Saturday, January 23, 2010

Updated Scoring Guidelines

I looked back at the scoring guidelines I wrote a while back and I'll admit it. They are bullshit. Scores can't be assigned to episodes simply because of all the factors involved, and I barely have any real reasons for the scores I provide. I score episodes for the novelty of putting a score on something. Everyone loves organized numbers, so I write them. Why IGN, IFmagazine, TWOP, and AVclub assign grades and scores is anyone's guess.

The base for my scores are 8.5/10. It's a nice flat number that isn't in the 7 range which IMO is kind of low. From there it's arbitrary. I don't weigh the scores based on definite factors such as acting or directing, and tabulate the score. Most of the time, I make up a random score based on my general impression of the episode and how I rate other episodes. In recent months, I have tried to keep the scoring stable with fewer fluctuations. If you read my earlier reviews, my scores had a larger range. These days, my scores will go from 8.5 to 9.5. Anything outside of that is unusual. Why? No reason really.

A big part of my scoring is the intent of the show. I don't expect NCIS to be layered and complex like Mad Men. I do expect NCIS to be funny with a good investigation. If a show has a solid concept like a chasing serial killers, etc (Criminal Minds) and sets out to be dark and scary, that's what I'll expect. Therefore, a 9.2 for Mad Men is not the same as 9.2 for Criminal Minds. That's right, 9.2 does not equal 9.2.

If the paragraphs above don't make sense to you, don't feel alone. They don't make sense to me either. Take the scores with a grain of salt, watch the episode, read reviews, and decide for yourself.


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