Critic Confessions: Saying Goodbye to Entertainment Weekly

No weekend is complete without the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly in my mailbox.

Magazine subscriptions come and go at Chez Toto. Not EW. I can’t remember when I first subscribed to the magazine. It must be at least 15 years ago. Maybe more?

I only know I gifted a separate subscription to my Father one Christmas and paid for every renewal until his passing five years ago.

He loved it just like I did.

Covering Entertainment

Every EW cover felt special, almost like an event unto itself. EW’s ability to track the Hollywood universe kept me up to speed, particularly where my passions couldn’t keep up. I’ve never bought a rap album, for example. I always knew the genre’s key players thanks to EW.

So why am I planning to let my subscription lapse? It’s complicated.

EW just isn’t as mandatory as it used to be. The Web gives me all the Hollywood content I could ever read, and then some. That’s not the magazine’s fault. It’s just reality. But like too many old media institutions the print EW never quite caught up with modern times.

Oh, it tried.

The magazine’s layout got hipper, trendier. It didn’t help. In fact, it just seemed a little sad (and harder to read). So, too, is its dependence on the coolest new shows. The magazine is more often like a fanboy journal. There’s already enough content like that across the web.

It’s like when the Academy Awards ceremony trots out the Flavor of the Month to present an award. It’s a desperate plea for Millennial attention.

Same As It Ever Was

The EW stories themselves started to bore me. Set visit features felt more promotional than insightful. Fawning celebrity profiles? Heck, you could find them in any ol’ magazine. Where were the cutting edge stories of yore, like that fascinating look into the mind and career of Mike Myers?

The modern EW is full of listicles, roundups and “nostalgia” photo shoots from shows that just left the air.

The magazine’s movie reviews also lost me over time. I grew to appreciate regular critic Owen Gleiberman’s take on Hollywood even if our politics clashed. He’s since moved on to Variety, and I’ve never grown attached to his replacements.

EW’s political bias clearly factored into my decision.

The magazine isn’t as overtly liberal as some Hollywood publications. Outlets like Deadline.com, TheWrap.com and The Hollywood Reporter might as well have the DNC Donkey stamped on their mastheads.

It’s a sad sign of the times.

FAST FACT: Time Inc. recently announced it would cut the number of Entertainment Weekly issues each year by four to attract advertisers.

EW never sank to those levels, thank goodness. The bias was still there. The Bullseye section which ends each issue occasionally mocks GOP-friendly targets. The rare, successful conservative film, “2016: Obama’s America” was deemed racist in its pages. (Ironically by Gleiberman himself)

Bias by omission worked its way into most issues. Would EW fact check Jimmy Kimmel if he went on a pro-Second Amendment crusade?

The blossoming Christian film genre doesn’t get much EW love. And, of course, many of the story angles featured here at HiT and other right-leaning outlets like The Daily Caller and The Federalist get ignored.

Does the magazine have any conservative contributors? Editors? Interns?

Harvey Who?

The latest edition of EW showed both signs of the magazine at its best … and worst. The Halloween-themed issue revisited classic fare like “Shaun of the Dead,” letting the films’ creative teams recall their origins. You won’t find that on most blogs.

Yet the issue also tackled the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the most dispiriting way possible. The angle? How can audiences look at Weinstein-produced films the same way again?


Isn’t the bigger, far more important picture how the industry can recover from the scandal? Or how many other Weinsteins are still out there? Maybe focus on how so many stars took days to respond, and why were they silent so long when everyone seemed to know Weinstein was up to despicable acts.

What about the fact that Hollywood has been lecturing America for years while ignoring a cancer in its system? Or how NBC passed on the blockbuster Weinstein story stirred up by Ronan Farrow, son of Mia Farrow?

Nope. Not EW.

The biggest Hollywood story in ages is treated (so far) like an “Avatar” franchise update. We got a two-page spread that covered the basics but added little to the conversation. It goes without saying that an outlet covering Hollywood so intensely should have known Weinstein was up to no good.

Naturally, the article saw fit to draw Fox News and President Donald Trump into the fray. That made covering Weinstein’s fall more palatable, perhaps?

Bias Won’t Take a Knee

A recent EW feature touched on celebrities like David Duchovny adopting the #TakeAKnee protest, an offshoot of the NFL imbroglio.

The article gave far-left comic Chelsea Handler, a raging hypocrite, the last word. The story also downplayed how Colin Kaepernick’s protest hurt NFL ratings (and could do the same for select TV shows).

How hard is it to fire up Google and find this nugget?

After surveying 9,200 fans, researchers found that “national anthem protests were the top reason (emphasis added) that NFL fans watched fewer games last season.” The protests were never popular. A September 2016 Reuters poll indicated that a super-majority of 72 percent of Americans believed the protests, led by Colin Kaepernick, were “unpatriotic,” but evidence that his protest had an impact on ratings was spotty, at best. Now that’s changed.

All of the above means an end of an era in my home. EW won’t be there to greet me each Saturday, brimming with stories I can’t wait to read. I’d rather visit The Federalist, Acculturated or The Daily Wire to balance the hard-left Hollywood coverage across the media.

Goodbye, EW, and thanks for the memories.


  1. I hate to admit it, but I never really enjoyed EW all that much, even though back in the Nineties, I could never help to read the new copy every time it arrived at the library. When it came to in-depth entertainment journalism and criticism, itt always seemed to pale next to Premiere and Movieline (I loved the late Stephen Rebello’s “Bad Movies We Love” column, which was very much ahead of its time and prefigured many a YouTube channel).

  2. The political bent is really annoying to me. I wish they could keep it out. But, alas, politics is everywhere. If I didn’t have a long term subscription gotten from trading in coupons I’d ditch it. As it is I’m not paying for it so it arrives.

  3. FWIW, I am having difficulty getting your pages to render correctly in Chrome and Chrome on my phone. In regular chrome, the only way to page down is by using the scroll column at the far right of the screen, but sometimes it doesn’t exist, no matter how many times I reload the page. On my Android, an ad popped up over the article and I couldn’t x it out or move it. Very frustrating.

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