What Exactly Is The Point Of Reviewing A Series Per Episode?
It’s a strange phenomenon that I’ve recently experienced while visiting various websites. I mean, I get it. You want to review anything and everything under the sun, including issue by issue of comic books and your partner’s Halloween costume. But per-episode reviews confuse me a little.
Who are they for?
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Is there someone sitting at their PC and going, “Hmm, the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad only got an 8 out of 10, but I see the finale got a 9.5 out of 10. I’ll just skip ahead.”
Who does that?!
I’ve never experienced a situation in which someone has skipped an episode under advisement from someone else. Disregarding the important plot points of that episode, assuming it contains a flowing story, what could possibly be so out of the ordinary for that series that it would make you skip the episode?
Unless these reviews are actually discussions of the episodes, in which case why are they labelled reviews and given scores? And why are there no spoilers in these reviews? Even if they’re discussions, though, it means that people are encouraged to read them after. So again, why is a score attached? Whose world is improved by knowing that a website either agreed or disagreed with their personal opinion of an episode after they’ve watched it?
And yet these reviews get views and people will open and read the articles either before or after watching the episodes. Why? Because people value an opinion? Perhaps they’re just bored and want to read something about their series of choice. I just don’t see how there’s that many people in the world allowing their choice of what to watch that evening be dictated by someone else.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a place in the world for series reviews, though. After all, reviews are meant to aid us in making informed spending decisions, right? We don’t buy series per episode (unless we’re idiots) but we do buy series. Thus, I’m all for an overall review of a series, or even a season review, because sometimes you just want to know whether a season is worth owning on DVD or something. Many people felt that the second season of Heroes was worth skipping, and many others felt that season six of Scrubs was the best, where season nine shouldn’t even be considered a Scrubs series. (I disagree on the latter.)
Those are just fine. By all means, give Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad a 9 out of 10 overall. Give season four of Supernatural a high rating. It’s that good and it deserves it. It also tells people where they should focus their attention if they cannot watch everything. But a review per episode? Just why?
To misquote Julius Malema: “For who?”