"PETER FARRELL, the Portland Oregonian's TV columnist from 1979 to 2004 has died at the age of 79."
I only bring him up because I had a Life with Lucy battle with him in 1986. (Just to remind: this was BEFORE email, so it was through the regular mail). His review of the first "Life with Lucy" was no rave but he did point out 3 things she did well: pointing to the box with the casserole, dancing to Top Jimmy and tasting her own health drink concoction. His only real complaint was the it was all so "old hat" (yes I suppose, but wasn't that what people expected?) He prefaced this review by saying he's "never really been a Lucille Ball fan". (then I say "find another line of work"!!).
It wasn't until after the national reviews came out, the ones that hated the show and Lucy herself so fiercely and cruelly, that Farrell started slamming the show in his column (apparently without viewing any more episodes). I wrote him a letter, chastising him for "changing his mind" about the show and not giving Lucy a chance by viewing additional episodes. I pointed out that his initial review wasn't all that bad. He wrote me back in a most unpleasant and curt tone. Can't remember what he said but something along the lines of "butt OUT. What the hell do YOU know?"!!
This same thing happened with "Mame" reviews. I collected every local paper reviews I could find and most of them were fair-to-pretty good; in addition to Variety's qualified thumbs-up. It wasn't until the national magazines came out ("Time", in particular) that "Mame"-bashing became OK. This included our local movie reviewer, whose initial review was kind to the movie and Lucy. (This reviewer was much more into things like "The Exorcist" and later "Star Wars", so "Mame" was not his cup of tea to begin with.) And then at the end of the year, he named "Mame" as one of the 10 worst movies of 1974.