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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Movie Critics

Do you remember Siskel and Ebert? They were two Chicago newspaper men who teamed up in 1975 to review movies. In 1986, they became the famous Siskel and Ebert Show. Roger Ebert even originated the iconic idea of “two thumbs up.” They would review movies and give their opinions. They tended to be quite vociferous and passionate, and quite often at odds with each other, in those opinions.

There are others now, like Rotten Tomatoes and Coming Soon, but Siskel and Ebert were the originals. They made it personal. They were two people who discussed the movie and told you why they liked or disliked it instead of just declaring a percentage. They put thought into it and analyzed both the good and the bad of each movie instead of just tallying up the audience reaction.

Do you have your own movie critic? Someone whose advice you take? I know a couple of people that if they recommend a show, I avoid it at all costs, and if they give a movie a thumbs down, I will put it at the top of my list of movies to watch. They are my polar opposite when it comes to viewing habits.

I have a few people though that I will immediately take their recommendations. We seem to be in sync with what we like. Because of these people, I’ve seen shows I would never have even contemplated in the first place, and I ended up enthralled.

One of my friends recently recommended a TV show to me. It’s called New Amsterdam. She explained that she doesn’t normally watch medical dramas, but this one was worth a shot.

I finally got around to trying it, and within the first 10 minutes, I was hooked. Great actors portraying great characters, good storylines, and a lot of heart.

What captivated me most was the catchphrase of the main character. Despite his elevated position within the hospital, no matter what kind of situation he showed up in, whether it was beneath his “status” or not, he uttered “How can I help?“

What an opening gambit for any situation. It’s not controlling or taking over but just “how can I help?“ It's open ended, caring, and helpful. It’s optimistic.

I love people who find solutions. People who say yes. "Yes, we can do that. It might not be easy, but we will find a way." It’s so much better than that flat, immediate, knee-jerk “No. It can’t be done.”

The terrible thing is that I know myself, and the immediate NO is something I'm familiar with. Seeing how the other phrase could change a situation or an interaction with others, really stopped me in my tracks. And of course, as luck would have it, I got an up-close example of it right away.

I was at the hospital yesterday, specifically outside the hospital, waiting on someone. The hospital had a policy. Only one person for each patient was allowed in the waiting room at a time. In all honesty, it didn’t really matter, but it seemed irrelevant at the time. Only 5 chairs of the 40-50 seats were occupied. When the obvious was pointed out and the question was tossed out there, “What’s the harm in allowing one extra person?” There was no answer except “it’s the rule.“ No thought, no logic, just a knee-jerk NO. What I wouldn’t have given for someone to walk up right then and say “How can I help?“

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Love that show too. Just for that phrase. I have tried to adopt that mindset myself.

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