Why You Shouldn’t Put Too Much Stock in Rotten Tomatoes Scores


In a world where movie tickets are pricier than ever and endless content is available to stream online, viewers can be picky about which films they choose to see in theaters. Many also like saving time, which is why the review-compiling service Rotten Tomatoes is so appealing. At a glance, users can tell if a movie is one they should see (CertifiedFresh) or one they should skip in favor of a night home on the couch (Rotten). But as a new video from Vox explains, that system may be too simple for its own good.

A movie’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes reflects the percentage of positive reviews it receives from professional critics. In order to make this assessment, the site must place all the reviews it analyzes into one of two categories: good or bad. The problem with this method is that film criticism isn’t always so black and white. According to the current metrics, a film with rave reviews all around will receive the same CertifiedFresh badge as a movie with mostly average reviews that had slightly more positive than negative things to say about it.

This can be frustrating for film critics. All the thoughtfulness and nuance they put into a piece is automatically sanitized when it goes through the Rotten Tomatoes machine, and their review for a movie they didn’t love can end up contributing to a score they don’t agree with and vice-versa.

If you aren’t ready to commit to reading each review that goes into a Rotten Tomatoes rating individually, there’s another trick you can try. Instead of placing all your stock in a movie’s percentage of “positive” reviews, take a look at its average rating out of 10 according to the website. This should give you a better idea of just how good, bad, or mediocre it is.

[h/t Vox]

Friends Cast Confirms Reunion Special is Coming to HBO Max

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in Friends.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Could we be any more excited? After months of reports that the cast of Friends might be coming together for a reunion of sorts, it looks like it's officially a done deal.

According to Variety, all of the six original actors—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—have signed on for an unscripted special from HBO Max. While previous reports claimed each star would likely earn between $3 and $4 million for their appearances, it's now believed their paychecks will be "at least" $2.5 million apiece.

And to make everything even more real, the beloved actors behind the iconic series are personally confirming the news. All six stars took to Instagram quickly after the news dropped to share their excitement. "It's happening," they captioned the posts.

In a statement, HBO Max's chief content officer Kevin Reilly had this to say of the news:

"Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together—we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library. I became aware of Friends when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends—and audiences—gathered together in real time, and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans."

The Friends reunion does not have a release date yet, but HBO Max is debuting this May.

Coming Soon to a KFC Near You: Fried Chicken and Doughnuts

KFC is bringing doughnuts to the table.
KFC is bringing doughnuts to the table.
Kentucky Fried Chicken

You might have noticed that fast food franchises have upped the stakes considerably when it comes to promotion. In 2019, Taco Bell briefly opened a themed hotel in Palm Springs, California. Meanwhile, Wendy’s has become known for a particularly salty Twitter presence that takes swings at the competition, regularly roasting rivals Burger King and McDonald’s.

KFC recently introduced a collaboration with Crocs for shoes with a fried chicken design. In 2016, they offered a chicken-scented sunscreen. Their newest attempt to garner attention is in the form of a new fried chicken and doughnuts platter. But unlike some novelty foods, this one is rolling out nationwide.

KFC enthusiasts can choose either fried chicken on the bone or their boneless crispy chicken tenders that come with one glazed doughnut. (A big basket meal will give you two doughnuts.) If you want to reach Roman Emperor levels of decadency, you can opt for their fried chicken and doughnut sandwich, which uses two doughnuts to bookend a chicken filet.

All the doughnuts are served warm, a touch usually reserved for Krispy Kreme and other premium doughnut dispensaries. If you feel like grabbing a single doughnut, you can, provided you order one of their other meals.

KFC calls the chicken-and-doughnut combo “the newest fried chicken trend” that’s gaining in popularity, with some independently owned storefronts like Federal Donuts in Philadelphia basing their business on the dish.

KFC tested the doughnuts in 2019 and apparently got enough of an enthusiastic response to make them available across the country for a limited time. You can find the doughnut baskets and sandwich at stores beginning Monday, February 24. If you’re in Los Angeles, a special Colonel’s (Chicken and) Donut Shop will pop up two days earlier on Saturday, February 22.

[h/t Hypebeast]