Monday, March 20, 2017

Netflix Review Changes: A Big Deal?

For a long time, Netflix had a five star rating system. If you thought it was very good, a five or four will be doable. A three would fit as decent. Two was a cautionary rating, and one was unwatchable or very poor quality. Within this past week, the digital company that has thousands of movies and televisions shows has changed the format to a thumbs up and thumbs down format. Their vice president of product went on to say it was in the planning stages and given a test run. Ultimately, he would say that it was old news with the five star rating system.

Even though I never used the rating system for a short time on Netflix, my impression was everybody liked everything. It seemed like most of the stuff in the selections were very well liked or had a good reception. Unlike most people, I don't see the fuss. The five star system is not really a strong way to rate things unless you go half a star with whatever stars you think is worth putting up. Really, the only complaint I would have with the thumbs thing is whether people thought something was okay but wasn't awful. There's no middle ground. Personally, I would rather see a rating between one and ten with the ability to have a zero score and half star ratings.

I really wonder if Netflix was still in the beta test run and rushed it, though. For anyone living under a rock, there was a new stand up special this month featuring comedian Amy Schumer as part of an effort to get more stand ups to put their work on a streaming service. One of those examples is Dave Chappelle, which he has two specials coming out March 21st. For Schumer, her special was panned. When I mean panned, I mean very severe one star ratings. Adding more fuel to the fire was her going after alt-right people which she blames for the poor ratings. I have no doubt that while Netflix was probably planning to phase out their five star system, this seems like a big rush to fix any damage.

It's not alt-right people to fully. A lot of people, regardless of political orientation, don't like Schumer. Then again, most of the big end comedians that have shows on Comedy Central are not special. There are exceptions like Chappelle, but when you have idiots like her and Daniel Tosh, who is really unfunny, they wonder why there's an audience that doesn't laugh outside of the cable realm. Her TV show wasn't horrible, but it wasn't must see cable television. She's become a loud, fat, nut job ever since the summer of 2015 when a shooter killed a few people in a movie theater while they watched her film Trainwreck. A lot of her jokes fall flat to many. It's the same routine every time. There's accusations of her stealing jokes from other comedians, dead or alive. If she didn't go into this political tirade and rant, I really believe that Netflix wouldn't hurry with the thumbs up system in a damage controlling attempt despite the panning.

Controversy aside, is it the end of the world they changed their ratings system? No. It was flawed, and I really don't feel like people were sincere in their ratings. Other than Schumer's whining about how she was treated, it shouldn't be a huge deal. I would take it with a grain of salt and say there are better ways to do ratings. That being said, how long they go with the thumbs system is uncertain. In the end, it's something over nothing. There are worst things in the world than Netflix changing the way you rate movies.

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