Friday, 4 February 2011

State of the Blog: stars, memes, treatment, poll, etc.

Friday, 4 February 2011

For any new readers, State Of The Blog is a recurring feature of Dan's Media Digest where I basically update everyone on things relating to the blog. It's nothing more complex than that. So if you like reading some inside thoughts and updates about what's happening at DMD, or what I'm planning for the future, this should be right up your alley. If you don't, you may as well click "back" on your browser right now. It's also an informal place where you can ask questions or start discussions on anything you like, provided it's vaguely entertainment-related.

Seein' stars!

I occasionally get asked what my star ratings mean, to me. So, here's the "key" of each star's definition, as I see it:

½ - dreadful (i.e impossible to imagine anyone finding value)
1 - very bad (i.e mostly poor, with a few competent moments)
1 ½ - bad (i.e not good, but contains worthwhile elements)
2 - average (i.e reasonably entertaining but missed clear opportunities)
2 ½ - good (i.e solid work, enjoyable but with problems)
3 - very good (i.e entertaining and involving, with caveats)
3 ½ - great (i.e mostly excellent, but with nitpicks)
4 - excellent (i.e. outstanding on most levels, harsh to pick fault)
Hopefully that elaborates the mystic art of assigning stars to reviews, which is admittedly tricky in the context of TV, because you're effectively rating "chapters of a book" most of the time. BTW, I reserve the right to deliver a ZERO star rating, but it's never happened... yet. One day I'll be forced to break the glass and use one, I'm sure.

But the dreaded "all-grey" star rating does exist. Behold:

See? It's not just a tale horny teenagers tell their friends around campfires. I guess my natural taste means I happen to avoid all the TV drama that would deserve one.


What are your thoughts on the irregular "Jump the Blast" meme, which has been running throughout January? It's getting to the point where I'm considering its future after a month's trial. I don't expect comments on those posts, but nobody's submitting their own finds, and I'm unsure if people enjoy this meme. So, do you?

Good treatment, bad treatment

Also, its great news that In Treatment season 2 is finally being shown in the UK. Unfortunately, it's moved from Sky Arts (which I have) to Sky Atlantic (which I don't), so I'm still going to have to wait for the DVD. However, to stay positive, because In Treatment's going to premiere on Sky Atlantic from April, that seems to have hurried the DVD release to 27 June. It'll be one of my summer box-sets this year! It's still a real pain the UK's so far behind with this show, though -- as HBO recently finished season 3 in the US.

OWF - Sky's Best Blog?

You may remember awhile back I asked everyone to vote for Obsessed With Film in a poll run by Total Film magazine. Unfortunately, said poll was vandalized by unfair voting, so it was closed amidst a shitstorm of bitter commenting. Oh dear. Fortunately, Sky Movies have a similar poll, where OWF is one of the four nominees for Best Contributor-led Blog of 2010, and it's being handled in a more gentlemanly way.

The Sky poll actually closes today Sunday! When I last checked, OWF had overtaken its biggest rival Hey U Guys by about 200 votes and was on course to win! But it's changing all the time, so every single vote matters a great deal. I've been tweeting about this poll for the past few weeks, so thanks if you've already voted for OWF. But if you haven't, and you're on Facebook, please visit this page, find OWF under the "contributor-led" tab, and "like" us to effectively leave your vote.

As I've said before, this kind of award may seem trivial, but it can have an astonishing impact for the winning blog -- in terms of increased readership, which leads to ad revenue, which leads to sponsorship, which can lead to the contributors getting paid for their efforts. You can effectively help jump-start a fledgling online business in less than the 15 seconds it takes to vote? Isn't that worth it? I think so.

Finally, folks!

I've struggled to find time to watch the remaining five episodes of Caprica, ready for bite-sized reviews to round that series off, but I now only have 3 to go. Sorry it's taking so long, but I have to prioritize things here -- and a defunct sci-fi drama most people hated doesn't rank highly on my agenda!

That's it! Well, beyond a quick mention that my "will you be watching Sky Atlantic?" poll closes today at 5pm GMT. Leave a comment below, if you'd like.