28 November 2012 9:37 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

There are few forms of journalism more entertaining than a really good bad review. But it has to be done right: here's how

Among the terrible reviews of Liz and Dick, this week – "stunningly cynical" (TV Guide), "unbearably hilarious" (Hollywood Reporter), "badly paced, cheap-looking and encrusted with a tinkly, preposterous soundtrack designed to make viewers go insane" (Huffington Post) – none was quite brutal enough to ascend to that category of criticism that sweeps the internet now and then, and warms the darkest recess of the heart: the magisterial takedown.

(David Wiegand in the San Francisco Chronicle gave it his best shot with "It's so terrible, you'll need to ice your face when it's over to ease the pain of wincing for two hours." but there wasn't quite enough artistry in his bitching.)

No. For a negative review really to fly, it must meet five broad criteria.

1. Have about it the »

- Emma Brockes

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