Thinking About My Rating System
- 5 Stars: Breaks new ground in some fashion.
- 4 Stars: The people involved know what they're doing and have done it. A success.
- 3 Stars: Flawed, but still enjoyable.
- 2 Stars: A misfire. Major flaws preclude enjoying the work as a whole.
- 1 Star: Egregiously misguided, even evil. Fire someone.
I initially told Adam that his “4 stars” is roughly equivalent to my idea of what “3 stars” should be. When he told me that I was a tough audience, it caused me to think more about where I was going with my rating system.
I consider 3 stars to be my default rating. That is, I expect every book / movie to earn at least a 3 star rating. I reserve 4 stars for things that are unusually good and 5 stars for entertainment that is truly defining.
The more I thought about, there really isn’t anything I want to remove from Adam’s rating system. I just think my system needs 6 stars instead of just 5. Or, put another way, I’d like to give things 0 stars instead of always giving them at least 1 star.
Here’s how I’d put my own rating system:
- 5 Stars: Defines an entire class of entertainment.
- 4 Stars: Breaks new ground in some fashion.
- 3 Stars: The people involved know what they're doing and have done it. A success.
- 2 Stars: Flawed, but still enjoyable.
- 1 Stars: A misfire. Major flaws preclude enjoying the work as a whole.
- 0 Stars: Egregiously misguided, even evil. Fire someone.
Essentially then, my rating systems splits the 5 star category into two sections: something new in an established genre versus creating an entirely new genre. For instance, Lord of the Rings would definitely be a 5 star work. Almost by definition though, few things are going to earn 5 stars.
I’m not sure that this is the last word in my rating system though. For instance, what do I do with books or movies that I personally don’t enjoy all that much but that I recognize as having true excellence? In all fairness, they should probably earn 3 or 4 stars but I don’t like giving a high rating to something that I didn’t personally enjoy and might not always recommend. I’m considering adding an enthusiasm ranking to each review: Enthusiastic, Meh (Neutral), and Don’t Bother (negative).
What do you think? Am I over thinking things here?