During a discussion on Twitter today, I said this referring to Rotten Tomatoes, and Max replied with this.
As my thoughts are much too long to try and push out in a series of tweets, and as Joe, Robb, and John might care nothing for my opinions, I have decided to post something here.
What are my reasons for hating Rotten Tomatoes? Because it’s terrible. There. Rotten Tomatoes now has a 0% fresh rating. But maybe my opinion isn’t the only one that matters. Maybe the rest of the internet loves the site. I’ll make note of that, but it won’t factor into my official “freshness” rating.
Example: The Sandlot on Rotten Tomatoes. Using the handy Percentage Calculator, I ask it “What is % of ?”, and it responds with 25.08. As we can’t be bothered with decimal places, let’s just make that a flat 25. Giving us the same number of “Fresh” reviews as Rotten Tomatoes. That’s all that matters right? These 44 reviews hold the entire judgment on the value of the film, and 19 of them said they were bad so that’s that.
Hey! Pay no attention to the audience score that says that 89% liked it. It’s a “rotten” film. What? You say that the audience score does matter? Fine. We’ll put up the audience score to appease you, but other sites won’t. And since you spend your money on those other sites, it’ll be our official review you’re looking at.
So there you have it. I’ve given my official verdict, and I’m the only official critic on my site that has the real ability to judge Rotten Tomatoes. What’s that? You don’t really exist, but I’m actually very hard of hearing in real life, so I’ll just pretend you said something like “You’re not the only person capable of reviewing websites, there’s tons of people that do it for a living! They’re respected! They’re wise and went to school and have studied the classics!” and I’ll laugh to myself a little bit and say “Okay, but there’s going to be requirements and you need to lay off the exclamation points”. I’ll go ahead and put together some requirements, but just because you meet those requirements doesn’t mean I’ll listen to you. Or you.
And as this imaginary talk goes on, you might get me to admit that Rotten Tomatoes has some useful features like trailers, and forums, and links to tickets and show times. You might also get me to admit that it’d be useful to find more independent films that I might not be aware. And you might also get me to admit that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Whether I agree with it or disagree with it. But since that is a bit of nuanced discussion, it doesn’t matter. Because I’m breaking all this down to a numeric indication of whether or not a highly subjective art form is “good” or not.