We’ve been watching culture erode beneath us for the past 15 years, if not longer.
You’ll hear all sorts of reasons why, but it’s clear the main culprit has been the infiltration of politics and corporate interests into the arts.
This isn’t to say politics can’t have a place in these spaces, but it needs to be the exception not the rule. “The people” should be organically building culture through their artistic expressions, with politics reacting in turn.
As a company, the only “political” stance we have is to implore you to be aware of the way politics influence you and we ask to help us to avoid its destructive stranglehold over our culture. #politics #Democrats #Republicans #divisive #Unity #freedom #propaganda #obey pic.twitter.com/o4kdOZoMeH
— Criticless (@Criticless_inc) August 28, 2023
As far as I can tell we’ve been experiencing quite the opposite. I came up with my solution 10 years ago.
I fixated on it.
However, I could never work out a reasonable way to execute my dream. The idea was simple: What if we had a platform for regular people to review entertainment similar to Rotten Tomatoes, one that didn’t cater to out-of-touch or corporate-influenced critics?
What if that platform worked more like Facebook, Instagram or ‘the artist formally known as Twitter’?
My main two hang-ups were a) that I wasn’t in tech, as I spent my years before and after college in assorted blue-collar industries, and b) the sheer volume of time and money needed to build this new platform.
After many years and endless conversations complaining to friends and family about how some movie I adored was once again review-bombed by critics, I finally caught my break in the face of tragedy.
My grandmother-in-law, whom we loved dearly, passed away two years ago and we inherited her home. We were then able to sell our brand-new house at the peak of the market, giving us the ability to invest in my vision.
My endlessly supportive wife of more than 11 years had to make a very difficult decision. She could step away from work for a while, spend time with the kids and enjoy a few new shiny things or give in to her obnoxious husband and endure years of building a social entertainment reviewing platform (while hemorrhaging truckloads of money in hopes that he had some slight idea what he’s doing.)
She somehow chose the latter.
Now, we arrive at the inception of Criticless, the subject of all my musings. Over a year has passed, and my dream has become not only a reality but better than I could have ever imagined.
The retro, neon theme engulfs you from the moment you engage, as an old box TV loads, flashing the words “down with the establishment.”
As you explore the main feed and read reviews from both friends and strangers alike, you’ll find a rating scale ranging from a bright red Heinous to a neon yellow Most Excellent.
You can even customize your backgrounds and banners, similar to the MySpace days, with curated designs from independent artists all over the world.
We want you to feel the “better times” of the ‘80s and ‘90s in a platform filled with as much character and personality as your favorite shows and movies.
Criticless is more than just a pretty face, though; it is an intuitive, free-speech social ecosystem that has all the features you would expect (such as groups and lists) and some you wouldn’t.
For example, our standout feature, “Friends With Benefits,” allows you to view a personalized score for every piece of entertainment, aggregated from the reviews of a list of users chosen by you. Then there is “The Water Cooler,” which is an ongoing discussion board on every title, where you can engage with other users outside of sharing reviews.
Our rating system also invites users to rate political bias, a feature that has been sorely missing from establishment review systems.
Most of all, Criticless is a movement for social & cultural change, emphasizing the opinions of regular people and their communities, and forcing the entertainment industry to acknowledge what the public really wants.
We hope you will join us because this is truly about your voice, your culture and your platform.
Joseph “Blaine” Andrews, born in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a dedicated family man and entrepreneur. He resides in Concord, NC, with his wife, Sydni, and their two children, Dylan and Clark. Before founding his current venture, Criticless, Blaine spent two successful years as the owner and operator of a small trucking company, followed by six years running his landscaping business. However, closer to his heart was his love for all types of entertainment and nerd culture. Hosting the comedy film review podcast, “Critically Aroused”, scratched that itch and served as perfect early market research for Criticless.