The star rating represents a general summary of my thoughts and feelings overall. There's no clear-cut application of a rating; it's just a useful estimate.
— Recommended with caveats
— Average, so-so
— Lower end of mediocre
or lower — Abysmal
Why aren't the ratings consistent?
The star ratings are not meant to be absolute, especially not between different series (and sometimes not even between different seasons of the same series). It's a relative scale with a certain amount of built-in uncertainty. I try to be consistent, but that's probably impossible given the wide range of tones and intentions behind the different series/seasons/episodes/movies — not to mention my own changing feelings and attitudes spanning some 25 years, and the different circumstances surrounding when and how the reviews were written. It's an art, not a science. Rating scales are overrated anyway.