Bravo Sends Television Without Pity To Hell

Tubey - Dead!!Bravo, Bravo! You have finally done it! You have taken one of the best websites ever to grace the internet, and in just a little over space of a year, you have turned it into a garishly unusable pile of synergy-laden shit.

Awesome!!

When you took over TWOP last year, I said I wasn’t worried. Well, you showed me. Turns out, I’m a fracking idiot. Who knew that when I professed my love for this site after it had been one of my top destinations for years that it would all end so . . . badly. Well, I guess you did, huh, Bravo?

Of course, this has been long in the process: last night, as I was ranting about this to Roxanne, she said that she’d stopped reading it at around the same time Bravo bought it, implying that I was a fool to expect anything else. And she calls me the cynical one!!

Normally, yes, but for some reason, I held my cynicism — probably because as long as it was obvious that the site was still mostly about the writing that made it originally so attractive, I was going to let my heart override my head. So I ignored all of the apocalypse signs that had been accumulating: the blogs with their Hulu links, the pointless photo galleries, the even more pointless video log which seems to be about someone who has never watched TV shows commenting on them.

No more: the latest redesign has made it plain that Bravo doesn’t give a rats ass about what once made TWOP so great.

I’m not against redesigns, but I am against pointless, craptastic redesigns. And this is extra special craptastic. I offer a bit of a compare and contrast. First, thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, here’s a screengrab from just a couple of years ago, when it was in its heyday.

Television Without Pity Classic

This was a website that knew what it wanted to be: a collection of recaps of television shows and a place where people could talk about television shows.

Now, here’s a screengrab from the redesign they put up in just the last week.

TWOP 2008

You tell me that this is a website that has any understanding of what its mission is supposed to be. Or if it even has a mission anymore.

They retain the “Spare the Snark, Spoil The Networks” tagline and the Tubey mascot, but instead of a simple, reverse chronological list of the most recent recaps (and drop-downs to get you to the individual show pages), and the elegant line drawings that went with them, you’re now assaulted by a blocky unfocused website that wants to be all things to all people — Photos! Blogs! Videos! TV Listings!!

Oh, and that “search thousands of recaps and more”?? Not so much with returning any results. Unless “Buffy” is a term that they don’t have in their database. No doubt that will be fixed eventually, but I’m getting in my cheap shots where I can.

Speaking of Buffy, what about the secret greatest strength of TWOP, its long tail? You know, a decade’s worth of recaps of TV shows, perfect for reading as you’re working your way through those Buffy box sets?

Good luck with that: you used to be able to sort the recap listings by season, but not now. Here’s an actual screen grab from the full recaps page for Buffy The Vampire Slayer:
buffyscreengrab.jpg

Where to begin? I mean, forget the fact that the grades are different from what I remember them to be, or that the titles of the episodes aren’t highlighted, or even the fact that — according to the this page — the first season of Buffy was in 1971. Nope, what I am going to concentrate on is the obvious decision to post these not in the order that the episodes actually aired, but rather when the recaps were written.

You see, they didn’t start recapping Buffy until the middle of the show’s run, but knowing that there would be a demand, they went back and recapped all of the early seasons. There are a bunch of shows like this: Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men and The Wire are all shows where the recapping started at some point into the shows run.

But people don’t watch these shows in the order of the recaps, they watch them in the order of the air date. But whomever was in charge of the redo of these pages didn’t know or didn’t care who the actual audience for them would be.

It’s a simple thing, but it reveals volumes about how Bravo thinks about what used to be the bread and butter of this site.

And with that thinking, they’ve reduced Television Without Pity from a site that had a definite, unique point of view about TV — and TV’s place in the pop culture universe — to a site that is just like any other entertainment site.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the very prominent link to Movies Without Pity, created because someone at Bravo was no doubt aghast that this site was slumming with just Television stuff and wanted to class up the joint a bit.

But “Movies Without Pity” is just a page with absolutely no personality whatosever — it’s no different from any of the other zillions of other pages about films out there.

The new slogan: “Suck Up to The Studios, and Maybe We’ll Get Ad Revenue!”

Sigh. Can you tell that I’m a bit pissed? Thank gods that there are a lot of other sites now that do the TV recap thing well: What’s Alan Watching? and The A.V. Club’s TV Club, to name just a couple, because I have a feeling that TWOP has essentially just released their Around The Sun. And as long as Bravo owns them, I doubt that they have an Accelerate in their future.

“Powered by Bravo,” it says, between the banner ad at the top of the page, but below the actual name of the website. Overpowered by Bravo is more like it.

And sent straight into a hell dimension, where all personality is stripped bare.

I once wrote that if I could have any job on the internet, it would be writer for Television Without Pity. I take that back.

93 Responses to “Bravo Sends Television Without Pity To Hell”

  1. Cine says:

    I found this while googling for “twop redesign”, looking for comments on the absolutely horrific new layout of the site. I hadn’t visited them in a while, since the strike has made my TV become much less used, but upon returning to read the latest Scrubs recap… I was shocked. :(

    I thought the strike was the reason for their gradual move to other content as well, to make up for the smaller amount of recaps, but this is insane. It has completely taken the focus of the site away!

    Not to mention that it’s quite an eyesore.

  2. Jen says:

    I got here by googling “what the hell happened to television without pity”. Im’ glad to know it’s not just me out here mourning my former destination read.

    The recap’s new page breaks just did me in yesterday–they cut off words, and then started new material in the center of the next page. I’m out. It’s sad. I hope Sars and Glark and all made out, but I’m just sad to see it all circle the drain.

    Oh, and I had a commenta couple weeks back that was snarking on the abrupt jump of a recap (a page was missing) deleted. They didn’t say it was fixed, just deleted my comment and fixed it. Ug.

    Jen

  3. Jim says:

    Jen,

    Yeah, considering the overall TV community that has sprung up in the past few years, I’m surprised that this isn’t a bigger story.

    But maybe the reason it isn’t is that the people who like to read about the shows they like have many more options now.

    I’ll probably go back there as long as Jacob is doing his crazy/long/obsessive Battlestar Galactica recaps, but certainly not for every recap of every show I watch, like I used to.

    That sucks about the comments (and you’ll notice that I’ve wiped out your accidental duplicates — no biggie): I was never a big forum person, but I wonder if they’ve allowed people dissing the new redesign on the forums. Or the Wiki, which just seems sad, now.

  4. Eileen says:

    I always knew, sadly, that TWoP’s greatness would inevitably lead to its destruction. As others have pointed out, the new layout at the hands of Bravo is just terrible. My biggest beef is that the site is so slow to load between pages that I actually have to find other things to do while I’m waiting, which does not provide a very smooth read. I’m relieved that the recappers are still permitted to use curse words, but I’m waiting for the day when that’s no longer the case. RIP, TWoP!

  5. Jim says:

    To be fair(?), I’ve had that type of problem — pages taking forever to load and/or just timing out — off and on over the years with TWoP.

    While it had gotten much better there for awhile, I have also noticed it lately. Not the easiest thing to do when it’s a 28-page philosophy-laden BSG recap.

  6. Gin says:

    I just found this comment, and oh, do I agree. I miss the old TWoP to the point of mourning. Intelligent discussion in the forums has all but vanished, thanks to the new “moderators” who ban true discussion at the drop of a steel boot, leaving only repetitive and politically correct, expletive filled comments in place. I have nothing against expletives, but like them to be accompanied by substance. Now the most active thread at the site seems to be the “tattle thread” where anyone who doesn’t like anything posted can whine.

    As for the redesigns — ooh, shiny. Look at our ads!

    Bitter? me? nah.

  7. Ned says:

    Yeah, I’m right there with you. I was a loyal TWOP reader prior to the redesign. Now, even when I go on, the pages take forever to load, when they DO load. Most of the time, they have errors when they first post the recaps. What really pains me is how much TWOP used to pride itself on selecting shows to recap; they’d choose shows that the target audience- us TV geeks- would watch. Today I saw that they actually recapped the Dina Lohan show and I realized that I was done; where’s the pride and love for TV that used to be there? The writing has gone downhill dramatically in the attempts to get it up more quickly. I hate weecaps, I’d rather have less shows with quality writing than this cheap imitation of what used to be.

  8. Jim says:

    Something else that I’ve just noticed is missing: the pull quotes and the polls that used to adorn alternate pages of every recap.

    Apparently, they aren’t so very much worried about the extra cleverness needed to come up with those anymore.

  9. Joe says:

    “I wonder if they’ve allowed people dissing the new redesign on the forums.” Certainly not — board-on-board discussion is verboten & will get you banned.

    I was a poster to the TWoP forums for a long time. I enjoyed it for a long time, too, but Television Without Pity sucks majorly now.

    Thought Police moderators stifle free exchange of ideas at every turn. Basically, all you’re allowed to do now is say, “I liked this episode.” “I didn’t like that episode.” Anything other than that gets you banned.

    People kiss moderator ass like it means something, which I’ve always found disgustingly sychophantic, but now it’s terrible.

    But, it’s the Internet, so something better will come along soon. I’m kind of glad I got banned so I can get back to things that really matter.

  10. gayla says:

    I found this page oddly enough because I was searching for a certain Tubey image which I cannot find anywhere. Which actually is my biggest gripe about the Bravo buyout (even bigger than the NUMEROUS complaints about the forums): other than the obligatory icon usage, all references to Tubey have been effectively wiped out. He used to be the mascot of sorts (some even considered him to be Glark’s alter ego).

    But now all of his “Ask Tubey” threads have been dumped into an archive which I personally think is hard to find, and his “writer” profile has been completely removed. I actually went back to a thread where I KNEW the image I was looking for would be, and it was replaced by a dummy link which only takes you to a “cannot be found” page.

    For people in the forums, Tubey was the very heart of TWoP, not just the funky header at the top of the home page. Now he’s only a hologram, and it sucks. I kind of understand that the Ask Tubey threads couldn’t continue (since Glark was essentially acting as Tubey, and people knew that), but it’s as if Bravo wants to completely erase everything that made TWoP what it was. Instead of simply acquiring an existing site they’re trying to build something entirely new (and not cool in any way). It seems such a trivial thing, but it’s symbolic of everything that has been stripped from the site.

    “Something else that I’ve just noticed is missing: the pull quotes and the polls that used to adorn alternate pages of every recap.”

    The sad part is that it doesn’t take half a brain cell to do a pull quote. I also miss the pull quotes they would take from the forums and put on the main recaps page. I felt those pull quotes in particular were a great advertisement for the forums.

    I had a loooooooooooooooong rant about the forums but my comment is already taking up way too much space, so I just snipped it. I’ll end with a (still long, but oh well) comment about the wiki.

    The TWoP wiki could actually be an interesting and useful feature if they actually promoted it, instead of just throwing a link up there. Someone suggested creating an American Idol lexicon thread and Jacob in turn recommended using the wiki, which would in turn get more people to use it.

    I checked it out and there is hardly anything there. Obviously no one uses it nor cares to, but even if people did, AI NEEDS a lexicon thread. New people are coming in all the time and asking “What’s a Vincident? What does TPTB mean? Where is this knoll that you speak of and what does it have to do with AI?” so they can understand what us “old heads” are talking about. The point of the thread would be to prevent these repeated questions. Editing the wiki doesn’t prevent repeated questions, it just invites a whole bunch of “here’s the answer, but check the wiki” replies. Which…I guess is the point, to promote their stupid wiki pages – which like I said, do have some potential use – but it only serves to show how utterly useless said wiki pages are right now.

    End rant.

  11. Renee says:

    TWoP is awful now! Not only the redesign but the mods they put in charge are total assholes. I’ve been banned twice for ridiculous reasons and after tonight’s episode of Jon and Kate + 8 they deleted about 3 pages of comments for I don’t know what reason. I know for a fact my post was well within the rules so what the hell? I hate them!

  12. lisa says:

    Also got here by googling “what happened to televisionwithoutpitiy”, as I was looking for a review of an old Scrubs episode (My Lunch), which I could not find. With the old format I could find it in two seconds. I use to read it regularly when I started watching Buffy. Now I cannot for the life of me even begin to navigate my way around this site. I can’t even figure out if they have older recaps of shows, or how to even get to them. As you and most others have said, this use to be a site I would recommend to so many people and use to go right to after I would watch an episode of Buffy or of Alias. Loved those recappers. Oh well. I think most of the best recappers have left and moved on to better things, and so will I. Thanks for writing this!

  13. eiovass says:

    I’ll start by saying what others have said: I got here because I googled “I hate the new twop.” Seriously. I’ve been banned from the forums for ‘tone’ twice and warned numerous times about small shit. I used to go to the forums 8 or 9 times a day just to see what others posted. I don’t go there at all anymore, and I’m sad about. I refuse to visit the site that only allows stupid discussions about tv shows and pop culture. Oh, and try to disagree with a recapper (Miss Alli? Is that you?) and it’s a one-way ticket to bannedville. I’m so over it, but I’m so sad that I have to be over it. I loved the old TWoP.

  14. Len says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been itching to find some sort of way to express how much the site’s new design sucks both aesthetically and functionally, and this totally sums it up. I also love that you’ve pointed out how the actual recaps have been marginalized. Admittedly I do still go to the site – weakly, I’ll say that where before I was willing read a lot more borderline recaps, now it has to have really rock-solid writing before I read it? Although the typos and the inaccuracies (wrong names, saying something didn’t happen when they meant to say it did) irritate me.

  15. Jim says:

    Hey Len, don’t feel about about occasionally going: as long as Jacob is recapping Battlestar, I’ll at least be checking those out.

    I’ll probably pop in after the Mad Men premiere, just to see if they still have Couch Baron doing those, and if not, I probably won’t bother.

    In the meantime, I’m kind of pleased that this post has become kind of an randomly-discovered outlet where people can vent their frustrations.

  16. ShyGirl296 says:

    I also found this spot by Googling “what happened to twop.” I had been such a huge fan of the site, pushing my friends to read it and linking to it in my own blog. Now it’s not even one of my bookmarks. I slink over every now and again to check on a show, but I don’t stick around for very long.

    As others have mentioned the site is terribly confusing to navigate and even old recaps seem to have been edited. I hate hate hate that sitcoms are now among the recaps and it seems they will recap any reality show VH1 airs no matter how unworthy. The cataloguing of recaps in the order it was written is so incredibly dumb and the quality of the recaps has definitely taken a turn for the worst, not surprising since it seems a bunch of ‘cappers jumped ship after Sars and Wing left. I read one not long ago where ‘your’ was used instead of ‘you’re’. Apparently, someone is texting in her/his recap.

    It’s really just kind of sad to see how horribly Bravo has ravaged the site. I’d like to think that as more people flee the scene, Bravo will reduce some of the useless content (photo galleries and vlog and MWoP among others), ditch the grammar-challenged recappers, and get back to doing snark the way TWoP was made to snark.

  17. junk science says:

    The forum over-policing has nothing to do with Bravo. It’s been like that for years. You’re allowed to be as crude and vulgar as you like (which I have no problem with, and am relieved to find is still the case), but make the slightest negative comment about another poster’s opinion, a recap, or the overall trend of the conversation, and your ass is out. It’s always been part of TWoP culture to be as nasty and hateful as you like and think that makes you funny, as long as your opinion coincides with the crowd’s, and the moderators have always been around to ensure homogeneity of conversation.

    I have no idea what impact Bravo has had on the recaps, since I don’t read them anymore, but I am a little sad that I don’t recognize most of the recappers’ names now. I agree that the site redesign is pathetic, and competes with Bravo’s own site in ugliness.

  18. C says:

    I agree with what most people already said… the quality of the recaps is really not what it used to be, they are so much shorter and just lack the snark and love they used to have.

    And it bothers me that the links in the old recaps don’t work anymore… they used to have lots of links to other recaps and now they all just send you right back to that crappy front page!

    Sigh. I’, gonna miss Twop!

  19. Ramon says:

    Yep, Television without Pity sucks. The biggest problem I find with the site now are the mods in the forums. Their reasons for banning/warning are draconian and completely arbitrary and petty, and if you have the audacity to question them in any way, it makes things all the worse for you. It’s become the case wherein I am afraid to post in their forums because you never know what sort of thing is going to piss off a mod and get you banned on any given day. Miss Alli, now gone from the site, is a good example of this. Her recaps were great, but in the forums she had the constitution of an angry rattler if anyone criticized/questioned her. Other mods are not much better.

    It’s time to leave it behind and move on to other sites, as suggested in this article. If TwoP continues to treat its readers like crap, its audience may dwindle rapidly.

  20. archie says:

    Is it possible to re-register? How do I do it?

    The mods are so inconsistent! You never know what will set them off.

  21. n says:

    I think it’s time to abandon TWOP. I stuck on as long as I could. The moderators are like the Gestapo, and God forbid you disagree with them. The worst is the writing–the snark has been replaced by sniveling No Pity for the shows, yes, but endless, puerile Gossip Girl Recaps? Yes please!

  22. n says:

    one more thing: The recappers used to get their hands dirty and argue with you. Then they just started deleting and banning. Now a totally separate moderators calls you an asshole if you state that the a recapper, usually good, missed the mark on the last one. And, because they oh-so-clearly have a “no-assholes” policy, even mentioning a recap gets you cursed at and banned.

    I wonder if there’s any legal recourse?

  23. MsLady says:

    I liked TWOp initially, but like other folks here, even before Bravo took up the helm I found the mods there somewhat on the Gestapo tip. For myself, I was suspended for making some offhand joke on the Galactica forum about how nobody better say nothing bad about my gorgeous Helo, or some such. The mod actually wrote “that’s not how we do things here.” Say what?

    TWOp was a good, no a GREAT idea, but I think there was already a bit of the big head there that made the site’s very own shark jump inevitable, one way or another.

  24. I'mNotAlone! says:

    Wow!!! I found this googling “TWOP sucks” and oh my god I’m so glad I did! I was feeling terrible, like a small child being punished, because in more than 330 posts on that site, all of a sudden out of the blue I’ve been warned TWICE in a week and a half for WHAT I cannot figure out! The reasoning is completely lame and made no sense. I am always a very polite, non-antagonistic person online and I was enjoying a discussion, and in fact, the two posts in question, were responded to by others who had NO problem with it and enjoyed discussing it back with me. It was a debate about an episode, with NO finger pointing or insults, but I get these warnings about my punctuation (I used quote marks to specify what statement I was answering and was told that sounded sarcastic), and I dared to say “I think that idea is pushing it a little, IMO” (my exact words and I was told not to “tell another poster their ideas were pushing it.” Um what???? And in fact, THAT POSTER responded back perfectly politely, continuing the discussion, and not insulted at all. So despite that, the mod deleted my posts and marked me with warnings–me, the perfect, polite, intelligent poster who has never been banned once since joining Internet discussion groups in 1997. Oh, I was also warned about not “talking about the board” because I said the words “for some reason it’s never okay” [for the character in question to be bitchy.] Yet, somehow, someway, that was construed as “attacking the board” when in reality I was referring to general fan attitude over the years.

    I wrote the moderator explaining that I was not at all antagonistic and was enjoying what was considered the offending conversation, but then I looked at the new rules and learned that just doing that might get me banned. Again, WTF??? So I logged out after sending my email, and now will not go back. And here I was feeling guilty and thinking it was me! Thanks to all of you for clarifying that something very odd is going on over there and that warning/banning seems to be coming those moderators’ national passtime. I feel much better now (and will not be going back.)

  25. Allen says:

    Exactly what I’mNotAlone! said. Been a member of online communities for years, was at TwoP for years, recently got banned for exactly what it sounds like they got banned for. I’m a polite poster who pretty much just wants to talk about the shows, I like TwoP (yes, even still, because the members are still varied and intelligent, the board community still feels vibrant despite the ugly front page redesign). I’m gonna try to get un-banned (and yeah, I realize if any TwoP’er sees this it might hurt my chances, but they should understand that I needed to vent and not be a bitch about it). I could just move on and go to other sites, I DO have other sites I enjoy, but I also have a lot of threads and conversations with people still going that I don’t want to give up on. It feels weird to just all of a sudden be cut off from a community you’ve enjoyed for years.

    They do warn in their FAQ that they are very strict, but some of the Warns I’ve gotten in the past several months just go above and beyond impatience and hatefulness toward their members. If your mods can’t be arsed to deal with a poster’s perfectly legit questions, get more mods.

  26. Jay says:

    Thank God I am not alone in thinking TWoP has gone completely downhill!

    The new website is horrid! It’s looks like a tabloid site gone horribly wrong. I don’t care about Movies Withoutpity, the Heros Blog, or their stupid Wiki. Gone are days when the site used to have well-written recaps filled with snark. Now, it’s just bland symposis with lame attempts at humor. I don’t even bother with the recaps or the even more crappier “weecaps”.

    While the board members still have retained their snark, but the moderators are just insane. They seem to go on a power trip every few days and send out warnings; even going as far as deleting some posts-even ones that were posted years ago.

    It’s a shame what was one a great website is now an abysmal website. Television Without Pity has gone downhill.

  27. Mark says:

    Look on the bright side to me it died years ago before the acquisition. Now all that’s left are ads, pointless graphics and more yaoi fangirls and shippers (you know who you are!!) than you can shake a stick at.

  28. Emily says:

    Hey, I’m glad to see an article written about this tragedy. I was especially glad to see that Buffy was mentioned because out of all of televisionwithoutpity’s latest mis-steps, Buffy’s page is at the fore-front for me. Honestly, I think the recaps suck. They read as if they were written as quickly as possible. They constantly make references to things that happen LATER in the series and the grades are horribly, horribly harsh. I kept wanting to say something in the forums like, “hey, do you think you could get somebody who mildly like this show to recap it?” in the forums but then I thought, nah, it’d probably be deleted with those damn forum moderators now. Curses!

  29. Boola says:

    I just got suspended.

    Yeah, I was a wee bit contentious, but an irritatingly arrogant response to a fairly innocuous posting of mine was so baseless and stupid I felt I had no choice but to deliver a swift swatting to this uninformed know-it-all. I’m sure my post violated a number of rules, but I think my biggest transgression was challenging an opinion the moderator evidently shared.

    I got no warning, just suddenly a two-day timeout. Mm-kay.

    TWOP was to me a place to gab about a TV show I happen to enjoy. So it’s just not that serious, Herr Moderator, honest.

  30. Amers says:

    I’m so glad to have found this because I’ve been wondering what has happened to one of my favorite sites over the past months.

    I’m a snarky type of gal, so I loved the write ups because they contained such a balance of humor and snark that I would usually crack up while reading them.

    Now the writers are either new or just flat out boring. One of my new favorite shows is True Blood and the guy that writes the recaps for them, Jacob, is a blowhard. He takes a 1 hour program and is able to stretch it out for anywhere from 30-35 pages!! WHAT?? He waxes poetic and tries to be philasophical (I know I spelled that incorrectly, but forgive me, I’m on a tear now lol). I went to the forums to see if anyone else felt the same way about his stupid recaps and of course, the only thread I found on it was filled with about 5-6 posts on what a genius they think Jacob is.

    His recaps aren’t even snarky…they’re pretentious and boooring.

    I’m so tired of that site!

  31. jennifer says:

    I so agree with Amers regarding Jacob, I have been a member for 6 years on the site, I submitted an post that mentioned that Jacob’s recaps were a bit off topic. My post was deleted and I received a nasty warning from TWoP Bayless -who is the moderator and also is the recapper Jacob. I guess it doesn’t pay to critizise his obnoxious ponderous writings …I am trying to unsubscribe now.

  32. Jim says:

    While I am pleased as punch that so many people have come here to complain about the new TWOP, I disagree about one thing: Jacob’s recaps.

    I love Jacob’s meandering, philosophical recaps of Battlestar Galactica, and later on, Doctor Who. Yes, they are pretentious, but they also help me make connections with the characters and plot points that I otherwise wouldn’t have made.

    Though I can certainly see why they wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea.

    And as always, reasonable people should be able to disagree about things without getting kicked off of the forums.

  33. Amers says:

    Thanks Jennifer! I’m so glad I’m not alone!

    When I was looking for a thread about his posts, I didn’t want to slam him or anything, I really wanted to just ask (as nicely as I could manage) if he could tone down the philosophizing a little bit.

    I agree Jim, there are times where he makes some interesting connections, but I can go a full page, even two sometimes, where he is no longer talking about the episode and is waist deep in a tangent. I don’t watch BG or DW, so maybe it fits in better with those types of shows that it does with True Blood. He often gets quotes incorrect or mixes up characters who say certain things – you know, things that would be pertinent to a recap of the show.

  34. jennifer says:

    Amers is right, and it is True Blood that I am referencing.
    Its almost laughable how ponderous and off topic the recaps are and he gets so many things wrong that its maddening. He is a tyrant on the thread as well but is very inconsistant in his dealings with posters.
    He certainly allows off topic discussion if it involves raves about his recaps.
    He gives every True Blood episode an A+, I have often wondered if its his own recaps he is rating and not the show.
    So glad I am not alone in this !

  35. Amers says:

    That’s a good point Jennifer – maybe it’s his recaps that he’s rating as an A+…not that the episodes don’t rate high, but let’s be honest – they’re not all A+’s lol.

    I REALLY hope that when TB comes back for season 2, there is a new writer for the recaps. They’ve switched writers before, so I know it can happen. I’ve got hope! :) :)

  36. Amers says:

    I googled ‘Jacob Bayliss’ and apparently we are not alone in the fanclub of anti-Jacobness. Reading some stuff on other websites makes this guy not only a blowhard, but a complete tool.

    Just a sad underlining to how TWoP has fallen from a “must view” site to what it is now.

    http://marjorie-palimpsests.blogspot.com/2008/04/abridged-version-of-infamous-letter-to.html

    http://www.royalmisfits.com/blog/index.php?itemid=291

    http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/forum/thread/gossip/6144385/page-1.html

  37. jennifer says:

    Amers, I had done the same thing. Bayliss hasn’t exactly won over the readers has he ?
    I try to avoid the True Blood recaps now on
    TWoP so as to not encourage Jacob/Bayliss !
    The last one was more about an old B movie than it was about the episode.
    Does anyone know of a good site for recaps ?

  38. Sylko says:

    I was first annoyed when Bravo took over because that’s around the time they killed of Jacob’s fantastic Doctor Who recaps.

    I didn’t like the new photo-centric look because I loved the old TWOP (I had been a TWOP faithful reader since 2000). I liked the text based aspect of the site. I didn’t need fancy photos and blocky staging. Just give it to me the way it is. I checked it every day to see what was new.

    Now, it’s not even the cosmetic changes and additions of garish ads, the writing is nowhere near as good as it was. Yes, the recaps are up quicker, but where’s the snark? I just read a recap for the office and it is what it is–a recap. That’s it. There’s no biting, funny commentary. it’s less than meh, it’s bleh.

    I loved how the old TWOP writers could have a lot of affection for a show, but still point out the things that were wrong or weird or stupid.

    I rarely check TWOP now, but I was bored today and had already checked AVClub and the other sites I go to earlier today, so I went to TWOP. It may be my last time.

    So sad.

  39. Sylko says:

    ALthough I did love Jacob’s Doctor Who recaps, I understand those who think he can be a bit pretentious.

    I also wanted to agree that Miss Alli was a great recapper, but was a real stickler as a moderator. I had a slightly snotty tone once (I said something like, “Actually, that was a barracuda” and got banned for my attitude!).

    I haven’t posted in the forums since Bravo took over because my favorite shows were all gone, and I don’t watch most of the ones they recap now. I used to be a fanatical poster regarding Amazing Race and Veronica Mars!

  40. Spooky says:

    I knew the Bravo takeover could not be good. How can a network that the site is sticking it to gain control of the site, and the site keep its edge? Well, it didn’t. Now it stinks.

  41. Hannah says:

    I googled “I hate Twop” and it lead me here. I recently received my first warning ( I know , not much ) because I lack the proper punctuation . They showed me my last three postings and , how horrible , each of them is missing a point at the end of the last sentence.

  42. I.R. says:

    It’s not only the site that’s gone bad but the “fans” have become bloody infuriating!!! They seem to pick apart good shows for hate not snark and praise crappy ones for product placement. The average mentality for some fans there seems to be (In the style of a certain animated monkey) “See teh plot holeeel 5 Muhhhh”. Where as the mods declare “Oh lukkeyy i r mod i knowing everything” What a damn shame but as the french say c’est la vie.

  43. Wiley says:

    TWoP always was a bit harsh, going quite a few years back. This Bayliss person (and Mars to a lesser but still real extent) are power mad, arbitrary, hostile, rude, lazy and a whole bunch of other bad words. But their predecessors weren’t that great either. There have ALWAYS been a few key blockheads, and their key philosophy has ALWAYS been “don’t debate or question OUR actions or penalties”. Ever.

    I’ve been close to a model citizen there. I don’t troll in any way shape or form. I’ll occasionally debate someone’s points, but I don’t name call or belittle. I apologize if its clear that someone was offended by something I posted. Not that this has happened all that often, because I’m careful to not do that, and always have been from Day 1. In fact, I’ve never been “tweaked” for conduct against another poster–that’s NEVER been the issue at all.

    And yet I’ve been banned. A few times, because over the course of 6 or 7 years I’ve occasionally decided to give them another shot and signed up again.

    So how have I been banned over and again without ever getting into a fight with another user? I’ll tell you. Bureaucracy. Least Common Denominator Syndrome. Laziness on the part of the Admins. And a distinct lack of Empathy from them at any given time.

    Recently, for example, I was banned because I talked about a Promo in an Episode thread. NOWHERE was this indicated as a rule, not in their 15 page “Ask” topic, nor in the FAQ for the forum, nor in the FAQ for the whole board. There WAS a “Promo discussion” topic, but nowhere in THAT topic either was a statement that Promos could ONLY be discussed (or apparently even MENTIONED) there. My email to the Admin (I don’t recall if it was TWOP Mars or TWOP Bayliss) was polite and to the point, but I was told “You should have known better”. That was it.

    This is pretty typical. There will be some forum specific “ruling” which they THINK is clear and they’ll be assholes about enforcing it and NEVER will listen to a defense that they weren’t being clear.

    Then there’s the infamous “board on board” offense they use like a chainsaw. I got tweaked for the phrase “you guys”. I am NOT kidding. “You guys” meant I was breaking some sacred board on board rule. At another point I was tweaked for asking (I don’t recall the exact phrasing but this is CLOSE) “Are we all of the same opinion here?” Yes. That’s board on board. And Bam! I’m a TWoP criminal.

    I could go on. There’s tons of other petty stuff. Foe example, posting a quote from a news article, which they ALLOW, but going over an arbitrary length above which they deem it an offense. And rather than just editing it down and informing me it was too long, it means a permanent strike leading to eventual banning. Because clearly “not knowing a rule” (when their site documentation sucks and the forum specific rules are often embedded in 15-20 page long unorganized Q&A threads) is all the easy excuse they need.

    A lot of people posting at TWoP are great (even though that turns over often because of these constant bans), but is it worth the frustration of having to constantly live u to ill defined rules, outride RUDE and hostile comments in your Admin panel describing your offenses in a REALLY snotty manner, admins who NEVER listen to appeals, even when they are clearly wrong, etc.? I just don’t know.

  44. ghanima says:

    I came here after Googling “Jacob Bayliss”. It’s less than a week after the Battlestar Galactica series finale, and I haven’t read a TWoP recap of that series since the first season. If I’d been asked to word my frustration, I would’ve said that the recapper was overly pretentious. So, deciding to visit the site again to see what the forums had to say about the final episode, I was greeted with this feature on the show which eventually devolves into several rants about how dissatisfied readers were with the “pretentious”, “pompous”, “witless” recaps. A few quick searches on public opinion later, and here I am. I, too, am truly sad to see TWoP fall victim to conflict of interest. It was a great site, once upon a time. I’m going to have to go looking for my conversation and analysis elsewhere.

  45. BOTR says:

    I can’t stand what seems to me like an overuse of IMO (and to a lesser extent, YMMV) in the posts written over there. I blame this more on the mods and their strict to-the-letter rules than the posters themselves, though I get the feeling that some posters are too lazy to write their opinion in a way that it doesn’t sound like they’re stating opinion as fact, so they just slap on an IMO at the end and hope for the best.

    I don’t know if it’s always been like that and I’m just now noticing it or the mods are more strict about the “stating opinion as fact” rule than ever before so posters get scared and go IMO overboard or they got warned or banned for “opnion as fact” and they start IMOing all over the place (like this one poster in the View thread I couldn’t stand).

  46. I feel better! says:

    I thought it was just me, but I have read every last one of the TWOP’s stinking rules (and they’re in multiple places, so there’s plenty of gotcha out there) and I STILL don’t understand what sets the mods off most of the time.
    It seems to be a refuge for misanthropic passive aggressive mods who are on a fantastic power trip. They swing their swords, without trial or discussion, and if you even ask for clarification they ban your ass. It’s like a banana republic, and I’m amazed at how many intelligent people are still posting there.
    I won’t be one of them.

  47. bagsnthings says:

    Censorship, censorship, censorship. Ban you left and right. Got rules for this, rules for that. They got more BS rules then they got decent commentary. Shut down or suspend your account without even a strike one. Lame-ass posters crying and whining because they can’t respond with an intelligent come-back. They go crying and reporting your post to the moderator. “Ban her because she upset me on the forum…don’t let her response to me”. What a crock of shit! Freakin pathetic. Too bad I wasn’t on when TWOP forum was actually about something. I’m gone….better things to do! LOL

  48. The Quibbler says:

    Oh god, I’ve been banned from there so many times, I should get an award or something. Of course, I’m surprised I haven’t been IP-banned by now – I have serious anger management problems, I’ll admit, and so I haven’t taken by bannings well in the past at all.

    Most of the mods are stuck-up and ironically snotty. I guess they don’t need to follow THEIR OWN RULES. The only nice one I remember was evany – she was firm, but she at least tried to be fair and softened everything with humor and friendliness. I’m guessing she’s not a mod anymore, they seem to uniformly be pricks.

    I actually got banned once for being “rude” when asking a moderator a question. And don’t get me started on Jacob. He’s Bayliss? I’ll be damned, because I actually saw Bayliss be nice once, and Jacob is a MAJOR prick 99% of the time (not to mention his pretentious, tangential Tori Amos-esque recaps that get their asses kissed on the boards. I wonder if the posters get paid when they do that).

    I find it funny that most of the time, the mods don’t even PARTICIPATE in discussion on the boards except to bitch or warn people. Of course, I don’t visit all the forums, so maybe more participate than I thought (I know Pembleton – whoever that used to be – pops in every now and then to discuss Dancing With the Stars with us – DISCUSS, not WARN or BITCH, Pembleton actually PARTICIPATES sometimes in a polite manner). But geez, it rubs me the wrong way when you have high-and-mighty, rude mods who don’t even actively participate in the discussions.

    And the posters! A bunch of sanctimonious, self-absorbed, high-and-mighty wankers themselves! They bitch about everything new (of course, EVERYONE does, you should see music fans – J-Pop fans in general are terrible about it, they hate EVERYTHING new and love it later when the next new thing comes along), they revel in how “anti-mainstream” they are when watching and discussing the mainstream, they nitpick about things that happen outside of their PERSONAL norm (one actually complained about a TV couple switching which asides of the bed they slept on, saying “I’ve been married for [x] years AND IT DOESN’T CHANGE!” like it’s a federal law or something), and nearly every single active thread in the Entertainment forums are the survival games, which take minimal effort and are pointless and stupid.

    You can enthusiastically agree with someone, but disagreeing is touchy. Always suck up! Always!

    Ugh. it’s digusting. Worse because the typing there is generally good, the people usually articulate… very few active discussion boards are like that. I wish I could find a different one.

  49. Dee says:

    Oh my goodness…. glad I found somewhere to complain. I was just suspended by that sucky website for almost a week for no apparent reason. I had no warnings (I had previously had one but it was undone, over 3 years ago), nothing. I have no idea why I was suspended. And it’s one of the more interesting tv weeks in recent memory, so unless I find it was all some weird, flukey mistake, I think I’m done with the website anyway. The recaps are boring. The redesign is crap. I miss fun stuff like the polls and the non-generic show icons. The threads in most forums aren’t nearly as fun because of OVERMODERATION! And arbitrary application of rules.

  50. CelticMagnolia47 says:

    I finally got really fed up with Jacob’s recaps for Gossip Girl, and decided to tell him so….here’s how that went….
    I told him I felt like the recaps were overblown/overwritten/not terribly entertaining anymore….He told me that obviously they are too challenging for my weak little mind….I told him that they were not too challenging in the least, simply pretentious to the point of being unbearable, and I will no longer be reading them….. He decided that was his cue to belittle my profession (teacher) and my students (he termed them “white trash kids in Las Vegas”) which is hilarious because a huge majority of my students are not white….whatever…I guess my criticism was too challenging for him. But, for god’s sack! This is Gossip Girl! Not Neitszche!!!

  51. CelticMagnolia47 says:

    He actually used the word “squozen” as the past perfect form of “to squeeze”!!!!! Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ!

  52. Dee says:

    Jacob is a blowhard if ever there was one.

  53. Sarah says:

    Watch out if you are a newbie. I joined a forum a few days ago and some of the senior members have made some of the most condescending comments to my posts and turned on me like a pack of wild dogs when I made some obvious tongue in cheek statements. I must have hit close to home and touched some nerves because I was stating the obvious in a lot of my posts. Senior members posted very similar comments to mine, no better or worse, and no one mouthed off to them. I told the forum off and said I am never posting there again since I feel that I have to censor my comments or be attacked by the TWOP mob.

  54. Muwarr90 says:

    I’ve been hanging around TWOP for about 5 years, and while the moderation has always been harsh, lately it seems to have gotten a lot worse. A whole lot worse. I’ve gotten more “notes” and “warns” in the last 2 weeks than I have in the previous 5 years. After the Warn, I wrote an email to TWOP Nikita saying that the incident that led to my warn had come after a fair amount of crap from other posters (I had taken a contrarian position from many about a reality show contestant) and asked if they had been warned as well. Well this led to an e-mail exchange where I was told I had an unacceptable attitude, that I was lucky I wasn’t suspended, and that I was at fault for not tattling to the mods about the other posters. (Which led me to look at the “tattle forums” for the first time. Oh my god, how sad. These people coming and ratting on “boards on boards” and “off topic”. I just kept hearing Gomer Pyle yelling “Citzens Arrest!”in my head while reading it. Who really cares about that stuff enough to report it?)

    Anyway…Thae whole thing left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It also led me to realize that TWOP doesn’t want “discussion” on their boards at all. They don’t want people exchanging ideas and defending their views. On the thread I got “warned” in, the mod posted something to the affect of “You can’t win an internet argument, so don’t try. Just post your opinion and move on”. That’s exactly what they want, a bunch of stand alone posts that don’t reference each other, or respond to differing ideas. I don’t think I’m interested in that vision of a “discussion board”.

  55. ilakdala says:

    I just miss the ace writing so much. A few of the classic writers are still there, but almost every writer that had wit and talent is gone. When I think back on djb’s and Miss Allie’s recaps, I realize how much I hate the new TWOP.

  56. LAG (GAL backwards?) says:

    I had been a member of “TWOP” or “Mighty Big TV” for years-I mean YEARS before these new controllers took over. I, too, was banned. I committed one of the worse crimes ever on any forum and have been severely punished: I did NOT put a ‘carriage return’ between two paragraphs!! OMG in heaven! I was banned back in Jan. 2009 and they will not even allow me to register under my husband’s email/name! I do not know how they know, but I have tried and was denied. All of this over a frickin’ space between two paragraphs!

    “Account Status: Banned”
    I was ‘informed’ by someone named ‘STREGA’ that I was either unwilling or unable to abide by the sites rules and therefore, BANNED!

    I guess this is ‘BANNED’ for life; they will never reconsider me as I did not add a space between two paragraphs!

  57. Muwarr90 says:

    I miss the old writing too. A month or so ago I went back and read a couple of the old “Seventh Heaven” recaps. That was one of the worst shows since, well basically ever, but those recaps were just great stuff. Viciously funny, sarcastic, witty, angry. There’s nothing like that around TWOP anymore. It’s all so bland now.

    With one exception, and it’s not a good exception, Jacob. If you ever want to read anything truly incomprehensible, try one of his American Idol recaps. Even when I’ve seen the show, I don’t have a clue what happened when I read his stuff. When he really gets me is when he tries to make AI out as some deep statement on society. I mean really, this is AI, the most vacant, commercial show on TV, and he’s treating it like Joyce’s Ulysses.

  58. buffy11bnl says:

    [quote]Muwarr90 wrote on August 10th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve been hanging around TWOP for about 5 years, and while the moderation has always been harsh, lately it seems to have gotten a lot worse. A whole lot worse. I’ve gotten more “notes” and “warns” in the last 2 weeks than I have in the previous 5 years.[/quote]

    WTF – the same thing happened to me. I had been a member of TWoP since 2000 without a single warning and in the last 2 weeks I got a warning (I rolled my eyes but was like, whatever – and that was because I posted in a reality show thread at *LITERALLY* 10:59 and the show wasn’t over till 11) and then banned by Strega – can anyone explain what my big crime was??? Not only that but she’s doesn’t even know what shes talking about, I didn’t get a warning for board on board discussion I got one for posting before the episode was over.

    [quote]Warned on Aug 18, 2009 @ 1:01 am
    Added to warn level
    I think its fine for people to not like her but I think some of the complaints are kinda ridiculous – “oh everyone has an olive bar” “Couscous is soooo overdone” Hopefully the people who made them now realize, no not every grocery store has an olive bar [...]

    Believe it or not there are people in this world who have never used cumin, or fresh ginger and I think its a bit much to mock her for using/presenting them as something out of the ordinary just because you (general) are very familiar with them.

    (10 Dollar Dinners)

    Boards on boards. Since you have a previous warning about this, you either haven’t read the FAQ or you are deliberately ignoring our rules about manners. Banned.[/quote]

  59. BOTR says:

    “Boards-on-boards” is the dumbest phrase I’ve ever heard. It makes my ears want to throw up.

  60. silver1881 says:

    I was SO happy to find this and see that I’m not alone! I cannot stand Jacob’s pretentious recaps and his paragraph-long run-on sentences. For some reason a while back he was recapping practically every show I was watching (Doctor Who, American Idol, Ugly Betty, even Gossip Girl, which I didn’t watch but still wanted to read the recaps of) and it was beyond frustrating. At least he finally threw a gigantic hissy fit about the poor quality of Ugly Betty and now someone else recaps it – of course by now I don’t watch it anymore, so it didn’t matter, but still. And I was shocked when I went to the Doctor Who forums and the posters were wanking all over his recaps like they were getting paid for it. And speaking of pretentious recappers, Demian, who recaps Supernatural, used to write good recaps but is rapidly turning into Jacob-lite. Every time he condescendingly says “Oh, clever, clever SHOW”, I want to reach through the screen and punch him.

    That screenshot of the old site makes me weep. Oh, the good old days, when the site didn’t make my eyes bleed, I could actually find what I was looking for, and the recaps made me laugh.

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  63. Lynn says:

    I was just warned for the second time by TWOP Nikita. I sent an PM back and told her she must have a corncob stuck up her ass or some kind of God complex. They make you feel like you’re about 2 years old and broke Mom’s china for just trying to be part of the conversation. Wonder if I’ll get banned. I have belonged to many BBs and have never been banned for making simple, part of the conversation comments on them.

  64. Miss Hepburn says:

    I was there nearly at the beginning. I preferred it to most sites of its ilk, as it required proper punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. There were no page long sig lines, flashing emoticons, and giant photos to slog through. The recaps were well written, well thought out and, sometimes, even more entertaining as the show. I dealt with the redesign and leaving of the old guard. “Bravo knew what it was buying and would respect the ideology they purchased”, I lied to myself.

    The last straw, after one too many recap by someone who missed several very basic pop-culture references, and even commented they hadn’t understood why Character X did Action Y, was the underlined words which spawn a b*ng.c*m search window. I accidentally rolled onto something ridiculous like “body” and had to close the damn window. I could understand a roll over pop-up for 50 cent words TWoP’s new demographic might not grok. Like “gentrification”, or “detrimental”.

  65. Red X says:

    Like many others TWOP is a diversion for me. Life can be difficult. Talking about television should not be. I don’t want a power-tripping moderator slapping my hand like I’m a three-year old with nonsensical rules that force me to write as if I’m walking on egg shells. I’m up to three warnings now out of about 1100 posts over 6 years. Only one of them made even a speck of sense.

  66. Rob says:

    TWoP lost a lot of it’s luster with me when Miss Alli left. Her recaps of The Amazing Race and Survivor were, and still are, some of my all-time favorite writing. I still go back and read them from time to time when things are slow at work. This redesign only made it worse and is so typical of the slam-cut mentality and the general dumbing down of everything in the entertainment industry. Very depressing.

  67. Kermonk says:

    What a pity that moron Strega hasn’t been booted yet. She seems to ban people whos opinion she doesn’t like (or perhaps says something against her friends – assuming she has any)
    Hopefully they’ll fire her one day, then here would be a reason to say Bravo!

  68. Steve says:

    TWOP Nikita is the worst of them. I got a warning for her for putting a link to a chatroom during the Oscar telecast. See, you’re not supposed to “live chat” on boards until the program is over. So I tried doing a nice thing and set up a room for people. But apparently, I was “pimping” a site. I’ve been a member since 2002 but God, this bitch makes me want to never go back.

  69. BongWinslow says:

    Jacob’s recaps utterly utterly suck. He writes like a 9th grader who thinks he’s the next JD Salinger, when in reality his stuff sounds like a bog-standard ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ essay on Call of the Wild.

    His Dr Who recaps are particularly embarrassing. We all love Dr Who, but to try to write about the way he does means he just doesn’t get it.

    And the rest of the recaps are tragic. The constant attempts at “snark” except they just say everything’s lame, but for no good reason and with no witty exposition.

    And the LAYOUT! My God.

    And the FILLER! The GALLERIES!

    I used to love TWOP. Now I’m just embarrassed for it.

  70. Millicent says:

    Wow was I glad to find these comments. I post only a few times a year on TWOP and somehow have several “warns” already — only one of which made sense. (Someone was being a total asshole with total impunity and I finally said “Never mind. I decline to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.” apparently that is “boards on boards,” whatever the F that means.

    Is being draconian and inscrutable their schtick, their gimmick, or are the moderators there really such petty tyrannical assholes? Do they honestly take themselves that seriously? One of them is Strega — what a pitiful person she/he must be. As someone said above, TWOP is supposed to be escapism; not a source of anxiety. I have a master’s degree in English and nevertheless have received “warns” for my poor use of the language. Right.

    I wish there were some way to let the advertisers know it’s just not worth it any more!

    thanks for letting me commiserate here.

  71. NewBrunette says:

    Seriously, TWOP Mars can go shove it. I know this post was written a long, long time ago, but as of late, the warnings/lectures on almost every damn thread I read are getting out of hand. I got one a few days ago over the stupidest thing—I mentioned something that pertained to the production of the show, and got a, “This doesn’t belong here!” warning. But it does, you moron. Maybe if you read, instead of doling out useless bans with your God complex, you would know that.

    Go ahead and laugh, but I like to read the “Shopping Channels” thread, and for God’s sake, one of the “moderators” yelled at people for posting while the show is on. Hello, the Shopping Channels are ALWAYS On. 24-7! Even Christmas! More proof that they just love to lord over their posters. It’s a shame, because without those posters, TWOP would have been long gone.

    I’m also sick of the posters who suck up to the Mods. OH PLEASE. You’re impressing no one.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  72. joann says:

    I just got a warning (one of several recently)because I refuse to drink the Bethenny cool-aide. I knew something was up when they shut the RHoNYC board down. Clearly too many anti-Bethanny comments. If you look at the recent comments for that show there is no snark. I wanted to write a message telling Mod Howard to kiss my ass, but what is the point. I just will not go there anymore.

  73. Millicent says:

    I just got a warning on the Bethenny board from TWOPHoward too! And I have no idea why; all I said was something about not kidding ourselves that these reality shows are “real.” He said it was “boards on boards” whatever the fuck that is!

  74. floridabound says:

    “Is being draconian and inscrutable their schtick, their gimmick, or are the moderators there really such petty tyrannical assholes?”

    Yes, they ARE such assholes. They’ve always been such assholes. Assholery must be an HR requirement and apparently there are lots of assholes out there who fit the bill on TWOP.

    After three or four ids, I’ve lost count, and being thricely warned, again, I’ve decided to finally (it does take me longer than most) to call it quits.

    But not before I told Moe Howard (Millicent, that’s the warning I got from Moe Howard too, the guy must be on the rag), or whomever that was, and Barnes, and Jacob, to go F themselves. It was fun, of course, but the shame of it is, these little wankers will go on being tyrants and assholes, because the corporation that bought this pathetic site lets them. The worst part, are the pathetic little ‘may I have some more, please, sir’ souls who submit to the beatings and kowtow to the concentration camp rules. It’s pathetic and sad to see, but hey, freedom has to start at home, right?

    Oh well, I’m done with them and life is good.

  75. Millicent says:

    well, TWOPMars just dinged everyone on the Mad Men board. The discussion was rolling along fine and then he/she (whom i picture as a deformed little Star Trek fan hunched in front of the giant computer that forms his/her major interaction with the world) felt compelled to give a totally toolish warning about what is and is no acceptable. “State your opinion and move on.” So — no discussion on a discussion forum, eh?

    I think I’ll move on without stating my opinion; while it is interesting to hear some posters’ take on the Televsion Without Pity fora, I don’t want to give them or Bravo the clicks any longer. There are other places where thoughtful viewers are posting.

  76. Gotta be kidding says:

    I was a member since 2003 with no issues (but then again, not a lot of posting). Then I got a warning for trying to help another poster out in finding program information. My crime? I used “internet chat-speak” when I typed “Tivo sez” instead of Tivo says. TWOP Barnes can go shove it, really, becasue I’ve seen that exact same “chat-speak” used by other posters, including their own moderators. What tyrannical fucktards these people are. I’m done with them.

  77. jane says:

    I know this thread is old, but I am *so* glad I found it. I can’t believe how Bravo destroyed such a great website. The terrible layout, the exhausting galleries, the lackluster recaps, and the infiltration of pointless, ad-savvy links. I never had to deal with the moderators (which sounds like a great thing), but that’s probably because I posted about once a year. I miss the sharp and witty content. Now the site is as bloated, unwieldy and pointless as the site for BravoTV. I guess one terrible website wasn’t enough for them.

  78. Judi says:

    GREAT article. So sad to read, but so spot-on. I found it through Wikipedia.

    I have to disagree with the commenter who said Jacob wasn’t a good recapper. Jacob is an absolutely brilliant writer. His AI recaps, and the “Weeds” recaps he’s done, are why I still go to TWoP at all.

  79. Rae says:

    I know this article is old, but it’s been like a balm to the soul reading everyone’s comments! I’ve been reading TWOP since the Mighty Big T.V. days and to see what it’s become is heartbreaking! I remember days sitting at my computer at work, bored, tired, just having a shitty day and I would go and check out the Roswell recaps for a hearty laugh. I have never had a problem with any of the moderators, probably because in the 10 years I’ve been reading it, I’ve only posted 6 or 7 times (though I read them faithfully). What really gets me is the atrocious writing! The lack of any form of research, editing, or humor. Where did the snark go? Where is the wit?

    Amen to all those complaining about Jacob, what a bore! He is absolutely unintelligible, I would try and read his “Doctor Who” recaps and think to myself “go inflict your thesis paper on someone else!”.

    I miss those halcyon days where the most people complained about was how mean Miss Alli was on the forums. And who ever said it above, I too have gotten misty eyed over the screen cap of the old site.

  80. Amanda says:

    I found this post while trying to figure out how to contact the mods from TWoP to plead my case. I’ve always read the boards, but finally got the courage to become a member a little over two weeks ago. I only had 4 posts – today, I signed in to discuss How I Met Your Mother, and found out that I was posted for spoiling! It was a simple mistake – I thought I was using the spoil tags. I figured that would warrant a warning, of course, but being banned? I can’t find anything to e-mail or message to plead my case, and apparently, there is no solution. Thanks for letting me know that you guys have been through this same problem, because I was confused. It seemed extreme for my first offence. But now that I know that they’re like that, it’s hardly as surprising.

  81. Cathy says:

    OMG, there must be something about the How I Met Your Mother boards that has TWoP Barnes in a snit. I got banned after TEN YEARS because I posted that I thought the Robin Sparkles thing was funny and I don’t think I need to say “Hee, I’m twelve” (which irritates me BEYOND BELIEF by the way) in order to enjoy a little raunchy humor. It wasn’t directed at any particular poster, I just stated my opinion. BANNED!!! TWOP Barnes is a complete and utter C*nt who seems to take her “job” a little to seriously. And I use the term “job” very, very loosely here.

  82. Way Late says:

    Yeah back when I still visited TWoP, I remember Barnes having her own blog in which she attempted to elevate the mundane activities of a website moderator into something worth writing about, in between other mundane details about her husband and kids. Evidently it’s accessible by invitation only, now, so maybe she wised up that that shit’s embarrassing. Because it seems she really believes this petty crap is weighty and important.

  83. Stephanie says:

    I found this when googling TWOP sucks. Like everyone else I have been on TWOP for around a decade. What it has become is sad, sad, sad. It isn’t just that the writing is sub-standard, some of the staff can’t seem to write CORRECTLY (Mindy).

    I too have gotten warned over and over for God knows what. The latest is because I wrote “I don’t know if it has been mentioned since it is late and I am too tired to read through 15 pages …” I was told by Nikita that I need to read all 15 pages before I post something like that. I’m sorry, what? Are you KIDDING ME? What an asshole.

  84. zumpie says:

    Chiming in with more of the same! Today I received my first actual “warn” in 4 years, coutesy of stupid, freakin’ Howard for being “off topic” (even though this thread A)goes waaay off topic all the time and B)I wasn’t). INterestingly, though—even though stupid, freakin’ Howard had said they’d deleted my evil, off topic post, it’s still there, unedited 12 hours later. Even when I logged off and was a “guest”.

    The only things I will beg to differ with some of the other posters is about Jacob and Mars (DeeAnn), who have both always been super nice to me (though since Jacob likes my posts, that might play a part). Oh—and while Pembleton/Kim is generally regarded as “friendly and fair”—I’ve always found her to be almost as bitchy, snotty and UNfair as Howard.

  85. Alice Schmid says:

    I used to love TWoP, but it’s true; their moderation has become fascist. Completely taken over by weird controllers. No longer worth reading; the posts are snarkier than they ever were, but oddly referring to any other posts, suggesting the negativity may be over the top—-that is not allowed. WTF?

    I quit.

  86. Francesca says:

    BRAVO has JUMPED THE SHARK for sure and it DOES hone in on gay or female, tasteless, pretentious dimwits. The shows are getting tired and “glamming” it up by adding the word MILLIONAIRE WON’T help at all. Maybe they should try featuring a reality show with Asians, we’ve gotten enough botox, blonde, plastic surgery overhauled, new money aka “nouveau riche”, over the top, train wrecks…
    It’s reasonable to show all socio-economic levels in REALITY TV and of course extremes always do well.
    Maybe they should take a clue from OVER SEAS programming…Japan, Europe…just a thought.

  87. DollyLama says:

    I’m joining the A.V. Club…

    TWoP Tennison banned me for – OMG! – asking, via e-mail, that spoilers be moderated. What a horrific offense! I was perfectly polite about it; evidently they just can’t be bothered.

    At least when it was under the creators’ management, they were up-front and honest about being arbitrary in their treatment of members.

  88. Larry says:

    Aww…old, old article but so very true. I used to read recaps of shows I didn’t even watch because they were so well done. Now, I don’t even scroll down to find them.

    I’m also glad to read I’m not the other one having random issues with the mods. Posting since forever, 2 warnings in the past month because things are off-topic. I included a sentence commenting on a promo that aired at the end of the show. I also referred to the after show (there was a commercial for it during the show). How dare I.

    It’s become a very weird place. It’s pretty boring to discuss a television show- especially reality shows- while referencing only what happens in that specific episode of the show.

    The site used to have this interesting expansive approach to television. Shame to see that go away.

  89. Miranda says:

    It’s amazing that in the three years since this post was written, nothing has changed. The Mods at TWOP are insane. There’s a forum on the new show “Person of Interest” where the discussion was flowing very nicely about the attractiveness of the two lead male actors and we were discussing past roles they had played (Note that we weren’t really talking about other shows that they were in, I know what a mortal sin that is over there).

    Out of nowhere we got a warning from TWOP Howard about how we weren’t on topic. I’m sorry, how is discussing the two leads in the show not on topic? And he totally brought the conversation to a screeching halt. F-it, I’m going to AV Club too.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Athenae hooked me up with this news a week or so ago. So why has it taken me so long to post it? Is it because some folks have grown kind of “meh, TWOP sux” lately, especially since the Bravo buyout? [...]

  2. [...] Here are some comments from around the Internet about TwoP’s worsening reputation: Yep, Television without Pity sucks. The biggest problem I find with the site now are the mods in the forums. Their reasons for banning/warning are draconian and completely arbitrary and petty, and if you have the audacity to question them in any way, it makes things all the worse for you. It’s become the case wherein I am afraid to post in their forums because you never know what sort of thing is going to piss off a mod and get you banned on any given day. – Ramon, commenter of the post, Bravo Sends Television Without Pity to hell. [...]

  3. [...] few months ago, I wrote a pretty vicious post describing the awful, user-unfriendly makeover that Bravo had foisted on Television Without [...]

  4. [...] I agree with Sternbergh that Denby doesn’t quite identify where snark originated (but he does make a half-decent effort to pinpoint its roots at Spy Magazine), but the very irony that Sternbergh identifies as “a defense against inheriting a two-faced world” isn’t the issue here. Because the best defense in these cases is hardly an effective offense. As Denby observes of Spy’s infiltration of Bohemian Grove, “The malicious rug-pulling was fun to watch, but there was also something creepy, parasitic, and fully meaningless about such minor invasions. Spy never did find out how power worked in New York or what deals between political and corporate honchos were struck in Bohemian Grove; it discovered only where power hung out and what its vulgar habits were.” While I disagree with Denby’s suggestion that pranksterism and tomfoolery fail to loosen minor realities which lead others towards a better understanding of how the world operates (computer hackers, driven by curiosity and mischief, force administrators to enact better security; Sarah Palin is revealed to be woefully unqualified by a Quebec comedy duo), he is right to point to a certain vacuity in many snarky experiments. You can read a website like Television Without Pity and realize that the people who write for it are wasting their talents drinking in nothing but the poisonous tonic of sarcasm. These writers have no desire to understand or properly rebel against the “two-faced world” that’s apparently so evil. Indeed, in TWoP’s case, NBC Universal snatched it up and this caused others to take umbrage at the distilled results. [...]