As a child my mother made it a point to read to us every night and then we got to read a book on our own before lights out. This fostered in me a love of books and reading that persists to this day. As a teenager I consumed stories within the genres I loved but as an adult have found my borders with books expanding.
Growing up we weren’t tv people. We had a television but we didn’t gather around and watch shows weekly like families do today. In the last couple years I’ve found the television a source of storytelling I’d previously not been keyed into. I’ve already found my tastes in this matter shifting and changing as I grow as a woman.
My family has adored movies for as long as I can remember. This love was fostered by my mother who loves action and adventure movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars and old black and white classics like The Thin Man and Angels Have Wings. I came to love movies in direct proportion to my love of storytelling. This happened in my late teens when I got my first job. I went with my parents to see varied fare and it developed from there (see my favorite movies post: My Love Affair with Movies).
As I seek to write my own story with my own characters on their own personal journeys I found myself evaluating the storytelling available to me. In doing this, as a way to strengthen my own skills, I found myself developing an easy system to rate these streams of media for my own benefit. Use my system as a gauge to compare and contrast with other movies, books and tv shows for your own benefit.
I use a five star system and readily distinguishable graphics for each media type.
One star means the book, movie or tv show fails on all levels. It isn’t worth the money cost to produce it or even the time to read/watch it, even if you outlay no money to do so. There are no characters that intrigue or plot that makes you wonder. Dialogue is so heavy handed or inane that you wonder if this isn’t some odd parody nightmare. It’s just plain wrong.
Two star means the book, movie or tv show has quite a few problems needing to be addressed. There is promise either in the characters or premise; enough to spend the time reading/watching it if you have time and an inclination. I enjoy two star media because there is so much to learn from the mishandled work. If you chose to read/watch this do so knowing there are things that will irritate you enough to throw things.
Three star means the media is on the cusp, equal between problems and potential. There is value in spending your hard-earned cash on a book, or movie or spending time in your DVR recording space for a tv show. It just needs tweaking somewhere for the media to be it’s best. Many times these are the media that are good if you manage your expectations…not quite fluff but not a classic either.
Four star means the story is solid and enjoyable with few if any problems but I’m not so blown away to want to explore the book, movie or tv show again. The characters ensnare you enough to go on their journey with them. The plot is put together well. Perhaps it’s an originality issue or the story didn’t elevate it to the point I don’t care about subject matter. Still it’s good enough that everyone should read or watch it.
Five star means anyone of any taste would/should love this book, movie or tv show. Not only are the characters engaging and relatable but the plot takes you on a personal journey that will inspire your life in some small way. You’ll want to get your own copy of this media so you can revisit these characters and these places time and gain.
There are other systems out there but I like how cut and dried five star works. These are my opinions and I always value feedback on anything I rate. I’d love to know what you think on your favorite book, movie or television series so feel free to comment away.