Criticism is a serious intellectual act. It tries to evaluate serious works of art and to place them in the context of what has been done before in that medium or by that artist. This doesn’t mean that critics must limit themselves to work that aims high; they may select some commercial product like L.A. Law to make a point about American society and values. But on the whole they don’t want to waste their time on peddlers. They see themselves as scholars, and what interests them is the play of ideas in their field.