Some Tips for Writing a Great Review

How to Write a Review for a Film, Play or T.V. Show

The first sentences of your review should introduce the reader to what you will be writing about–something about the subject matter, some unusual aspect of the film, video or music and a hint of your overall opinion. You should not explain anything in detail because that’s what the rest of your review will accomplish. But you should try to write an appealing first sentence which makes the reader curious and anxious to read more.

Example: Want to watch something really clever on television? Tune in “The Simpsons”. This “typical” family cartoon drama makes fun of everything–parents, kids, neighbors, school, politics and even religion. But it always mocks things in a witty way.

In a few words, summarize what the material is about. But do it BRIEFLY. What’s more important are your comments, thoughts and observations, that is, your analysis. Was the story fascinating? boring? predictable? Confusing? Clever? Always back up your opinion with an example from the subject.

Example: The “Price is Right” is a television show where contestants guess what the retail price of some object; and, they are even given some choices. The more the contestant acts like an idiot, the more the audience (and maybe you) loves it because that way they can scream out all their price suggestions in a chaotic fashion. Sometimes the befuddled contestant takes their advice and the love it. I don’t. It’s brainless entertainment.

Favorite Scene, song, video
Pick your favorite scene, segment or moment and give a clear explanation what makes it so special. Was it the action and the unusual way it was designed? Was there a surprise? Was the dialogue intriguing? Did you like a particular aspect of the event? Consider photography, music, special effects and directing if they played a major role in creating a special moment.

Favorite Musician Actor, Actress (or Character)or Song:
Which actor or actress gave the best performance? Which character was most appealing? Try to explain with facts or observations what made them so special. What did the actor do that was so different? Use an example from the program. Remember, often the best actors are NOT the stars but characters who do something memorable.

Example: If I could be an actress, I would model myself after Gillian Anderson and her role as Scully in “The X-Files”. Unlike a lot of female stars on television, she constantly demonstrates intelligence, independence and even strength. She’s a tough gal who will face up to any ghoul, monster or creep, matching her macho partner, Mulder.

Try to write something in conclusion that is distinctive, new and satisfying to the reader and you. It should be something that ties your ideas together from a fresh approach. Avoid tacking on some routine sentences which add nothing. Example: “I really enjoyed this movie a lot. It was very exciting and a lot of fun. I sure would like to see it again.” BOR-R-R-ING!
See if you can end your piece with a sizzling line.

Examples of “sizzlers”:
“Everyone should have devoted friends as portrayed in “Friends”.
“You’d better have a good friend with you when you watch the predictable “Friends” t.v. show. That way, you will have somebody to talk to when things get dull.
Include a photo or illustration and be sure to sign your name.

The title should be something that cleverly and creatively attracts the reader’s attention. It can also give a hint of your opinion. If you set it up write, it can tie in cleverly with something in your last concluding paragraph.

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