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J.J. Abrams - Getty
Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Netflix

A rare attempt to defend J.J. Abrams doesn’t go according to plan

Does he really have what it takes to keep up with the greats?

J.J. Abrams career has seen some major highs and lows. He’s best known for his work on films like the Star Trek reboots, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and television shows like Fringe, Alias, and Lost, all of which he created.

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His work in Star Wars in particular, gave Abrams a bad name among filmgoers and the years since Rise of Skywalker‘s release have seen his popularity plummet. One of his many mid-level supporters is working to turn that around, via a recent post to Reddit’s movies sub, by pointing out the director and producer’s finer moments.

The post from Alive-Ad-4164 has gotten plenty of attention, but likely not in the way they were hoping. They point out, in their original statement, that they think “J.J. Abrams gets way too much hate.” and argue that while he overall deserves the flak he gets for the Star Wars sequel trilogy, his library of work is “pretty watchable [in] terms of repeat viewings.” They list a few standouts, like Super 8 and the first Chris Pine-helmed Star Trek flick and press that, while he’s by no means the best director in Hollywood, “some people go way overboard in terms of criticism of his work.”

The response to Alive-Ad-4164’s sentiment was immediate and less-than positive. Their intent, in making the post, was clearly to locate some like-minded Abrams appreciators, but instead they stirred up a collection of well-spoken detractors who jumped at the opportunity to point out Abrams’ many flaws.

The top comment explains it best, pointing out that, while “Felicity, Alias and Lost were all bangers (from a media standpoint),” Abrams continued efforts to “catch lightning twice” soured viewers. His attempts to inject the same style and thus popularity into a range of follow-up projects fell utterly flat, and forced fans to reckon with Abrams’ “complete lack of originality.”

Other commenters largely agreed, dubbing Abrams the epitome of “all style, no substance.” His work is solid, but unoriginal, and often fails to reach the heights of the few original projects he’s had a hand in. His inability to stick the landing was also a frequent target of pushback, as people noted—with clear examples like Lost and The Rise of Skywalker at their backs—that “JJ can set things up, [but] he can’t pay them off to save his life.”

The vast majority of people don’t seem to harbor much hate for Abrams, but they certainly aren’t fans. His work just doesn’t boast the consistency necessary to make fans out of his viewers, and the thread from Alive-Ad-4164 proves it.

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Nahila Bonfiglio
Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.