The New Lord Of The Rings Series Has Stopped User Reviews
The internet can be a fickle place where people attempt to ruin a good thing, and Amazon decided to pull reviews for the new Lord of the Rings series due to that.
Sometimes fandoms can feel like a fickle group. While their passion for projects and properties can spur enough interest and desire for films or tv shows to be greenlit, that passion can also be their undoing. At its core, Hollywood is an industry of artful expression and interpretation. Any time an adaptation from a book, comic, or older project hits the rumor mill, the fans will come out of the woodwork to voice their opinion. For some fandoms, that can mean toxic outpourings or trolls looking to ruin the fun for everyone else. While the Marvel and Star Wars franchises are some of the most prominent to experience passionate fanbases, others like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings see their fair share. After Marvel’s She-Hulk series saw a bevy of trolls review bombing their series, Amazon Prime is taking steps to protect their newest project from the same treatment.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Prime is protecting its massive financial investment by taking the unusual step of turning off the user rating option for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. While this move seems unorthodox, it does feel like the only way to protect a series Amazon spent hundreds of millions of dollars bringing to the screen. Just a few weeks after Marvel’s newest series was review bombed and taken the audience score to a dismal 37%, The Rings of Power found itself in similar waters. Amazon is putting all reviews through a 72-hour hold to ensure they are valid reviews. The question this arises, though, is what is considered a valid review. And does this open the door for services to suspend reviews and only allow positive reviews in the future? Does that invalidate the review process altogether?
Review bombing isn’t new by any means. As a matter of fact, it is becoming more and more common as technology makes reviewing projects easier. Marvel has seen The Eternals, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk all get review bombed in recent years. Star Wars: The Last Jedi fell victim to the process as the sequel trilogy continued to make decisions die-hard fans couldn’t deal with. And 2016’s Ghostbusters remake saw a massive review bomb campaign that all but tanked the film. The process isn’t exclusive to TV or film, as businesses, books, video games, and even a personal ETSY shop can all be victims of bored trolls with nothing better to do than inundating a product they hate with negative reviews. In the case of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, their protective covering is the next step in defense.
While these fans undoubtedly believe they are protecting their beloved characters and storylines, the truth is that they are unintentionally taking us back to a time when reviews weren’t even available before you watch a film or a tv series. Maybe that is a good thing. We can’t help but wonder what kind of reception many of these projects would have gotten if subjective reviews didn’t make up viewers’ minds before they even turned on the first episode. For Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, Amazon has a half-billion-dollar project to protect, and it started by stopping the bleeding.