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The big lesson here? Beware!
March 27, 2014 9:22 AM   Subscribe

On April 4th, DailyCandy and Television Without Pity will be shuttered by NBCUniversal. TWOP's forums will remain until May 31st.
posted by griphus (225 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
*rends garments*

BUT NOW WHERE WILL I DISCUSS EVERY SINGLE DETAIL IN OBSESSIVE ALL CAPS TIL THREE IN THE MORNING?
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on March 27 [20 favorites]


*rends garments*

BUT NOW WHERE WILL I DISCUSS EVERY SINGLE DETAIL IN OBSESSIVE ALL CAPS TIL THREE IN THE MORNING?


TV Tropes?
posted by Fizz at 9:26 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I don't know about y'all, but I'd read MeFiTV like religiously.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:27 AM on March 27 [105 favorites]


I swear my elevated commenting numbers are just from taking part in The Neverending Mad Men Threads.
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


That's sad. I actually like some of the TWoP forums.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:30 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I don't know about y'all, but I'd read MeFiTV like religiously.

We've tried to establish a separate media forum no less than twice but it petered out each time. If someone wants to give a TWOP-like thing (with Actual Articles) a shot, I'd contribute. God knows I'm watching enough TV.
posted by griphus at 9:30 AM on March 27 [17 favorites]


This is a stunner. I used to be quite the devotee of TWoP when younger, but I find that I gravitiate more and more towards the AV Club for recaps anymore. The odds are higher they will recap one-off or odder shows than TWoP would.

But still: I will be sad when they shutter it.
posted by Kitteh at 9:31 AM on March 27 [15 favorites]


I loved the idea of the TWOP forums, but did not love the execution, and stopped trying to visit a while back after my antivirus program kept throwing up malware warnings. A successor will rise, of this I am sure.

Also, .
posted by trunk muffins at 9:34 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


It will all be saved in the digital ether, but not be available to the public.

Well, this is terrible. I recently rewatched the first three seasons of Alias and had to reread the recaps too. I can't believe they won't be preserved online.
posted by Mavri at 9:35 AM on March 27


The original founders of TWOP have gone on to create a site called Previously.TV, which has a ton of articles and only just the other day opened up some forums. (Maybe a non-compete clause expired or something? /end total speculation)

They also do the Extra Hot Great podcast, which I really enjoy. (They stopped for a little while and then started it up again.)
posted by theatro at 9:37 AM on March 27 [26 favorites]


Thank God for the TWOP recaps, without which I would have most likely forced myself to watch Season 9 of The X-Files for completion's sake. And that would have hurt.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:37 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Oh snap, thanks theatro for the new site! I was wondering what happened to Sars! Yay!
posted by Kitteh at 9:39 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


If someone wants to give a TWOP-like thing (with Actual Articles) a shot, I'd contribute. God knows I'm watching enough TV.

I'd contribute articles too. Like, some sort of group blog with open submissions that would get approved by a small group of editors?
posted by Think_Long at 9:39 AM on March 27


Ugh, this is a bummer. Despite the crazy moderation (and maybe also because of it?), I enjoyed countless TWOP forums, both as shows aired and reading old threads as I watched shows that were new to me (Friday Night Lights!).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:41 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


without TWOP where would we find people who hate every single episode of the show but keep showing up, week after week, to talk about how awful it is?
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 AM on March 27 [40 favorites]


I have great and fond feelings about TWOP. I was there when it was Mighty Big TV. I met my best friends on those forums and spent a vast amount of time and engery there. I had 40 people from all over the country come to my house and watch Buffy for a weekend. 3 out of the 4 of my bridesmaids, I met there. I go on at least one vacation a year with the girls I met on the Buffy boards and I love every one of them dearly.

That said, I'm not surprised that TWOP is going the way of Dawson's Creek and ER. It's time I think for it to move on.

Even though I haven't actively posted there in years, I would go back and check recaps for certain shows. Because back in the day, their recaps were awesome replacments for shows you missed or wanted to catch up on. The last few times I've checked the recaps, they either weren't recapping the show I expected them to be (Really, not recapping Grimm?? That's like their bread and butter of old), or the recaps were very short, bitchy and essentially told me nothing about the show I missed.

Part of the reason I and a number of my friends left the boards was because things like Facebook and Twitter allowed us to keep up with each other in a more immediate way. The other part of the reason was the eventual frustration that occurs with a social site because of the inherent dramas of BigNameFans and Fandom. I don't know that any fandom site can survive for a very long time in the same state, but TWOP had a good run.

So here's a . for the site and all the good people it brought into my life.
posted by teleri025 at 9:42 AM on March 27 [18 favorites]


It seems bizarre to me that TVWOP has spent years generating all this content, and it's just going to be thrown away. That seems pretty counter to how the internet works in terms of this sort of thing.
posted by Sara C. at 9:45 AM on March 27 [24 favorites]


This is terrible news. Even though I haven't participated for a while, the forums were incredible. I particularly have fond memories of spending quite a bit of time in the 24 and American Idol subforums because the people there made bad tv so much fun. And for the actually good shows, West Wing and Mad Men for example, some of those subforums were legendary in their beautiful obsessiveness. Really excellent moderation as well.

The recaps were also a thing of joy. TWOP will be deeply missed.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:45 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Oh, jeez. I've been on TWOP forever, and was enthusiastic about the company there to go to a couple of Amazing Race finale parties in NYC. I'm not as present there anymore, but I still go poke around and read stuff.

The Previously.tv stuff is definitely an option, and while the forums are very very quiet at the moment I bet that's where most people will end up.

The end of Fametracker spawned Snarkfest, which has had a few incarnations but is also still around, and those boards are also good, if quiet.

Man.
posted by PussKillian at 9:47 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


It was the best of forums, it was the worst of forums. Even before NBC bought it a lot of the site was just toxic as hell. (Going by the Buffy recaps and forums, you'd think Marti Noxon had personally strangled 20,000 kittens.)

But still, it had a lot of great content.

Really excellent moderation as well.

This... is not how I remember things.
posted by kmz at 9:48 AM on March 27 [23 favorites]


Okay, this is totally braggy, but I'mma mention it anyway.

Those of you who were TWOP regulars - remember the banner wars? In particular, remember the "Tara Is Dead" banner that gave birth to the phrase "Seriously. [Monkey]"?

My idea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on March 27 [29 favorites]


Here's the thing, I'd start a show YEARS after everyone else had seen it and then go FIND the recaps on TWOP and happily clickthrough reading them all. What would it cost to keep up a static archive? God.
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 AM on March 27 [30 favorites]


(that is, it was my idea to make such a banner, ten of us chipped in, and one of the ten designed it and came up with the monkey.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:49 AM on March 27


I also loved TWoP back in its early years (I seem to recall finding it around 2003-ish?) but eventually abandoned the forums due to the heavy modding. I kept reading some of the recaps, though, because aggravating moderation or not, there were some seriously great writers at TWoP. Then Bravo bought it, the good writers left, not-good writers took their place (at least for the recaps I read), and -- if the very few times I ventured back into the forums was any indication -- the modding had gone off the fucking deep end. (I was nearly banned over a comment in a Kitchen Nightmares thread about the availability of decent pizza in L.A.) Still, I enjoyed reading the forums for random shows that weren't recapped elsewhere, especially as there was always great insider gossip in the RuPaul's Drag Race forum.

So all told, I'm not surprised, but I'm still sad to see a once-great site finally come to its end. And I agree that it's bizarre that the content isn't going to be saved anywhere.

And holy hell, count me in as a YES!!!!!! for a Mefi recap/forum subsite. The Whelk's comments about Mad Men are a thing of beauty and joy.
posted by scody at 9:49 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


What is the logic behind not keeping the site up? I mean, that's craptons of content, right? People still go there and read old recaps. It's pageview after pageview where they can still stick ads. Am I missing something obvious about why they feel the need to remove these?

I used to go there faithfully. I don't go there for the new stuff anymore, and that's probably why they're discontinuing the new stuff, but I do still swing by when I get nostalgic about an old show, and want to refresh my memory!
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:50 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I'm about to start recapping for another site in a couple weeks (Game Of Thrones), and if I like doing it, I'd definitely be up for recapping some other show at a later date for a MeFiTV site.

Fuck, looking at my posting habits, if there was MeFiTV, my overall participation on the Blue and Green would probably dwindle to "normal Mefite" from "omg go outside or something".
posted by Sara C. at 9:51 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


I don't visit TWOP as much I used to do because I have stopped watching TV that I only enjoy because of snarky recaps since Gossip Girl went off the air.

(Okay, this isn't actually true - but having a like-minded partner and/or being on Twitter more have filled that void.)

(And not that there wasn't great recapping of quality shows there -- and probably still is -- I just can barely keep up with the TV I watch, let alone reading about it as obsessively as I once did.)

But I'm still surprised how much of a BIG DEAL this feels, even if it isn't what once was to me. Like a very significant loss. Perhaps in no small part because meeting people IRL who knew and liked specific recappers was very significant to me back in "the day."

(I don't want to step on anybody's toes if they actually have follow through, but this TV group blog idea interests me, so keep your eyes open as I think more about it.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:51 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


This... is not how I remember things.

Guess I wasn't there for the days of toxic sludge. Never was on the site during the Buffy heyday. By the middle of the last decade, any attempt at flamewars was very quickly snuffed out in the subforums I was reading. And there were plenty of attempts by slightly too obsessive fans of various American Idol contestants.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:53 AM on March 27


Has mathowie ever considered a TV subsite? I think the problem with a spin-off site is that they very rarely obtain a critical mass of users, but if it were official, or at least log-ins were connected behind the scenes you wouldn't have that problem.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:53 AM on March 27


Oh man, talking about pageviews... I still remember when they didn't have full navigation within recaps, so you had to keep clicking next if say, you wanted to skip to page 8 of the recap because that's where you stopped previously or whatever. (Or just know how to manipulate the URL, but anyway.) Super damned annoying.
posted by kmz at 9:55 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Phobe tried a TV/Media subsite but it kinda died on the vine.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on March 27


Has mathowie ever considered a TV subsite?

As someone who has participated (and started) some niche subsites, the answer from the mods is generally "do it yourself and post it to Projects/make a MeTa."
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on March 27


Empress, That was you!!!! I may have spent far too much time designing a Spander banner. God, those were some fun times.

I was working in Photoshop recently for a work project and a coworker asked me how I got so good at photo manips and so forth. I caught myself before I confessed that the majority of my skills were gotten making icons for LJ and banners for TWOP.
posted by teleri025 at 9:57 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I loved the recaps of Seventh Heaven. So much so that I actually started to watch the show.
posted by Area Man at 9:57 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Yeah there was the one PhoB started (MeFi Cooler?) and the ill-fated Film Club.
posted by griphus at 9:58 AM on March 27


Reading Miss Alli's (Metafilter's own Linda Holmes) hilarious recaps of The Amazin Race kept me watching the show long after I stopped enjoying it on its own merits.

Also, I was a huge fan of Aaron's Six Feet Under recaps, and I'm still curious about why he vanished from the site so abruptly.
posted by bibliowench at 9:59 AM on March 27 [10 favorites]


yeah Mefi-Cooler.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on March 27


I didn't actually do the nitty-gritty design work. It was more like, I was in the forums where people were talking about the banner ads, and a couple people were grumbling about the tacky "we'll watch the show again when you bring Tara back" ads; and I posted something like, "I'm really close to trying to round up people to buy our own ad that says 'Tara is dead. Accept it.'"

And within ten seconds about four people all posted "I would totally chip in with you on that" and a couple people emailed to ask me for my PayPal account so they could chip in. I'd actually been joking, but when people started actually asking how to send me money I thought "shit, maybe let's do this for real," so we did.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


The forums are also a great archive of fan reactions, before Established Opinion sets in.

Granted mostly the standard fan reaction is to HATE EVEYRYTHING but it's nice to have that proven.
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


griphus: do it yourself and post it to Projects/make a MeTa

Yeah, as we have seen, that doesn't seem to work, generally speaking. I'm wondering if they might reconsider that stance.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:04 AM on March 27


Has the Archive Team been notified? Save that shiz.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:05 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: the standard fan reaction is to HATE EVERYTHING
posted by Sara C. at 10:05 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Oh, jeez. I've been on TWOP forever, and was enthusiastic about the company there to go to a couple of Amazing Race finale parties in NYC. I'm not as present there anymore, but I still go poke around and read stuff.

I went to one of those parties, as well. The "you broke my ox" party. Good times.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


And oh god, now I'm remembering the Doctor Who recaps fiasco. Where they basically took their ball and went home because people were *gasp* *shock* *horror* watching new eps on BBC time.
posted by kmz at 10:08 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Dawson's Wrap and Hissyfit were the first mainstream forum internet sites I really used. (I was christie on both.) Before those sites, internet was all about work/school/lynx for me. I was never a big participant at TWoP (or its forgotten transition from Dawson's Wrap, MBTV), but it was always nice to visit and see the style of Dawson's Wrap continue. Plus, when I picked up a show late there was this whole archive of discussions from when people where seeing for the first time. I finally got around to watching Battlestar Gallactica this year and it was nice to see gobs of people share my girlcrush on Starbuck. (Katee, call me!)

Daily Candy - well I thought that was rubbish - but losing TWoP is a bummer.
posted by 26.2 at 10:12 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


And then they brought the Doctor Who recaps back, and they got progressively more grandiose until one day in the middle of the Amy Pond era, Jacob snapped and announced that he was quitting the DW recap job because the show was crap, just awful crap now and he couldn't take it anymore.

I didn't necessarily agree with him, but I was super impressed with the magnitude of his flounce.

It seemed in later years that the recaps of some shows were less "snarky" and more outright nasty cruelty that indirectly insulted the audience as much as the show. Since I don't like being made to feel that I'm a moron for liking the shows that I do, I wandered away from the site, but man this really still feels like the end of an era.
posted by angeline at 10:12 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


!
posted by tilde at 10:13 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Really excellent moderation as well.

This... is not how I remember things.


Me either, for the most part. I'm aware of people who got driven off TWoP because of the "board on boards" nonsense and went on to form their own successful (but smaller) forum elsewhere.

I think some of the TWoP forums are moderated well but others...ugh, it's like teen girl catfights where some ninny gets their panties in a twist and runs off to get the principal. Then the principal turns out to be someone whose idea of moderating is to nuke everyone who got tattled on.

I rarely read the recaps but found many of the forums to be great, especially for shows like GoT, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, True Detective, etc. It never made sense to me that a particular TV network owned the site so I'll be glad if a more non-affiliated replacement springs up.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:13 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Oh god I just found Glark's archive of banner ads.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I remember really loving the TWoP book, and it's a great time capsule of pop culture from that time. Plus, I think they were the ones who popularized the sound effect for Law and Order:

CHUNG CHUNG

But I remember I quit reading shortly after the recaps of BSG grew to these incredibly long-winded... things that almost took time to read than it would to just watch the damn episode. And it became less snark and more "Worst. Episode. Ever." and life's too short, you know?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:15 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


It was the best of forums, it was the worst of forums. Even before NBC bought it a lot of the site was just toxic as hell.

I haven't visited in a very long time, but that's how I remember it too. Some of the most vile racism and misogyny escaped any moderation on what was an actively moderated site. Lots of the reality show forums were ugly, ugly things to read, but I was fond of The Daily Show forum way back in the day.
posted by gladly at 10:16 AM on March 27


TWoP's Speculation Without Spoilers threads seriously got me through the LOST offseasons.
posted by troika at 10:17 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I used to read TWOP primarily for Miss Alli's Amazing Race recaps , and the tropes for the series that she used still carry through when my wife and I discuss the most recent episode. Honestly, about the time Linda left, I just drifted away. Since a lot of the posts on here are about how we all used to go here, but don't anymore, I can see why it is getting the ax.
posted by Badgermann at 10:17 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


The "you broke my ox" party.
My husband and I sometimes seem to communicate entirely through tv quotes. One of our favorites is "My ox is broken! This is bullshit!
posted by bibliowench at 10:18 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


The "you broke my ox" party.

Oh man, I have the "My Ox is Broken" t-shirt!
posted by scody at 10:18 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


We've tried to establish a separate media forum no less than twice but it petered out each time.

I was just thinking sadly about filmic last night, coincidentally. I checked it several times a day, but I never found a thread about a film I was keen to discuss and (at the time) was too MeFi-shy to jump in and start discussion about something on my own, and then suddenly it was full-up with spam.

I guess that says it all: if even a user as eager as I was isn't creating content, the site just isn't going to take off.

I've been hugely enjoying We Have Such Films to Show You, so thanks for finding time and energy to create that, griphus and cortex!
posted by Elsa at 10:22 AM on March 27


.

Yes, I was reading in 2001 and this is exactly how I found the brilliant Linda Holmes (Miss Alli) and the Fug Girls. I still check TWoP from time to time to see what's happened in series I'm not bothering to follow.

Boo.
posted by mochapickle at 10:24 AM on March 27


People who worked at TWoP while I was there: Sarah, Tara and Dave, who now run Previously.TV. Joe Reid, who works at The Wire (at The Atlantic). Heather and Jessica, who do Go Fug Yourself. Jeff Alexander (M. Giant), a fucking genius who also was a staff writer for Prairie Home Companion. John Ramos, who's producing movies. Kim Reed, a terrific writer who still writes there and is the undisputed champion of longevity. Dan Blau, who became a reality producer and is still the single funniest person I've ever met. Tracie Potochnik, who's both hilarious and a terrific singer. Pam Ribon, who is a marvelous novelist, memoirist and TV writer. Anna Beth Chao, who has a kick-ass design blog. Wendy McClure, who wrote the marvelous A Wilder Life about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Dan Kois, who works at Slate. Dan MacEachern, a Canadian newspaperman who covered the hell out of Bachelorettes In Alaska. Sara Morrison, who works at the Columbia Journalism Review. Stephen Falk, who writes for Orange Is The New Black and has a new show coming. Omar Gallaga, who works for the Austin Statesman. And yes, Jacob, whose brain works like nobody else's, ever, that you have ever seen, ever. And Al, and Erin, and Sarah Blackwood, and ... I am forgetting people. What I'm saying is that while I personally totally understand it being people's cup of tea or not, it was a really great place to be around fun writers and smart people who have gone on to do some pretty impressive things.

It's where I learned to meet deadlines, turn in clean copy, and write when I didn't feel like it. (When I would submit to Sarah and say, "This is kind of not that good," she would say, "Eh. They can't all be home runs.") Moderation is a whole complicated thing that had a whole complicated set of challenges -- I am incredibly glad that I don't have to do it now -- but the writing was just ... it was a tremendous way to work with really supportive people who were finding voices and who were hilarious and supportive and once a year went to Vegas and shit-talked the internet.

And we got paid, on time every time, whether the site made money or not, because that's how it was. (Ironically, it was after NBC bought it that Jeff got his 1099 rather perplexingly made out to him in the name "El Burrito.")

Much gratitude. Everything came from that, even though it's been a zombie to me ever since I quit. (And was not fired, stupid gossiping internet.)
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:24 AM on March 27 [153 favorites]


The end of Fametracker spawned Snarkfest, which has had a few incarnations but is also still around, and those boards are also good, if quiet.

The end of Fametracker's message boards* lessened the appeal greatly for me, and the site itself went on permanent hiatus not long after, leaving behind a Mary Celeste-like empty shell of pop culture wit frozen in time with snarky predictions for the 2005 Oscars or something equally ephemeral on the front page. The features were well-wriiten but gradually growing more stale, becoming a reminder of an era when Gene Hackman starred in five films a year and Sharon Stone was a bigger box office draw than George Clooney.

*Although I am pleased that I recognize at least a few mefites from their days there under a different name.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:26 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Oh! I just remembered that I have a "who's your spy daddy" shirt.
posted by Mavri at 10:29 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I'd totally forgotten about TWOP, but it turns out even they aren't discussing Under The Gunn (the AV Club has also dismissed UTG as unworthy).
posted by Flashman at 10:29 AM on March 27


Really excellent moderation as well.

Ahahhahaha. No, not really. My bailing out moment for TWOP was when my account was permanently locked for putting a spoiler block over one word that was information from a LOST preview. Not leaving off, putting on. Because previews weren't spoilers. And no, it wasn't because of a history of abuse or anything. I opened another for the occasional check-in, but it was quite clear there was a lot of crazy, and putting my thoughts there just providing content for abusive people.

The strange thing was, the pop culture sister site (I've forgotten the name) had even more hairtrigger moderation, but it was set up in a sane way, where suspensions and warnings expired, so that it actually functioned to, y'know, moderate things.
posted by tavella at 10:34 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I'll miss them. Especially the Shopping Channels thread.
posted by Sassenach at 10:35 AM on March 27


Oh, man. When I was in eighth grade I would print out the Buffy recaps for my friend who wasn't allowed to watch Buffy at home, to tide her over until she could watch the taped copies I also smuggled her. I was never super active on the forums, but TWOP was an integral part of the internet for me when I was a teenager. I can't remember the last time I went near it, though, so I guess this shouldn't be too shocking.
posted by nonasuch at 10:35 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


The closing impacts 64 employees at the women-focused DailyCandy and three at TWoP

Even assuming that the site code has been running on autopilot all this time and that server maintenance etc was being handled by some other department, how did TWoP get by with only three employees?

Are the recappers all unpaid volunteers, or what? And what about forum moderators?

HOW CAN THREE PEOPLE GENERATE SO MUCH SNARK IT IS UNPOSSIBLE
posted by ook at 10:35 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I'm sure they have three employees. Everybody else is a freelancer, including the mods (who were paid, at least as of when I left). But it's still people losing their gigs.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:37 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Now I don't know where to go to discuss my secret love for Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
posted by JanetLand at 10:37 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


My bailing out moment for TWOP was when my account was permanently locked for putting a spoiler block over one word

I tried to login to my original TWOP account and see what the exact wording was on the 3 warnings that had my account banned, and they weren't there anymore! I got banned in early 2008, the system must have lost the notes. I know the last one had something to do with DARING! to ask if a weekly thread could be opened in advance of a show's weekly episode.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:39 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


We've tried to establish a separate media forum no less than twice but it petered out each time. If someone wants to give a TWOP-like thing (with Actual Articles) a shot, I'd contribute. God knows I'm watching enough TV.

Anyone else wants to get in on this, memail me.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:42 AM on March 27


I was never super active on the forums, but TWOP was an integral part of the internet for me when I was a teenager.

Same here, though I was a frequent lurker on the forums. TWOP recaps got me through a lot of days as a temp, circa 2001-2002. Also, a great resource for shows you'd never actually watch, but want to know what is even up with that, like, as a cultural phenomenon.

I'm also pretty sure it's where I first encountered the term "spoiler".
posted by Sara C. at 10:42 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I loved TWOP, mostly for the Amazing Race recaps and the Apprentice recaps. I think I've posted this before, but Jacob's recap of the finale of Randal's season of the Apprentice was a thing of beauty.
posted by cider at 10:43 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Damn it. I am also an old Hissyfitter/MBTV reader, and in the past some years just hadn't really been into reading recaps, but Jacob's Masters of Sex recaps were so gorgeous that I looked forward to them as much as the show.

Once upon a time, I used to print TWOP recaps, usually Buffy, to take with me to read at lunch.

I honestly thought Daily Candy was already gone. I was a vendor of theirs a couple of years ago and they went pretty much full radio silence overnight.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:45 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


shuttered by NBCUniversal

NBC, huh? I sense Sorkin is behind this, somehow.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:47 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I was just reminiscing about the TWOP shoutouts on Veronica Mars, including, quite likely, the title of Duncan's departure episode, "Donut Run."
posted by maryr at 10:49 AM on March 27


The fact that I'd read this about a site that is closing:

And we got paid, on time every time, whether the site made money or not, because that's how it was.

and this:

EW Goes HuffPo, Will Pay Bloggers in "Prestige"

on the same day is just UGH.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:57 AM on March 27 [10 favorites]


But I remember I quit reading shortly after the recaps of BSG grew to these incredibly long-winded... things that almost took time to read than it would to just watch the damn episode.

Those were the best part.
posted by corb at 11:08 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


And then they brought the Doctor Who recaps back, and they got progressively more grandiose until one day in the middle of the Amy Pond era, Jacob snapped and announced that he was quitting the DW recap job because the show was crap, just awful crap now and he couldn't take it anymore.

I didn't necessarily agree with him, but I was super impressed with the magnitude of his flounce.


His Eccleston series + The Second Coming recaps and the first year of Tennant recaps were pure gold. I think Jacob took RTD more seriously than RTD did and despite my problems with some elements of RTD's style and general "meh"-ness towards Rose, while I was reading those recaps I'd be 100% sold on this crazy grandiose vision of the series even if it never really quite was actually like that on screen.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:13 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


And holy hell, count me in as a YES!!!!!! for a Mefi recap/forum subsite.

My wife and I would do Vampire Diaries.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:14 AM on March 27


for some reason this has stuck in my head for years: on Lost, when recapping the episode when the [incredibly hot I think supposed to be Iraqi guy] comes across the [crazy-acting French lady], and the recapper described the guy as looking at her "as if she was as nutty as my poop is when I eat a whole lot of peanuts"

And he left the site to work on an oil rig. Because of that and his poop-metaphors, he was my internet crush for a wee time.
posted by angrycat at 11:14 AM on March 27


TWOP was a product of its time; possible only with a mix of snark and naiveté at the dawn of the Internet era. Before other social media networks became prevalent, it was quite the social playground. Not a few of us cut our teeth there, learning what we could and could not get away with. Heck of a place to learn just how far emotions and passions can get inflamed.

I remember falling in love with the Charmed forums because of the insane depths of the collective love-hate relationship with the show. And that show was not alone. For a time, that website was validation for a show's fandom - it was a sign that your show had made it if it got recaps.

And I remember how people would rally to save the site, back in the day.

Thanks TWOP.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:14 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Jacob's view of what TV show could be was often much better than the actual TV show.
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on March 27 [21 favorites]


Jacob also totally snapped over the BSG finale. It was sort of sad to read. He kept the faith going longer than a lot of us did, and then fell hard.
posted by angrycat at 11:17 AM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Also, now I need to go and see if I still have that collection of Glarkware shirts back when his t-shirt enterprise had a going out of business sale.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:18 AM on March 27


Jacob also totally snapped over the BSG finale. It was sort of sad to read. He kept the faith going longer than a lot of us did, and then fell hard.
posted by angrycat


Doctor Who seemed to go that way for him as well.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:19 AM on March 27


When I was first discovering internet fandom in the late '90s, I was an X-Phile, a 'shipper (sorry noromos!) who had just found fanfic and the in short order MBTV/TWOP and Fametracker. My mind was blown. I wasn't alone! Other people loved the show as much (or way, way more) as I did. TWOP was a partial glimpse of where the internet would go in the next ten years (fandom's rise, petty forum behavior, obsession with celebrities, and all).

I have such fond memories of Fametracker's Hey! It's that Guy feature (in the early days before IMDB made this sort of thing easier) and huge huge thanks are due to all the many folks who did X-files write-ups (multi-page obsessing over the *same* things I was obsessing about! It was a great time to be a teenager). The forums intimidated the hell out of me, but I devoured the recaps. So glad it existed, so sorry to see it go.
posted by librarylis at 11:20 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I used to read through the West Wing recaps at work, which was particularly excellent once I got to "The U.S. Poet Laureate," where Sorkin attempted to punch back at TWoP.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:21 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Jacob's view of what TV show could be was often much better than the actual TV show.

That is so true. The DW recaps before you could visibly see his faith and will to go on beginning to flag were truly epic and so much grander a vision than I think the show runners ever even wished they had.

I mean, the recaps were grandiose, but also compelling reading and often did give me a new perspective on an episode.
posted by angeline at 11:22 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


When I was first discovering internet fandom in the late '90s, I was an X-Phile, a 'shipper (sorry noromos!) who had just found fanfic and the in short order MBTV/TWOP and Fametracker. My mind was blown.

This is how it went for me, down to the letter. That's kind of freaky. I still pop in there every once in a while to see "fan" reaction to episodes of the shows I watch. It's been years since I posted, but I still have my original account that I registered in 2001.

The thing I loved about the forums was the insistence on grammar and punctuation, as well as a lack of super annoying animated smilies. It made the boards one of the few that were actually readable.
posted by aclevername at 11:25 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


X-Files led to Message Boards led to fanfic led to TWOP led to Fametracker led to .. Metafilter? At any rate, count me in as one of those. I even got banned briefly during a particularly epic Angelina Jolie flamewar meltdown (I think I advised caution - which was apparently snarky). Good times.

But TWOP has felt like a nostalgia trip for a long time - like a time capsule from the early 2000s - even as they continued to offer recaps of newer shows. I'm wonder to what degree they had managed to capture new audiences (and money) or whether it was the same generation that stuck with it?
posted by kariebookish at 11:32 AM on March 27


Count me in as another one who adored TWOP back in the day. I still visit, but I quit participating because of the ca-razy moderation practices which... wow. It was very heavy-handed and completely at the whims and whimsies of the mod on duty at the time. But if you've been there, you know about that.

I will miss the Shopping Channel and Dancing with Stars forums because I quit watching that stuff years ago but still love to read about it. Back in the day I was a devoted reader of American Idol (Seal of Tsathoggua!), Amazing Race and the Apprentice recaps. But here is my favorite EVER recap from TWOP: "The Christmas Shoes". I read it every year at Christmastime and I still cry from laughter. I just copied/pasted it into a word doc, so I can keep it forever.

I subscribed to Daily Candy's email for years, and even bought the book. And then it got SO glossy that I walked away. It was the grandmomma of every twee fashion, beauty & lifestyle blog out there.

RIP, you lovely websites.
posted by kimberussell at 11:34 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I would love to participate in a MeFi recapping project (recapping for TWOP was my dream job back in the day), but I'd probably have to recap one of the dumber shows. I used to read TWOP's recaps of inane reality shows for the snark factor, but I'd read the recaps of better-written shows to actually figure out what was going on.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:37 AM on March 27


I read a lot of TWOP when I was overseas and couldn't get shows on any sort of regular schedule. To steal from Sorkin: Anybody who can't make money off TWOP should get out of the money-making business.

Count me in for any sort of MeFi-tangential site.
posted by Etrigan at 11:38 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I was a huge fan back in the MBTV days, moved onto TWOP, have the "My Ox is Broken!" and "God is in the Tub!" t-shirts, and went out haaaaating all the mods after being banned for a minor thing during one of the early, major bannination sweeps. I loved the spectucular bashfest that went on about TWOP when Fametracker went down, and I never went back to TWOP as a new user, but I sort of always thought it would be out there, chugging along.

So surprising to see this news.
posted by TwoStride at 11:41 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


One thing I think is relevant to some of the stuff that happened with moderation: the site started out really small, and the model was that the person who recapped the show sort of kept an eye on the forums, which were small and friendly and you could kind of say, "OKAY, ANYWAY," and people would move on, and it was informal and stuff because everybody was friendly.

They got bigger, and it continued to be the job of the recapper to read every single post in every single thread in the section every single day (except the game playing and other stuff). Depending on (1) how big your section was and (2) how many sections you had, this became a huge, huge job. So some (I will not remotely, REMOTELY say all, but some) of the strict modding was because in really busy sections with literally thousands of posts a day, it was easier to anticipate -- to say, "This is going to start a big fight" -- and ask people to move on, which seemed capricious and weird when nothing had happened yet, than it was to wait until there was already a screaming match. In other words, it was sometimes moderation by spidey sense, just for the sake of your own sanity, because a method that worked really well at a small site was very hard to implement at a huge site.

At least for me, it was just too big a job to do by myself, and I shouldn't have been trying, because that's what made me seem like a mean person when I wasn't one. Those are the things I regret in retrospect, are things that happened when I was just overwhelmed and tired and getting multiple "fuck you" messages every day, and it was ... not a job I should have been trying to do by myself. I'm not any nicer now, I'm just better at asking for help.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:45 AM on March 27 [22 favorites]


I still have the Hey! It's that Guy! book.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:53 AM on March 27


I call dibs on recapping Teen Wolf BECAUSE DYLAN O'BRIEN REASONS.
posted by Kitteh at 11:55 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I am not sure I ever visited TWoP, but I was somewhat familiar with Fametracker, and though I hadn't thought of her for years I still remember what a terrible moderator and pompous asshole Tara Ariano (aka Wing Chun) was.
posted by orange swan at 11:57 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


At least for me, it was just too big a job to do by myself, and I shouldn't have been trying, because that's what made me seem like a mean person when I wasn't one. Those are the things I regret in retrospect, are things that happened when I was just overwhelmed and tired and getting multiple "fuck you" messages every day, and it was ... not a job I should have been trying to do by myself. I'm not any nicer now, I'm just better at asking for help.

Thanks for posting your perspective on this. And heartening, in a way. I used to watch Amazing Race just to read your recaps and follow the discussion. Then came this strange period where I was getting zinged by moderators all the time, for reasons I could not understand. It started to feel like a minefield. It's nice to look back and see what was going on with you all at the time.

Like others, I think TWoP was what brought me back into the pop culture fold. It was fun and intelligent and snarky, and for awhile had a great balance of being partially on the outside and on the inside. It made me want to watch tv again!
posted by kanewai at 12:04 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Oh man. Um. I have mixed feelings about this. I was a slavish fan of MBTV* (I think I came to it through Tomato Nation?), and participated quite a bit on the boards, especially the Queer as Folk one before it flamed out in the flamiest flame imaginable. I love Jacob's recaps, especially of Farscape and Doctor Who, and he's quite probably changed the way I see the world. There were probably tons of other writers I equally loved but...after awhile, it became less 'let's recap and dissect this show' and more 'let me tell you how much I hate watching this show'. It became less snark and more hate, and that got to me.

But oh, man, the amazing writers that I read. I drifted away from almost all of them (all of them?), but I can only guess at how much they formed my writing voice, what there is of it, and my sense of humour. I don't know that I'll miss TWOP exactly, but I am really damn happy it existed, and it and Fametracker provided this massive portal to awesome writers. Even if the forums and half the recaps by the end did drive me up a damn wall.

*I had one of those weird messenger bags that were only available in hideous yellow, but that thing wore like iron. I carried it all through university, I think.
posted by kalimac at 12:10 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


I'm still stunned at how much content is on TWOP. It's like every season merited a books worth of analysis and snark from the recaps alone. Some recappers probably wrote the equivalent of 20-30 books in their time there.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:20 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I'm so happy to see so many early TWoP fans here at Metafilter. I mean, a lot of the intelligence and snark and wit is here, but I never thought there would be so much of a colliding Venn in the user base.

Anyway, TWoP was the only website I ever loved as much as I love Mefi now. So I'm glad to see all of you again.
posted by mochapickle at 12:22 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Jacob was really amazing. It's like he was churning out an MFA (or at least BFA) thesis every week or something (I read his Gossip Girl recaps amongst many others).

But, the TWOP forum moderation was always rather heavy-handed. That's what made me realize the moderation here at MeFi was so good. I think the site was of its time, though. What a super long run!
posted by bluefly at 12:26 PM on March 27


Some recappers probably wrote the equivalent of 20-30 books in their time there.

My recaps ran about 16 pages, probably, on average, in Word. So a Survivor season = maybe 14 x 16 = 224 pages. I recapped 10 seasons of that. Maybe 11 seasons of Race? I think three seasons of Apprentice, a couple seasons of Big Brother, half a season of West Wing, probably the equivalent of a couple of seasons of other things I picked up here and there. I probably wrote roughly 350 recaps? Something like that.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 12:26 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I'm glad to see a few former Fametrackers on the site. It was the first board I really actively participated in (as The Ukulele King), and it was the first online community I had. For a long time I was long-distance friendly with a lot of the people on the site, and I think a few people I still know first came from that soup. The style of criticism they developed (and we contributed to) on the forums has become a defining critical voice for the Internet era.

When I heard the news, I tweeted the following:

Television Without Pity done? Well, it will live on forever as the uncredited authorial sensibility Diablo Cody lifted for Juno's dialogue.

Her ex-husband then immediately confirmed that I was exactly right.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:28 PM on March 27 [15 favorites]


Jacob's recap of the first season of new Who was good, and the finale recap was downright awesome. I didn't love his recaps overall because of general excess, but he hit the sweet spot there. What's he doing these days, anyone know?
posted by tavella at 12:38 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


This news makes me feel incredibly old. MBTV and TWOP were part of my youth even though I was never brave enough to dare the shark pit of the forums.
posted by winna at 12:41 PM on March 27


Now where will I get Duggar snark?
posted by drezdn at 12:51 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, it was MBTV before it was TWoP for me. I used to read recaps when I had a desk jockey job in my super early 20s. I never did finish the GG recaps. I should probably do that now.
posted by Kitteh at 12:53 PM on March 27


I just checked and I joined in 2002, and I think this was really long after the Dawson's Wrap/Mighty Big TV stuff so in internet terms, the site's been around in one form or another for aeons. I was always mostly there for the forums and the Amazing Race recaps. I got to Buffy very late, so never was part of the boards there. I did notice a trend, however, that sometimes I'd go to the forums flush with excitement about something I had just watched and enjoyed a ton, only to find post after post talking about how disappointing it was. When that happened, it could really make you feel strange.

And yes, I was at the Amazing Race Season 5 finale party, with my pro-Colin pin! I am 100% sure I have it still in my big Rubbermaid Tote O' Nostalgia. Plus a photo of me grinning awkwardly with Phil.
posted by PussKillian at 12:55 PM on March 27


I was never brave enough to dare the shark pit of the forums

Oh man, when they were fun, they were SO FUN. My proudest forum moment came during the first season of The Apprentice during the discussion of Omorosa's meltdown over the phrase "pot calling the kettle black." I wrote "Well, I for one have always considered it to be an extremely racist saying, but then again I am made entirely of cast iron, so YMMV." I have to admit to being irrationally happy when Miss Alli (Linda Holmes) gave me an approving shout-out for that one.

I met some great folks through those forums, some of whom I eventually met IRL (at finale parties and elsewhere), and one or two who I'm still occasionally in touch with via Facebook. It was a good forerunner to Metafilter for me in that regard.
posted by scody at 12:56 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Oh, and now that I'm thinking of it, I must have discovered TWoP earlier than 2003, because I was on Mefi by then, and I know I'd been on TWoP for a couple of years when I joined here. So 2000-2001? Jeez. I can't believe it's been that long. I do remember specifically that I stumbled on it by looking for articles about the mounting absurdity of ER at the time.
posted by scody at 1:00 PM on March 27


Introducing the dude I was dating ~10 years ago to TWoP via the unfathomably glorious old school Apprentice and Amazing Race recaps is the only lasting mark I will ever make on media history.

I can't even estimate the number of hours we spent breathlessly recapping the recaps via phone, text, email, and countless in-person conversations, nor the number of times we were each duly moved to invent new kinds of suffering to wish upon Donald Trump and all of the other similarly loathsome reality television personalities of the era (ex: I hope he gets defenestrated into a pile of rock salt and splintered Nickleback CDs, I hope he gets hit by a succession of freight trains). Every new episode was a new chance to shriek with glee at the inevitable TWoP evisceration of terrible contestants and hosts, and scramble mightily to get our own audience-of-one recaps written and sent before we dove into theirs.

Reading and writing about TWoP was one of the first things in my life that really kicked me in the ass to try to fine-tune and savor my own language. It was such a goddamn treasure back in the day. Off to scramble to save all my old favorites before they disappear for good. We'll always have Survivor All-Stars...
posted by divined by radio at 1:03 PM on March 27


kalimac: "I think I came to it through Tomato Nation?"

Oh geez, I forgot all about Tomato Nation!
posted by Chrysostom at 1:03 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


People who worked at TWoP while I was there: Sarah, Tara and Dave, who now run Previously.TV

Never heard of Previously.TV until now; it looks promising; I'd like to hear the opinions of some TWOP addicts whether this could provide them a little web-methadone.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:09 PM on March 27


Oh weird, man, TWoP was something that was a regular destination for me for so long, and then a swath of my friends got banned and I got a DVR and just didn't really need it any more… I don't even remember the name of my account. I am curious about what my friend Dezbot is gonna do — I think she stuck it out there for years after I petered out.

Honestly, this feels really similar to how I felt about LiveJournal kind of petering out too. Friends got banned, I stopped caring… Jesus, I think MeFi may be the only place that I've kept up a consistent engagement with over the years. I know I was not nearly this sanguine when suck.com imploded.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Mods, ixnay on the anplay to anbay angklay's eindsfray.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:13 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Extra Hot Great is a fun podcast, although it's funny how much I sometimes disagree with the crew about tv shows. I pair it with Pop Culture Happy Hour and the Slate Culture Gabfest, which gives me some sort of mountain top, every-opinion-on-everything-may-appear trifecta.

Oh, and hah - since I'm all weirdly caught up in this now - I also have one of the messenger bags, signed by a bunch of Racers, and a Saucy t-shirt from Tomato Nation. And somewhere, a few Tubey stickers.
posted by PussKillian at 1:15 PM on March 27


I really hate it when some BigCorp buys a site, then just discards it randomly. 3 employees, this much traffic and enthusiasm, and they can't figure out what to do with it? Yeah, tell me again how the business model rules and should be emulated everywhere.
posted by theora55 at 1:17 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I LOVED Tomato Nation. Hearing Sars' stories about her cats never failed to elicit side-splitting laughter from me.
posted by Kitteh at 1:19 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Oh geez, I forgot all about Tomato Nation!

Moment of pride: I've had TWO letters in The Vine! One was in response to something someone had written in about, and the other was basically a distillation of my early 20's: bitching about a difficult friend because she was a) being difficult and b) not living her life like I wanted her to. Sars gave me an extremely kind smackdown, which I will forever appreciate.

(Also, RIP Little Joe.)
posted by kalimac at 1:21 PM on March 27


Man, I still have my Tubey hockey jersey (although it's back in Austin.) I haven't been to TWoP since the initial buyout, but I'll still pour one out for the end of an era.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:22 PM on March 27


Many of the original writers/recappers are my friends, and I am glad that they were able to write intelligent and witty stuff for a snarky website during a golden age of snark. Of course, they have all moved on since then, but I am sure each of them grieves a bit in their own way today.
posted by keli at 1:33 PM on March 27


With all the talk of formative social experiences and community and 'keeping the faith' it makes forums sound like 21st century churches.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:40 PM on March 27


And this is what happens when subculture sites get bought.
posted by rhizome at 1:41 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Oh my God, I had a letter in the Vine too! It was something about an ex acting like a dickweed, and I took great delight in how even Sars thought he was a dickweed. (I quoted him saying something to me about how I was "importuning" him, and Sars went apeshit over "he actually used the word 'importuning'?" Heh.)

I also went to attend one of the performances at New York's Fringe festival from the people who did a stage adaptation of Wing Chun's Bad Teen Novel.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:42 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


scody, I totally remember that Apprentice thread and what you said! Crazy brain.

TWoP was so much fun to read, but hoo-boy, the moderation drove me (and most everyone I knew on that site) away and turned me off of anything that even looked like a forum for quite a while after that.

Then I found MeFi and discovered moderators who actually enjoy their jobs and don't speak exclusively ex condescentia. What an enormous difference.

But yeah, I miss chatting about all the tv shows with a bright/reasonably sane crowd. As a subsite, MeFiTv would be fucking awesome.
posted by heyho at 1:49 PM on March 27


I swear I will let the Tomato Nation thing alone after this, but remember the letter about Jack, who shoplifted a can of tomatoes because he was just that anarchic? Man, that was a beautiful response right there
posted by kalimac at 1:50 PM on March 27 [9 favorites]


What can you even say about Jacob's sci-fi recaps? I just went over there to check when the guy gave up recapping Doctor Who because the actual television show had diverged so far from the Lonely God Aria in his head, and ended up reading his entire recap of Vincent and the Doctor. It seems weird in retrospect that his brand of touching, faintly annoying, ongoing grad-student meltdown existed side by side with the usual Clex shipping and snarking on Omarosa, but... TWoP.

.

*Tries to figure out how to copy the entire season 5 of Breaking Bad recaps to Word*
posted by ormondsacker at 1:51 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


faintly annoying, ongoing grad-student meltdown
I think Jacob must've been far and away the most divisive recapper in terms of style (as opposed to recappers whose moderation tactics were divisive*). I personally could not stand his recaps, which definitely read like someone who'd smoked a whole lid and then was getting paid by wordcount, but certainly a lot of people really loved them.

(*sidenote: does anyone else recall that crazy fight between users and mods where the central metaphor was about taking a crap in Pamie's living room, or something? Good times.)
posted by TwoStride at 1:56 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I was also a lurker from DW->MBTV->TWoP until I finally registered in 2002. Even then, I think I only delurked so I could snark on, of all things, Starting Over. That site, and its writers were my lifeblood, working in call center after call center - the site was never popular enough to make the NetNanny censor lists in those days - and though I, like here, don't post that often, I felt like I KNEW the recappers; that they were my friends. I kept up with them on Damn Hell Ass Kings, followed the book deals, and also had a letter published in the Vine! (It was when AB Chao guested, and was about Shinto.) This is very sad news for me. :(

So long, and thanks for all the snark.

PS: Does anyone know what font they're using for the recaps? It's nice and quite easy on the eyes!
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:57 PM on March 27


Tumblr's better now for fandom and the quality of the forums has dropped, but I joined TWOP in September 2001 and still visit most days. I need Jacob's The Blacklist recaps! I hope everybody does end up moving to Previously.tv
posted by prolific at 1:57 PM on March 27


I'll be sorry to see some of TWOP's recaps go, but I sure as hell won't miss their bizarrely draconian forum moderation. (I even heard tales of people having posts edited to add "In my opinion" in front of things that were clearly already opinion.)

In the end, though, anything that means at least some of Jacob Clifton's HURF DURF I ARE IMPORTANT WRITAR self-important grad school glurge ceases to fucking exist on the face of the planet can only be a net good.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:58 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Also, I just checked and it looks like the Wayback Machine has the recaps trawled. YAY! I can re-visit my friends (the aforementioned Miss Alli (TAR), Deborah (West Wing)) whenever I need a pick-me-up!
posted by ApathyGirl at 2:01 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


"I'll be sorry to see some of TWOP's recaps go, but I sure as hell won't miss their bizarrely draconian forum moderation."

I'd be surprised if anyone shed a tear for TWOPHoward.
posted by keli at 2:03 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Just heard about this a few minutes ago when, of course, I logged on to TWoP to go spin out yet another overthink-y theory on the boards. The mods might be horrible, but the fans there are great, so I've always ended up going back (though I've run through a few screen names in my time). I'm glad to see this obit thread here -- TWoP deserves a (.).

The Gossip Girl and Vampires Diaries forums were a huge part of my life for a while. Those boards (especially GG!) were full of so many smart people picking apart so much smart TV writing -- I couldn't get enough. I still feel like I learned more about literary analysis on TWoP than I did getting my actual degree.

Back in those days, Jacob was still doing his lit theses (aka "recaps") for Gossip Girl, too. I can't believe those are going to disappear. No need to rub in the futility of it all, NBCUniversal.

And holy hell, count me in as a YES!!!!!! for a Mefi recap/forum subsite.

Count me in, too. I'm down for doing The Originals and Bates Motel. And I'm serious as a heart attack about that, please memail me if you guys want to give it a go.
posted by rue72 at 2:03 PM on March 27


Goddamn, I didn't even know this was still going on.

I practically lived on the MBTV Buffy boards in 99/00, even if I had pretty silly issues with the recappers and their opinion on Oz. Plus, djb's Roswell recaps were a thing of smart-assed beauty for a show that totally fucking deserved it. I sent him copies of my Oz second-copy tapes so he could start recapping that too.

I had a recap on there back in 2000, reviewing a particularly awful USA TV movie called Secret Cutting, and a couple of articles on Hissyfit. Which was nice.

But when I moved, I couldn't keep up with Buffy or Angel and didn't really want to get spoiled, so I stopped paying attention. Then the Buffy mods got really weird and hardcore on a few friends (including a girl who pretty much made the forum), and I was very glad I had left.

So a . for my turn-of-the-century diversion from a shitty college flat, a ridiculously boring job, and a long-distance relationship that drove me up the wall.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:04 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


It seems weird in retrospect that his brand of touching, faintly annoying, ongoing grad-student meltdown existed side by side with the usual Clex shipping and snarking on Omarosa, but... TWoP.

That is exactly what I love(d) about TWoP.
posted by rue72 at 2:05 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


That Previously.TV site looks lovely but it seems too woefully sparse to do battle with reddit.
posted by xigxag at 2:14 PM on March 27


I just noticed that we're all talking about TWOP and maybe two mentions have been made about Daily Candy in the discussion in this thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:14 PM on March 27


Aw, Little Joe is no longer with us?

(I have no idea why I am surprised by that because it was, like, over ten years ago. Still.)
posted by Kitteh at 2:17 PM on March 27


I lurked on Fametracker and TWOP all through grad school, it was such a welcome relief from Science! Having said that the people running both sites seemed to actively dislike most of their users* so I am not too surprised that it has all come to an end. I haven't been there in years but I have a sudden urge to go re-read some of the classic recaps.

*For the record I often thought the better snark and discussion came from the users in the forurms, so the disdain from the writers/ mods was weird. The writing on both sites was wildly uneven while the forums were reliably hilarious.
posted by fshgrl at 2:21 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Also, I just checked and it looks like the Wayback Machine has the recaps trawled. YAY! I can re-visit my friends (the aforementioned Miss Alli (TAR), Deborah (West Wing)) whenever I need a pick-me-up!
posted by ApathyGirl


Just be sure that all the pages are saved, and not just the first one.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:26 PM on March 27


Oh geez, I forgot all about Tomato Nation!

Tomato Nation holds a special place in my heart because I once wrote a gushing fan e-mail (subject line: "Gushing fan e-mail") to Sars and she wrote a lengthy and witty reply. It was the late nineties and the notion that a famous person* might address a shmoe like me personally was novel. Of course, one of the friends I mentioned it to was a physicist who sniffed. He had been swimming in the online world for a decade and had personal e-mails from Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov.

*For certain values of "famous."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:35 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I always got banned for liking the wrong "Amazing Race" contestants.
posted by wats at 2:42 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Heh. Sars griped on her site about her computer not working and Dell not dealing with it and I sent her an email from my job, which happened to be tech support at Dell, and straightened it out for her.

I didn't accept any reward (that might have *actually* gotten me in trouble) but a month or so later I "randomly" won a copy of the Garner from a giveaway she was doing. An elegant way to solve the problem, I think. Sars is the best.

(I sent in a hideously-embarrassing-in-hindsight letter to the Vine, too, and didn't take her advice, and man oh man, I should have.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:44 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Heh. The TWP book turned up in the dollar bin at my store just this Saturday. I've been reading it all week.
posted by jonmc at 2:46 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I've said it here (well, on the gray) before, but I would love for MeFi to incorporate the No Beginning Comments With "Uh..." Policy.

I started off with TAR after S1, but I mostly went back over the years for the Shopping Channels snark, even during the years I didn't have cable and didn't know who they were talking about anymore.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:48 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Oh. Wow. After years and years without stopping by the site, I went over to TWoP literally yesterday to look up something about Farscape. It's not even being archived anywhere? Crap.

Well, in honor of the many hours of pleasure I got from reading Linda_Holmes' recaps of The Amazing Race, I shall lift a glass or two or three until I am a Drunken. Careening. Cameraman.
posted by kyrademon at 2:50 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Uh ...

tWOP changed how I looked at TV, and narrative, and the idea that you could GET PAID to talk about media.

Like above mentioned, I'd sometimes print out the really long recaps and take them with me to free peroid in HS with a marker and highlighter so it looked like I was doing research and not trying not to laugh my ass off.
posted by The Whelk at 2:56 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Uh ...

BANNED.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:57 PM on March 27 [11 favorites]


H8ters
posted by The Bizzaro Whelk at 3:05 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Yeah, really really sad about this. I watch a lot of TV, and not necessarily always the good, critically-acclaimed TV (I avoid things which are likely to give me The Sads). It's hard to find people whose TV tastes intersect perfectly with mine, but I know that when something weird happens on Property Brothers I can google "TWoP property bros" and find a bunch of people agog at the exact same thing. Their Sister Wives forum was truly a thing of beauty--massive amounts of info on the Apostolic United Brethren and the Browns, to the extent that the forum felt almost like an annotation to each episode.

It's the kind of wealth of info and depth of conversation you only get with a number of random but passionate participants. It's why meficooler didn't really work when I tried to start it, why I expect, come mad men season, we'll be doing our usual thing--a post a month here until the finale. Because it's a chorus of voices that leads to the richest insight. Dialogue, not monologue.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:11 PM on March 27 [9 favorites]


Speaking of which have you seen the new Milton Glaser posters for the next Mad Men series?
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on March 27


For a lot of shows TWOP was vastly more entertaining than the actual show. I watched maybe half an episode of The Amazing Race total but I read a ton of recaps. I imagined all the contestants as Annika Rice in a white jumpsuit. My version of the show was awesome.
posted by fshgrl at 3:17 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I never really got into online TV recaps or communities so I never visited TWoP. I kind of wish I had known there was a group of people as obsessive about Gossip Girl as I was, it was the only show I watched religiously as it aired and everyone I told how great it was thought I was a weirdo.

I hope someone crawls the forums, I would love to read along during my inevitable rewatch of the show.
posted by edeezy at 3:21 PM on March 27


The most distant ancestor of TWOP was Melrose Space.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:24 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Seriously, I remember my 40 minute commutes going by in a flash as I giggled like a crazy person on the train while reading Gossip Girl recaps. I hadn't checked in in ages, but I kinda always thought it would just...be there.
posted by liquorice at 3:39 PM on March 27


I hope someone crawls the forums, I would love to read along during my inevitable rewatch of the show.

Yeah, I'm really worried about the forums being lost for reading. The recaps were great, essential, but reading the forums meant a lot to me too and will continue to do so as I discover new old shows. There were the big things, like the huge, intense discussions surrounding the ending of The Apprentice season 4 and Jacob's recap. But there were the small things too, like finding there are other people who watched that one obscure show or that run of the mill reality show.
posted by Danila at 3:39 PM on March 27


Their Sister Wives forum was truly a thing of beauty--massive amounts of info on the Apostolic United Brethren and the Browns, to the extent that the forum felt almost like an annotation to each episode.

This is interesting, because there were so many times I considered finally signing up for an account because people in the Duggars section of the forum just Were Not Hearing that the Duggars are crazy religious fundamentalists. (Granted that was probably ten years ago, in the depths of the Bush Administration, so maybe things have changed?)
posted by Sara C. at 3:42 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Last ten I looked at the whatevermanykids and counting forum, there were a bunch of ex-Quiverfulls on there, so yeah.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:49 PM on March 27


Oh thank god.
posted by Sara C. at 3:50 PM on March 27


Man, I kinda wish I could be a recapper. But I live on the West Coast, which precludes doing such a thing, I suspect. Not to mention frequently having plans during some part of a night.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:02 PM on March 27


Man, I kinda wish I could be a recapper. But I live on the West Coast, which precludes doing such a thing, I suspect. Not to mention frequently having plans during some part of a night.

You could recap classic shows that aren't airing!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:07 PM on March 27


I think all but a few recappers submit the finished recap a day or so after the episode in question airs. The only people I see posting real-time recaps are for places like TVWOP, The A.V. Club, etc. which probably get advance screeners.

My assumption, for a MeFi TV subsite/side-project, would be that most people are posting the following day, not moments after the show airs in the earliest possible timeslot/timezone.
posted by Sara C. at 4:16 PM on March 27


I'd just recap the show I'd imagine I'd see. I mean, how can that be any more illogical than Vampire Diaries is to begin with? YES I AM STILL MAD ABOUT THE CROW
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:26 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


then the Buffy mods got really weird and hardcore on a few friends (including a girl who pretty much made the forum)

Pfft. No single person made the Buffy forums. They were a Lovecraftian nightmare of supernatural origin.

But seriously, none of the forums in the heyday were successful because a single user or even a certain group of users. It was soo much bigger than that.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:54 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I think Twop and slashdot were the only sites, still ongoing, that I've belonged to longer than mefi. I loved the recaps back in the day. Then, like klang, tons of cool people got banned for stupid reasons, and I got warned for something idiotic and I wandered off. For the first time in years I went back the other day to see if they were recapping Ressurection because there's so much there to make fun of. I'll miss the crazy recaps.
posted by dejah420 at 4:59 PM on March 27


Archive Team is on the job, btw.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:11 PM on March 27 [22 favorites]


Some of the recappers felt like old high school friends.
posted by acrasis at 5:26 PM on March 27


A bunch of the recappers met on a Beverly Hills 90210 wrapup site run by a guy named Danny Drennan. That was before Tara, Dave, and Sarah started up any of the other sites - Hissyfit, Dawson's Wrap, Tomato Nation, Fametracker, and Mighty Big TV which was renamed Television Without Pity.

It was killing me today that I couldn't remember the name of the 90210 site but it finally came to me - Mediarama.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:36 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I still have my MBTV messenger bag! And I remember how giddy I was when I got a shout-out from Sars in a Dawson's Creek recap. I really treasured that community, but once I left grad school for a 9-5 my TV watching diminished and then the site was sold and I just didn't visit much anymore. TWOP was still my go-to for recaps, though, when the mood struck. Sorry to see it go, though I know most of the writers that made it what it was headed out some time ago.
posted by percolatrix at 5:37 PM on March 27


Squeak Attack, I was a participant in the 90210 wraps discussion back in the day and am still good friends with a bunch of people fron that forum. I was a twop/mbtv poster too but it just felt too big to be very personal and I eventuslly moved on.

However Elise Doganieri (Amazing Race producer) once emailed me to conform something I posted in the TAR forum was correct. It was cool to know producers were paying attention to fans
posted by vespabelle at 6:03 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I still have some MBTV swag - a 'They call me the jackal' mug, a 'The Amazing Race' mug, a 'MBTV recapper's drinking game' flagon... though my 'I'm too punk rock for this' shirts are in great states of disrepair.

When MBTV/TWOP was on, it was fucking on. Miss Alli's extremely smart Amazing Race/Apprentice/Survivor recaps, for example, were an absolute joy and required assisted reading when watching the shows. I read her recaps of shows I would never watch (Married by America, for one extreme example), as I did with a couple of other of their writers, just because they were so much fun. A good recap was written by someone who thought about the show they were watching, whether by drawing parallels or pointing out editing or even just having non-kneejerk opinions about the characters.

I find some of the newer recappers are bit lacklustre, though I still enjoy Kim and Lauren. Jacob was always a huge swing in quality, for me, because he could write utter awesomeness but also utter bullshit, often in the same recap, and the ratio of the two veered wildly. He could be very insightful but also very free-associative grad student rambling, and he's more stuck in the latter mode, for me, nowadays.

I also used to get annoyed when they'd go back and recap earlier episodes of shows but not stop referring to it in terms of where the show was up to as they did it; Couch Baron, I recall, was especially bad at doing this for things like Everwood and Buffy, filling a season two recap with all his HATES about season six to the point of making the recaps unreadable if you weren't a) up to where he was, and b) felt the same way about everything he did. Like with Jacob, I thought the editors could intervene more in some of the more outlandish or useless parts of a recap like that.

I still occasionally think of the Rae Dawn Chong Challenge, or Pamie's recaps of Young Americans, or the forums where reality show competitors would turn up and provide interesting background info. I still visit the site on the regular, though never the front page any more, just the occasional show I still check in on.

It will be highly missed, even though it's much less than it used to be.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:34 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Oh wow. I never participated in the forums, but I spent way too much time browsing Mighty Big TV/Television Without Pity back in grad school. Instead of working on my thesis. Probably one of the many reasons I never finished.

I still go back once in a while to look at the "basement" forums. Where else can I get snark about such shows as House Hunters and My 600lb Life?

.
posted by weathergal at 6:36 PM on March 27


I posted a feature request on MetaTalk for a trial of TV threads before a subcategory.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:46 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


This is a shame. But I guess I'm not surprised that some short-sighted executive at NBCUniversal looked at TWOP and decided "this cultural archive is clearly not worth a few hundred dollars a year to keep online."

We keep acting like uploading something to the internet makes it eternal, when computers are the most ephemeral media there is. Why would we pretend that a media that requires constant upkeep, electricity, and money to stay alive is more permanent than paper?
posted by JDHarper at 7:02 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Oh man, I too spent way too much time on TWOP in my post-college malaise years, drawn there by an obsessive need to talk to someone about Six Feet Under* (I too was mystified by Aaron's sudden departure). Linda's inadvertent creation of TARcon led to me meeting some IRL friends I still count on to this day.

And Jacob... I guess I fall on the love side of love-or-hate. I read his recaps of shows I didn't even watch (hello, Apprentice). I was sort of shocked by his Ugly Betty meltdown (Ugly Betty! Is no show too frothy to create rage in that heart?) but even after Bravo bought the site and I lost interest in visiting regularly, I still tuned in for his appraisals of Weeds and True Blood since the recaps always made the shows better in retrospect.

These were some talented writers. This was a transformative community.

*My tagline for the show was turned into a poster during some random summer contest in 2002 or '03, a copy of which I have long since lost.
posted by psoas at 7:42 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


TWoP was where I used to go for Deadwood recaps, I loved that place.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:56 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I tried to login to my original TWOP account and see what the exact wording was on the 3 warnings that had my account banned, and they weren't there anymore!

They had a major software upgrade a few months ago and one of the results was that all the existing warnings were wiped out. If your account was still active your warning count got reset to zero.

some short-sighted executive at NBCUniversal looked at TWOP and decided "this cultural archive is clearly not worth a few hundred dollars a year to keep online."

Perhaps it was partially because most of the content, especially on the forums, was about their competitors. In addition to the broadcast network and basic cable shows, now there are many more premium cable shows; shows originating from Netflex, Amazon, Hulu, etc.; and, even some relatively high profile web series. I could see why NBCUniversal might not want to be promoting the content of other programming providers.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:57 PM on March 27


I was BingoJr on TWOP, and I spent more time in this "Creative Pursuits" thread for Battlestar Galactica (a Galactica-based parody of Skippy’s List: The 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army) than I really should have. I haven't been back to the site a long while now (aforementioned moderation issues drove me away), but MAN some of those usernames are bringing back memories.... I'll miss, if not the place itself, then the knowledge that it was out there.
posted by tzikeh at 8:13 PM on March 27


I will always treasure memories of the epic meltdowns on the forums over The View during the Rosie year and The Office during the Jim/Pam/Karen love triangle. And the XTREME sleuthing that went on in the The Bachelor spoiler thread.

(The comments on the Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee subforum were my favorite, though.)
posted by sallybrown at 8:15 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I hated Jacob's recaps because if you missed an episode and simply wanted to know what happened in the B story, which his recaplets usually skipped, you had to wade through his endless rants, with special nicknames for characters that were never explained in the show FAQ and typically had their genesis in recaps many episodes past. You had to commit to reading all of his past recaps to understand any current one, which I found irritating as hell.
posted by gingerest at 8:23 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


If you missed out on the recaps of Trading Spaces, you should really get on that shit.
posted by ApathyGirl at 8:25 PM on March 27 [8 favorites]


I thought someone had put up a link to a tool that would single-page the recaps? Did that disappear somehow? I have a couple of recaps I'd like to grab.
posted by tavella at 9:39 PM on March 27


Aw, it's been maybe a decade (!) since I hung out there, but I remember back in high school when it was MightyBigTV and I hung out there obsessively reading the Popular recaps and dissecting each episode in the forums. I remember when in...2001? Tammy Lynn Michaels (who played Nicole) started posting there and first no one believed it was really her. I can't remember the exact context but a comment in one of the threads she was posting in was the first time I said anywhere, to another person, that I might be queer.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:12 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Anybody can save things to the Internet Archive right? Am now frantically going to capture the West Wing recaps. At least the first couple seasons!
posted by Wretch729 at 10:39 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


ZeusHumms: "possible only with a mix of snark and naiveté at the dawn of the Internet era"

I thought the "dawn" was Suck/Feed and NTK, etc.

I fell in love even more with the person I later married when I caught them reading TWoP recaps of trashy scifi that I liked, that they would never watch in a million years, just so we could have more stuff to talk about.
posted by meehawl at 11:19 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


"So what happens to the huge amount of content in the archives of both DailyCandy and TWoP? It will all be saved in the digital ether, but not be available to the public."

Why the hell not? That is bizarre.
posted by homunculus at 12:37 AM on March 28


I probably first found my way there during the first season of US Big Brother. I never watched single episode of the show, but faithfully read the recaps. I can't even tell you why. I must have been visiting the site for other recaps or something. But I found that was a very fun and interesting way to enjoy that first, very controversial season of that show.

Since then, I've probably regularly read at least some of the forums continuously since then. I read the episode threads for pretty much every television show I watch. Long after I lost interest reading any of the recaps, I still am deeply interested in what people think about the shows I watch and the episodes of those shows. Pretty much immediately after I watch an episode of a show, I go to TWoP to read the episode thread.

And I've done this for years now without an account, after having been banned the last time in 2011. That time it was when the mod went on a warning spree and warned several of my posts (not in an episode thread, but a more general topic thread, actually), all about a day after I'd written them, for being off-topic and collectively were enough to ban me, even though I'd not gotten a warning before. That's just how they roll. So, since then, I've thought that as tempted as I might be, I don't really want to be a member and participate, but I really like to read what other people think. Even then, it's often been painful to see how the mods treat other people.

To wit:

"...and don't speak exclusively ex condescentia..."

That's so perfectly apt.

So, here's the thing. I've probably visited TWoP on at least a weekly basis for more than a decade, and quite often on a daily basis. Reading what other people have to say about the shows I care about has been hugely interesting and enjoyable to me. And you know what? I feel schadenfreude about this. I mean, seriously fuck 'em. What heyho wrote is very true, the mods there for a long, long time have had nothing but contempt for the community of people who spend time there. I don't think contempt like that should be rewarded.

As for the recaps... I don't know. It seems to me that there was a golden age when the recaps were priceless. And then later ... they weren't. But they were never the most important thing to me about TWoP.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:58 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Coaticass at 1:58 AM on March 28


I joined TWoP back when the Duggars only had 14 kids and counting. I mainly frequented the forums and will truly miss snarking on the plaintiffs and defendants on Judge Judy.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:58 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I just went to TWOP this week in an effort to find out what-in-blue-blazes happened in Hannibal that had everybody so riled up since I wsasn't going to be able to watch the episode yet. I remember reading recaps of BSG (a little long-winded for my tastes), Amazing Race, and some earlier shows I cannot recall.

Sad.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:02 AM on March 28


Loved TWoP since Dawson's Wrap, but yeah, I stopped visiting the site because of bad recappers like Couch Baron (was he someone's friend? How did he get a job?) and Jacob. Call me a hater, but Jacob was effing intolerable. He could be hilarious when he wasn't out to prove he was the Most Insightful Writer of All Time, but that was rare.
posted by pineappleheart at 4:07 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I'm going to miss checking the forums for game show discussions, and people talking about things like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars.
posted by drezdn at 5:49 AM on March 28


The first Evil Doctor Will season of Big Brother had amazing recaps. So amazing that I have gone back and read them again, years after I last watched any Big Brother.

Also, Miss Allie's Survivor recaps were a great Intro to Game Theory course. And they were funny as heck.
posted by joelhunt at 6:07 AM on March 28


Wow. Well, I guess it had to happen eventually. It's pretty crazy to think how much time I invested (wasted?) in those forums back in the day, wiling away spare moments in between classes and, later on, work. I can't even remember exactly how I came across the site any more, whether it was via fametracker or hissyfit or through old livejournal friends. I think the first recaps I ever read were the Survivor ones, following along back when the show was becoming a big hit, with Talking Rudy Doll and Just Peachy and all the nicknames and jokes I've mostly forgotten. That was, what, 13 or 14 years ago now? Jeez. I'm old.

I think I lost a lot of my investment in the site around the time it was sold by the original owners. It was a gradual thing, I didn't really notice it happening. I moved on to other sites, like the AV Club. Maybe I outgrew the site, or maybe I just got bored. I still go there sometimes, but mostly just if I'm curious about some TV factoid I can't find on wikipedia or if I'm trawling for spoilers for some show or other.

Still, TWOP and its sister sites were a big influence on me and how I processed pop culture. It's weird to think how much more passive I was in my enjoyment of television/movies before TWOP. Gone are the innocent days of mindlessly enjoying dumb 90s television (Step By Step! Home Improvement!) without a single critical thought in my head. And I made some good friends directly and indirectly thanks to the site. I still remember things like the Aaron Sorkin kerfuffle, the ridiculousness of Jacob's everything, and the banner wars. And I remember the 9/11 thread. And reading Sars' feminism essay at a time when I was still finding my way as a young woman and a feminist. And watching fametracker go down in flames. And a lot of other things, both good and bad. I still try to avoid leading off with the snotty, "uh..." when possible, though my track record there is mixed at best.

I guess that's just the way life goes. Things mean a lot to you until they don't any more.

Still,

.
posted by Lina Lamont at 6:12 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I'm under the weather so my thinking skills are impaired but I also want to note that I think TWoP was also interesting because most of the writers were women or gay men. So it was a large presence in pop culture and fandom, staffed by voices that were still marginalized at the time in real-life fandom spaces.

In fact, I went from TWoP to the Supernatural fandom (don't you judge me!) and so I spent a number of years completely ignorant that straight men were fans of anything.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:55 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. I first got on with the Charmed recaps, especially the last seasons. NotWarts! Dolt! "Tiny, Doomed, Gay Chris". I stayed for the Six Feet Under forums, but didn't post. Good times.

More recently I'd been reading the Mad Men recaps because I had no cable and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I found the recaps more captivating than the show when I finally did catch an episode.

My sister and I attempted to do something TWOP-like for inane kid shows (Wonderpets!) but Crap My Kids Watch already has that spot, and I just couldn't sustain the energy.

See y'all at the archive, I guess.
posted by lysdexic at 7:04 AM on March 28


I think all but a few recappers submit the finished recap a day or so after the episode in question airs. The only people I see posting real-time recaps are for places like TVWOP, The A.V. Club, etc. which probably get advance screeners.

Good point. I know I saw "East Coast only" listings for recappers in a few places a few years back. And I will admit that as a West Coaster, I'm pretty spoiled for getting to read about the show I just watched because most of the time the recap went up 2 or 3 hours ago.

Things mean a lot to you until they don't any more.

Pretty much. And I hate that that happens.

I really, really miss the pre-social media internet, when people were really into having long conversations on forums and writing paragraph after paragraph on their blogs.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:19 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I first found MightyBigTV just before the name change when I was into Buffy, and looked for anything related to it. Lurked for a long time until I discovered The Amazing Race (TAR), and jumped in at season 5.

Looking back, I think TWoP is a good example of the limitations and strengths of text-only communication, especially when stripped of smileys and other non-textual devices. There's only so far one can get before needing to meet face to face to move further. TAR seemed to be a pioneer in that regard, jumping from an online-only community to one that had party/conventions for almost every season finale, and that broke the fourth wall by interacting with the cast and crew.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:38 AM on March 28


I'm going to miss checking the forums for game show discussions, and people talking about things like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars.

Yeah, those were enjoyable as well. I also was glad to find a discussion of Mountain Men, if only to confirm that there were a half dozen other people in the country watching it.

Some of the greatest laugh-till-you-weep recaps were of various "romance" shows, especially in the early years before The Bachelor franchise had taken over everything. I remember loving the recaps for the first seasons of Joe Millionaire and Rock of Love so much that I'd get up an hour early on the days they were due, just to see if they'd been posted, so that I could read them before doing anything else for the day.

Does anyone remember the dating show that was set on a tropical island but was not Temptation Island? To this day I remember a line from the recap about one of the more odious contestants, a "come at me bro" dude who walked around in a selection of brightly colored button-down shirts that all had their sleeves carefully torn off, which the recapper noted made him look like a gangbanger from Candy Land.
posted by scody at 9:03 AM on March 28


I really, really miss the pre-social media internet, when people were really into having long conversations on forums and writing paragraph after paragraph on their blogs.

I do too ... but that period seems all so brief in retrospect. I tried to re-visit Yahoo Groups awhile ago, out of nostalgic's sake, and was surprised that the music and dance forums I used to live on were only active for a few years.

I spend more time on social media blocking stupid posts and avoiding long conversations than on creating new community.
posted by kanewai at 9:07 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Some of the greatest laugh-till-you-weep recaps were of various "romance" shows, especially in the early years before The Bachelor franchise had taken over everything. I remember loving the recaps for the first seasons of Joe Millionaire and Rock of Love so much that I'd get up an hour early on the days they were due, just to see if they'd been posted, so that I could read them before doing anything else for the day.

Last night I re-read some of the recaps for that reality show Married By America. It strikes me that it's all the more important to have the recaps be available because without them, all the information we'd be able to find for shows like that are the Wikipedia entries, and Wikipedia wouldn't be able to convey the true horror.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Oh, the recaps for Temptation Island were pure gold. I still get the urge to yell out I'M SORRY BILLY! whenever I am tremendously, deliriously happy.

@Scody, I remember your comment about pots and kettles and the hubbub that ensued!
posted by mochapickle at 9:13 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


jason_steakums: " You could recap classic shows that aren't airing!"

Man, If I had more time I would TOTALLY do that.
posted by zarq at 9:56 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


It strikes me that it's all the more important to have the recaps be available because without them, all the information we'd be able to find for shows like that are the Wikipedia entries, and Wikipedia wouldn't be able to convey the true horror.

It occurred to me reading this thread yesterday that these are going to be invaluable historical documents in the future. Just because this is not the kind of thing most other media outlets think is important to talk about at all.
posted by Sara C. at 10:08 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


tzikeh: "I was BingoJr on TWOP, and I spent more time in this "Creative Pursuits" thread for Battlestar Galactica"
3. Not allowed to spell Colonel Tigh’s name "T-G-H" and claim "the Cylons took the I," as it is cruel and not remotely funny.
Heh.
posted by zarq at 12:06 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Thank you for sharing this information, because now it means I have time to c+p every word of Djb's INCOMPARABLE Roswell recaps into a word doc I can save forever.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:32 PM on March 28


I watched Buffy after it was over (but before Angel was over) and some of the Buffy snark involving Angel & Spike made me giggle for weeks whenever I thought about it.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:33 PM on March 28


Oh, man. I think I discovered TWoP and MeFi around the same time, around 2000 or 2001. I was obsessed with TWoP for a good long while, and I forget how I persuaded one of my friends, who was probably the last person anyone would've ever expected to get invested in a website (I mean, she had dial up for FOREVER, long after it was necessary and a rather ambivalent relationship with pop culture generally), got totally into it. She's no longer with us, and one of the last conversations I remember having with her was about TWoP. I would've been bummed about losing the site regardless, but that makes it sting a little bit more.

If anybody knows anything about the single-paging tool for recaps that tavella mentioned, I'd also love to hear about it.
posted by EvaDestruction at 4:39 PM on March 28


I remember loving the recaps for the first seasons of Joe Millionaire

slurp...slurp...
posted by sallybrown at 4:54 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


You can use a greasemonkey script to get the recaps on a single page.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:09 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I'm late to the wake, but TWOP/MBTV/DHAK is what brought me to Metafilter (followed a link on GaelFC's Pop Culture Junk Mail), and for that I am forever grateful.

PreviouslyTV is turning out to be a very nice replacement.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:51 PM on March 28


EvaDestruction, I haven't tested it yet, but this is the one I was thinking of, actually found it somewhere else.
posted by tavella at 9:13 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


So, after, like, a decade of lurking, this is what gets me to finally sign up for a username. Hearing they were closing TWOP was bad enough, but finding out that the archives are scheduled to be taken down has left me just unaccountably sad. That I all the stupid crap I posted on the internet as a teenager (or, you know, last year on Facebook) can live on to mock me forever, but all of this smart, funny writing could just disappear feels like the opposite of what I want from the internet. Relived to hear about the Archive Team, but still off to spend the whole weekend re-reading West Wing & Doctor Who recaps.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 9:18 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Heh. I came here the exact same way, Sweetie Darling. TWoP -> Damn Hell Ass Kings -> Pop Culture Junk Mail -> "Why are half of Gael's interesting links via 'Metafilter'?"

I've been poking around, and it's like a dusty yearbook over there. Remember when Joss Whedon lost the Buffy magic with a ridiculously-premised space western that got mostly "C"s? Remember when we got schmoopy over the dreamlike idea that an ordinary schmoe on the internet could interact with big reality stars? Remember how they somehow accumulated 22 freakin' pages of discarded shows, from 2001's American Gladiators (!) to February 2013's Zero Hour*? Misty watercolor memories, I tell you what.


*Says here Zero Hour was "the lowest-rated in-season debut for a scripted show ever" on ABC, lasted three episodes before being canceled, and achieved a Metacritic score of 39/100. Jacob gave all three episodes an "A+", because, god love him, he's Jacob.
posted by ormondsacker at 10:11 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


OH NO! I still go to the forums regularly to discuss shitty reality shows that I'm too ashamed for anyone in my real life to know that I watch. In fact, I have 2 tabs open for long threads that I've been working through for several days.


"I'll be sorry to see some of TWOP's recaps go, but I sure as hell won't miss their bizarrely draconian forum moderation."

I'd be surprised if anyone shed a tear for TWOPHoward.
posted by keli at 5:03 PM on March 27 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


A thousand times this. They take the boards on boards and off-topic rules to such an extreme that a lot of fun has been sucked out of the forums compared to the glory days. For a while on the Real Housewives threads no information outside of what was on the show was allowed to be discussed, so everyone would know about something that directly contradicted something on the show, but no one was allowed to mention it. That was very frustrating. Fortunately Howard loosened up about that a couple of years ago, but at the time it really inhibited my enjoyment of the site and lead to my backing off going there.

Heavy-handed moderation and all, I'll still miss it.

.
posted by Maisie at 1:58 PM on March 29


A bunch of the recappers met on a Beverly Hills 90210 wrapup site run by a guy named Danny Drennan. That was before Tara, Dave, and Sarah started up any of the other sites - Hissyfit, Dawson's Wrap, Tomato Nation, Fametracker, and Mighty Big TV which was renamed Television Without Pity.

Squeak Attack, Vespabelle -- I was also on Danny's 90210 boards (and in love with his recaps) and I can't imagine TWoP without him. But the recapping world is such a thing now, that I guess it would have happened anyway.

God, I feel so Internet-old.
posted by armacy at 6:59 PM on March 29


Speaking of yearbooks, in case anyone has missed it Kim Reed (TWoP Pembleton) has "compiled a real murderer's row of writers, former and current, saying goodbye".
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:11 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Speaking of yearbooks, in case anyone has missed it Kim Reed (TWoP Pembleton) has "compiled a real murderer's row of writers, former and current, saying goodbye".

That thread is so sweet! Like the best kind of alumni newsletter.

One thing I found kinda cool is some of the more recent recappers thanked the NBC editors Dan Manu and Angel Cohn. I had no idea they worked on the site, but a super, super long time ago (2005 or 2006?) they had one my favorite podcasts (maybe the first podcast I ever listened to). I think it was on the TV Guide site, of all places, and like TWoP, it got me through some lonely times when no one I knew was watching Mad Men or Arrested Development or Veronica Mars.
posted by bluefly at 5:25 AM on March 30


Once upon a time ago, I was a big TWOP person, read a bunch of recaps religiously, and even went to a few of the Amazing Race parties. Nowadays, it surprises me that the Amazing Race is still on.
posted by smackfu at 6:11 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Oh blessed blessed day: the internet has wroth its mighty wrath and NBC is relenting! TWOP/Daily Candy stay up!

Via Mefi's own Linda Holmes's Twitter feed.
posted by athenasbanquet at 6:22 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Just the archives. There will be no new content and the forums are still turning off on May 31st.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:35 AM on April 2


Another one here who loved the TWOP of old, and used to read it during slow work times while trying to stifle my laughter. I think I got there via Chicklit.com and/or Tomato Nation? Something like that anyway. I still shout "Hey It's That Guy!" (my favourite Fametracker column) when I want my husband to look someone up on IMDB.

I think part of the problem with MeFiCooler was that the best shows have short runs, and we didn't start anything for the guilty pleasure shows so there'd be something to keep the momentum going after Breaking Bad/Game Of Thrones/etc was done for the year. Is that something we could learn from TWOP? Or do group watches of classic shows?
posted by harriet vane at 12:19 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


I know my feelings matter less than dog shit on this, since I'm one of the many, many people who stopped going to TWOP long ago, but I hate that I had to learn about this through the Mefi sidebar. I discovered MBTV around the time I started watching The West Wing in season 2 during my freshman year in university. It then carried me through substantial portions of The West Wing and 24, and I thought that was it. But the more I go through the archives the more I realize I was still on TWOP long after I thought I'd stopped visiting--I remember going through the Lost forums, I remember cackling with glee at Jacob's utter disappointment at the BSG finale, and I probably obsessively re-read all the Firefly recaps because oh god we're never getting another episode of that show and I needed someone to tell me it was all going to be okay and what better person than a TWOP recapper.

I stopped going partially because TWOP started to be much more about reality TV and less about thesis-length dissections of shows I loved, but probably the bigger reason was because I just stopped watching TV. I think Lost was the last big show I followed religiously, and aside from a brief obsession with Homeland and my occasional dalliance with Bob's Burgers I can't remember the last time I watched a whole sackload of episodes of a TV show. I certainly don't wait a week (or god forbid a season break) for a new episode of a show anymore. And though the likes of Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc., etc., etc. occasionally make their siren call, they're all to easy for me to ignore nowadays.

So TWOP actually being put out to pasture is a weird feeling. It totally makes sense to me, not least of which because its web design is stuck in 2004. But I wish I still had a need for it, because when I did I would look forward to the recap just as much, if not more so, than the actual episode they were writing about. So thanks, TWOP, for all the memories. (Special thanks to Deborah for all those West Wing recaps—she's the one writer I remember even a decade later, and that has to mean something.)
posted by chrominance at 6:26 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


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