Pony Request: searchable FanFare ratings March 31, 2016 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Can we add the show/movie rating (PG, R, TV-Y, etc) as a searchable item for each show in FanFare?

Perhaps in the Show Info box on the right hand side, or under the title after the Season/Episode info, we could put a clickable link that says "PG" (or whatever rating the show was). Clicking on it would give us all other recent shows that have the same rating.

(Is this something that can be imported directly from IMDB?)

Potentially we could have a search by rating on the right-hand side under the search by title, too.

I have a kid, so I am interested in watching shows that are kid appropriate, and I am also interested in watching shows that are MeFi approved. Am I the only one in this intersection of the Venn diagram?
posted by jillithd to Feature Requests at 8:06 AM (49 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Sure, we can take a look at automatically getting ratings for shows and movies. The data should be available and it would be handy have that as part of the info we show. We'll consider having some views of things by rating too. Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


What the what? Are these last two MetaTalk posts an insane coincidence?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:21 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


aren't these ratings country/region specific? is this another thing where it'll be US-centric?
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 8:21 AM on March 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


There was a short delay on the star-ratings one, so it's not coincidental that we just put them both through together, but yes, it's a delightful coincidence that they came in in sequence.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:23 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


is this another thing where it'll be US-centric?

It probably would be, yes. The APIs we use to gather TV show and movie data include the US ratings. They don't include ratings that other countries use.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2016


And on the topic of this post, as a parent, I generally find the "official" ratings for TV and movies to be close to useless as far as helping me determine what is appropriate for my child, so I wouldn't bother wasting pb's time setting something like this up, to be frank.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fanfare Is Not IMDB.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:39 AM on March 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, there is a cabal. But now at least we know who the members are.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2016


I'm not sure how old your child is, Rock Steady, but I've found the TV-Y vs TV-Y7 and up to be good indicators for my 2 year old, as the Y7 has more fights and violence. And PG versus G is also a pretty good indicator. The warnings for content, like strong language, nudity, violence, etc, might be MORE helpful, but probably not as easily accessible as the general rating.
posted by jillithd at 9:26 AM on March 31, 2016


As a parent I also find them helpful as a starting point; a lot of websites bury the content rating and make it hard to find, and while sometimes I have a pretty good idea whether something is kid-appropriate, sometimes I'm totally clueless. I don't really mind which system is in use at any given site, but I do find it helpful for being like "Oh, my kids would like this!" vs. "Sounds like nightmares." I don't think it's a super-priority but I would also find it somewhat useful.

(imdb's narrative content ratings are quite helpful when I'm like "is this coarse language in passing that's probably okay because my kids will be very interested in this movie and not permanently scarred by a fuck or two, or is this a festival of F-bombs?" But that's not really standardized data.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:38 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


She's a teenager now, so we've run the gamut. I'm glad the ratings are working for you, but I never liked them. Something like Finding Nemo is rated G, in which multiple characters die violent deaths, only to sometimes "return to life" shortly afterwards. My daughter found that very upsetting and confusing. I usually check kids-in-mind.com which gives almost ludicrously detailed breakdowns of even the most remotely objectionable content.

Ask me about my wife allowing my daughter to go see Deadpool with her older cousins because "they said it was a superhero movie, and you always let her go see the superhero movies with you." Oops!
posted by Rock Steady at 10:45 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, yeah, I guess I'm not opposed to ratings showing up on FanFare, but I'm not in favor of 'em.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:46 AM on March 31, 2016


So, yeah, I guess I'm not opposed to ratings showing up on FanFare, but I'm not in favor of 'em.

So, you don't have an opinion and that's OK.
posted by kbanas at 10:47 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, no. I'm not in favor of spending resources to add them, but if they are determined by the rest of the community to be a priority, I wouldn't stand in the way. I think that's different from no opinion.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:51 AM on March 31, 2016


Well, the other thing is, I don't think OP is asking for these to be added in order to be the be-all end-all of "should my kid watch this show?"

The question is more, "How can I quickly find shows being discussed on Metafilter that are somewhere in the neighborhood of what might be appropriate for my kid?" and that is something I would definitely be interested in. If I were using this feature it would be to discover shows I hadn't already heard of and therefore wouldn't have thought to search for or click on.
posted by telepanda at 11:12 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


The question is more, "How can I quickly find shows being discussed on Metafilter that are somewhere in the neighborhood of what might be appropriate for my kid?" and that is something I would definitely be interested in. If I were using this feature it would be to discover shows I hadn't already heard of and therefore wouldn't have thought to search for or click on.

Yes, exactly! Having watched some kids' shows multiple times, the brain goes a bit numb. But having the bonus of MeFi content to go along with them (like the discussion of HOME) is really nice.

Thanks for the link to Kids-In-Mind, Rock Steady. Not an easy one to search and didn't even have the first movie I tried to search for (the original Toy Story), though! I totally agree that the Disney death rate is appalling, and far too many kid movies start with the death of a parent. Yikes! I'm personally less leery of naked folks and much more worried about violence, so I agree that the general ratings aren't the be-all and end-all of what is kid appropriate. (At least for my kid.)
posted by jillithd at 11:33 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, adding officially-sanctioned inbuilt features which are so US-centric that they literally lose meaning to the rest of us sends a very clear signal that we're only outside visitors here in your place and not equal members. On the other hand I rarely use Fanfare anyway. So eh, if that's the message you want to send then go ahead.
posted by shelleycat at 11:43 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there a similar site like imdb.com that has non-US ratings for TV/movies?
posted by jillithd at 11:48 AM on March 31, 2016


I'm with shelleycat. Mefi is global. It would be super nice if we didn't make it more and more US-centric, please.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:54 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


> On the one hand, adding officially-sanctioned inbuilt features which are so US-centric that they literally lose meaning to the rest of us sends a very clear signal that we're only outside visitors here in your place and not equal members. On the other hand I rarely use Fanfare anyway. So eh, if that's the message you want to send then go ahead.

That's a hell of an attitude. "If this thing you want that would be useful to you isn't useful to me, that means you hate me!"
posted by languagehat at 11:54 AM on March 31, 2016 [5 favorites]


If we went in this direction and there's multiple most-common ratings systems available via API, I have no problem with the idea of pulling from all of them.

That said, there's no way this would be a primary lens into FanFare in any case, so much as a bit of extra metadata and thereby a possible additional bit of search/sort criteria.

And if we decided to (a) include content rating info and (b) found it onerous to consistently retrieve multiple international ratings systems' metadata content, we could certainly present whatever sorting/search criteria we were able to make available in a "here's roughly what these ratings cover" context where folks familiar with some other rating system can easily get up to speed on the rough idea of what rating maps to what. (Rough being an almost implicit keyword given how reductive most content rating systems are in the first place as short enumerated lists trying to capture a whole swath of largely independent concepts.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:00 PM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there a similar site like imdb.com that has non-US ratings for TV/movies?

Yes, there is an extremely similar site called "IMDB".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2016


Actually, it's more like a constant litany of "you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us" which ends up with "you don't belong here".

And I'd say that until you're the one on the receiving end of years of this maybe you can keep the personal insults to yourself?
posted by shelleycat at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also, I should add that metafilter is generally really good about not building in these kinds of institutional US-centric/exclusionary things. So I find the idea of adding this kind of jarring and out of character.

Maybe instead people can just put whatever they think is useful in the tags?
posted by shelleycat at 12:05 PM on March 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'd like to clarify that I'm not beholden to any particular ratings system and would be fine with pretty much any rating system in the world as long as I could (1) read it, (2) have some glossary of what the ratings mean, and (3) extract from the ratings some vague sense of what age group a show might be appropriate for.

Do the non-US mefites have any specific ratings systems they would like to recommend?
posted by telepanda at 12:06 PM on March 31, 2016


In fact, why don't we make up our own rating system? I bet people here would be a lot better at identifying what is kid friendly or not etc vs the official versions.

I can't/won't watch stuff with a lot of extreme realistic violence, for example. No Fargo Season 2 for me. But there is no rating system that really captures that information because it gets conflated with sex and nudity and stuff which I don't care about either way. And I think we're smarter than that here too.
posted by shelleycat at 12:09 PM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


LOL
posted by kbanas at 12:09 PM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I sincerely apologize for being obtuse. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or unhelpful when I asked if there was a similar site. It was a genuine question.
posted by jillithd at 12:13 PM on March 31, 2016


We should at least add a sidebar link to Does The Dog Die, like we have a sidebar link to Can I Stream It.
posted by Etrigan at 12:16 PM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


In fact, why don't we make up our own rating system? I bet people here would be a lot better at identifying what is kid friendly or not etc vs the official versions.

As a reminder this is the site where AskMes about noisy neighbors' kids are commonly answered with 'parents should just tell their toddlers to be quiet before 9am'
posted by beerperson at 2:49 PM on March 31, 2016 [6 favorites]


My rule is that if a dog is shown in the trailer, it's almost certainly going to to die at some point in the movie and thus the movie can be skipped.

/shakes fist at a certain Will Smith movie that I would otherwise love to see.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:52 PM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ratings and reviews can be useful. If I had looked more closely at those for Battle Royale, instead of merely glancing at the poster and assuming it was some kind of Japanese rom-com, then maybe I wouldn't have had the most disastrous date (she was a pacifist and a primary school teacher) of my life. You know when she shouts "I hate you!" as she runs out of the cinema halfway through that there will be no follow-up call.

Don't underestimate the usefulness of ratings and reviews.
posted by Wordshore at 4:24 PM on March 31, 2016 [7 favorites]


If you put ratings in, you might want to link to a page (or use a mouse-over tooltip or the like) with a brief description of what those ratings mean (I can guess PG and R, but "TV-Y"? "Television Yes"?). Sure, you could just google that information, but you could just google the ratings themselves, as well. Putting explanations, even incredibly brief ones ("PG = Parental guidance recommended"), would move it from "Here's information for use by Americans" to "Here's information from America for use by everyone".
posted by Bugbread at 5:27 PM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was thinking, as I read the other MeTa where Ivan was bemoaning the low use of Fanfare, that people outside North America really don't get how unsatisfying it is to take part in Fanfare first-watches when the show airs for the first time 8 or 10 hours, or a week, or even months after the US and Canadian broadcasts. Sure, we can stream stuff, if we're ethically flexible and our internet providers don't shape our bandwidth or cut us off, but we still have to wait until enough seeders get going, which can again be hours after the US has seen the episode and MeFi's talked itself out. It's not just television, either - the rest of the world's release dates are usually after the US and Canada's for American movies, DVDs, and books.

I'm not saying anything has to be done to the site - this is just an inbuilt limitation, and MetaFilter is a US site - but parental guidance ratings are the least of Fanfare's issues when it comes to overseas users.
posted by gingerest at 6:27 PM on March 31, 2016


What's considered PG in the USA is likely to not cause a single batted eyelid elsewhere, so that tooltip is just perpetuating the US-centric thing we're talking about here.

Bottom line is that Mefi isn't about providing guidance to people outside of specific questions asked on the green. Fanfare is for people to discuss media; if someone has a question about whether a given movie or whatever is suitable for kids or whether the dog dies, I'm sure they can ask in the thread or Google.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:31 PM on March 31, 2016


If CAP Alert is still a thing and offered their warnings in API form, those would be the best. Most Dirty Word (15), Blasphemy (1), etc...

Then again I am always interested in the TV-MA warnings in the US, it's like what to look for!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2016


"I was thinking, as I read the other MeTa where Ivan was bemoaning the low use of Fanfare, that people outside North America really don't get how unsatisfying it is to take part in Fanfare first-watches when the show airs for the first time 8 or 10 hours, or a week, or even months after the US and Canadian broadcasts."

Yeah, that's an inherent problem with FanFare for even a lot of US mefites, but it's much worse for everyone else. It's more fun to watch and discuss something when everyone else is.

I actually do understand this to some degree, even from your perspective. I watch a number of European and especially UK shows via torrenting and, well, just as a first approximation I often just assume that there's not enough interest among mefites to support posting most of them, which is annoying. But what really bugs me is when something is going to appear here later -- like Downton Abbey or, really, an increasing number of shows -- and I feel like I'm not supposed to post it on the UK schedule because most mefites won't see it until weeks or months later. I did notice that people started to just post DA on the UK schedule here, and that was sort of interesting to watch the US audience become active in threads that were a couple of months old.

This is just happening right now with The Night Manager. I've watched all of it and of course no one has posted it because it's not airing here for another two weeks. And, really, this bugs me. I know that there isn't actually any rule -- if there once was -- that it can't be posted before the US airdate, but it often works out that way. And I'm extremely sympathetic to shelleycat's complaint (as I have been basically every time she's brought the issue of the US-centric nature of MeFi up here). At the very least, those of you mefites who are in the UK should feel free to post the shows you watch when they air and turnabout is fair play (as in this last season of DA) when the US mefites find that the threads are months old when it finally airs here.

But, ultimately, there's not a solution to this problem because we just don't all watch things at the same time.

I think it would help for people to know that they can post in older threads when they watch a show and, just as an example, because I use "recent activity" as one of my main interfaces into MetaFilter, I always see new comments in these old FanFare threads when someone gets around to watching a show and comments. I try to respond to those comments. But, again, there's an insurmountable problem in this which is the reason why I think most book threads aren't ever going to have much of any participation at all -- people want to discuss things as or just after they watch/read it and so participation is going to be time-sensitive in combination with just how large an audience something has.

"That's a hell of an attitude."

No, it's a reasonable response. She's complaining about something that's a pattern -- it's significant that many people didn't even consider that these ratings are US-centric and culturally specific. And each example of this sort of thing signals exactly as shelleycat says that it does -- it says "this place isn't for you". I mean, I know we (not you and me, but generally) get into this argument every time this comes up here, but while it's certainly true that this is a US-based site and is anglophone and will inevitably have a US-bias, there's that practical and unavoidable reality and then there's extending it, making it worse, not considering ways to make it better, being defensive about it, etc. I think that a request to not slap big US-centric labels on everything in FanFare is pretty reasonable.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:03 AM on April 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


OK, the gripes about US-centrism are all well and good - and I appreciate them - but is there literally no acceptable way to solve the actual question?

Is there a way to allow users to quickly filter for shows that exist in the Venn Diagram intersection between "Enjoyed by MetaFilter" and "things I have a reasonable chance of enjoying with my kid/teen/conservative Grandma/Mormon cousin/buddies who want ALL THE MATURE CONTENT?"

UK has a rating system. Australia has a rating system. Japan has a rating system. There are rating systems all over the freaking world. Could some of you guys who are in non-US countries suggest ideas for how to answer the question more inclusively, rather than just shooting it down because it was originally asked in a US-centric way?

"Your pony has warts but here's how you could do it better" >> "Fuck your pony and the horse it rode in on."
posted by telepanda at 7:38 AM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


> No, it's a reasonable response. She's complaining about something that's a pattern -- it's significant that many people didn't even consider that these ratings are US-centric and culturally specific. And each example of this sort of thing signals exactly as shelleycat says that it does -- it says "this place isn't for you".

I simply don't get this; it seems like sheer paranoia. How can some people's asking for something that would genuinely benefit them possibly be taken as an insult to someone else simply because it doesn't benefit that other person? Of course MeFi is US-centric, and this is inevitable for obvious reasons, and of course it would be better to decrease that US-centricity to the extent practicable, but the fact remains that there are a whole hell of a lot of US MeFites who would find US ratings useful, and it boggles my mind that this could somehow be considered exclusionary. I mean, shellycat says it's "a constant litany of 'you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us' which ends up with 'you don't belong here'," and I say that's nonsense unless someone can show me a litany of comments actually saying "you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us" and "you don't belong here." What she's presumably talking about is comments that unthinkingly talk about US situations as if they were universal, and while I can see that could be aggravating, it is so far removed from her description as to be laughable.
posted by languagehat at 7:41 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK, the gripes about US-centrism are all well and good - and I appreciate them - but is there literally no acceptable way to solve the actual question?

have you heard of google
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:08 AM on April 1, 2016


I have, and I'm a big fan. I'd also just as soon not have to google every single show on FanFare, preferring instead to google the subset that fits a criterion I (and at least some others) are interested in.

Whether or not that's a reasonable thing to ask for is the topic of this pony request.

How to make the criterion of interest to more people is also a reasonable thing to ask.
posted by telepanda at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2016


of course it would be better to decrease that US-centricity to the extent practicable

Except in a way that someone actually suggests.
posted by Etrigan at 10:07 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Common Sense Media, a U.S. nonprofit, has an API that includes their own age ratings (from 2-18), star ratings, and 1-5 scales of how much age-inappropriate content of different types are in the show. For example, Daredevil is rated 15+ and has a 4/5 rating for violence, 2/5 for language, and 1/5 for sex.

The site includes movies, TV, games, books, and other media. I don't know if they have reviews for much in the way of media that's not available in the U.S. And given that it's a U.S. site, the age ratings themselves will have that cultural bias. I find that U.S. ratings systems rate sexual content as more "mature" than violence, not sure how widely this holds true in other countries. But if what we're trying to get at is a rating that can be understood without knowing the details of different countries' systems, maybe this kind of age-based thing would work.
posted by expialidocious at 1:54 PM on April 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks, expialidocious, for giving this warty pony some hope!
posted by jillithd at 1:58 PM on April 1, 2016


(You're still a pretty pony. Yes you are!)
posted by jillithd at 1:59 PM on April 1, 2016

Languagehat: "I mean, shellycat says it's "a constant litany of 'you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us' which ends up with 'you don't belong here'," and I say that's nonsense unless someone can show me a litany of comments actually saying "you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us" and "you don't belong here.""
If you need help understanding why the (usually inconsiderate, not malicious) US-centrism here often feels like a small continuous dribble of microaggression, and why your response above might easily be received as unhelpful verging on aggressive, then you might like to cast your eye back over threads like 'Boyzone' 1 2 & 3, or Emotional Labor, or many others…

Then maybe you can mansplain to us why "I say that's nonsense unless someone can show me a litany of comments actually saying "you're different, you're foreign, you're not like us" and "you don't belong here"" and "so far removed from her description as to be laughable" are much different to the problems dealt with there?

(No, I'm not saying it on the same offensive level as racism, sexism, or other -isms. I'm saying it's just as inconsiderate, annoying, and, over a long term, hurtful to both non-US individuals & Metafilter.)
posted by Pinback at 6:11 PM on April 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thank you, Pinback, for dismantling that nonsense far better than I could have. And more calmly.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:18 PM on April 1, 2016


The obvious solution is to use some set of European ratings and just tell the Americans that using them makes you classy. Win win.
posted by Ned G at 4:15 AM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Count me in as another non-US user who would prefer either to see something international or nothing at all. I read FanFare a lot but I find it hard to participate because of geography and release schedules. I mostly don't mind being a lurker there, but I sometimes feel a little sad at seeing so much discussion of shows I can't (legally) watch, and I wonder what I'm missing.

When it comes to this pony, my feelings are kind of similar to shelleycat's - doing this in a US-specific way is pretty unwelcoming. I acknowledge that demographics make it hard for MeFi to be anything other than a US-centric site. But there's a very big difference in my mind between a MeFi that is unavoidably biased towards American culture because of demographics, and one that chooses to implement optional features in a US-specific way. The former is simply unfortunate, but the latter feels like a message that MeFi considers pervasive US bias to be less important than the mild inconvenience of asking Americans to type stuff into google.
posted by langtonsant at 2:58 AM on April 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


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