TV Show scoring: the decline of True Blood

I got the DVDs of the 3 True Blood seasons for Christmas and when I started watching , I really got into it. Sookie is adorable, Jason is charming with a low IQ (and strongly resembles George W), there’s the interesting parts of how vampires and humans live together, with some comments on racism and homophobia. Season 1 was just great, and I was telling everyone around me to start watching it too.

Then, during Season 2, the quality seemed to drop. The dialogues seemed ridiculous at times, the script didn’t go anywhere, and then at the end, there were two really silly episodes. I’m currently watching Season 3, and still I am frequently disappointed by the acting, the lines, the plot. So I thought: wouldn’t it be nice that if you start watching a show that has been around for some time, several seasons for instance, that you could get some idea about what quality to expect. Is there data for this? Yes, my favourite TV show portal has collected scores for each episode from its users. All I needed was some way to summarize and visualize it. So that’s what I made.

TV Show scores for True Blood

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Wordle and famous movies

Just the other day I was reminded of the existence of Wordle (via the Music Zeitgeist project). Wordle makes an esthetically pleasing word cloud of any assembled text you throw at it. “The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.” Ithought: let’s see what that gives with movie scripts. So I made a tool that will read a .SRT subtitle file and return just the pure text. I can then copy/paste that text into Wordle.

Try to guess which movies these are (click on the image to see a high-res version):

Wordle #1

Wordle #2

Wordle #3

And for #4 and #5 I’m gonna give a hint: it’s science fiction!
Wordle #4

Wordle #5

Wordle is really cool!

The answers:

  1. Casablanca
  2. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  3. Lucia y el sexo
  4. Star Wars III
  5. Star Trek

Seth’s bandwidth vs synchronicity graph: it’s a start

Seth Godin came up with a visualisation of ‘means of communication’: bandwidth vs sync(chronicity). He took a number of ‘old’ (postal mail, radio) and ‘new’ (blogs, Youtube and -of course- Twitter) technologies and ranked them on a 2D graph according to ‘quality’ (density or bandwidth) and ‘sync’ (speed of reaction).

Although it is an interesting way of visualizing things, and I consider Seth a very bright and creative guy, I am bothered by the fact that the graph is neither clear, correct nor complete.

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Hip-hop is different

Hiphop: A.S.S.

Fleshmap via Infosthetics

If you ever wanted proof that hip-hop & rap are a disruptive music genre, take a look at this study/art work by Fernanda Viegas, Martin Wattenberg & the crowdsourcing specialists at Dolores Labs: Fleshlabs.

They’ve take the lyrics of a lot of songs and figured out which body parts are most mentioned.

Based on a compilation of more than 10,000 songs, the piece visualizes the use of words representing body parts in popular culture. Each musical genre exhibits its own characteristic set of words, with more frequently used terms showing up as bigger images. The entrance image shows how many times different body parts are mentioned; the charts for each genre go into more detail, showing the usage of different synonyms for each part.

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