Website: Television Without Pity
Television Without Pity
, formerly known as Mighty Big TV
, is a TV recapping & discussion site featuring very
If you believe some TV shows are so good that they must never be made fun of, TWoP is not for you. However, if you recognize that even your favorite show has much which is deserving of mockery, you'll like TWoP.
The site's forums are notable for requiring posters to conform to standard written English
. All-caps, no-caps, or textspeak
will get a poster warned or banned. Flames and "talking about the boards on the boards" are prohibited, and that's just the tip of the iceberg
On March 27th, 2014 it was announced that the site would be closing down on April 4th, with its forums following suit on May 31st. (Happily, the content will be remaining up.)
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 focussing 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 is 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 is worthy of being banned. And that is all that will be said about that.
- Caustic Critic: The recappers.
- Fandom: Guess. Many on the site are huge Buffy 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 is 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 1300 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.
- Insult to Rocks: Tippi Blevins said this during the recap for Smallville episode Prophecy.
- I Reject Your Reality: Lampshaded in the Buffy/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 / Memetic Mutation: 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.
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: How do they manage to remain ruthless when they are owned by Bravo and, since the takeover, choose to spork mostly NBC Universal-produced properties?
- Not Important to This Episode Camp: The thread for Monk is 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".
- 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.
- 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 is 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:
- Shout-Out: 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 favourite 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.
- Spork: The recappers' supposed weapon of choice.
- Strawman Political: Some of the 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 anounced.
- 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), recapper 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 in 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.