Media Diary: February 2016

As noted last month, 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

These are my February findings:

  • In February, I rated 13 films, 2 books, 6 seasons of television, and 11 albums.
  • The average rating (out of 5) is 3.32, which is down from 3.52 in January.
  • By medium, TV had the highest rating of 3.42 and music has the lowest of 3.22.
  • The best of the month:
    • Film: The Witch
    • Book: “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara
    • Music: “ANTI” by Rihanna
    • TV: The People vs. OJ Simpson

Looking at the data, the most interesting thing is the decline in TV quality (my January average was 3.66). I think this is due to complacent habits: there are several shows I stick with, despite them being well past their prime, just because they’re familiar. If driving up my score is one goal of this project, then perhaps I should jettison mediocre television that was better a few years ago.

Qualitatively speaking, I again gravitate to small auteur films, novels with strong narratives, and quasi-experimental pop music. My favorite TV show from January, The Great British Baking Show, will probably remain an outlier.

Year to date totals:

  • 24 films, 5 books, 15 seasons of television, and 20 albums
  • Averages by medium:
    • Films: 3.52
    • Books 3.1
    • Music: 3.25
    • TV: 3.57

The diary is shaping up to be an interesting data set. March will have fewer entries – I’m getting married, then going on a vacation – but in the months ahead, I hope to drive my average ratings through smarter choices.