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Media Diary: April 2016

As noted earlier this year, I’m keeping a media diary for 2016. Here is what I track:

  • Film: each first viewing or second viewing
  • Books: each new book completed
  • Television: each new series or season (must watch 3-4 episodes before I can enter it)
  • Music: must give two complete listens to a new album before I can enter it

This month I added theater to the media diary since I saw two plays in addition to the above. These are my April findings:

  • In April, I rated 17 films, 2 books, 2 plays, 5 seasons of television, and 10 albums.
  • The average rating (out of 5) is 3.43, which is down from March.
  • By medium, theater had the highest rating (4.75), while film had the lowest (3.08).
  • The best of the month:
    • Film: Green Room
    • Book: “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
    • Music: “Lemonade” by Beyoncé
    • TV: Catastrophe, Season 2
    • Play: The Flick by Annie Baker

Compared to the first three months, April had more ratings since I’m no longer planning a wedding. On a month to month basis, it still seems outliers and sample size are the biggest determinants of high scores. While I listened to less new music this past month, there were a few albums I absolutely loved. I also saw more movies in April than any month since I’ve started the diary, and this month also has the lowest average film score (I blame Hardcore Henry, which is utter trash). Also, I realized that an emotional connection is the difference between a rating of high rating and a perfect rating. That explains why the month’s top book is the only “best” that did not earn a 5.

Year to date totals:

  • 53 films, 9 books, 26 seasons of television, 36 albums, and 2 plays
  • Total average: 3.46
  • Averages by medium:
    • Films: 3.37
    • Books 3.16
    • Music: 3.47
    • TV: 3.63
    • Theater: 4.75

Adding theater should be interesting, as it is the only medium with a significant barrier to entry (i.e. tickets are expensive). Now that I have a substantial data set, it’s heartening to see I make smart choices, insofar that generally enjoy what I watch and listen to. While I have less of a say in the films I see, I wonder how I can curate my choices elsewhere to boost my margins. Maybe I can get to a 3.5 overall rating by the year’s halfway point.