Editorial: Caution: Pile-on Ahead

It’s that time of year again. Critics—and these days, that means anyone within reach of a keyboard—have tallied their lists of best and worst new broadcast shows premiering this week as the 2014-15 season begins, based in many cases on a pilot episode. A few unlucky hopefuls (mainly NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura and Bad Judge) have become the wrong kind of critics’ darlings, attracting a pile-on of scorn and abuse.

We get it. We endured screeners for Homeboys From Outer Space and countless other, shall we say, less fortunate shows over the years. Not to defend Laura or Bad Judge, but too often we see hateration without consideration. Shows get unanimously pilloried simply because no one wants to think differently— it’s far easier to just add to the thread. This is the social-media effect of critical assessment, and it’s something we aren’t inclined to favorite or like.