I don't like doing "serious posts", I much prefer reviewing episodes and specials as - regardless of their quality - they're always fun to make. The episode reviews especially; it's always interesting to see the variety of different opinions. Fun fact: I'm considering adding fan reactions to future special reviews.
But at times, the serious posts are a necessary evil, if only for the fact that it gives me a platform to vent about something that really annoys me. And today, the subject of my venting is Sharon Miller. More specifically, all the crap that's thrown at her because of the terrible quality of series 13-16 (9-12 seem to be forgettable if anything).
This was the tweet that really "forced" me to do this. When asked about the best episodes from that era (I'd argue there are a couple of good ones in there), this was one of the replies:
Where do I even start with this? First off, why post a comment like that if you don't even like that era? I know I leave comments on YouTube videos on an episode I don't like, but it's mainly on new episodes and it's only one comment.@TheUnluckyTug I don't want to hear about S13-16. Those are bad seasons by the terrible Sharon Miller.— Dylan May (@DylanMa52709771) December 1, 2016
And I know that I often rant about Thomas & the Magic Railroad on Twitter, but that was the first ever film from a producer who should've known the show better than to produce a film like that from it. In fact, that's why I'm so hard on Britt's era as a whole: she had sole control of the show, meaning that every poor decision was on her head, and that's also why she left after the film's failure.
That brings me to my next point: Sharon Miller wasn't the only person working on the show by that point. There was a whole team of writers helping her, as well as a separate producer and other higher ups (who may have mandated that the rhyming, alliteration and repetition be put in because "the charts say that's what kids like). Ergo, it's not all her fault that the era was awful. If anything. It's rather impressive that her team got as many different situations out of that strict formula that they did.
Third, and this is the most important one that these man-children need to realise: Sharon Miller is a human being with feelings and emotions, just like the rest of us. Imagine being her, knowing that people actively hate you (not your stories, there's a big difference between the two!) just for writing a few bad episodes of a children's show about anthropomorphic locomotives. The emotional toll must be horrendous, and fans need to, for once, be a bit more empathetic towards each other.
To sum up, Sharon Miller was a proverbial cog in the machine, and fans should start aiming their vitriol towards the machine itself rather than someone who was doing what they were told.
That or they could just grow up and stop treating Thomas & Friends as though it's some sort of pinnacle of entertainment; acting like series 13-16 was the only era to house bad episodes. Whichever works for them.