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Critic vs. Chick: Who Does Nostalgia Better?

Circa 2008, YouTube gained a new channel and star in Nostalgia Critic, AKA Doug Walker. Going by that name and the hfaandle ThatGuyWiththeGlasses, Doug Walker gave viewers scathing, humorous reviews of nostalgic movies, shows, and commercials from the ’80s-’90s. "I remember it so you don’t have to," he begins almost all of his (early) videos.

A while after the Nostalgia Critic came to fame, he held a contest to find a female counterpart. The result was the stardom of Lindsey Ellis, Nostalgia Chick. As her name implies, Nostalgia Chick covers content the Critic doesn’t, mostly content aimed at a female base. She tends to focus her reviews on feminist criticism and the portrayal of female characters.

However, both critics’ reams of views indicate their fans are not necessarily divided by sex or gender. Both sexes can enjoy both critics, so what, other than feminist or non-feminist content, distinguishes the two? Is one critic inherently "better" than the other, and if yes, why? Have changes in the videos’ formats, such as Critic and Chick appearing together or with other characters, changed the conversation about their content? What kind of viewers do Chick and Critic cater to, regardless of gender (i.e., would you recommend a new viewer go to one person or the other for a certain type or "tone" of content)?

  • Interesting topic. While a part of me can appreciate the time capsule-esque approach of comparing Walker and Ellis's work as if it were still 2013 and they were both still affiliated with Channel Awesome -- there may be a nostalgic impulse at play here (so meta!) -- I cannot help but feeling that it would be a grave omission to disregard the career trajectories of both figures since Ellis's departure in 2014. Though his channel is still active, Walker has arguably experienced a slight fall from public grace based on reports of his mistreatment of former employees (including Ellis), and one need only look at the reception of his recent video on Pink Floyd's The Wall to see what little respect his industry peers still have for his critical prowess. Ellis, on the other hand, now independently runs one of the leading video essay channels on the site (nearly eclipsing Channel Awesome in terms of subscribers), works for PBS, and has become a New York Times Bestselling novelist. The complexities of their parallel career arc goes far beyond the simple male vs. female paradigm suggested by your prompt. This is not to say that that paradigm is not, itself, worth exploring, but it may be more generative as only the first act of an ongoing story. Just my two cents. – ProtoCanon 2 weeks ago
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