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Take Those Damned Goggles Off
October 2, 2012 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jacob Clifton is the reason I stopped blogging, or even writing, about TV as he set the bar too high in regards to being insightful and funny without being snarky for the point of scoring bitchiness points.

He's also the the reason I still occasionally watch Gossip Girl, so I think we're even.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:09 AM on October 2, 2012


Heh. It's the annual "stop payIng attention to Tor.com" week for me then. This looks like it might be worth checking out though.

I'm also rather curious about Nisi Shawl's anti-colonial Steampunk.
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


As I am familiar with Jacob Clifton's recaps, my question is: how far into the story do I have to read before he stops fucking wanking all over his fucking keyboard and actually does what he is supposed to fucking do?
posted by mightygodking at 10:12 AM on October 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


I like the setting and its area of focus but it would do much better with more showing and less telling.
posted by burnfirewalls at 10:15 AM on October 2, 2012


Ahhhhh Jacob. I used to hate him so. Now that he actually recaps shows in a funny manner without spending 10 pages going off about mythology tangentially related to the material at hand I enjoy him much more. But man those BSG recaps were overwanky even for a show which practically demanded overwankery.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:32 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Weirdly, though a huge Doctor Who fan, I never read his recaps -- because everybody else's opinion on that show is fine, but usually wrong, and I didn't figure he'd be any different. :)

(I wasn't watching BSG at the time either so avoided for spoiler's sake)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:41 AM on October 2, 2012


As I am familiar with Jacob Clifton's recaps, my question is: how far into the story do I have to read before he stops fucking wanking all over his fucking keyboard and actually does what he is supposed to fucking do?

Funny, that's precisely why I stopped reading his BSG TWoP recaps. Overwankery indeed.
posted by mochapickle at 10:48 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


/Checks Doctor Who recap.

Oh, he's one of those.

/never bothers again.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jacob's recaps were insufferable, mostly because you could tell he really, really wanted to write for the show. I'm looking forward to reading this story, because he's a great writer who seemed to be stuck in exactly the wrong type of writing job.
posted by xingcat at 11:03 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really loved his recaps for The Apprentice -- they were smart and took the show seriously (which is quite a feat considering how terrible that show was).
posted by cider at 11:26 AM on October 2, 2012


I had quit reading Jacob a long time ago, but started reading his True Blood recaps and enjoy them. There's just enough wankery applied to make you unsure whether the show is pure dumb fun or Alan Ball is (was) a genius. Like cider said, he takes the show seriously, but also realizing what it is he's taking seriously. It's a nice balance.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:57 AM on October 2, 2012


Yeah his recent stuff (True Blood/Good Wife/Pretty Little Liars are the ones I read) is actually really good. He's improved a lot since he stopped trying to impress everyone.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2012


Oh man, Jacob's Farscape reviews back in the good old days of TWOP. He'd be like "....and then everyone vomits everywhere, and I can't help but think of Shiva and Parvati, and of the deeper selves we have but constantly deny, and that's why this show has puppets in it, because we're all puppets, to ourselves, connected to the earth (PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE PUPPET). Vomit, our essential essence, if we only learned to love it we could love each other. And if you think about it, of course everyone on the show has to be Australian. They could never be anything else. Can any of us ever be anything other than we are? So Shiva, right, I won't get into that too deeply because this recap is already 17 pages long, but check the works of Nijaguna Shivayogi and you'll see what I mean. So then Chiana eats a cracker, and Aeryn makes out with Crichton's clone. It's pretty hot."

Golden age of the internet.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:29 PM on October 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't understand steampunk and I don't like short stories, but I'll try to read this later because I do like Jacob's writing (even if he did ban me from TWOP). I did want to share my favorite Jacob recap, the season 4 finale of The Apprentice, when nerdy black wunderkind Randal won and turned down Trump's offer to "share" his victory with energetic white Rebecca. That was such a scandal and Randal received heavy criticism for his decision but Jacob does a great job connecting the dots of the implicit racism and sexism in Trump's request. I'd always seen Donald Trump as some rich goofball, but that entire event and Jacob's recap caused me to see him in a different light, to see the danger of the amoral rich.
posted by Danila at 1:44 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


As I am familiar with Jacob Clifton's recaps, my question is: how far into the story do I have to read before he stops fucking wanking all over his fucking keyboard and actually does what he is supposed to fucking do?

Precisely the opposite of my reaction. There are a thousand places one can go to read a dry recap of the events of a TV show, and very very few that engage with the show as art and explore the themes in context. I never really watched The Apprentice but the recaps leading up to Randal's win (as mentioned above) were fantastic reading, and as someone who inexplicably ended up watching Weeds to the bitter end, it was a a lot less fun for me after Season 6 when TWOP axed his recaps...I went to find insight from the AVClub's equivalent, which were all some boring variation on "ugh, this show."
posted by psoas at 2:27 PM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I liked that piece, but oh god, the pagination...
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on October 2, 2012


I was actually a huge fan of his overwrought Doctor Who and BSG recaps, and then along came Moffat and Smith and he just lost his shit with that show. I don't mind that he dislikes Moffat Who, but for the life of me I can't figure out why Davies didn't trigger that reaction years before.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:18 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


JACOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by unknowncommand at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012


I frequently liked his Doctor Who recaps better than the episodes themselves.
posted by 168 at 8:39 PM on October 3, 2012


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