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Oh, that's raspberry!

My Simpsons Ultimate Episode Ratings and Rankings: An Attempt at Explaining My Grading Process

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I am close to finishing my re-watch of all of Season 16. When I do I will begin blogging about it in several parts and after that will have one extra part where I update my episode rankings by combining Season 15 and 16. In the meantime I got bored and decided to attempt an outline of what my episode grades actually mean and what criteria I actually grade episodes on. NOTE: Please keep in mind that these are VERY loose guidelines which I try to follow but should in no way be interpreted as definitive and unchanging. Also keep in mind that when it comes to this show I am, for the most part, a very loose grader.

Grading Criteria:
1.)Story - how interesting is the story and how well told is it?
2.)Humor - how funny are the jokes in the episodes?
3.)Characterizations - how are the characters portrayed, particularly in comparison to their earlier selves?
4.)Memorability - how memorable is the episode? Is it memorable for a good or bad reason?
5.)Satire - what does the episode satire if anything? How well does it do at satirizing this thing?
6.)Animation - how well animated is the episode?

These are listed in importance to me personally and are the main things I look at in an episode, but not necessarily the only things.

Grades:
5/5 - This grade is given to episodes which I consider to be absolute masterpieces in both the classic and post-classic eras. There is nothing seriously wrong with the episode and I can enjoy it every time I watch it.
4.5/5 - This grade is given to episodes I consider to be fantastic, but not perfect. They are nearly perfect and certainly always enjoyable to watch.
4/5 - This grade is given to episodes I consider to be very good. They are still a pleasure to watch but do not near perfection. They are strong episodes of the show but lack something and don't quite reach the highest graded episodes.
3.5/5 - This grade is given to solidly entertaining episodes, but ones with several possible flaws which ensure that they are probably best watched at certain times.
3/5 - This grade is given to average episodes. These are episodes that are fun to watch but usually only watched once in a great while or for a specific reason.
2.5/5 - This grade is given to below average episodes. These are episodes which have more going against them than for them, but still can have several good aspects.
2/5 - This grade is given to disappointing episodes. These episodes may start or end strongly, or have some good ideas or gags, but come off as underwhelming and unmemorable. They can be fun to watch at times but are usually best avoided.
1.5/5 - This grade is given to boring or just plain unfunny episodes. These episodes make you hope you only watch them again in a study or group or to hear what the writers were thinking. Also I suppose if you're feeling masochistic.
1/5 - This grade is given to insultingly moronic episodes. These episodes tend to be tedious to sit through and usually also have aspects that make me genuinely annoyed or upset.
.5/5 - This grade is reserved for a select few episodes that have little to no redeeming qualities and actually make me embarrassed that they were created. As of now only a few episodes qualify for this grade but even then might not get it from me in the end.

Again these descriptions are left fairly vague and overlapping on purpose because they are unique to me. I only write them now to help anyone get a better understanding of how I feel about episodes. Of course, as I mentioned at the beginning, I can always change a particular episode's grade upon further reviews as that is human nature.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, ANY number grade I give a Post-Classic Era episode will AT BEST match the corresponding classic era grade, and AT WORST be one full number below it. For example, a 5/5 Post-Classic Episode will range anywhere from a legitimate 5/5 to a 4/5 on the Classic Era grading scale but absolutely nothing less. A 4.5/5 Post-Classic Episode is at best a 4.5/5 Classic Era Episode and at worst a 3.5/5 Classic Era Episode. This continues down the line to the minimum grade of .5/5.

There you have it, my overly complex and unnecessary grading scale guidelines. Its far from perfect and has several problems I know but I can somehow manage to understand it well enough. Just keep in mind that this is all my own personal opinion. Hopefully they were at least SOMEWHAT understandable but if not I encourage anyone to leave a comment below if you have a question. This is all fairly loose anyway as I have said and I only wrote this up out of boredom. Aside from that, Season 16's blog should begin fairly soon. Thanks anyone for reading
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Comments

  1. CapitalCityGoofball87's Avatar
    great blog raspbery
  2. Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
    Thanks for the support!
  3. Bart's treehouse's Avatar
    I'm just curious but why do you do the out of five scale instead of like out of ten or a letter grade or something?
  4. Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
    When you think about it it really is out of ten, just using .5s, but I chose to do it out of 5 just because of personal preference at the time I started and no real other reason. Letter grades are fine and all but I just prefer numbers.
  5. hughes's Avatar
    I gotta know--what are the .5 episodes?
  6. Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
    I'll never tell