This TV Show Barometer Is Fun & Educational

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TrueDetectivePhoto: Courtesy of HBO.
We're living in the Golden Age of Television, people. With networks and cable channels looking to capitalize on our collective obsession with the boob tube, the amount of content being churned out can be overwhelming. Combing through what stinks and what sticks might mean the difference between wasting a week on a dud like Low Winter Sun and unearthing a hidden gem like Southland.

Here to help you with the task of sifting through the dirt in search of gold is Graph TV, an online algorithm that analyzes IMDb user ratings on any show you type in by determining two very important variables. First, whether or not people thought individual seasons of a show got better or worse as it moved along. Any show can fly out of the gate with a heart-thumping pilot, but maintaining that quality over multiple episodes is something very few can pull off. The second variable is whether people thought an entire series got better or worse from one season to the next. If a show had only one or two good seasons compared to three or four bad ones, you may be better off avoiding it altogether.

Enter in shows that picked up steam from season to season like Breaking Bad and watch as the trend line nearly breaks the page. The same goes for shows whose seasons tend to start off slow, but gain momentum as the episodes hurl along toward an epic climax, shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective. Shows like Lost, however, whose quality dipped as the seasons wore on, are different stories entirely.

Try it out for yourself here. (Fast Company)