Alan Sepinwall changed the nature of television criticism
Sepinwall started in college, writing recaps of NYPD Blue
. From there, her spent 14 years as a TV reviewer for the New Jersey Star-Ledger
, and an active blogger on blogspot
. In 2010 he left the Star-Ledger and joined hitfix.com
, essentially continuing his blog.
Whatever the medium, Sepinwall is best know for mixing detailed episode recaps with smart, witty observations and deconstructions. His preference is for dense, hour-long dramas such as Friday Night Lights
, Breaking Bad
and Freaks and Geeks
, and his treatment of all five seasons of The Wire is not to be missed (season one
). But he also puts half-hour comedies under the microscope, finding great depth in the The Office
, How I Met Your Mother
, among others.
And one can not mention Sepinwall without mentioning Chuck
, a show that faced cancellation until Sepinwall took up the cause
and started a fan-based "Save the Show" campaign -- a campaigned credited by Ben Silvermann
with, in fact, saving the show.
Sepinwall is quick to point out
he didn't really invent this style of TV criticism, and is instead following in the footsteps of Usenet recaps like Tim Lynch's Star Trek reviews
. He also cites the well know Television Without Pity
as one of his favorites, a clear influence. But the depth and breadth of his output is unparalleled, and he stands as "an inspiration to TV critics throughout the country."