A few of these have popped up recently:

As far as I can see, they are all based on a perceived drop in "quality", which is almost entirely subjective. I'm not really sure if there is an objective way to ask or answer questions like these.

Should these type of questions be allowed?

  • Downvoters, care to explain what is wrong with asking this question? – DisgruntledGoat Dec 6 '12 at 16:48
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    Its meta, here downvote doesn't means that your question is wrong. Its just that somebody agrees with you or not. – Ankit Sharma Dec 6 '12 at 19:03
  • @Ankit oh OK, wasn't aware of that rule. I thought people were supposed to answer or upvote their preferred answer (ie instead of downvoting the question, upvote the answer disagreeing). Downvoting the question only seems to hinder discussion, not encourage it. – DisgruntledGoat Dec 7 '12 at 12:15
  • The same answer i have got from stack overflow meta long ago. – Ankit Sharma Dec 7 '12 at 14:47

As I've said in comments, I agree with almost every point @Robert Cartaino brings up in his post.

But at the same time I do not.

Lets go over each, eh?

Bill Cosby

Upon further review and community outcry, this question just got the axe.


It started out as a rant against the final few seasons of The Cosby Show (you can see the revision history for yourself and the comments section) and didn't improve much in a general tone, citing that it is just Cosby's fault himself for 'running out of ideas' and such.

The answer also didn't bring much to the table , citing a source that had a vote page with voters that were no greater than 11 in total from a site that I question it's integrity to begin with.

While this question had potential, the potential was wasted on a rant.

Coming from a Cosby Show fan, I would be interested in a objective theory about the show's apparent decline and what characters/actors/writers contributed to that.

Alas, this is not what that question was.

Ben 10

Coming from someone who has 0 interest in Ben 10 to begin with, this question seems more, to me, asking for clarification of the plot with a complaint about continuity unnecessarily thrown into the beginning of the question, and this is what I believe this question should be.

Stating there are a lot of continuity errors can be objective fact. But without anything to back it up, it also looks like a rant, simple as that.


This one is very interesting indeed. Speaking of a show almost as old as I am. This alone should allow a lot of good question material, analysis, and the like.

Having an analysis of the show's changes over the years can be a good thing, but as long as it is done objectively. Hence my comment and notice on the post.

The question has no answers at this point and 1 close vote for NC, I'm tempted to leave it and see what becomes of it. The wording of the question has to be cleaned up a bit as it still sounds a bit opinionated.

This is another with potential, so lets not mess it up, aye?

All in all, as we've had said a lot over the past few days, this site has a whole bunch of leniency when it comes to subjectivity, compared to other sites. We accept theories, analysis, and even more. When we cross into the realm of having the posts be just a rant is purely unacceptable.

I do not wish to pass the decision to nuke these questions from orbit, but if they keep the current trend, we will have to in order to keep this site from being a place for ranting.

So lets make these questions better and keep em high quality ;)

  • Don't got the 0 interest point. – Ankit Sharma Dec 5 '12 at 15:35
  • I'm just making the point that I have no knowledge of Ben 10 therefore can't speak with any degree of accuracy about your question. – Tablemaker Dec 5 '12 at 15:36
  • Ok, thanx for clearing the point. – Ankit Sharma Dec 5 '12 at 15:38
  • How is it possible to objectively comment on how funny The Simpsons is/was? You can say "it declined in quality because of X reason" and I could say "I thought that made the show better". – DisgruntledGoat Dec 6 '12 at 16:46
  • Comedy is subjective. # of viewers is objective. If there is a significant decline in neilson ratings for Simpsons since, lets say, 2003 from 11.0 to 4.0, you can then say that it must have declined in quality. The discussion you talk about is exactly what is only allowed in the comments section. – Tablemaker Dec 6 '12 at 17:15
  • @Tyler but now you are positing that popularity==quality, which we all know isn't true. (Just look at Arrested Development vs 2.5 Men.) – DisgruntledGoat Dec 7 '12 at 12:19
  • Mine was but merely an example, not a be all end all measurement. – Tablemaker Dec 7 '12 at 13:14

These aren't really questions in a Q&A sense. This is just a rhetorical device to start a hardy, boisterous rant where everyone can join in. It's a place where everyone gets to play along for their chance to be clever in the game show of "Spot the Silly Hollywood Gimmick."

The problem is that — like the "Jumping the Shark" meme — folks can just start piling on the answers regardless of their relative merrit. Everyone is equally qualified to answer and no answer is any better than another — "I am the foremost authority on my opinion." The most clever quip wins favor in the voting, and soon the site loses all sense of expertise on the subject.

Asking folks to describe in good faith the exact moment a television series began to decline in quality is ludicrous. That is not compiling a source of knowledge on this topic. The premise of this site as a compilation of knowledge is tenuous enough as it is. Don't succumb to these devices to get the conversation rolling. That's not what you are here for.

Close as 'not constructive'

This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

  • 2
    The more and more I re-read this the more and more I agree and disagree. I agree in that, yes, they can be subjective conversations but at the same time, I disagree because if answered by the right person, it can provide a great objective-ish analysis of a series. – Tablemaker Dec 4 '12 at 18:52
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    I agree that those questions can be dangerous and non-constructive. But on the other hand they can also be interresting questions based on more or less objective observations with insightful objective answers. It is rather a question-by-question decision and your answer seems a bit too hard for the general case. +1 for TylerShads. And the particular examples (or rather 1 and 3, don't know about 2) aren't that bad (even if not completely good) and I wouldn't impute ranting to their askers. – Napoleon Wilson Dec 5 '12 at 9:48

I agree with Tylershads, the Cosby Show is a rant and not a good question and was closed as such. The Ben 10 question reads as a plot-explanation question, and the Simpsons one reads as an analysis of the changes of the show over time, jsut needs some better wording.

I also agree with Robert Cartaino. Questions that are essentially rants, or are just trying to point out holes/issues with a show or series, should be closed.


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