As my number of review posts slowly increases, I find that it might be helpful for me to clarify how I assign ratings for episodes, or rather explain what each grade means. This should benefit both readers (who can quickly getting an understanding of how I felt about an episode) and myself (as I try to develop a more consistent system for reviewing). Please keep in mind that these descriptions are flexible and definitely are subject to change as this blog continues to grow.
Note: I do not assign A+’s or F-‘s.
A: An instant classic and television at its very finest. This episode reminds me why I love television and it will most likely become one of my favorites from the series. Everything clicked: the writing was phenomenal and the actors sold their performances brilliantly. Scenes were intensely moving and each moment had its own significance. If the program being reviewed is a comedy, then this probably means that practically every line was pure comedic gold and I most likely was out of breath from laughing too much. Even critics of the show will have difficulty finding fault with this episode. (An example).
B: Overall solid, but a few missteps here or there; longtime fans of the series will still enjoy it.The episode had a less than stellar main plot/side plot, or a character’s actions were not completely line with their usual intentions. But the other storylines were strong enough to make up for the episode’s flaws. (An example).
C: Mediocrity at its most mediocre; boring and just plain average. Although the episode wasn’t unwatchable, it certainly did do anything new or interesting. Either old storylines were just unimaginatively rehashed or nothing of consequence happened. Characters neither regressed nor did they experience any sort of growth. The very definition of a filler episode. (An example).
D: A cringe-worthy mess and very difficult to watch. Almost nothing worked well in this episode. All character development seemed to have been thrown out the window along with any semblance of a coherent plot. For comedies, this means the only thing I found funny was how laughably bad this episode was. Still, it might have been slightly enjoyable to watch this train wreck of an episode.
F: Kill it with fire. Just abysmal. No idea at all what the writers were thinking with this one because this episode should not exist. Anyone watching this series for the first time will most likely want to skip this particular episode; absolutely nothing of value will be lost. I pray that I will never give an episode an F because that means I not only wasted my time watching it, but I also for some reason took the time to write a review for something so horrible.
Pluses and minuses are usually judgement calls and will be better explained by reading the in-depth review.
Hopefully this clears up any confusion and provides a little view into how I will tend to look at shows. Happy viewing and happy reading!