Monday, April 8, 2013

Yellow Jay Sherman Q&A

What is this?
This blog, if it can be called that, serves the single purpose of storing my recaps and reviews of every Simpsons episode as I watch and score them in order.

Why do this?
People often say "oh new Simpsons is terrible", "old Simpsons is so great" etc. etc.  I want to see if these newer episodes are as bad as people make them out to be.

I'd like to write a full article comparing the two halves the series, either here or elsewhere, but I rarely have the time to compose those thoughts.  I think if you compare my scores of earlier episodes to later ones, the story speaks for itself, however.

How do you score them?
I wrote up a little program in Java last year that starts with a base score of 5.0 (in hindsight, 3.0 might've been better - too late now!).  The program allows me to click increment buttons that allow me to increase or decrease that score based on how funny or unfunny a joke or scene is (based on the criteria I mention in the sidebar).  Officially, I won't allow a score to go above 10.0 (or theoretically below 0.0), but the 25+ episodes that have I've left an article for them which reveals their raw scores.

Here's basically how I view episodes based on their score:
10+: best of the bunch, shining examples of the show at its best
9.0-9.9: excellent episodes in their own right, not quite 10 level but still very funny
8.0-8.9: solid episodes, can't go wrong with these even if the quantity of humor is not quite there
7.0-7.9: decent, either because its not as funny as it could be or the story is pretty bad
6.0-6.9: not very good, too many problems in the episode for it to be worth another watch
5.0-5.9: bad, cringeworthy even, just too many problems to be funny
4.0-4.9: the episode has to do something pretty stupid to reach this territory
0.0-3.9: bottom of the barrel, worst episodes of all time

Again, the scale could've used a starting point lower than 5.0, but otherwise this is pretty solid.  Technically, I don't need a program, I could just keep track of things manually, but this method has done me well through 550+ episodes.

Why Jay Sherman?
I've been a fan of The Critic ever since it initially aired for that one brief season on ABC and that brief follow up season on FOX.  The episode he crossed over in, A Star is Burns, is among my favorites as well.  When I decided to start up this blog, I wanted a name that: a) referenced the Simpsons, b) mentioned something related to reviewing or critiquing or something like that, and c) was original.  "Yellow Jay Sherman" pretty much fit those criteria, sort of.

Will you do other shows?
With my life taking a busier turn, I doubt it.  Earlier, I had noted that I might have moved on to review another series, likely Futurama, but at this point I don't think I'll have enough free time to do so.

There are a lot of grammar or spelling errors in your pages.  Are you fixing that?
I get to them when I can.  I'm the only one in charge of the blog and the only one writing the articles, so often times I like a few grammatical mistakes or spelling errors sneak through.  I check my articles from time to time to see if I spot any errors and I fix them if I do.

Your reviews are embarrassingly short.  I feel bad for you.  I also do not need a question to point this out.
Indeed, my opinions on things are short but not always sweet.  My main purpose is to attach a score to every episode.  The words that pop up in my supposed reviews are secondary to the numbers that follow them.  I realize that for some episodes (notably a lot of the earlier ones), I don't have much to say other than "this is really funny" or "this wasn't funny", and similar jargon.  I may try and expand on some of these reviews in the future.

Your scores and/or reviews seem rather inconsistent, why is that?
Alt: You hated or was lukewarm toward this episode I loved!  Are you an idiot?
Alt: How could you love this episode!?  It sucked!  Are you a moron?
I score 'em how I see 'em.  This isn't the same with a lot of people, but for me the basis of what makes an episode great or terrible usually comes down to one thing: how funny are the jokes?  Sure, sometimes an episode's plot ruins an episode, though sometimes its because the terrible plot is infused into the attempts at jokes, but for the most part if the episode's jokes hit, the episode will score high.  If not, it'll be lucky to break 7.  Any further disagreements with the scores just comes down to personal taste, I suppose.

Why should I bother with this?  This is no different than many others on the web, also those places have actual reach.
True, I have made little to no effort making this place a worthwhile stay.  I mean, who would bother bookmarking a blog that attaches one person's subjective scores to Simpsons episodes?  Besides those with sick curiosities, I mean.

I'm not going to make a lame effort to attract people here by saying this or that about the blog.  I made this blog for one reason: to subjectively attach scores to Simpsons episodes.  If you want to hang around and check my progress along the way, I'll be more than happy to have your company.  If not, feel free to use the screen shots I use for each episode review for whatever motives you may have.  Otherwise, enjoy your stay.

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