Thoughts on the Nostalgia Critic’s return

Posted by Chris Lang on January 29, 2013 at 1:35 PM

It’s official. The Nostalgia Critic is officially returning to reviewing.

The announcement came during a special presentation where Doug Walker (as the writer) speaks with his creation, the Nostalgia Critic after weighing the pros and cons of bringing the Nostalgia Critic back.

As someone who defended Doug Walker’s decision to retire the Nostalgia Critic, I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, it does seem like he’s taking a step backward. He had made a good case that he couldn’t keep doing the Nostalgia Critic forever, and that just because something’s popular doesn’t mean you should keep doing it until long after it’s gone stale. And of course there were plenty of new projects he wanted to do.

On the other hand, as he notes in the special, time away from a certain project can allow one to recharge and come up with new ideas for that project. And if indeed he has new ideas that would allow the continuation of a popular series and still be fresh and funny, we really shouldn’t begrudge him that.

I am going to miss Demo Reel and its cast of characters, though. Still, the special did a good job of tying in Demo Reel to the Nostalgia Critic, and in particular Donnie Dupree’s story arc to the Nostalgia Critic’s story arc.

(SPOILERS: It turned out both of those aforementioned story arcs are really one and the same, and that Donnie Dupree’s whole persona is the Nostalgia Critic’s purgatory — being made to experience overly harsh criticism on the other end of it).

And there was the parting line said by Quinn that Donnie/Critic knows where to find them if he needs any reminders of the lessons, leaving it open for Demo Reel and/or its cast to reappear. (EDIT: Though it’s unlikely – the creators have said as much. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if

So I’m looking forward to seeing what Doug does with the Nostalgia Critic this time around. Hopefully we’ll still see the effects of his character arc from time to time, and hopefully we’ll get some really good material out of his new review subjects (‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ looks promising. I’ve never seen the movie, but the premise sounds weird enough to get some good comedy out of it).

Already, there have been announced two changes. One will be a bi-weekly schedule. The stated reason for this is that being bi-weekly gives more time to work out all the jokes and everything and keep things fresh and funny). I can definitely get behind this, as I feel that a lot of things can benefit from a quality over quantity approach, and perhaps the Nostalgia Critic is one of those.

The other announced change is that the cut-off date (previously no movies more recent than ten years, with only a few exceptions) has been officially done away with, giving room to review movies that came out between 2002 and 2012 … such as ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’. I can easily see why Doug Walker and Rob Walker (his brother and collaborator) might feel a bit constrained by the previous cut-off date, so this would allow a wider range of movies to be featured on the new Nostalgia Critic show. Plus, as noted in the special, bad movies can be found in just about any time frame.

But in any case, I stand by the point I made before. What Doug Walker, or any Internet personality, does with their shows is their decision in the end. And if Doug really has some good ideas for the Nostalgia Critic, I’m all for seeing new episodes.

Welcome back, Nostalgia Critic.


This article received the following comments…

 richb
1:09 PM on January 29, 2013

I am very happy that he is returning Nostalgia Critic, ending it all together would be just like quitting smoking cold turkey, he should have just cut it back from every week (which is what he did) and eliminating the cut off date will be a big help. He can review what he wants. Is it a step backward? No for a couple reasons. One is that there will be changes to the show, so it is evolving. Two is that Demo Reel was a bad idea that didn’t work. Better to take a step back and figure out what went wrong so that the mistakes will not be repeated. I also think the two week thing is to give Doug a chance to do other projects here and there, which is fine. As for The Review Must Go On, it was one of the best things I have ever seen anywhere.

 richb
1:09 PM on January 29, 2013

I am very happy that he is returning Nostalgia Critic, ending it all together would be just like quitting smoking cold turkey, he should have just cut it back from every week (which is what he did) and eliminating the cut off date will be a big help. He can review what he wants. Is it a step backward? No for a couple reasons. One is that there will be changes to the show, so it is evolving. Two is that Demo Reel was a bad idea that didn’t work. Better to take a step back and figure out what went wrong so that the mistakes will not be repeated. I also think the two week thing is to give Doug a chance to do other projects here and there, which is fine. As for The Review Must Go On, it was one of the best things I have ever seen anywhere.

Chris Lang
1:22 PM on January 29, 2013

richb says…
I am very happy that he is returning Nostalgia Critic, ending it all together would be just like quitting smoking cold turkey, he should have just cut it back from every week (which is what he did) and eliminating the cut off date will be a big help. He can review what he wants. Is it a step backward? No for a couple reasons. One is that there will be changes to the show, so it is evolving. Two is that Demo Reel was a bad idea that didn’t work. Better to take a step back and figure out what went wrong so that the mistakes will not be repeated. I also think the two week thing is to give Doug a chance to do other projects here and there, which is fine. As for The Review Must Go On, it was one of the best things I have ever seen anywhere.

Well, I don’t think Demo Reel was bad per se, though it could have been better. It just seemed they were making it up as they went along. Some things worked, some things didn’t. I wouldn’t mind seeing its cast of characters again, as I’d come to like them.

I have to agree with you. The special was one of the best things Doug and company have done. I loved the meta-commentary, and the cameos (Lewis Lovhaug appearing as himself, not Linkara, and playing his part straight as an advice-giver for most of that scene made its ending twist hilarious. And of course Lindsay and Nella’s attempt to preserve the Nostalgia Chick’s ‘nostalgia monopoly’ was also fun). The final scene where Donnie is confronted with the truth about himself, and only leaves his Demo Reel friends with their approval and encouragement, was very emotional. Indeed, I’d rank this among their best.

In any case, I debated with myself over whether to post a blog about this, but felt I pretty much had to seeing as how I did that collaboration with James defending Doug’s previous decision. This can be seen as a sort of sequel/follow-up, just as the special is a sort of sequel/follow-up to ‘To Boldly Flee’.

Anyway, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Ingonyama70
1:51 PM on January 29, 2013

First off: I LOVED “The Review Must Go On.” It was a great end to Demo Reel and a wonderful tie-in between the Critic, who attacks things he deems to be horrible with such vitriol, and Donnie, a genuinely nice guy who just happens to make horrible things. The Doug vs. the Critic dialogues were my favorite parts though, great dual-acting on Doug’s part.

THAT SAID: The Nostalgia Critic is funny, but he’s hardly the be-all and end-all of reviewers. That said, if not for him and the Chick, I’d never have found out about Internet reviews in general, let alone the awesome people here at ME.

So he’s influential, and entertaining, even if he’s not my FAVORITE favorite reviewer. (To that inspirational person: you know who you are 🙂 )

But all the same I would rather see TGWTG with the Nostalgia Critic than without. He is their flagship character, after all.

BigBlackHatMan
2:56 PM on January 29, 2013

I am reserving judgement to see what he comes back with. He has talent and if the new Nostalgia Critic is strong, it will dismiss a lot of the apprehension. Good work

James
2:57 PM on January 29, 2013

I don’t have mixed feelings about this at all. I think it’s a horrible idea to bring the NC back.

I also defended his right to retire the character, and I felt he picked a good time to do it. The whole thing was beginning to feel stale, and giving the NC a big, epic ending was something that felt right. This return smacks of desperation.

I was not a fan of Demo Reel. I watched the first episode and could barely get through it. So that show ending is not a big deal to me. However…I don’t know. I feel the way I do when they bring a super hero back from the dead after only a few months. The big problem is that now there can NEVER be a big ending for the NC. No one would buy it, all the drama has been let out of it.

I love the Critic, but I wish Doug had allowed him to go out on top. Instead I think he’ll beat the joke to death.

Chris Lang
3:05 PM on January 29, 2013

James says…
I don’t have mixed feelings about this at all. I think it’s a horrible idea to bring the NC back.

I also defended his right to retire the character, and I felt he picked a good time to do it. The whole thing was beginning to feel stale, and giving the NC a big, epic ending was something that felt right. This return smacks of desperation.

I was not a fan of Demo Reel. I watched the first episode and could barely get through it. So that show ending is not a big deal to me. However…I don’t know. I feel the way I do when they bring a super hero back from the dead after only a few months. The big problem is that now there can NEVER be a big ending for the NC. No one would buy it, all the drama has been let out of it.

I love the Critic, but I wish Doug had allowed him to go out on top. Instead I think he’ll beat the joke to death.

Some of your argument is sort of what I was feeling, which is why I said I had mixed feelings. And yes, comic books have pretty much taken all the drama out of killing off A-list superheroes and even certain longtime supporting characters by bringing them back. (But that’s a discussion for other blog entries).

Here, ‘The Review…’ was basically Doug’s trying to tell us that he’s bringing the Critic back for the RIGHT reasons. The right reasons being he has some really good ideas, and is feeling inspired again. True, the NC was popular, and true the Nostalgia Critic’s show was seen as the ‘flagship’ of TGWTG, but those aren’t really good enough reasons from an artistic standpoint.

Whether Doug succeeded in convincing us he’s doing this for the right reasons is up to each of us to decide. As for me, I’m going to give his comeback a chance. Hopefully, what we see in the next few months will make it worth it.


CHRIS, July 2014: And so those were initial thoughts at that time. Since then, the relaunched Nostalgia Critic has given what I feel is some great stuff. Particular favorite episodes of mine are the ‘Cat in the Hat’ review, the ‘Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland’ review, and the crossover with Angry Joe reviewing ‘Man of Steel’. So while I did indeed have mixed feelings about the return of the Nostalgia Critic, I do like a lot of the new material.

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