Thursday, 7 August 2014

More on stars!

'Stars' - as you say - have become shorthand in making a judgement. They are the 'text' version of a review. 

What do you make of the 7-star rating system? IMO, whilst it offers the reviewer greater granularity, until there is commonality across 'star ratings' the significance is lost on both audience and performer. 

Thank you for asking. In general, I regard the star rating system as an expression of the patriarchal obsession with order, reducing the quality of a work into a mathematically ordained hierarchy. It is a useful tool for the writer, to make a commitment to placing the value of a work for them, but does not really help potential audiences. Every three star show I have seen is worth seeing, but three stars is seen as not good enough in the Fringe...

If the five star system is the equivalent of a boring white male in his thirties dishing out opinions, the seven star system is like the same guy growing dreadlocks: ostentatious, shallow and a sad cry for attention. It destroys what is of worth in the star rating system by debasing the value of a five star show...

It's interesting to see that already, companies are beaming on social media about their 4/5* reviews but I suspect from their euphoric rhetoric many don't realise these are on a 7-star scale. 

Don't realise? That is rather generous. I think they are hoping their audiences don't know, more like. Frankly, I wish they'd quote my comments -- those companies that do get my respect. I spent a lot of time doing that sentence with all alliteration, so please use it. 

Moreover, if they're trying to sell the show for a life after the Fringe, they'll be promulgating their 4/5* review to a venue/audience totally unaware that it's come from a 7-star system thus duping - both unintentionally and intentionally - the future recipients. I think the introduction of a 7-star system was a bold and welcome move, but does anyone bother about the consequences?

Thanks again, Patrina Finch, for the questions! I am going to use a rating system based on the Fibonacci Sequence next year... two one stars and a scale that goes to infinity. 

While I am rating, Broadway Baby are giving too many five stars again. I try to defend them, say they are necessary, then they pull the same stupid trick. I would like to remind BB that I offer classes in critical writing, and you might want to come along to a few. 

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