Overrated Doesn’t Mean Bad

As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I grew up loving really old nostalgic properties and I can’t help but express my love for them. I know I’m not the only one since a lot of people on the Internet say the same thing. There are hundreds of sites dedicated to old-school properties that today’s generation weren’t able to see during their heyday. Either that or the kids of today are more familiar with their modern remakes.

To this, we usually say the “original” versions were much better. The live-action Bayformers suck! The G1 Transformers rule! But that’s apparently not the case! In a fairly recent episode of Kids React, the hosts showed the kids the old Transformers cartoon. They even explained that they thought the original version was awesome. To which, the kids just laughed at them. Stupid kids!

But I bet if kids today watch it after reading such glowing reviews for the old, original series, they’d probably think it’s overrated. That may be so… but is it bad? You see, overrated doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. And that’s what I like to talk about since people lately have been using the word in the wrong way.

Take Skyfall as an example. Critics and the general public generally loved this movie, earning it high praise from everyone that watched it. But there is a small band of people that feel Skyfall isn’t that great of a film, myself included. But I can’t say it’s a bad film. I just think it’s overrated. That’s fair, right?

People nowadays have equated the word “overrated” to mean bad. But… no. That’s not what it’s supposed to mean. In the strictest sense, “overrated” means that something is given too much credit than it deserves. It’s that simple! However, I’m not saying that something that’s overrated can’t be bad, though. That’s still totally possible!


There are also films that I think are just boring but have received critical acclaim from the general masses. An example for me is James Cameron’s Avatar. The first time I watched it, I was blown away by the use of 3-D visuals. But, while watching the film, I knew the story was just pure garbage! Without the visuals and special effects, Avatar would just be your typical one-of-the-mill movies. But the critics and general audiences ate it up! According to Metacritic, the critics have given James Cameron’s Avatar 31 positive review, 4 mixed reviews and… zero negative reviews! None of the critics gave it a bad review!

Uncanny Valley much?

Uncanny Valley much?

Okay, this is just my opinion and I can sort of see why people are so enamored with this Last of the Mohicans/The Last Samurai with blue cat people ripoff. The visuals were really good but, honestly, that’s it. That’s not enough for me to give this film a pass! So, yes, in my opinion, James Cameron’s Avatar is overrated and also an awful film.

I would just like people to be more careful with using the word “overrated” because it’s definition is changing to mean something bad, which is just wrong. And, in a few years of using the word in this manner, “overrated” may actually mean bad! People don’t realize that language evolves over time. The word “literally” now has two definitions. The first is the “correct” way to use it, which is “in a literal manner or sense; exactly.” But it now has a secondary and informal (incorrect) meaning these days: “used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.” Even dictionaries list the informal meaning nowadays!

Is it something to get worked up about? Honestly, no. It’s something of a pet peeve of mine. I guess you can say that my anger over the issue is kind of overrated.

How do you use the word “overrated”? Do you think the word means “bad” these days? Let me know in the comments section below

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