How the ‘Caprica’ reviews will work going forward
Jammer’s Reviews were created by Jammer. They evolved. They rebelled. Some were written to think they were dissertations. And Jammer has a plan — to curtail them moving forward.
When I launched Jammer’s Blog (JB) eight months ago, my mind was already churning away, looking ahead to the future of Jammer’s Reviews (JR) as a viable web site, and more specifically toward a Jammer’s Reviews & Blog (JRB) hybrid site where one would feed the other.
My thinking was that JB would begin to feed JR with new content, and JR would feed JB with its existing audience. Together they would become one, more or less.
The reason I did that was because JR, as it existed during the BSG days (and before), was becoming unmanageable. For years I’ve frequently posted my reviews far later than I have wanted to, because I refuse to let my reviews dictate my personal life and my free time, which I value. The problem was that I was increasingly falling into a trap where I would simply try to cover too much territory in my reviews, roll in too much synopsis, and get too detailed. I did this through the end of BSG because I found I couldn’t help myself in discussing those episodes.
The problem, as always, became timeliness. Because of the pattern I fell into, I’d watch the episode for pure entertainment purposes, then go back later in the week to watch the episode again and take notes on my laptop. Then I would go back and write the review, sometimes days after the note-taking. This process would belabor the whole enterprise. Hence the ongoing delays and my own frustration.
What also really did not help was the increasing amount of time to manage the actual site itself. Because of the way JR was set up (no content management system, lots of manual editing of links and navigation — not to mention the parallel plain-text edition and e-mail edition that would have to be maintained for each review — every review posted meant roughly an hour of multiple-text-option formatting and web production (especially if I had to track down photos for use on the home page for the main “new story” image, and write the silly/clever text for it).
Enter the blog. Posting materials is much faster, and JR is set up to automatically place links to the most recent items I post in the blog, such that it’s fairly seamless. You’ve undoubtedly seen how this works over the past eight months.
The JR plain-text edition will remain available but new reviews will not be put in there (it’s simply not necessary), and the e-mail edition will become a more simplified e-mail notification system, where the e-mails will simply include a link back to the original web article.
So, official announcement time (although you probably figured this out): I will be reviewing Caprica weekly going forward. All the reviews will make their way to Jammer’s Reviews via postings here at Jammer’s Blog. You saw the test run with my review of the Caprica pilot.
As for the reviews themselves: I also think it’s time to finally hit the reset button and get back to basics. The days of 2,000-word episode reviews are over. Although there may be exceptions, it will no longer be the norm. I went long-winded on the Caprica pilot, but that was the last time; subsequent reviews will not feature that much discussion/rambling.
I will not likely be taking notes anymore, and I will not usually be watching the shows twice. My reviews will be much more in the moment, much less deliberate, and will not cover as many individual scenes in an episode. They will be “blogged reviews.” It’s going to be an adjustment, but I think it will be much better for my timeliness in posting the reviews, and definitely much better for me being able to manage this as a reviewing project. I simply can’t keep up what I was doing with BSG.
You’ll note that if you go back to my early reviews (DS9‘s third season was my first year of reviewing for this site), the reviews were much shorter. Also, a lot crappier. I’m a much better writer now than I was then. The new Caprica reviews will be short. Not crappy. (My guess is that they’ll be similar to my TNG reviews in length and scope. Perhaps a little bit longer.)
Speaking of TNG reviews, that’s the other thing worth mentioning here. In order to get back to watching TNG episodes and writing those reviews, I need the new Caprica project to be manageable. So the bottom line here is: faster turnaround on reviews, easier for me to maintain, quicker for you to read, and me finally making good on my promise to finish reviewing TNG. Everybody wins.