Though most critics will fess up to owing some part of their formative years to Kevin Smith’s films and speaking engagements, the filmmake- oh wait, raconteur, has subsequently squandered that goodwill by taking to Twitter, podcasts, and interviews to essentially dismiss professional criticism entirely. If that weren’t enough to enrage those who feel they can see a film for free and still hold a fair opinion on it, Smith has now announced plans to democratize film criticism with his own Hulu show starting this summer.
Based out of his SmodCo Studios on Universal City Walk, Smith will present a new show, “Spoilers,” which features himself along with 50 citizen co-hosts reviewing the newest summer blockbuster each week. Explaining his Polyphonic Spree of critics in a Wired interview, Smith said, “We take them out and pay for them to go see the movie, kick back — on opening day, none of this early bullshit, ain’t doing it like those critics, doing it legit — and then just go down the street, sit down and have a gabfest, man.” Starting off the legitimate discourse will be “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Prometheus,” and “Rock of Ages.”
If squeezing 50 opinions into a half-hour doesn’t already seem exhausting, Smith also plans to mix “lively group chats, interviews with movie and pop culture icons, animated shorts and cinematic reenactments.” One of these segments, Movie Goon with Malcolm Ingram, is sure to raise the ire of more than a few online followers. “[Malcolm’s] one of these nihilists. If it’s popular, he can’t stand it,” Smith said. “He represents the internet. So we’ll bring him on and let him have his say and then we’ll beat him up verbally and tell him why he’s wrong — have a good old-fashioned debate.” To clarify, Smith is indeed distilling the Internet, which is always wrong, down into one man, while letting more tempered opinions fall into the hands of 50 fans participating in the show. Something appears off in that equation. He’s also pinched the title of a popular blog, Criterion Corner, for a segment on the show, just to really stick the knife in the internet.
Of course Smith is not aiming for depth or real diversity with “Spoilers,” just a good time under the general goal of starting a dialogue about film. However, his non-stop public comments lend a contradictory bent to everything he puts out, and this new show is just the latest iteration of that tendency. Normally, a show like this would be a fun way to showcase Smith’s talents as MC and critic (which he does possess), but the result is instead a spotlight to see if he can justify his negative comments. Alternatively, Smith’s opinions may have already been converted into white noise at this point, but if the concept seems interesting, “Spoilers” begins its 10-episode season June 4th. At least he’s not making another movie, right?