thomas the Magic Railroad was great and the Signs review had a one of the funniest bits ever. Patch Adams was wins the slot because it was such a strong review. He didn’t get red faced and screaming, he was calm and did a very fair job reviewing the movie. I did like the “series finale” in the Scooby Doo review but Patch Adams was better.
And because I just had to, here is the classic bit from “The Simple Wish” review which was only an ok review for the most part.
So then NC retired, and that was it. Well no of course not because he would come back with a new style, a new studio, and a new cast. And honestly, I have grown to really love these. Not to say I know hate the older NC’s, but you do feel like something is missing when watching them. By the for obvoous reasons The Review Must Go On doesn’t count though I loved it.
#5.Cat in the Hat/The Last Airbender
We needed one tie, right? Bridge to Terabithia was clearly a fill in review, and I love it but it’s also clearly meant to fill the slot. A.I. is just so damn good. The review is excellent and the sketches are good as they skewer TMZ and they’re anger that NC had the nerve to make fun of them. I loved Pearl Harbor but that got to preachy. Besides it’s on my favorite list. And Les Miserables and Man of Steel were crossover’s. But the winner has to be Cat in the Hat which for a time Doug Walker himself said was his favorite. It was just great, from the actors to the review itself, leafing up to that great speech at the end. The other one people love is The Last Airbender review and it was really good even if I have no knowledge of the show. But I decided it deserved to be at least mentioned here.
#4.The Princess Diaries 2
I think I’ve watched Foodfight! a million times. It’s a fascinatingly bad movie, and the review covers how crazy it is really well. So why not give it the slot? I just think The Princess Diaries 2 was a stronger review. Mostly because of Tamara Chambers as Hyper Fan Girl, one of the best characters ever on the show. It really feels like a character especially in this one. The review was shot entirely on location and unlike Foodfight, Tamara and Malcolm weren’t totally wasted. I also really love the Disney Afternoon retrospective and Alice in Wonderland (man is this a tough call) but the gore in that one was a little much.
#3.Sharkboy and Lava Girl
This is a tough one, in fact this was the hardest slot to fill. The clipless reviews began here which I have grown to love. But the Jurassic World one was clearly done before they figured out how to do them and while Mad Max was amazing I just don’t care about those movies. And I think that it was a little to out there, most of the clipless reviews at least try to at least partially stick to the normal NC format. While I did enjoy the Pixels review Hocus Pocus was painful. TMNT was a crossover so it doesn’t count (or it would be on top). Sharkboy and Lava Girl was great so I finally threw my hands up and gave it to that one.
#2.Jem and the Holograms
The Batman V Superman review was fantastic even before seeing the movie which only makes it better. But it’s a crossover. Jem was one of the few NC’s of the modern run that was really funny and didn’t feel like a filler episode because he was working on something bigger. As for Ghostbusters, that really was a strong one. And then there was the 3rd Animated Titanic Movie which was spoiled by his ending bit which was really weak. It was almost a rehash of his Garbage Pail Kids bit. Oh and the Rogue One review sucked (how many pooh jokes do we need??).
Obviously it’s only July but of the episode so far which was the best? The Balto review is the one I keep coming back to. Tamara was fantastic in the framing scenes and the review was really well done. But credit has to go where credit is due. I thought the Suicide Squad review was amazing and it was even released theatrically so that has to count for something. The NC keeps finding new ways to up the ante which is probably why he has been around for ten years now. It’s amazing if you go through these to see the evolution from the Critic who shouted meme’s to the more analytical version we have today.
Now that I have the idea in my head, it seems like a good idea. Stay tuned for the top 10 Nostalgia Critic crossover’s.