One unavoidable consequence of writing for the Web is that you get led around by television's most rabid fan bases. The A.V. Club's recaps of Terriers, which was cancelled after one season due to low ratings, reliably generated scores more comments than reviews of The Good Wife—a show with a larger but less-engaged audience. And given that episode reviews are mostly of interest to hardcore fans, honey-soaked praise attracts more readers than vinegar-y condemnation. Blog readers, Sepinwall says, "want you to be a cheerleader for what they're a cheerleader for." →
Good piece in Slate on the rise of episodic recaps in TV criticism, and this bit echoes online music culture in a not-insignificant way. Poniewozik responds.