Website / Television Without Pity
Television Without Pity
, formerly known as Mighty Big TV
, was a TV recapping and discussion site featuring very
If you believe some TV shows are so good that they must never be made fun of, TWoP wasn't for you. However, if you recognize that even your favorite show has much which is deserving of mockery, you would have liked TWoP.
The site's forums were notable for requiring posters to conform to standard written English
. All-caps, no-caps, or textspeak
would get a poster warned or banned. Flames and "talking about the boards on the boards" were prohibited, and that's just the tip of the iceberg (see the YMMV tab for more).
On March 27, 2014 it was announced that the site would be closing down on April 4, with its forums following suit on May 31. (Happily, the content is still up.)In 2016
, Tribune Media acquired the rights to TWoP and was planning a revival in 2017 as part of their Screener.tv website. However, by mid-2017, references to the planned revival mostly disappearednote
and it was soon revealed by TheWrap
that Tribune made major layoffs and scrapped the plan to revive TWoP, leaving it in Development Hell
for the foreseeable future.
This website provides examples of:
- Accentuate the Negative: The entire purpose of the site is to review and discuss TV shows in as snarky a fashion as possible, so naturally this is going to result in a fair bit of focusing on the bad bits over the good bits. Depending on the reviewer and the show, however, this can sometimes tip into outright negativity, often with no readily apparent justification. On the other hand, when the show is doing what it does best well, the praise can be quite strong.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Recap of Smallville episode "Roulette".
- Atomic F-Bomb: Omar G's reaction to Clark wiping Chloe's memories in the Smallville episode "Abyss".
- Berserk Button: As an example of the moving into Hatedom, even mentioning the show 7th Heaven on the site after a certain point could send the reviewers into a frothing rage. And then we have...
- Can't Take Criticism: As discovered to be the case on the message boards. Going against the grain or even questioning the recappers or board administrators was worthy of being banned. And that's all that'll be said about that.
- Caustic Critic: The recappers.
- Could This Happen to You?: The Television Without Pity book that they released pokes fun at this in their entry on "News, Crappy Local."
...the broadcast segues into everyone's favorite local-news staple, the "Something Perfectly Innocent COULD KILL YOU"-slash-"Good God WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN" feature. First comes an assy graphic of, like, a bowl of oatmeal with fangs, subtitled something along the lines of "Quaker? MORE LIKE 'DAMNED LIAR'," and the revelation that oat bran is not all that good for you if you eat nothing but oatmeal, in which case you will get scurvy, which: doy.
- Fandom: Many on the site are huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans (the recaps for Ringer in particular demonstrate this), and there will be allusions and guest appearances from the characters given half a chance.
- Fauxlosophic Narration: Jacob, whose 30-page recaps can go on for pages and pages about philosophy and symbolism and literature without once mentioning the actual show he's recapping.
- Fauxtivational Poster: Before the forum shut down, there was a thread for these on their recreational forum which must have been one of the prime places to find it on the 'Net, at over 1,300 pages (with another 500 or so missing for some reason). The main focus was split between the Ho Yay of Heroes and Supernatural, and shameless fangirl Mr. Fanservice posters of every attractive/shirtless/towel-clad male character ever.
- Grammar Nazi:
- The moderators.
- The recappers once suffered from this. Unavoidable when your webmaster and her friends are all ivy-league English majors.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": The 24 recaps had this for "debrief" or variants of it.
- Hypocrite: It was frequently noted that several recappers (who shall go unnamed), despite being incredibly blunt and snarky when it came to their criticism of the works they recapped and their disagreements with the views of the people who created them (as was the whole raison d'ere of the site), could be incredibly thin-skinned when it came to people criticising and disagreeing with them.
- Insult to Rocks: Tippi Blevins said this during the recap for Smallville episode "Prophecy".
- I Reject Your Reality:
- Lampshaded in the Buffy and Angel reviews. Strega chooses to believe Spike is off causing mayhem in some foreign nation, unaware that he's replaced by some dull lookalike named Brad.
- In one Charmed recap, Demian refers to Chris's female sex partner as a man because he insists that Chris is gay.
- In-Joke: Numerous.
- Some of the recappers would occasionally slip up and admit that they were being pressured by the site maintainers to come up with these as well as numerous Catch-Phrase options when they did a show's reviews, as a sort of marketing.
- Inherently Funny Words: Flounce.
- "Not Important to This Episode" Camp: The thread for Monk was the Trope Namer, as used in a post on "Mr. Monk is on the Run, Part II".
- The Nicknamer:
- Tippi Blevins calls Clark "Emo Blur" and "Super Doofus".
- Marcia Cross's character Linda in Everwood was nicknamed "Rinda" due to her character working as a doctor in China.
- In the The O.C. recaps, Che was instead named "Bright" after Chris Pratt's character on Everwood.
- Demian gives the characters of Supernatural a variety of goofy nicknames. "The Hardy Boys", Sammy's "Puppy Dog Eyes of Empathy", and "Metallicar" are some stand-outs.
- Let's not forget his Charmed nicknames: "Raige" for Paige and "Big Gay Chris" for Chris. Also, Piper and Paige are sometimes referred to as "Phoebe's Fucking Backup Band."
- Portmanteau: "Porquettishly".
- The site's mascot, "Tubeelzebub" (shortened to Tubey).
- Pet the Dog: Whenever a recapper praises a specific element or moment of an otherwise-bad episode.
"I do know, however, that Melissa Benoist sounds absolutely lovely in this little bit, so good for her." -Demian, "Glease" recap
- Precision F-Strike: Strega usually avoids gratuitous swearing, but she loathed Fred and extreme sappiness. Both of those things were exemplified by "Mr. Feigenbaum", Fred's stuffed bunny, which Strega thought was designed purely to make her extra cute and sympathetic. Paraphrased slightly:
"I really hate that fucking rabbit."
- Real Life Writes the Plot: TWoP's forum was legendary for causing Aaron Sorkin to rip his hair out and base an entire episode of The West Wing around eviscerating the site and their perceived ill-treatment of him.
- Running Gag:
- Played for Laughs. Any line of dialogue which includes a name or reference to something the recapper is known for (no matter how obscure) is jokingly declared a "Shout out."
- Demian has at least two from Charmed- in one episode, Piper said "Fricking ever-useless Elders!" ("ever-useless Elders" was one of his catch phrases when recapping) and in another, the entire episode revolved around a Darklighter named Damien who was trying to kill Leo (Demian's least-favorite character). He was overjoyed.
- Supernatural featured a gay couple named Demian and Barnes.
- Keckler's recaps of Star Trek: Enterprise dubbed Captain Archer's ready room porthole the "Weight Of The World Window" for his habit of staring contemplatively through it in times of momentous or weighty decisions. Somewhere late in the series, Archer turned away from it to Commander Tucker and said "Weight of the world, Trip", leaving Keckler briefly stunned in mid-recap.
- Midway through the fourth and final season of the 2000s-era Battlestar Galactica, one of the members of the colonial Quorum of Twelve was named Jacob (same as the recapper). To the possible delight of those who disliked the real Jacob's metaphorical ramblings in his Door Stopper-sized recaps, the fictional Jacob was eventually shot to death during an attempted coup d'etat.
- Veronica Mars had two overt shoutouts, and plenty of other potential nods - a few of the cast read and loved the recaps. In Donut Run, a flyer is visible on one of the school boards that reads "'Teenage Women of Propriety", laid out so as to highlight the acronym. In Versatile Toppings, mention is made of a student at the school named John Ramos - this was the real name of Couch Baron, the T Wo P recapper for the show. Ramos also appeared as an extra in another episode.
- Spork: The recappers' supposed weapon of choice.
- Strawman Political: Some recappers weren't exactly afraid to make their political opinions clear. Could be expected when commenting on actual strawman characters in the shows, but when a Star Trek: Voyager recap gets interrupted to bitch about then-President Bush, you know there's straw in them thar hills.
- Spiritual Successor: Previously.TV, which was started by former TWoPers and saw a mass migration to its forums after Television Without Pity's closing was announced.
- Suckiness Is Painful:
- Sars resigning from the Dawson's Creek recaps in its final season, pleading concern for her stomach lining.
- Sara M. resigning from doing House recaps.
- In a recap much shorter than his usual (which admittedly isn't saying much), Jacob Clifton dumped reviewing Doctor Who midway through Series 6, because he preferred Russell T. Davies' mythic arcs to Moffat's interlocking puzzle plots, and objected to the characterization of Eleven and Amy.
- Jacob Clifton also quit Ugly Betty in mid-Season 3, after an admittedly pretty terrible episode.
- Omar G. gave an unprecedented F (the worst before was a D) to the Lana-heavy "Requiem" episode of Smallville and fled. He came back two episodes after that, but when Doomsday comes around, he decides to permanently stay away from Smallville.
- The Unfavorite: They will cheerfully and unashamedly play favorites.