Art Happenings

Evaluating Television and Film


There are many fine television dramas and films, but when you make your selection, you must use discrimination, recognizing important differences and distinctions. Television and films can take you anywhere and show you many situations. This is why you must use discrimination. Many dramas on television and on film are not appropriate for all ages, nor do they all have merit. They are also much more accessible than live theatre. There critics who rate television programs and movies and suggest appropriate viewing. Some critics write for magazines and newspapers; others can be heard on the radio or on television. The Motion Picture Association of <st1:country-region w:st="on">America</st1:country-region> provides movie ratings for parents and young people:

            G-all ages admitted

            PG-all ages admitted, but use parental discretion

            PG13-parent strongly cautioned

            R-restricted; persons under 17 must be accompanied by an adult

            NC-17-no children under 17 admitted

Most movie theatres enforce these codes, but it is still in your best interest to learn to be selective in what you see and hear. Use the following criteria to help you select and evaluate television drama and films before you view them.


Before viewing:

1.      What comments have you heard about the television programs or film?

2.      What reviews have you read in newspapers or magazines about the television programs or films?

3.      Is the television program or film supported or recommended by people you respect or by organizations such as Hallmark and PBS that have a history of producing quality show?

(You may not agree with the comments and opinions of others, but you may find them helpful in forming your own standards.)


After Viewing:

4.      Did the story have a well-developed theme and plot? Were the characters well developed?

5.      How effective were the actors? Were they believable? How effective were their voices, their movements, and their reactions to other actors?

6.      Did the story have human values? Did it have appropriate role models, language, and message?

7.      How effective was the director’s work? How effective were the casting directions given to the actors, and message given to the audience?

8.      How effective were the set designs, scenery, lighting, and special effects?

9.      How effective were the costuming and makeup?

10.  How effective were the camera operators?

11.  How effective was the television or film editor? Did the television program or film flow together? Did the sequencing make sense? Should part of the program or film have been left out? Was something missing?

12.  Did advertising of the television program or film influence you in choosing it?

13.  What did you like best and least about the television program or film?

14.  What would you change about the television program or film?

15.  Would you recommend the television program or film to another person? Why or why not?

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.