Now while developing my craft as a television show reviewer I decided to take what I’ve learned and share with anyone else who have/will want to review television shows. One thing about reviewing television shows is that there are more than one way to review them. First, there are episodic recaps where episodes are reviewed individually. Second, there are the seasonal reviews. Lastly there are reviews of the overall series (which this post is focused on). Honestly, brutal honesty is the only way I give my reviews and I highly recommend that others do the same. It definitely makes reviews a lot more personal while keeping it interesting. Note: this is a guide and does state sections of television shows that probably should be considered when reviewing it.
This is a great way of establishing a foundation for the review. Give the review a brief summary of the show. Basic information does help to flesh out the review better.
- What is the show’s title?
- Who is the creator?
- Who are the cast members?
- How many seasons are there?
Give a brief plot summary without giving away any key details about the show. What is the story about? Viewers want to know enough about what happens in a show to know whether they’ll find it interesting. Does the plot make sense? Is the story line logical? Is it original? How complex is it? Is the story predictable or full of surprises? Is the story exciting or is it dull? What themes or motifs stand out? Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot? Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story? Other questions to be considered are:
- Does the story unravel gradually or is it quickly revealing?
- Is the story exciting or is it dull?
- How good is the pacing?
- How are the various elements of plot handled?
- Did the story grip you and keep you playing?
- What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?
Characters are just as important as story. Who are the main characters and are they credible? Could you relate/empathize to any of the characters in the story? Does the writer make you believe in them as people? Why or why not? As you learn about the characters, use examples of things they’ve said or done to give a sense of their personalities. Also, include the character development arcs as well as any stereotypes. Other questions to be considered are:
- Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
- What did the main characters do in the game?
- How well do the characters develop?
- Who are your favorite character(s)? Why?
- Is character delineation direct or indirect?
The visuals focus on the show’s graphics. This will consist of characters and environment, lighting and shade detail. Some games will require more heavily detailed graphics than others. Series like Star Trek, Smallville, and Andromeda have a heavy focus on the realism while shows like Spongebob Squarepants, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and The Boondocks have a more cartoon-like animation-style.
- What type of animation style? Realistic? Cartoon-like?
- How does the animation style hold up?
- What style does it resemble?
- Are the colors vibrant? Dull?
- How does the cinematography support the visuals?
- Costume design? Set design?
- Does the quality appear high-budget, or low budget?
This area focuses on the show’s writing style (usually the story). This is a great way of establishing another relationship with the writers and creators. Writing is artistic; both through the writer’s presentation and through the viewer’s interpretation. Were certain types of scenes written particularly well (action scenes, emotional scenes, scary scenes, etc.)?
- How effective is dialogue?
- How well is the overall script written?
- Is the writing simplistic or complex?
- Does it contain humor, wit, satire?
- Does the writing have rhythm?
- Does the writing style utilize symbolism?
- Is the writing more intellectually satisfying or emotionally satisfying?
Casting focuses on the actors and actresses who are performing. Casting is as important as the character themselves. There are other elements that affect how actors/actresses portray these characters such as direction or a poor script.
- How well is the acting?
- Do the actors match their characters?
- Are they doing an effective job of voicing/portraying the character?
- Does the cast as a whole work?
- Do they meet the expectations dictated by the plot and other story elements?
Likes/Dislikes and Commentary
What was your favorite part of the tv show? Why? What was your least favorite part of the tv show? Why? If you could change something, what would it be? What do you like or dislike about the tv show’s writing style?
Your conclusion should summarize, perhaps include a final assessment. What type of person would like this tv show? Would you recommend this tv show to another person? Would you watch more by this creator? Why or why not?
Thanks for checking out this post. For any ideas or comments on how to write tv show reviews, leave them in the comment section below.