Shafted!: The Monkees
Despite the historically awful reviews from critics, I took the kids to see The Last Airbender - they loved it. I kept waiting for it to be horrible; instead, it was entertaining throughout, akin to something like GI Joe or The Transformers. It certainly didn't deserve the universal derision of movie critics - were they expecting Citizen Kane?
Anyway, it got me thinking about other pop culture things from years past that had also been unjustly criticized, and my mind immediately went to the Monkees. They were the critics' favorite punching bag, and even worse, they were mocked by other supposedly credible artists. For instance, The Byrds' "So You Wan to Be a Rock and Roll Star" was a jab at the prefabricated band, aimed directly at the Monkees.
Mike Nesmith has stated: "The press went into a full-scale war against us, talking about how 'The Monkees are four guys who have no credits, no credibility whatsoever and have been trying to trick us into believing they are a rock band.'"
The irony is that The Beatles, the greatest, most talented and influential band in history, actually liked The Monkees. Indeed, there was a lot to like about them: Mickey Dolenz was an amazing singer, they did contribute to their recordings, they were innovative (i.e. Dolenz was the first to use the moog in a rock song), they did play their instruments on tour, etc., etc. Sure, they didn't always write their own music, but so what? Either did Sinatra or Elvis.
The Take Home Message: Critics are idiots. It's astonishing that we still listen to their opinions when they've demonstrated time and again their irrelevancy.