It’s interesting to watch SU with my husband. Since he’s not in the fandom (or any fandom for that matter), talking to him I get the perspective of a casual viewer.
He told me recently that he hasn’t been enjoying the show as much lately because it seems like “it’s mostly filler episodes” with not much going on to advance the plot. Keep in mind that he said that with no prompting from me, nor does he know anything about the SU critical trend.
It just goes to show that this SU critical stuff doesn’t come from nowhere. Even casual viewers are noticing this stuff.