Well, you know those star ratings on Netflix? I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’ve never seen or heard about a show, I kind of rely on those. It’s not a perfect system, but I’ve generally found that if something has one or two starts, it probably does suck donkey; and if it has four or five stars, it’s at least worth a try.
Since this system works pretty well, Netflix, in an apparent quest to limit the quality of movies and tv shows they offer, is completely eliminating the star system in favor of a “thumbs up/thumbs down” system. According to Variety:
Netflix realized that explicit star ratings were less relevant than other signals. Users would rate documentaries with 5 stars, and silly movies with just 3 stars, but still watch silly movies more often than those high-rated documentaries.
“We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important,” Yellin said.
According to the Huffington Post, this forward-thinking VP of Marketing (everyone’s FAVORITE department, aren’t those people FUN?) also made this astute comment: “Five stars feels very yesterday now.”
Oh yes, of course. Stars are so yesterday… now. (Is he a secret philosopher?) Whereas thumbs up or down? So innovative! No one does that!
So your three-star crap movies will keep on streaming, and those thoughtful, five-star documentaries, well, tough luck. At least you’ll be able to watch Bruce Willis’ squinty face in Armageddon as much as you want!
Editor’s Note: Also feel free to talk about your TV watching week, whether it was a 5-star or thumbs down experience.