By the time you read this, TWoP is gone.
Television Without Pity, lovingly referred to as TWoP, was a snark filled landscape where TV shows were eviscerated. From Dawson’s Creek to CSI, a rather large number of us met up there and it changed our lives in weird ways. I read people’s recaps on TV shows, and yes, I’m well aware that the very concept of ‘reading about a TV show’ may seem weird, but I had an hour long commute and I used to download the recaps to my phone and then let the magic of Miss Alli make me popular.
It was a site a lot of people hated. The moderators were too heavy handed, the snark was too bitter. But under all the crusty curmudgeonry was hilarious humor of little girls in little boxes, yadda-yadda-fishcakes, HoYay!, God is in the tub, “Damn it, Berlanti!”, and unabashedly filled with people who enjoyed the hell out of pop culture and television. I remember when we had to dial-in upstream both ways to get to MBTV in a blizzard, and we didn’t have modems! We had to whistle the tones in. The mods used to take us behind the woodshed and beat us for not using correct capitalization. I remember BEFORE TUBEY! (I even know that Tubey was born on a napkin.)
Also I remember, but never really ‘dug’ Dawson’s Wrap. The Fivehead scared me. So I’m old, but I ain’t THAT old.
Back when I remarked that the things that influenced me into becoming a WordPress expert weren’t necessarily WordPress related, I meant things like TWoP and MUSHing (and yes, that means Pern). Watching Dawson’s Creek makes a bee-line to WordPress. And I really enjoyed TWoP. It was the first online community that actually taught me how to behave and why it mattered! The reason I’m good in forums? TWoP.
I can’t list everything that I will miss about it. I still have friends from those days (AfterEllen, the Fug Girls, and everyone in between). I still wear the hell out of my TAR and Veronica Mars shirts. I have a fucking TWoP hockey jersey with my handle on it. I ran a TWoP meetup in Chicago. I wrote a fun song for Jessica about her X-Files recaps.
But like a lot of people, I left when Bravo took it over. Not because Bravo took it over, but because the feelings were lost. It felt less free. For people who hated TWoP, I don’t know that saying “It was meaner” would make sense, but it was mean and not snarky. With snark comes a little love. Mean is just mean. Here, let Pamie explain that being snarky doesn’t mean you’re an asshole.
So if, for just a second, you feel the sads because of TWoP being gone, and if you think that shuttering the website and destroying the content (not even leaving it read only) is crushing… Me too.
Cest la vie, TWoP. You’ll remain an influence.