I've noticed that on a lot of the questions for based on Season 4 have quite a lot of negative opinions in the comments and answers. These examples are from all different users, for all the different episodes in the season, and this is far from an exhaustive list.

My question isn't about the quality of the show, as I also personally feel that the quality has declined since previous seasons, but whether it's normal for this kind of thing to happen on this site? I've never seen so many opinions, particularly negative ones, on any particular topic before.

Personal opinion sometimes is included in questions/ answers/ comments, but it seems that most of the questions based on season 4 have at least one user commenting on the quality of the show.

Is this level of backlash on a specific film or TV show unprecedented on this site? Or is it because of the subject matter that opinion is required more than other films or shows?

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    Is it normal? No it's not but other movies have probably received divided opinion. Perhaps the Star Wars Episodes 1 - 3...but I wasn't on M&TV back then. It's just that S4 really suffered from lazy and confusing writing.
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 23, 2017 at 17:13
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    I'm avoiding these questions because I've not been able to see the series yet - not yet out on netflix in the US. So what exactly are you looking for here ....? It seems to me that your question might not be on topic here - its kind of about how the site operates, but more about the show itself. However it would almost be certainly closed on the main site because many would consider it to be too opinion based. You might find it better to ask on chat?
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 18:28
  • @iandotkelly its a valid complaint about the whiny non-constructive comments that are being left on any and all sherlock questions right now. Its 100% on topic here on meta.
    – cde
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:08
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    Comments of "Sherlock sucks now" are about as welcomed as "It's a movie it doesn't have to make sense"...
    – cde
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:08
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    I'm toying with an answer to this, but I really can't address the question as currently phrased. Other movies have attracted energetic and divided comments - but I'm reluctant to spoil myself from the season before I've watched it myself. That said - my general opinion is that we are not a 'hard' stackoverflow site - so some leverage for opinion should be allowed in comments. However extended discussion or argument about matters of opinion are likely to be moved to chat - and deletion of comments that are going to be that helpful to users in the future is not at all unlikely.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:46
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    If any post is gathering unhealthy amounts of chat like comments - you can flag them and the mods will take a look at it.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


As someone who has not seen said 4th season of Sherlock yet I can, however, agree that I have seen a great deal of opinionated comments about the allegedly bad quality of that season on new questions asked about it.

I'm a little at a loss of what exactly you expect from the answers here, though. As you realize yourself, it's not our pupose to discuss the truth behind those statements. Neither do I think it's the first time this happens for a work to garner a lot of criticism in the site's comments (think of the Star Wars prequels for example).

That being said, it's admittedly not that normal for a TV-show to gather such an amount of negative comments. And it is certainly not constructive or encouraged in any way. While comments might be a little less strictly policed than questions and answers, denigrating works for the sole purpose of complaining doesn't really contribute anything useful to the site. And as much as the site does sometimes encourage a more "subjective" approach than other SE sites, stuff like that does not fall under what we call "good subjective". To quote the help center:

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive.

There is certainly a difference between:

I don't think there is much of a conclusive answer to this other than mere inconsistency of the story in this regard.


Yeah, that was just one of those things that were completely bollocks in this episode. I'd say the writers smoked the wrong stuff.

Feel free to flag the latter kind of comment as not constructive. For anything in between those two examples, it's upto to case-by-case judgment. But if you deem any kind of comment along those lines probelmatic, feel free to flag it and the moderators will try to assess its value.

And of course we try to avoid assessments of that kind in questions and answers even more. So if you see unnecessary opinionated judgment there, feel free to edit it out.

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    Thanks, it's good to know where the line should be drawn for opinions in comments or questions, this is very helpful. Jan 24, 2017 at 9:55

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