No more thankless work that posits the writer as an entertainer while the readers demand accordingly. (The emails come regularly: "Where is it?!") No more being bound to the whims of a show that could at any moment take a turn for the shitty, and will, if nothing else, thwart my social life. I want to be a normal person who's watching TV, not some frantic note-taking instant replayer. No more regularly scheduled forced digestion in a period of time that gives my brain and writing cramps. It's fatigue, plain and simple, that comes from within but is informed from without. The limitless ubiquity of recaps makes writing them a challenge. Competition is stiff and deadlines are brutal, typically requiring just a few hours for turnaround to remain relevant.*Storyboard: How Recappers Re-Invented TV Culture
“I hated tonight’s episode of Mad Men, but I’ll probably read something on the Internet tomorrow that will change my mind.” So IM’d my girlfriend, and she’s not alone. Over the last decade — but especially its latter half — entertainment sites hired scores of writers tasked with the seemingly enviable responsibility of watching TV and writing about it online. TV criticism at a micro, episodic level has exploded, with content ranging from utilitarian descriptions designed to fill in those who missed last night’s episode to fanciful diversions into absurd fan-fiction and searing cultural criticism. We call it “recapping,” and it’s one of the most culturally potent forms of art criticism of our time...*HuffPo - To Recap or Not to Recap, That Is the Question
...even our “dumb” TV is getting better. As Stephen Johnson argued in Everything Bad Is Good For You, the least nuanced reality shows like The Bachelor serve up a more stimulating mental exercise than the lowbrow fare of the 1980s. With dozens of interpersonal relationships and imperceptible social cues, these brilliant shows about stupid people are more interesting than, say,The Love Boat, and are thus way more fun to talk about.
What's the point of all of this? Are we going to miss the show and then run to the web and read what I missed the night before? That's not the same as watching the show, people! The real reason these recaps exist all over the web is: These recaps drive a lot of traffic to these websites. Why? Because people love to complain and obsess over their favorite/least favorite shows. We, the people of the Internet, like to feel a connection with our stories. We like to talk about these shows with our friends and feel like we are part of a community.*Macleans - Recapping Our Top Story
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