Regarding The Nostalgia Critic

by Mara

One of my (perhaps few) virtues is that I can admit when I’m wrong. Last week, I was wrong. I was still reeling from the press onslaught and not in the best mood when, once again, someone told me they had found my Facebook page through the Nostalgia Critic. They pointed out, once again, that he did not care for any of the movies I’d made as a child. That wasn’t a big deal: some of my best friends have also told me as much, to my face (“I was really disappointed with the movie of Matilda,” “Have you seen the recut trailer where they made Mrs. Doubtfire look like a horror movie? It makes a lot more sense that way,” “I saw A Simple Wish on TV last week. No offense, Mara, but that was a bad movie.”  – Quotes courtesy of my friends Max, Alex, and Kyle.) But why did these people on the internet have to tell me about it?

I hadn’t seen any full videos of his: I watched about a minute of the Thomas review and counted several digs at my (admittedly awkward) appearance and (admittedly lazy) acting. Who was this guy taking cheap shots at an easy target? I figured he was the geeky critic equivalent of (pre-Jennifer Aniston confrontation) Perez Hilton. At first I ignored it, but after a rough week and one too many “Hey, Nostalgia Critic hates you!” posts, I jumped on my high horse and took to the streets. (For those of you who do not speak Cliche, I ranted on the internet.) This, of course, brought out the fanboys and girls in droves. I will now attempt to dramatize the ensuing exchanges:

ME: Then why is he such an asshole in his NC videos?
NC Fans: Because he’s playing a character.
ME: Yeah, right. Allow me to quote Kurt Vonnegut at you.
NC Fans: No, seriously, it’s a character he plays.
ME: Yeah, yeah, I get it, “he’s such a character.” That’s no excuse.
NC Fans: No, it’s an actual character, NOT HIM. Watch his other videos!
ME: Maybe I will! (About five minutes of watching and Wikipedia-ing later…) Oh, shit.

The Nostalgia Critic was a character. A caricature of an embittered, entitled, enraged nerd — and one who often got his comeuppance at the hands of other characters. I had been Sacha Baron Cohen’d.

Shortly after, Doug himself responded with a well-written Facebook post about the importance of laughing at oneself. I wrote back, saying I concurred and was sorry I had conflated him and one of his characters. While Nostalgia Critic didn’t seem to be my sense of humor (I had not yet seen his takedown of Bella Swan, which is hilarious–I would argue that character is worth getting legitimately angry about), it was clearly several thousand people’s sense of humor, and I had been an idiot to criticize it without knowing more about it.

With the help of Holly, Doug and I managed to talk things out: he was very friendly and understanding when I apologized, and when I suggested we have a Weird Al and Coolio-esque reconciliation, he had an even better idea. Behold! It was a lot of fun to make and I’d be more than happy to participate again. Some fans have suggested I add some videos to the site, but I think that would take away some of the novelty. However, if Doug wants to let me play the Wheaton to his Sheldon Cooper, I am willing.