I’ve already written on this here blog about my dislike for listicles. Now I wanna talk about Top Tens.
Though ‘top’ is about as authoritative as ‘best’ where the internet is concerned, there is some value to be gleaned from the notion of a canon, or at least critically acclaimed examples of things like genre, tone, craft, maybe even run times, etc. But there’s also something about calling anything ‘top’ that makes me a little uncomfortable – ‘top’ according to what criteria, exactly?
In the shop we used to have a ‘Top Ten’ list of new release titles which, essentially, was just a list of what had been renting best from our new release board. The reason we put it up for so many years was because people wanted it – some sort of narrowing down of the expansive list of what’s otherwise only curated as ‘new’.
Perhaps what was most frustrating about those lists is that they in no way reflected the opinions or qualitative tastes of the staff at Flicks. So why, when in an internet age, you could easily find a list of what’s popular, would we bother printing up such a beast on a weekly basis? Won’t someone think of the trees! (not to mention the eyes and minds of those renting and watching what’s non-critically popular enough to make its way into the top ten …)
And so, we did away with it. No more Top Ten lists from Flicks.
But what, people wanted to know, should they rent?!
Well, seeing as there’s rarely a 10: 1 customer to staff ratio in the store, we think it’s as easy, and certainly better, for us to just tell you what’s good from the new releases. AND, as best we think it might align with your own tastes.
We’re here, we’re human and we can TALK!
So that’s it. That’s why we don’t do a weekly new release ‘Top Ten’ any more. Instead, we’ve got around 600 staff recommended titles on display next to the new release board, one or two friendly humans on hand to let you know that The Water Diviner is crap and that John Wick is faaarking great, as well as a few critically curated genre lists to hand for those who really can’t get away from Buzzfeed culture.
It’s not a Netflix algorithm built on wanting you to rent specific titles for financial reasons. Nope, it’s just two guys named Dave, me (Tara) and Becca, here to talk you out of taking Man Up home and into renting Rosewater instead.
Also, we have around 19,000 movies – there’s more than ten that are tops.