Monday, March 2, 2009

Figgy's List of Grievances. Today: TWOP's Jacob.

Jacob is one of the writers who does tv-show episode recaps on TelevisionWithoutPity.

I love TWOP. Always have. Most of their reviewers are insightful, and it's a good way to catch little details you might've missed in a show.

But oh, I hate Jacob. Have you seen his recaps? I stopped reading the American Idol ones because he started doing them. Same thing with his Gossip Girl recaps I also stopped watching Americal Idol and Gossip Girl years ago, but that doesn't matter here). I went to the site today to see what TWOP had to say about True Blood--a trashy, addictive show I just started watching. And then I found out Jacob was doing the recaps. I went "grrrr" and closed the site.

OK, before I closed it I tried reading. I did. I gave him another chance.

Then I realized each of his recaps is THIRTY PAGES LONG (a 45 minute show, for frak's sake!). THIRTY PAGES of his rambling, incoherent rants that are only 10% actual scenes from the SHOW and 90% filler that seems fueled by one or more hallucinatory drugs. Oh, Sookie is angry? Let me not only say that she's angry, but write a 2 page treatise on the origins of anger, the consequences of anger, the love of anger that makes no sense at all and makes me sound like a pretentious idiot who loves to hear himself talk.

Here's an example:

"Hey, Tara! This is Randi Sue. Come join us. It's beautiful!" And it is. The world is sufficiently big that nobody holds anything against anybody else, because we are one. The sparks in the magnolia and the sparks just across Randi Sue's skin, you can see them: they are the same. What need is there to feel alone ever again, to try to fuck your way across the line, when you've discovered the secret of the universe is that you're already across the line. And they are in you, and you two are only parts of the universe meeting in a kiss, and saying in your pleasure, "I remember you. Welcome home."

Excuse my language here but:

What the HELL does any of that even mean?

NOTHING. Big fat load of NOTHING.

And it's not only a nonsensical, pseudo-philosophical, oh-look-at-how-profound-I-am bout of nonsense, it's also BAD WRITING. Just awful writing. How does this man keep working?

Do your job, Jacob. Your job is to do a run down of the episodes, and add helpful, relevant commentary every now and then. The recap should be about the SHOW, not about YOU. And you are making it all about you. For THIRTY pages. Thirty pages of you trying so desperately hard to be profound that the reader is left hating your guts for being unable to write a single, simple sentence without going into a three-page ramble.

Just stop it.

Alright, I didn't mean for this to go on this long but...this has been eating at me for a long time, and seeing Jacob get more work at TWOP was just the last straw. I can't take it anymore. Somebody stop him.

Living skin, dead matter, separated by bullshit you can only see in context; all this matter and the sparks inside it are the point: they matter. They are significant and alive, whole in themselves, full of life and beauty. It's just nature, and nature's all we have.

....

NO.

Jacob...Shut. Up.

***

I wrote a second part to my rant:

http://figgylicious.blogspot.com/2009/06/figgys-airing-of-grievances-twops-jacob.html

46 comments:

Rusty said...

He does the Battlestar Galactica recaps too, and I actually thought he did a great job with them for a while. There's so much going on in that show, within the context of the show and within the larger world of all the allusions and literary references thrown in that Jacob's style actually worked really well.

But lately it's just gone off the rails. I can read his recaplets the day after the episode, but the full recaps are just too much of a struggle.

jM said...

Wooooow, that's a lot of bullshit. I commend you for getting that far. I've never really read TWOP but there is no reason for anyone to be writing a 30 page recap of a one hour show. Long winded.

P.S.: My word verifications were rogiess and turookey. Now I am dying for some turkey and pierogies. Thanks.

Figgylicious said...

Mmm turkey and pierogies...argh, jM. Spreader of evils.

And yeah, Rusty, he used to be really funny and his rants were enjoyable but now...I swear it feels like when someone gets progressively drunker and drunker and more incoherent as time goes by. So weird.

dsbs42 said...

I must say, I agree with you 100% but I love his reviews because I find them hilarious. And his style fits much more with recaps like the Doctor Who ones, like I think Rusty means with the Battlestar Galactica ones. But please don't try to philosophize Ugly Betty or American Idol, because - no. Bad Jacob.

citoyenne said...

I was doing some random googleing to see if everyone seriously hated the Galactica finale as much as Jacob seems to think they should, and found this, and ... Just thought I'd lurk in to say, yes. Dude has been pissing me off forever. I'm glad I'm not the only one who kind of cannot stand his recaps.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, yes, his overwritten blather is infuriating. Every recap is like the worst excesses of all the MFA students I knew in grad school. We get it! You read! Many hard books! Now shut up and be funny.

Anonymous said...

Jacob's agenda is what his recaps will be about. Always. And he takes himself incredibly seriously while being one of the laziest and least reliable people I have ever encountered. He's not a think tank - just an empty tank. Wordy circle jerks, smoke, mirrors, enemies, indulgence and not just lack of responsibility but entitlement. He has exactly what he's put in, in reality. A writer at twop that writes three times as much as necessary for any given episode to patch whatever ego crack is loudest that week. A lack of snark or humour becaue his ego comes before the actual premise of the website and concept that pays for his mental illness. And, an animosity and disdain for the very followers of the shows he recaps. Further, he has stolen comments/phrases and concepts from me. Which anyone that had experienced evolution would realize were a woman's distinct point of view - Further - he has bitched, moaned, blocked and aggressed fans of the site that don't applaud his overwrought, overworked, biased beyone the point of funny and longer than any ego should validate recaps. I know his talent and his ego well. Both are uninformed by the world that is actually around them. That is failure at its most clarified level. And he stole the girls are the new boys phrase from me. Just like that.

Figgylicious said...

Anonymous: I love you. You said it better than I ever could.

I really don't understand how he still has a job.

Amers33 said...

All I have to say is "Amen Figgy!" I used to love the TWoP site and when I got into True Blood last year, I of course went to that site to read the recaps because I love a little snark in my recaps.

I had never read anything written by Jacob, so I was unprepared for his "writing style". I've never seen so much self-serving, pompous blathering for a TELEVISION SHOW...one about vampires no less. He goes off on these tangents that will last 2-3 pages and you totally forget when he left off on talking about the show and are usually going "huh??" in trying to figure out what point he's trying to make (if he's even trying to make one).

Like one of the posters here stated perfected: You read. Many big books. WE GET IT. Now be funny.

Dr. Moron said...

I agree with you -- in fact, I hate Jacob so very much I have started doing my own alternative recaps out of sheer frustration. He always seems to do the recaps for my favorite shows :(

Anonymous said...

Amen! I encountered Jacob's writing "style" for the first time in the Gossip Girl recaps and it is just bad. Half the recap is filled with observations about himself, his life, obscure references to whatever and long-winded spiritual floaty nonsense about nothing. The other half is comments on the show (but butchered so badly, that you have no idea what the hell he is talking about and what the hell happened in the episode) and desperately-trying-to-be-funny transcripts like this (=actual example):

S: but ur his BFF and favorite person
V: true and thanks for remembering but no
S: i will b ur friend
V: ur rusty at this
S: look i have to find out this is a whole new world for me
V: what is
S: trying! caring about anything!

Apparently this is his way of recapping a conversation between Vanessa and Serena, without being funny or informative. I really wish he'd stop writing at TWOP.

Anony said...

What *I* really don't understand is the apparent support for him from readers - evidently, there are real fans of his who were worried that he'd stop recapping a show a year ago.

WHY?! He's ruining True Blood for me, just like he ruined Gossip Girl. Does he not *get* that he works for Television WITHOUT PITY? Snark is in his contract. Whoever his boss is, I want him/her - b/c they don't seem to care if he turns in utter, absolute crap for his work.

goldfishgirl said...

Oh thank god I am not the only one to notice this. I come to TWoP for snarky recaps of shows I love, not in depth psuedo media analysis that is nothing more than increasingly nonsensical rants.

Firenze said...

Thank you! Seriously, I remember the good old days of Mighty Big Tv. It was awesome. All the recappers were great and I never approached the first recap of a show I liked with trepidation because I knew it would be hilarious, no matter who wrote it. Jessica was a personal favourite though. Those X Files recaps? Gold! Why can't Couch Baron recap True Blood?! The site is supposed to be about snarky recaps, not rambling essays. The only thing worse than Jacob's recaps are the little acolytes in the forums creaming themselves over the 'brand new perspective/enlightenment' Jacob's recaps have given them. STFU!!

Rachel said...

I guess I'm not the only one who googled "who hates Jacob at TWOP too!?" Okay, I didn't type that specifically but I found this post through Google. And it confirms that there are other sane people out there.

I love True Blood, I don't need recaps, but it's nice when people point out little things I inevitably miss. His TB recaps could be cut in half and still have too much of "him" in them.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Jacob's recaps = torture. I don't even think that TWoP is as funny as it used to be. Even if you're a fan of a show, you can still find the elements that funny and exploit them. I feel like now it's all recap, very little comedy, and a lot of pseudo intellectual ponderings. There's also a "Groupthink" issue going on among the staff. I miss the Dan's who recapped LOST Season 1 and 2. That is how it should be done!(Incidentally, whoever recaps ANTM does a great job, very funny).

corkscrew said...

I can understand if you guys hate Jacob's writing style, but honestly I really like them. I usually have a good bullshit detector for when people are just saying nonsense and when they've actually got a point and I find myself reading and enjoying everything the guy writes, even if it makes a lot of leaps in... meaning? I don't know he's all over the place but I always get where he's coming from and even if I don't agree with it, at least I can appreciate the possibility of what he's talking about.

And besides that the guy gives REALLY GOOD RATINGS. You can tell he really enjoys the shows he watches, so all in all he can't be that terrible. At least he isn't constantly poking holes in the shows he recaps and finding ways to lower their ratings. I don't think he's that bad.

patrice said...

I found this blog by searching "twop jacob hate". that's how much I can't stand him, that I actively sought out likeminded people. (because there's no way I could go on twop and just tell them I don't like him.)

american idol is such a simple, vapid show...there's no reason, NONE, that the recaps should be painful to read.

this quote is going to be long, but THIS IS WHY I CANNOT STAND HIM.

This song, which is really quite good, always reminds me of one of my favorite single shots in the history of television, which is in "The Dearly Beloved", which is famous for that one amazing Imogen Heap song but which I also remember for containing this one shot, where Floater Girl -- her name was Jess but we called her Floater Girl because she was first discovered floating in the Cohens' pool but just like Swamp Thing rose up way stronger than when she went in there -- has just dicked some guys for a bag of cash, flashed a gun, and left everybody to deal with the consequences. This goes down in the Bait Shop. So there's this shot of her from below while that song is playing, walking over this catwalk, that is so terribly bad-ass and so right on-target for the song that it makes me cry just thinking about it, even years later. Like, my friend Lily can just look at my face and go, "Are you in actuality thinking about when Floater Girl was walking that one time?" Yeah. I am. And chances are I'm pretending in my mind that I just fired a gun in the Bait Shop and stole a shitload of money from gangstas because beauty's where you find it.

thank god he doesn't do lost.

Krupskaya said...

I'm another one who googled to see if anyone felt the way I do about Jacob. I'm glad to see some do. I started reading TWOP when 24 started and was reduced to weeping with silent laughter at work at the snark level. Classic. But when you read his BSG recaps (and, now, Caprica), it's a little shocking to me at how little snark there is. I don't want to read 40 pages of the Gospel of St. Jacob. I want to read 15 pages of delicious snark.

Matthew said...

Hey, if you're all passing around the Jacob haterade, let me take a big gulp. I loved Battlestar Galactica as much as anyone, and TWOP was one of the only (competent) places to get a good recap. I stuck with them as long as I could, just so I could find out what I missed. But finally I couldn't take it anymore. That guy is so busy jerking himself off it's a wonder there's any skin left on his palms. 1 sentence of recap --> 2 PARAGRAPHS of drivel. I don't care what YOU think, just tell me what happened! I stopped getting recaps and got bittorrent instead episodes instead, b/c of that pompous ass.

Lord Nef said...

Jacob is awful. He comes off like a college freshman who just took Psych 101 and Philosophy 101 and now A) thinks he knows everything and B) thinks it's his duty to share. It's annoying as hell.

Blimey said...

I too googled for like-minded ppl who can't stand Jacob's nonsensical reaps. I've been reading recaps from TV without Pity far years and he is by far the worst writer. His recaps make no sense, and he appears to be in love with his own words. I've given up even trying to read them as it just leaves me frustrated.

Isa said...

I thought it was only me, but I see this is not the case. Sadly, he recaps some of my favorite shows (BG, True Blood, even American Idol) so I quit TWOP long time ago, I cannot stand him. He does not have a funny bone in his body and he is boring. Doesn't he have an editor or something to stop the crap?

Anonymous said...

Thank god, some other people hate Jacob as well. I've tried to read his Doctor Who recaps, and they are completely nonsensical. I don't need 20 pages of rambling and philosophical shit. And I love how if anyone DARES to make a negative comment about the recap, either Jacob or Mars come down on the instigator and rip the person to shreds.

Ciaran said...

Thank the stars. I despaired of finding anyone who thought his overwrought, drivelling meanderings were nigh on impossible to read. Of course, there's plenty under the surface in BSG, but do you have to dig so deep? And so pointlessly?

Anonymous said...

I'm another of those people who just Googled something about hating Jacob. Since you aren't allowed to hate Jacob on the TWoP forums (more on that later) I'm glad I found this blog post where I know I'm not alone.

I used to just be mildly annoyed about Jacob's stuff. His long-winded descriptions about how the TARDIS in Doctor Who is the ultimate symbol of dreams and beauty and life on earth and outside earth and heaven and everything ever it might as well be a god worship this blue box, WORSHIP IT, just gave me a chance to exercise my eye-rolling techniques. I love Doctor Who, but good lord. Anyways, I just thought to avoid him forever.

Unfortunately, I sidled into a recent "recap" (it was 90% tangents, as usual) of American Idol he'd done, and I noticed that Jacob had gotten just... flat-out vicious. He goes on paragraphs-long rants about how ugly a person is, how horrible a person is, how fake a person is, how stupid a person is. He took a full page to bash Elton John for being a stupid celebrity just pretending to be against things like AIDs because celebrities can't be genuinely against things like that.

And in the forums, he's about ten times as hostile to anyone who so much as mentions something he said in his recap in a negative light. After making a potentially (he wouldn't let anyone discuss its nature) racist comment about an American Idol contestant, someone in the forums questioned it and he tore them apart, calling them ignorant, insignificant, worthless, scum of the earth, the whole deal. Because of a one-sentence remark on a comment in his recap.

It was bad enough when he was just making stupid, circular reviews about shows, but the bitterness and hostile personality that comes out in his recaps now makes it all so much worse. TWoP, despite its tagline/identity as a "snark site" was never really mean. Many of the shows recapped there were benevolently mocked and riffed on, there was an underlying affection in a lot of the recaps and there was always a unified "guilty-pleasure" atmosphere in the forums while discussing those mocked shows.

Figgylicious said...

Wow, I can't believe I'm still getting comments on this.

I've stopped reading his recaps entirely, but I think I'll take a look again when "True Blood" comes back, see if he's changed even the slightest bit. Then I can do a follow-up. Though from all the comments here, he's still as bad as ever.

Anonymous said...

Ha, like almost everyone else, I googled "hate" "jacob" and "true blood" and came to this. Why would they have someone do recaps who isn't funny?! I'm sure there's a place for it, but not on that site!

Anonymous said...

I hardly enjoy TWOP anymore because Jacob is, first and foremost, incredibly longwinded and overwrought. Why his editors indulge him is beyond me.

Secondly, Jacob is the epitome of the kind of person who is undoubtedly intelligent, has probably suffered because of it, and now steadfastly refuses to accept anything less than a solid gold star for anything that he says or does. He's the dark side of geekdom.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you all on the Jacob hate. I just googled "Jacob" "TWOP" and "pretentious" and found this lovely blog! I've been reading recaps on TWOP (MBTV) since they first started. I can't believe how awful his recaps are. Plus he gets all my favourite shows. First he ruined Battlestar Galactica and now he is ruining True Blood. Please TPTB kick his ass out and get someone with a sense of humour to recap.

tanja said...

Yes! Thank you. As a non native speaker I really hoped for insightful BSG recaps and I tried and tried to come to terms with them, but I couldn't. Especially his "poetic mode" made me irrationally angry. I almost felt violated reading it. Very strange.

coquilleon said...

thank you
thank you so much
the sad thing is when Jacob is on point he's ON POINT - hilarious and all the stuff TWoP is supposed to be, but I swear he's lost the plot. I don't have time to watch tv, so I go there to catch up on GG and I read maybe five pages out of his 78.
Okay, we get it, some characters have some depth, but he finds so much meaning in Serena Van der Woodsen it blows my mind every time. it honestly makes my chest hurt.
youve put what I couldn't into words, so thank you, so so much.
hes started doing pretty little liars and so far so good, but we'll see

Anonymous said...

You're still getting comments because he still sucks like a black hole.

Like others, I just googled "TWOP Jacob" after attempting to read his recap of the Doctor Who Christmas special (and taking longer to read the first five pages than it took to watch the freaking hour and 20 minute long show)and this was the first thing that popped up. And not to be all TWoP forum poster about it but ITA. He's beyond insufferable. Too bad every show I'd like to read recaps of is recapped by that pretentious douchecanoe.

goingbydirigible said...

Ahaha! I am dying. Like others above, I googled my way here after finding myself screaming at my screen once more. I had mostly quit TWoP altogether, because Jacob seemed to recap all the shows I like. (Have moved on to TVgasm now - much better.)

Every now and then I start watching something new and I go back. I actually managed to forget about Jacob and I popped in to see if TWoP was recapping the US Shameless. I read merrily along until I got to, "If she didn't know before, she knows now: It's the wolves. He's one of them." My head literally went, "Oh, fuck. Jacob," while my heart sank.

Jane said...

Ha! Yes, I am yet another "I hate how Jacob recaps on TWOP" googler. I am so glad I'm not alone! I love the snark at TWOP, but sometimes I also come to read recaps when I've somehow missed an episode of a show I like or haven't watched it yet, or when it's a show I don't normally watch but I'm curious about. And with Jacob, it's like... OMFG will you cut out the psycho-babble and just tell me what happened??? How is it possible to recap a show without even telling people what actually happened during the show? It's insane!

kelly said...

Like everyone else, I googled "twop Jacob", wanting to find out if I was alone in my antipathy, and am very pleased to find that I'm not. Most of the shows he writes for I stopped watching a while ago, so I hardly care, but I desperately, desperately wish he would just stay away from Doctor Who.

Selina said...

Oh God, I just finished reading Jacob's "recap" of American Idol and just ran straight to Google to see if anyone else feels the same way about this pompous asshole as I do. So many apparently! Seriously, he sucks worse than any recapper there. Funny thing is, in one of TWOP's weekly "fun" articles on the front page (you know, like "Who is TV's Worst Mother? We'll break it down for you!)the comments were just full of Jacob hate. LOL!

Anonymous said...

can I just add to this hate. I usually love TWOP but never read Jacob's recaps of any show until I got sucked into Gossip Girl fandom. I read 1 or two Jacob recaplets which weren't tooo offensive. Then, because there haven't been any significant reviews out on Gossip Girl final I decided to check out his entire recap to see what he thought. And Oh my word, you have to read it to believe how awful it was. He take personal digs at fandom (who read his recaps mind you) and pushes a personal agenda so obviously that I found myself wondering how editorial let it past them. It was also extremely offensive if you are aware of the issues many fans have been havign with an interview a gossip girl producer gave out. It followed a scene where Chuck smashes a glass pan behind Blair (after grabbing her and pushing her onto a couch) and the glass that shatters cutting her. In the interview, the cut is referred to a 'a perfect dainty little injury' which is a symbol of something ... and then the interview goes on to talk about how Chuck is a romantic hero (ala Rhett Butler) and Safran, producer og GG says, it is not abuse when it is Chuck and Blair. Fandom erupted, because many thought the writers were deliberately portraying this borderline abusive relationship (some argue that it has been emotionally abusive since season 1) and there would be repercussions for the characters and acknowledgement on the show that his kind of relationship is unhealthy. The fact that this was not the case was not the issue, but the fact that the producer said that it is not abusive in an interview was, he was spouting classic excuses used by people in abusive relationships and this is what fandom (and myself) took offense to. It is a fat that media influences in a pervasive way and seeing these kinds of relationships excused as epic romantic love cannot be healthy for young impressionable fans. The sad thing is that Jacob, in a vitriolic, personal attack at people who hold this opinions tried to silence our opinion on this issue on a platform where we had no way to respond and it has made me so angry. He is so unprofessional. Sorry for the long rant.

Kauket said...

I too am a googler :D

I love TWoP so much that when the shows I like are on break and I decide to catch up on a show I haven't seen before I will check to see what recaps they do to help me decide. They are the perfect companion to any show.

Usually.

I love True Blood and it makes me so sad that I am deprived my snark because some pompous jerk wants to spend 5000 pages preaching to me regarding philosophical crap about wich I couldn't care less. I was so dissapointed.

I hate Jacob with a passion. So much so that when I was reading a Chuck recap last season, I got about half way past the 2nd page before the frustrating writing style caused a horrifying thought to come over me, Jacob was covering this episode. I turned off the screen.

Seriously, I love TWoP for the humorous snark, my faves are Ace, Sep ( Whom I don't believe recap anymore ) Couch Baron, Omar and best of all Demain ( God I love that snarky SOB :D ) Those are the kinds of personality I long to see in my recaps, not some pathetic loser trying to sound smart at the expence of both humor and entertainment. *ends rant* :P

Oh well if I can't have True Blood recaps at least I still have Demain making Supernatural even more awesome.

But still: Jacob - STFU

Anonymous said...

I've had some personal contact with Jacob, and let me tell you, he is just as petty and spiteful and full of himself as you might imagine.

Particularly classy is how he has been using his True Blood recaps to take potshots at forum posters who were upset by the "Hotshot Rapes Jason Stackhouse" storyline. He is a forum legend for rude, dismissive, and offensive attacks on people, and for wielding the banhammer on anyone who dares respond or protest.

Marcela said...

JESUS CHRIST I'm so glad I found this. I was just getting into Pretty Little Liars and about halfway through the first season the reviews start being written by Jacob and it has happened with EVERY SINGLE guilty-pleasure show I've ever had. It ruins it for me.

I usually watch the show along with reading the recaps because it's like watching it with some cool sassy friend who also thinks it's hilarious and secretly kind of good. But with Jacob it's like talking to that crazy person at the bus stop who smells like beer and patchouli and says he went to Oxford when really he lives in a box across the street.

How is he still working at TWoP? He is the one reason I've stopped going to that website, and every time I get back into it he takes over my fucking shows! Has no one ever complained to the mods or is it just impossible to get rid of him?

Marcela said...

Also, I would just like to add that I am one of the many people who googled Jacob TWoP hate and found this amazing post. So happy I did. You should also all know that the second search result if you type in jacob TWoP after Twitter is hate. Haha.

Anonymous said...

OMFG, the recap for the finale of True Blood, Season 1 (yes, I'm a bit behind). 5, yes FIVE, pages of complete and utter crap before any actual mention of the episode. Jacob was obviously stoned when he wrote it and totally up his own arse.

I see that he has continued to recap True Blood and is still recapping the lastest season. Fuck that! I wish they'd get someone else do re-recap them.

Sean said...

Oh, I am SO GLAD to find a whole community of people who despise that pseudo-intellectual little vermin. I mean, I always assumed there was, but god forbid people actually be allowed to directly criticize a recapper on the TVWoP forums.
By far one of my best internet moments this year was his bitchy little 'I quit' on the Doctor Who forum back in the spring. With that, all the shows I follow on the site are officially Jacob-free. I can't be TOO content, though, because I know he's still out there, mouse and keyboard in hand. One day I'll start reading a recap of a beloved show and wonder why two pages have gone by discussing the deeper psych- and socio- logical ramifications of the title sequence with no actual recap of the episode itself yet, and then I'll look up at the top of the screen, and he'll be there!

Anonymous said...

Thank God I'm not the only one that hates Jacob's recaps. How can he find so much hidden meaning in shows like 'Weeds' and 'Gossip Girl'?? What a pompous gasbag!

Anonymous said...

Old thread, I know, but I can't resist adding an Amen! The big problem with Jacob is that he is not anywhere near as smart, insightful, or original as he seems to think he is. So pretentious.