Year-End Analysis, Part 452: “Entertainment Weekly” Is Surprisingly Non-Surprising

Dec 26th, 2006 // 1 Comment

ew.jpgMore “Best of 2006″ lists popped up over the weekend, including this round-up from Entertainment Weekly, the magazine that makes you squint to see its tiny little JPEG cover (and that doesn’t put its music selections online):

THE GOOD: Two lists–one by music staffers, and one by Chris Willman–with few unworthy choices: The main Top 5 features Gnarls Barkley, TV On The Radio, My Chemical Romance, Justin Timberlake and Clipse. And the singles list is pretty spot-on, with T.I. and Hot Chip in the Top 10.
THE BAD: Since the main EW list features a consensus of nine writers and editors instead of one lead critic, there’s not one unexpected entry. So while most of the magazine’s other 2006 round-ups have at least one or two left-field choices, this feels like it was hand-picked by RoboCritic5000.
THE WHAAAAA?: Why waste the “worst” list on easy targets like Clay Aiken and Kevin Federline? Is EW unwilling to acknowledge the turdiness of 2006 cover subjects like Gwen Stefani and Jay-Z, or were they really surprised that Playing With Fire was so bad?

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  1. Chris Molanphy

    Two lists–one by music staffers, and one by Chris Willman

    Boy, the departure of David Browne left them even more bereft than I would’ve guessed – it’s such a bizarre way to present the section. Usually, in all of EW’s major sections, they have two major critics, e.g. Gleiberman and Schwarzbaum in movies; so for the year-end Top 10s issue, they give one the lead position and then give the other the “Second Opinion” page, with their own Top 10. But in music, they’ve got Willman as the “Second Opinion,” as an alternative to…the entire staff?! Who’s running this section, HAL? And it’s really insulting to Willman to position him second if they have no first-positioner. Man, hire a lead critic or promote Willman already, but this is just embarrassing.

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