Ralph Fiennes as “Harry Hawkes” and Dakota Johnson as “Penelope Lanier” in A BIGGER SPLASH. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Media Diary: May 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
  • Theater: each play I see

These are my May findings:

  • In May, I rated 19 films, 3 books, 1 play, 6 seasons of television, and 14 albums.
  • The average rating (out of 5) is 3.29, which is down from April AND March.
  • By medium, theater had the highest rating (4), although its sample size is 1. TV had a high average (3.92), while film continued to be low (2.9).
  • The best of the month:
    • Film: (Tied) Captain America: Civil War, A Bigger Splash, Neighbors 2, Weiner, and The Man from UNCLE
    • Book: “Silence” by Shusaku Endo
    • Music: “Oh No” by Jessy Lanza
    • TV: Silicon Valley, Season 3
    • Play: Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar

My film ratings are the most interesting thing about May. In May, I watched the most films of any month in 2016, and the average rating is also the lowest. This might be a consequence of freelancing: I watched many films I wouldn’t seek out ordinarily, and many of them were… not good. I blame my editors. As for other media, TV continues to be reliable since the biggest predictor of whether I like something is whether I’ve liked previous seasons. The same goes is definitely true for music, as well as books. While my rating for film is low, the nature of the medium is kind of endearing: it’s a risky medium, as it requires the shortest commitment, but I’d argue the rewards are also the greatest.

Year to date totals:

  • 72 films, 15 books, 32 seasons of television, 50 albums, and 3 plays
  • Total average: 3.41
  • Averages by medium:
    • Films: 3.27
    • Books 3.3
    • Music: 3.41
    • TV: 3.69
    • Theater: 4.5

Maybe smart choices are overrated? Something I dislike or hate is illustrative, anyway, and it would be dull if I loved everything. A minor programming note: next month I’ll include year to date lists!