Stick to the Facts in On-Screen Synopses

Just the facts!
Welcome to Part 7 in an ongoing series that documents unwanted movie reviews and opinions inserted into television metadata, frustrating viewers and disturbing the process of locating entertainment.

Please see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 for previous articles that also observe this alarming phenomenon. Why are anonymous summary writers from certain metadata vendors continuing to push their opinions onto the unsuspecting public, who only wish to simply find a movie to watch without intrusion?

Below, find examples of editorializing and bias in the on-screen program guide, and ponder if this is necessary.

Revolt of the Zombies

Pre-Romero classic where the zombies are defined by being a bit humourless and stiff rather than having insatiable appetite for brains. A campy horror-thriller with an improbably chipper opening theme.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Pointless reworking of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic.
Hide and Seek

A girl (Dakota Fanning) blames creepy events on an imaginary pal. Spooky but predictable.

This summary has the bonus error of an incorrect year of release.

The King and I

Yul Brynner (Best Actor Oscar winner) and Deborah Kerr in a lavish and brilliantly acted version of the the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit.


The one-two knockout punch of Will Smith as Muhammad Ali and Jon Voight as Howard Cosell (both received Oscar nominations) drives this triumphant sports bio. Smith perfectly embodies the former heavyweight champ.
Not only does this final description include an opinion, it also gets the name and gender of Lana Wachowski wrong.

The Matrix

Brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed this vivid, intelligent sci-fi thriller about a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) introduced to a brave new world by a mysterious man named Morpheus.

Here’s an example of a neutral, informative listing for 1999 classic The Matrix.

Don’t let anonymous film criticisms plague your EPG. Look for a TV and entertainment metadata business that features only relevant information in its program descriptions.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Shutterstock.


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