02 April 2009

Something must be done about Sam Wollaston

Sorry, but I have to invite you to read this: Sam Wollaston's review of last night's Apprentice. To make it less painful, I'll summarise the first two thirds:
That Alan Sugar, eh? He don't talk proper. No, really, you may not have noticed, so I'll repeat the point a few times. Umm, what now, oh yes, he gets his words wrong too. Shit, I'm clever.

But do force yourself to read the last few paragraphs. It's so clear that he's run out of things to say, but keeps typing, checking the word count, typing again, checking again, until he fills the column. 750 words exactly. Phew, I can stop now.

I've seen someone else describe the experience of one of Sam's columns as "like reading a yawn" (incidentally, a better line than anything Sam's come up with). Once upon a time, the Guardian TV review was regularly one of the best pieces of comic writing, written by people who loved or hated TV but at least cared about it, and knew how to amuse. It was something to look forward to. But this, but this ...


Ronniespraggs said...

Please see this comment that I've just posted under a so-called "review" by Sam Wollaston.

Where is The Guardian getting these people from?

24 May 2011 2:25PM
What kind of "review" is this? Sam Wollaston is like The Bloke in The Pub, making an inept and boring attempt to flatly recount, and drearily explain the plot-line of China Town, to a bunch of pissed-up imbeciles. How many pints did he have, before he wrote this turgid crud?

If anyone wants to read an enlightening, entertaining review of 'All Watched Over...' just go to Ryan Lambie on Den of Geek, with which I have no personal connection or interest whatsoever, other than in preferring to read something competently written and informative... AND THAT'S A GENUINE REVIEW!... as opposed to this mind-numbing semi-literate shite:

Linda said...

His reviews make me quite cross - it annoys me that someone who has a cushy job of reviewing TV programmes doesn't even bother to pay attention to the programmes, or ensure he doesn't make factual errors.

For example in a recent review of Christopher And His Kind, Sam confused the SA with the SS:

" Imagine it, one minute a handsome young man called Caspar is doing press-ups for you on the jetty, bulging rather splendidly in his tight trunks. And the next time you see him he's in a flipping SS uniform!"

Maybe I'm being pedantic, but that's pretty basic historical knowledge - that's not even the point; he's so lazy and arrogant that he didn't even bother to fact check - this is his job, if other people make continuous mistakes in their work, they get sacked.

And it's not just the mistakes that are lazy, his whole reviews are - they consist of a boastful anecdote about his career or girlfriend, and some chatty, disjointed review of a couple of TV shows with a few pretentious lines thrown in in an attempt to elevate it above a tabloid review.

Ronniespraggs said...

Absolutely spot on LInda... and there's no question of "pedantry" about it - it's clear that you simply appreciate professionalism, where one is able to find some, these days.

So much about this inept oaf's output makes one gnash one's teeth with grating annoyance... you just want to take the idle idiot to one side, and give him a good scolding as his mummy should have done, for being so lazy, arrogant and narcissistic. Doesn't he realise how fortunate he is to have such a sought-after plum post on The Guardian... at least enough to put some effort into the job, even were he to possess the necessary talent?

Much needed scolding in plenty beginning here though (and then about three or four subsequent comments) under one single exhibition of indolence, fraudulently passed off as 3rd rate journalism.

So glad you agree with me, and so many other Guardian readers :-)

Kindest Regards,

Brian said...

Thanks, Ronnie & Linda. It's rather odd to get comments on a post that's over two years old! And a bit alarming to realise how long he's been getting away with it. I think one of the problems is that the Guardian thinks any reaction from readers is good, and the more criticisms Sam gets in comments, the more effectively he's gaining attention. In that case, why not just give the job to Richard Littlejohn?

Anonymous said...

He's now doing motoring reviews for the Graun. His review of the Vauxhall Zafira can be precied as follows: `A Tank Transporter that is shit as a Formula 1 car. It couldn't even beat an HRT round Monaco'. Gosh, what insight.

Anonymous said...

Just read Wollaston on 'Modus', which he finds shallow, with unengaging characters. Quite the opposite, in fact, of what the series intends, and in my view achieves, despite a trite final scene. Well, opinions differ. But 'crass' was used for him above. Sam Crass Wollaston. Now that has a classy ring...