"Overrated” is a technical term applied to mechanical or electrical devices. For example, when a shelf rated for ten pounds breaks when one pound is applied, we would declare this shelf overrated. That usage makes perfect sense, but I dislike it when the word describes something non-technical. For example, I found an article defending Rick and Morty from people calling it overrated.
I agree with the article, but let’s take a step back. The animation is subpar, and the main character is ultra-arrogant. Perhaps the most arrogant character in television history. Those are two big blows, and it should be permissible for a person to say, “I know you like the show, but you are ignoring these major flaws.” We live in an open society and should be encouraged to point out flaws. Sometimes, we must be vocal to get our point across. That is how we learn, evolve, and change.
What is the psychology behind this word? It is a word that helps people convince others to agree with them. Another way of stating this is that we wish to soften a disapproval slam. “In the upcoming election, don’t vote for X. They are overrated.” Meaning: I do not like X, and neither should you.
Am I guilty of using this term? One famous movie that comes to mind is Twilight. I watched it in the theater and was disappointed. What about all the fans who cherish their beloved movie? It is tempting to say, “For each, his own.” Yet, that would be me falsely claiming to be the better person. If I honestly listed the flaws, would my summary not include the word overrated? After all, my tear-down would directly contradict the millions of fans who cherished the movie.
After thinking about my question and re-writing this article several times, I realized that this word applies to my thoughts. Dang, my admission is upsetting. This article aimed to explain why this word should only be used for technical applications. Reading it is a red flag identifying someone not open to new ideas, fresh perspectives, other people’s feelings, or how difficult it is to create something. I want to say that these people have a pre-determined opinion that overrides their common sense and courtesy.
Yet… Here I am. The word applies to the movie Twilight. Reading that sentence boils my blood, and I want to delete it. It is like I am going up to every movie fan and insulting them. That is not me! But somehow, it is. Well? What does this all mean? This article was supposed to be a simple lighthearted discussion but it has turned into one of the most difficult ones I have ever written. I cannot convince myself that my altruistic argument is correct, and there can only be one conclusion. I am overrated. In my wildest dreams, I would never have anticipated applying that word to myself.

You’re the best -Bill
April 10, 2024
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