Why are you killing my stars, Netflix?

Netflix to replace star ratings with thumbs-up/thumbs-down: Netflix seems to think the change will help offset the "grade inflation" that applies to programming like documentaries, which people seem to rate as though they're worried someone is looking over their shoulder.

I'm not the biggest power user of Netflix in the world, but I have tried pretty hard to rate everything and rate it carefully -- mainly because I want the best possible recommendations. Doing away with the five-star system and going to a simple "yes/no" might be enough to get a lot more people to vote on their shows, but I don't care about the ratings left by people who were too lazy or disinterested to pick on a scale of 1 to 5. I have a feeling the people who watch the same shows that interest me are the kinds of people who also care about rating things well.

What Netflix could really do to make me happy is give users the option to rate individual episodes -- or at least seasons -- of television shows. Some start strong and then run out of gas (like "House of Cards"), while others take a season or two to find their legs (like "Parks and Rec"). Let me keep my five stars, and let me rate them with a little more granularity!

Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol

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