Actually, The Wheel of Time only really failed on being unnecessarily descriptive. Jordan was quite good at conveying characters' personalities by showing rather than telling.
I feel confident in asserting that there are virtually no readers, anywhere, who prefer being told about a character's personality, rather than being shown it.
It is funny we have all the advice about good writing and I have taken up some older work and now wheel of time, it is so filled with every cliche on what weare advised not to do that I wonder if the acceptance of English is based purely on the level of book sales
When telling a story, it is better to demonstrate that something has a particular attribute, rather than simply stating that it has that attribute. (Why is it better? I'll get into that below.)
OK, you can all beat me up now.
Overall, though, unless you have Douglas Adams' talent for humor, you're probably better off showing.
Doesn't Fitzgerald start The Great Gatsby with a fair amount of telling, and continue it throughout?
Man, maybe that's why I always found The Great Gatsby to be so boring
I know a lot of people who like Fitzgerald. Really, this just underscores that "show don't tell" is more reflective of personal tastes than anything and should be treated as such. Instead it is handed down as though it is always the correct advice, regardless of context. It is an easy statement for the reviewer to make, but if it is just thrown about without analysis, that should be taken as evidence the reviewer does not know what he is doing.
Ultimately, it's about whatever you can get away with, but for a new writer, you have no idea what you can get away with yet; and so unless you have the personal expertise to know when to show and when to tell, you're better off erring on the side of showing.