I wrote on airplanes. I wrote in boarding areas. I wrote in the parking lot of a minor-league hockey arena. I wrote during major league baseball games. I wrote in hotel rooms. I wrote in guest bedrooms. I wrote in my bedroom. I wrote in my living room. I wrote in other people's living rooms. I wrote while sitting in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot. I wrote while sitting on a beach. I wrote while sitting on my front porch. I wrote while sitting in the middle of a room that was about to be re-floored.
(At left: Me recapping Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?)
I squeaked in under deadline a week after my father's death, unsure if I'd ever be able to write flippantly or funnily again. I nearly missed emailing in a recap because the baby kicked and the laptop went tumbling and I couldn't pick it up; I was less than 24 hours away from giving birth. I wrote on birthdays and holidays and weekends.
I emailed recaps from DC, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Kapa'a, Seattle, San Francisco, Tampa.
For the last 14 years of my life, for some significant percentage of that year, I've written recaps for Television Without Pity. That stops now.
(I don't like that my last piece on that site is going to be a resentment-cap for a really shitty show, but them's the breaks.)
In my fourteen years, I covered these shows: CSI; CSI: Miami; Vegas; Big Love; Prison Break; Swingtown; Flash Forward; 30 Rock; Dracula; Helix; Sons of Anarchy. I subbed on a few more: Lost; One Tree Hill; Top Designer; John From Cincinnati; The Wire. I was lucky to see some actors right as they were hitting their stride.
I was lucky to get paid to do two simple things: Pay attention to a TV show and tell people about it.
Since last fall, I've had some iteration of this conversation with Phil, where I say that the very nature of recapping has changed -- writers are expected to be more discerning with which details they include, and the really good ones include some really incisive critique of the episode and the season and series as a whole.
"I'm not going to stop taking the money," I'd say, "But I wonder how long the format can last."
Now we know.
What I don't know is what happens next. I will cop to be a tad nervous about the possibility that I might never write professionally about pop culture or television again. I am even more nervous that I don't have anything interesting or funny to say about pop culture or television.
I am grateful that I did get to say things for as long as I did, and I'm grateful for readers who let me know they appreciated the science breakdowns in the CSI recaps or the wild wardrobe analyses in Sons of Anarchy.
(And by the way, I STILL contend that the show is basically a feminist policy argument with motorcycles and have six seasons of evidence to support that claim.)
I am grateful for the readers, and I am grateful for having the chance to know my fellow recappers and watch their blazing career trajectories, and I am eager and excited to see what comes next.