It's easy to understand why people are ambivalent, or even hostile, toward ratings. The thinking goes something like this:
1. People love the shows that they love, a lot 2. Some of these shows get canceled "too soon" 3. They get canceled, almost invariably, because of what some mean old bully named Nelson said. Nielsen. I mean Nielsen.
To intensify your heartburn, the validity of these ratings is seemingly taken for granted. When you find out that your favorite show is getting canceled for having a 1.1 rating, there's never any "but" — just the number. A network might keep a show around for prestige, or on [...]
As a member of a class of French aristocrats that most Americans would mistake for characters in a faintly Francophobic Monty Python sketch, Christine de Védrines should be forgiven for making unusual choices. An anxious heiress to a centuries-old fortune, she, along with much of her immediate and extended family, entrusted their fortunes and fates to a charismatic gentleman with a penchant for conspiracy theories. The result? For Christine, routine, cultish beatings; for the others, brainwashing, isolation and bankruptcy. It's an uncomfortably fascinating story; vivid and salacious to the point of doubt, and so incredibly specific that it can barely be considered cautionary.
Barely. Somewhere in [...]