I saw a comment on a Youtube video of the revival version of "Company," in which the commenter said this production was "so self-indulgent."
Isn't theatre, at its core, self-indulgent? The whole process is really one big imagination game. The actors often do it as much for themselves as for the audience. Acting isn't a purely altruistic form of expression. It's fun. It's fulfilling. It's thrilling. It strokes the ego.
I suppose the commenter meant to imply that the director/designer/producer was self-indulgent in their creation of this production. But the cheap and easy accusation of "so self-indulgent" is weak on its face because it's theater-critic shorthand, parroted by the overeducated and underwhelmed. A five-word salvo fired off by someone who doesn't have the brains or balls to explain themselves in any way that could be critiqued or defended.
I'm in the mood today to call people on their bullshit. And that comment was. Organic, Grade-A.