200 Reviews Extravaganza, Part 1


With two hundred reviews under our belt,1 it’s time to look back at what we’ve accomplished and reveal some things about ourselves. There are many things readers of Grapefruit would like to know.2 The most common is “Who is this shady character called Tom Charman?” We know so little about him, the most prolific reviewer on Grapefruit. Where does he come from? Who does he serve and who does he trust?

I’ve seen many a crime type show in my time and I’m able to deduce a few key characteristics of this enigmatic figure from his reviews.

Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra | Horses in the Sky

He is vengeful. While Tom is indeed the most active reviewer on Grapefruit, his reign is by no means unchallenged. Tom has long let the realm of music reviews grow wild under the eclectic tastes of Mr Coulthurst. He informed us about a wide variety of bands, ranging from ‘alternate’ all the way to ‘independent’. Over time he grew confident: despite having reviewed only one percent of his music collection, Mr Coulthurst sought to disturb the status quo and impose his liberal commie pinko views by bringing down Grapefruit. He attempted to expose a flaw in the site by reviewing an album with a long name. A very long name. Longer than Grapefruit could handle! Thanks to emergency coding by Tom, this disaster was avoided. Such defiance would not be tolerated. Revenge is a dish best served cold so Tom bided his time. Two months later Tom struck back, writing a music review…

Triple J’s Hottest 100 Volume 12

He likes a challenge. Reviewing the entire 100 songs of Triple J’s hottest 100 volume 12 was an ambitious feat. He came close, if you count getting to within 60 songs as close. I don’t. Statistically, he only managed 40%, which is a fail. He might be able to wheedle a sup3 from his lecturer though.

Despite this massive failure in this review by Tom, it manages to be the longest one on Grapefruit. So long, that it’s rumoured to be bottomless. Who here has gazed into this abyss and returned unchanged? What secrets does it hold? Why does it have a panda as its main picture? Does Tom belong to the WWF? Does he just like pandas? Or does he love pandas?

The Return of the King

He likes danger. His stance on The Return of the King as an average film angered the fanboys and girls and led to a Grapefruit record of 55 comments. He made polemical claims that Peter Jackson uses too much slow motion and Aragorn did not get the character development that was his by birthright. He also excuses the absence of the Scouring of the Shire! Such a view is so blatantly ridiculous that it must be staged in an attempt to provoke the Lord of the Rings faithful into a savage commenting frenzy.

Alias | Mockingbird

He has no manners. He breaks up with someone in an open letter on Grapefruit. Very embarrassing for all concerned. I didn’t wish to snoop deeply into private affairs — even when they spill out in public — but it sounds like they were into threesomes and S&M. I remember reading about a Rachel who was brought in to spice up the relationship and some violent behaviours.

Since I know you want to know though, I feel that I am duty bound to satisfy your curiousity by reading this letter. For your sake. You’ve forced me. Hmmm. I was wrong about this letter. This girl Tom picked up on the rebound sounds violent. Tom felt that the best way to deter this stalker was by posting this public break up in the hope that she would come to her senses and leave him alone.

He has a dream that one day boobies will be part of the plot. This almost happened in Alias but a high level of plot relevant boobies could not be suspended indefinitely. There was the inevitable sagging of the plausibility. There was foreshadowing in Angel season 4 about the nature of Cordelia’s pair but Joss fumbled it. Let’s hope that someday, somewhere, someone will look at a pair of breasts and think “I could make a movie about these two”.

I ♥ Huckabees

He is on the Search. The search for the perfect movie. He mentions, in several reviews, the words ‘near-perfect’. This movie was close; so close that he said how much he hearts it and wants to marry it. This review is also marks a PB for Tom: ten footnotes. Tom hasn’t hit double figures again since then but recent 8 footnote reviews indicate that his best form may still be ahead of him. And so he carries on his search; for the perfect movie and more footnotes.4

Buffy the Vampire Slayer | Conversations with Dead People

He’s ruthless. He’s not afraid to cut someone off5 for trivial, unjust, incomprehensible reasons and install a puppet reviewer. An articulate puppet reviewer who thoughtfully explores the decline of the noble art of vampirism in Sunnydale while revealing massive spoilers about the rest of the season.6

This one-time reviewing stooge of Tom’s has trouble understanding the nature of the First. Quite simply it’s the biggest bad guy of all time.7 It’s like the Emperor Palpatine, Sauron and robotic Hitler all mushed into one ethereal form that can shapeshift and has cultist and ubervamp followers. Its motives, like that of the gods, can not be analysed. Its ways are mysterious. If it wishes to sit on its fat arse for the whole season then it does so.

So in conclusion, while maintaining a facade of listening to the popular opinion about possible name changes, Tom’s grip on Grapefruit remains iron. The website changes to his will. Reviewers come into and fall out of favour, and are never heard of again. I think I can safely say that he’ll be around for the next two hundred reviews.

Hungry for more nostalgia? Continue to part two.

  1. We wanted to buy something for our readers as a thankyou but although 60 years of marriage is diamond and 1 million albums sold is platinum, there seems to be no accepted present for two hundred reviews so please enjoy this special look at Grapefruit’s history.
  2. For example: Isn’t the plural of grapefruit ‘grapefruit’? Was King Jackson really cancelled because of copyright infringement? At one every 30 seconds since September 2003 I’m owed 2.6 million Andy C episodes. Where are they? Why is there an ‘s’ in the url but not in the title of the website? Was King Jackson cancelled because the lead animator was too handsome?
  3. A sup is an abbreviation of the phrase ‘sucking up’ to the lecturer so you’ll get extra marks.
  4. And movies with breasts in them, but I exposed Tom’s fascination adequately in the previous paragraph so I won’t keep bringing them up.
  5. Someone who is a brave soul reluctantly took up the onerous burden of reviewing season 7 of Buffy.
  6. Not that anyone really cared about the rest of the season. Just one hellishly long slow bandaid removal all season.
  7. But not the devil. Buffy needed to go out on a high by defeating her biggest foe ever. She has already killed a god and sacrificed herself twice. It’s hard to top.

3 Responses to “200 Reviews Extravaganza, Part 1”

  1. 200 hundred reviews? I had no idea we were so prolific.

  2. It’s little mistakes like that that evade the seasoned proofreader’s eye.

  3. I see the misunderstanding here. A hundred review is defined (in the respectable world of reviewers) as being worth 100 standard reviews. A standard review is worth one Jim Schembri review. So we have written 200 reviews, each of which is classified as a hundred review. There is a movement within the reviewing community to rename hundred reviews as hectoreviews