With Doctor Who quietly slumbering, I thought I'd make the rounds to my favorite whorehouse. I'm talking of course, about The Nerdist, my bete noire on almost all things Doctor Who.
I've written much on how I believe The Nerdist, in particular its Faux Fan Number One Chris Hardwick and his Number 2, Kyle Anderson, are basically shills for the BBC and Steven Moffat. They are not objective reviewers. They are virtually paid spokesmen, the Pravda of Nerddom. If they had been around during John Nathan-Turner's reign, they would have given high marks to such stories like The Twin Dilemma and Timelash.
Why? Well, because they are paid not to give honest assessments of what they see, but to push the product no matter how abysmal. I don't have anything against them for being lackeys. I just wish they were upfront about it.
When I think of The Nerdist, in particular in regards to Hardwick & Anderson, the term 'useful idiot' comes to mind. However, they are not 'idiots'. They are shrewd and calculating, fully aware that their job is to serve as promotion for not just Doctor Who but all things geek/nerd-related. They make millions by passing themselves off as mere 'super-fans' or worse, experts, and the production companies are more than happy to pay for their services in exchange for free promotion by these guys.
In return, they get to be seen as these 'experts', which gains them a touch of prestige, notoriety, and more than enough cash for themselves. Many genuine fans of what they cover will in turn look to them for guidance, unaware of how The Nerdist is really playing them for fools.
|Of COURSE I'm Objective.|
Whatever made you think any different?
There is something insidious in what I dubbed The Moffat-Nerdist Complex, where the person who is suppose to be objective is simply too close to the subject he/she is reviewing. I am reminded of the late, great Roger Ebert and his Little Rule Book. It was pretty much an open secret that he was targeting Ben Lyons, mocking Cubby (as I lovingly called him) after Lyons Junior took over as a cohost on At the Movies. However, I think we can look at Ebert's advise and apply them to Hardwick, Anderson, et. al. (especially Numbers 15 & 17, which The Nerdist demolishes with glee).
In the interest of full disclosure, I would pose with actors/writers/directors if given the opportunity, but those would be for my private collection, not to show how close I was to someone I had just met.
There is one that Ebert might not have anticipated, but that I think would make a good addition to his guide for film criticism: Do Not Review Something if Your Subject is Paying Your Bills.
In the After Who Special hosted by Hardwick following the premiere of Deep Breath, one of his guests was Doctor Who/Sherlock writer and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss. What Hardwick did not disclose on air was that the executive producer of the After Who Special was...Mark Gatiss. This tidbit came in a 'blink-and-you-miss-it' credit as Hardwick cheerily waves goodbye to his audience.
Somehow, to my mind, there is something pernicious and deceitful about taking money from the person you are suppose to be covering. This might explain why The Nerdist, in particular regarding Doctor Who, has never given a negative review to any episode. Anderson may say an off thing once in a blue egg, but by the end of his reviews he finds that the worst Doctor Who episodes were merely "OK". He can and will never say that something was 'awful' because he knows that any dissention will mean a severe reproach from either Hardwick or the BBC/Moffat. The Nerdist cannot run the risk of displeasing its masters, so we will get endless praise or at best, weak recommendations.
With that, Gallifrey Exile offers a new series: The Nerdist as Whore. When the mood strikes me (or time permits), I will 'translate' the usually ebullient Doctor Who reviews that Anderson gives. It is my service to you, the real fans, who deserve better than the frauds that Chris Hardwick, Kyle Anderson, and The Nerdist in general are.
Is he happy to have found his intellectual equal, or someone who is actually shorter?