I'm somewhat confused about what makes something either overrated and underrated. Is this completely subjective, and based only on personal opinion, or somewhat objective, based on similarity to other things or some other measurable criterion? What kind of criteria should one use to determine that something is underrated or overrated?

For example, some people might say that Game Of Thrones is overrated because it's incredibly popular - is the fact that it's popular the reason that it's overrated? If that's so, shouldn't anything that's very popular be overrated? What is the difference?

  • They say it's not as bad as they say it is. Mar 22 '18 at 16:01
  • If there is more publicly expressed praise than a thing of the exact same qualities would normally get, it is 'overrated', less the opposite. In my opinion, you compare the same thing to itself if it hadn't caught some lucky trend or spot or promotion that made it hit a nerve of fad popularity that turned into praise for underserved aspects of it
    – Tom22
    Apr 22 '18 at 4:00
  • I might consolidate this into a an answer - while it is impossible to say 'which someone enjoyed more' I think it could be a safer argument to make that "people were depressed because of xx, then this actor said this really nice thing that warmed peoples hearts, then she made a movie and not too bad a movie and it had popular music that topped the charts, then, the actress wins best actress.." It might be fair to speculate that "her acting was overated, were it not for the well loved music and the audience on her side for external things, they would have hated her acting" \
    – Tom22
    Apr 22 '18 at 4:10

In my opinion mostly it's a person's opinion that makes something under or over rated to them.

The exception to this is when talking about things that can objectively be valued. For example a house might have market value that is underrated or undervaluated. The same case for stocks, if stocks are considered to be undervalued, then many people will tend to buy those stocks in the hope that in the longer term prices equilibrate or settle back to normalcy, hoping to make a return on investment.

Undervalued is a financial term referring to a security or other type of investment that is selling for a price presumed to be below the investment's true intrinsic value.

Generally if you're talking about any of the arts, I mean in their artistic value, and this includes songs, films, shows, books, paintings, it's a matter of opinion mostly. Although I think it's be hard to argue between this famous piece of post-modern abstract art:

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And this:

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  • 1
    That's just your opinion!
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 22 '18 at 20:48
  • But who holds the first with the same esteem as the second? That would be such an anomolous opinion that "over rated" in it's popular sense would not apply... if critics widely put both on their "top 10 must see lists" .. (and knowing there are thousands of other candidates) .. then there would at least be criteria for refuting lol
    – Tom22
    Apr 22 '18 at 4:17

"Overrated" means exactly that: rated over. Rated over what? What it "should" be. So, yes, this is going to come down to personal opinion, both on what it "should" be rated, and, to a lesser extent, how it is rated (that is, one can dispute a claim that something is overrated either by saying it deserves being rated highly, or by claiming that the person claiming that it's overrated is exaggerating its popularity). To say that something is overrated is to say that is has more popularity or critical acclaim or cultural cachet, etc., than it "deserves".

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