Monday, June 15, 2009

Figgy's Airing of the Grievances: TWOP's Jacob Part 2

How much I hate TWOP's Jacob: Part II.

So, remember when a while ago when I posted an angry rant against that most ridiculous of Television Without Pity's recappers?

Here's a refresher:

This is part 2.


The other day I decided to take a trip to TWOP to check out the recaps on American Idol. It makes me sad, but after years of being a huge fan, I've largely come to dislike TWOP recently. It started slowly, sometime after the site was bought out by Bravo and the big changes started coming around. Any loyal reader will know what I'm talking about. The changes are enormous, and pretty horrible. They're now covering every single show on television. All of them. Sitcoms. I remember when TWOP had the strict policy of not covering sitcoms--why would you?

They added movie recaps. Ridiculous and stupid photo galleries. useless video content. Their most talented writers deserted. Everything that was good about TWOP-- the community, the writing, the simplicity of it (it's a site for TV recaps and discussions! That's IT!) is gone.

But they kept Jacob.

Oy vey. The guy's just been getting worse. I think his mind has finally becoming unhinged.

How do I know?

The recap for the American Idol finale.

Now, I didn't watch this season's AI. I'm glad I didn't. But as a pop-culture freak, I had to know who won, and apparently the finale was full of craziness and I thought maybe I'd see what TWOP had to say about.

Big. Mistake.

I just wanted to read the ending. I don't even know why. So what's the logical thing to do? Jump to the end of the recap, right? Oh, no, dear readers. Not with Jacob.

I jumped to the last page and this is what I see as a first paragraph:

I just know that something brings us here. To the TV, to the hearth, together, in future ways and in normal ways. It wouldn't matter what they were fighting for, because it has to be something we all love equally, and that's music. It's dreams.


I went cold. I couldn't even finish reading that paragraph. Or the next three. In fact, there is not a SINGLE mention of American Idol or the finale (which, remember, is what THIS RECAP IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT) in the last THREE PAGES of the recap. Not one! It's just...Jacob's Last Will And Testament. Or something horrible like that. It's the ridiculous, painful ramblings of someone who seems to believe that this is the Jacob Hour. And it is just unbelievably fucking laughable.

He rambles on for three and a half pages about how he got the job at TWOP (oh how we all rue the day). Then it just gets progressively more nonsensical, descending into a veritable word vomit that belongs to a pretentious freshman at a writing seminar. You can hear the groans and see the eye rolls of his classmates as he keeps rambling on, sure that he's the Next Huge Thing And Oh My GOD I am So Good At Writing. Everyone wants to kill him.

I wanted to be dropped into a world that cared, really cared, and didn't mind talking about it, or telling me how it works

I will GLADLY drop you. Hard.

Thank you for telling me this show, and what it means: how much it says about our country, every year, and why it's worth fighting for, and yelling for, and crying for. How important it is, how we must keep fighting just to know it, ourselves and our country.


It's American Idol, you gigantic freak. It's not a UN Peace Resolution. Get some perspective.

Thank you for reminding me that's all that's really required. Only connect. Just say it. The worst thing you're thinking, say it. Tell somebody. It's what fixes us as people, and it's what fixes us as a country.

Believe me, this wouldn't make any more sense if I told you the context. I have no idea what he's going on about. Apparently American Idol is the answer to every evil in the world. All I know is that it's some of the most laughably bad writing I have ever read in my life. And I know Stephenie Meyers.

And thank you for fighting with me, and showing me the areas of my own blindness, which I'm still learning. This show has affected my politics, and more importantly my religion, more than any one thing. I don't want to talk about that, because it's super weird, but you know, I think, what I mean by that. It's more important to reach across the static and pull something back. You are your territory.

Jeebus. They pay you for this? Really? I mean, listen guy, the internet is full of people who think they're fantastic writers, and some of them are, but most of them are just crap. But they don't get paid for it, or post it in one of the most popular websites on the internet. They have the decency to keep their literary monstrosities in their poorly designed LJ pages with little dancing gif bananas, and nobody ever looks at them. They don't vomit it forth for bewildered American Idol fans to read through. But you do. And you should be ashamed.

And the cherry on top of this Fail Sundae:

Thanks for assuming I have a point. This job, like any transformative experience, has been learning in public. You've been beyond patient, beyond kind.


Does anyone? Alright, I'm sure Jacob has a lot of fans, but I know that a lot of people are tired of his schtick. And really, do fans of these shows and TWOP have any other choice but to wade through his recaps? They're not patting your head and letting you keep your job, Jacob--they have no other choice. From what I hear, he beats down every dissenter in the forums, arbitrarily striking down anyone who dares say anything against him. So, no, Jacob. Only a very impressionable twit would think you have a point.

And I'm just wondering why. Why does he do that? Just because you have a huge audience and a tall podium doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it. You have a job. That you get paid for. Just fucking do it and keep your personal crap away from it.

And...why does this make me so angry? It really shouldn't. But the thing is that I loved TWOP, and it honestly hurts to see where it's gone. And Jacob is everything that is wrong about TWOP and the internet in general*. It's just bad, and I'm sick of it. And I am against talentless hacks infecting the world with their crap. I take it personally. I shouldn't, because eventually things get so bad that you want to destroy the world. But I can't help it. And if I have to fight these people one at a time, then Jacob is a good place to start.

I'm coming for you next, Stephenie Meyers. Ask Dan Brown. Dude cried for three days straight. He's such a wuss.

One last question: was he fired? or did he quit? Or what? Because otherwise there's no reason to hijack a recap for your own wanking purposes. That's just rude.

*This massive generalization courtesy of the Jacob School of Writing.

In case you're wondering, this is the recap I'm quoting:

See how far along you can get. I managed two paragraphs. The really GOOD stuff starts on page 17.


Marra Alane said...

He does the True Blood recaps now; which pisses me off to no end. Not that the show is like, Deadwood or anything, but it's definitely my favorite summer show, and when Jacob writes about it I want to commit murder, ripping-off-limbs-and-beating-Royce-to-death-with-them Eric style.

My point is, you are right to be angry. Really, really angry. Jacob is a shit-shiny example of what TWOP has become. It's like if Pajiba dumped Rowles and Prisco and had only that poor high-school music kid writing.

Anonymous said...

After 5 years or however long he's been there, you'd have to be pretty fucking stupid to be surprised by any of this. I know he can go on and on, so I dont read his recaps. Maybe i just don't have the time to waste that you do. Or maybe you just like to bitch. You totally have the right to be angry -- "really, really angry" -- because five years down the road you're still asking for it. Sounds like TWP's problem to me!

Figgylicious said...


I know. I know I shouldn't go looking for trouble. But I keep hoping that MAYBE someone will do a guest recap on the shows that I WANT to read about. Or that he'll just stop.! He does it on every show he's set to recap--and all the ones I want to read about. He even did a Mad Men episode and I wanted to cry. What was he doing there, sullying my Mad Men?

And yeah, Marra, I really want to read the True Blood recaps but they are so unbelievably painful to read. I need to find a new site.

Sin said...

why do you have to read recaps anyway? just watch the show :P

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

I used to enjoy reading the recaps there myself, if I missed an episode of something or especially the Lost recaps, because there's always little things floating around to miss. But largely, I read them because they had some great, funny writers. Who used to do the Project Runway ones? They were awesomely funny. It was like poking fun at the show with your best friend, after a while.

Now, I haven't even looked at it in ... months? It's a shame, that's all.

Oh, and Anonymous? Don't be a dick. (sorry, Figgy, that comment sounds douchey to me.)

Figgylicious said...

Sin, I just like reading recaps! They tend to catch things I miss, and maybe if I'm confused about something they'll work it out. And if I miss an episode completely they're very helpful.

AvB, those are hilarious. The ANTM recaps are also brilliant, because they've kept the writer and they STICK TO THE POINT. And yeah, that comment was douchey but eh, weak ;)

pignacious said...

Seriously, I've been slogging through his True Blood recaps and they're just awful. I don't want to hear about how we have inside lives and outside lives or whatever. I just want to read the damn recap because I only recently got HBO, and I want to catch up on season 1. Plus, I remember the good old days when it was MBTV, and the Smallville recaps would make me laugh so hard I'd get kicked out of the computer lab. For some reason, I keep going back to TWOP (out of habit?) hoping that they'll still have that same sharpness.

But no. I skim half of Jacob's recap every time, trying to distinguish what's actual dialogue versus what's a line that he's made up, to bring his projected subtext to the forefront. No, I don't have to read his recaps, and once I'm done reading season 1, I'll stop (I've cut myself off from Gossip Girl). But seriously, how can they continue to pay this guy for his inane musings?

princessparrot said...

I just found this site and am adding to the Jacob hate. I just discovered True Blood and who is the recapper: that douchebag Jacob.
Besides being a pretentious twit, he is also on a power trip in the forums. Wormy little bastard.
Anyway, love the blog Figgy :)

Courtney said...

Thank you, thank you. I have always hated Jacob's nonsensical recaps. Most of the time I sit there just asking myself "What?". But of course, his pretentious style is brilliant in that if you disagree, then obviously you are not smart enough to get it. Ugh.

mehdesign said...

Thank you, thank you for speaking truth to power. I love True Blood and his recaps are just a bunch of his mental masturbation about nothing in particular (and definitely NOTHING related to the show he is RECAPPING) and they sound like a pretentious college freshman taking his first philosophy class and gazing devotedly right up his own ass. I don't have HBO and having to wade through 40 PAGES of his NONSENSICAL garbage to try and parse out what might have happpened this week makes me want to break something. How can the editors at TWOP not see what is happening here?!? Your blog made me realize I am not alone in my full on Jacob Hatefest.

der chrome dinette said...

Amen to all that! Funny, I'd been attempting to read Battlestar Galactica recaps and in frustration I googled something like 'jacob televisionwithoutpity way too serious' and found this :)

There was another reviewer who did the first season of BSG and she had the right combination of liking the show but not afraid to snark on it a bit, in a humorous fashion. You know, like TWOP used to be like. I used to get a lot of laughs reading the recaps for the first couple of seasons of '24' -- I didn't really need the recaps, just enjoyed the laughs.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I kind of enjoy reading his recaps because they make no sense and sometimes it astounds me how much anger a person can have toward any single thing and still be asked to write about it (see nearly the entire season 10 recap of Idol...or don't because'll hate it). I've noticed his recaps tend to be extremely rambly and off kilter when the content pisses him off and is much more reigned in when he's actually enjoying it. Which also weirds me out because he gives everything an A+ grade. Because I read the Chuck recaps and the three he actually did were actually REAL recaps without random asides and the analysis he made of one of the episodes and the relationship between Chuck and Sarah was actually quite thoughtful.

But yeah, I agree that sometimes I just get a headache wading through it all.

Also, as a side note, have you noticed how almost all the recaps on TWoP now are basically a frame for frame review of what happened on the screen? I find that kind of annoying.

Craig said...

As far as the "everything gets an A+" thing, he devoted a rambling, self-loving paragraph to that issue in one of his many, many recaps for one of his many, many shows. It was as full of hipster wank as you might imagine, but I think he said it was because you can't judge art, or art is life, or Bell Jar, or Hero's Journey, or We Are All Rose Tyler, or JACOB + RYAN SEACREST 4EVAH! or one of those many other things he likes to wank on about. Essentially, he felt he couldn't be limited to a letter grade scale, so he chose to give everything an A+ for douchey, pretentious, hipstery reasons.

Also: FIGGY? AvB? I have stumbled onto a PAJIBA CAMP!

Anonymous said...

He did the recaps for The River and they were the funniest thing I've ever read. Much more entertaining than the program in fact ...