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There's a thread on MetaFilter about this, of course, and now the MeFites are all gung-ho to start their own volunteer recapping site and I'm just thinking: my friends say it's not as easy as it may look, and it has the potential to permanently sour you on shows you love, by making you look under the hood.
I wasn't sure if you wanted to be identified as "MeFi's Own" so I didn't link you, but your CSI recaps, girl, were where I learned from experience that you were a seasoned profeshunal nonfiction writer, not just a great chick from MATH with a blog. (Not to rehash the Great Ain't-I-a-Writer Blogger Wars of 2004-2010 - but blogs just don't distinguish who has the skill and drive to write to deadline, to length, and to topic, which to me are the things that suggest you can turn it into a career without a lightning strike of pure luck.)
It's possible but not likely that Linda Holmes has the only gig in town writing professionally about TV or pop culture. Then again, I don't know squat about the market. Good luck, hon - I truly do doubt it's the last time but it sounds like it might take a little luck to find the right place, and some time for that place to come out of the changes in the field.


The other day I was looking for the old Galaxy Of Fame stuff from Fametracker. And the whole website was gone. And I guess now I know why. :(

Sucks for you. I hope you can find another good gig!


Well that's sad! I admit I have only ever watched one of the shows you recapped, but that one - CSI - was where I stumbled on the idea of recaps in general, and yours in particular. It may sound really stupid, but I honestly credit those recaps with a LOT as far as helping me turn into a hopefully decent, non-obnoxious person. I was young - maybe 20? - and at a crucial age where so many people I knew were sneering derisively at anything associated too closely with pop culture. Insufferable snobbery loomed in my immediate future, the sort that David Rackoff almost too-cruelly skewered in his essay Lush Life. But one night I randomly stumbled onto CSI recaps. I didn't even love the show that much, but after reading a few, I began devotedly watching it, mostly to thoroughly appreciate the recaps. It was my first explicit exposure to the idea that there could be an active, intelligent, engaging conversation or thought process about even silly pop-culture stuff, and my first adult realization that opting in could be cooler, and even smarter, than opting out. My sister and I still reference the time that Nick actually found a rage diary in the bedroom of a teenage suspect.

Your recaps presented to me the idea of a world where it was possible to be an intelligent, thoughtful, engaged consumer of popular culture. They made it clear to me that pop culture is, in fact, cultural, as in it can be discussed in ways that indicate, and benefit from, an understanding of culture and context that does not need to prove itself in loud proclamations; and that there are clever and witty ways to think about - and then talk about - even simple things. That it is the engagement and thought process of the consumer that determines what is taken from a recreational activity, more than the activity itself. I don't necessarily mean the incisive-commentary-heavy recapping style so currently popular of late, really; I just mean...noticing things and talking about them. It's as simple and complex as that. Your recaps made me want to be someone who notices things rather than just someone who avoids things.

In my mid-20s I moved into a tiny apartment and lived without a television for three years. Without having developed a respect for the possibilities inherent in pop culture consumption and reflection, I probably would have been one of those people who mentioned my lack of a TV constantly, aggressively, insufferably, in conversations with friends. But your recaps, read years earlier, had turned me into someone who did not need to search for pride or public approval like that; who could just say "Well, no room for a TV here," move on, and proudly get one a few years later when I moved again. My friends owe you a lot of thanks for that. And I do, too, because now the engaging and sometimes silly (and, embarrassingly, sometimes heated) conversations my SO and I have about the shows we watch together are some of the simplest and sweetest ways we reconnect while winding down after long hard days.

I hope none of that sounds too weird. And I hope someone else somewhere else pays you to write about pop culture.


I'm still hoping someone will pay you to write abut comics. But the closing of TWoP was a punch to the gut. Your CSI recaps were the first time I realized I could consume pop culture via commentary. I loved your analysis of the weirdness CSI had around sex, particularly sex and women.


Oh man, I remember Nicky's rage diary! I used to watch CSI and read Lisa's recaps while in high school. Then my schedule got crazy and I couldn't keep up with Gil and the gang anymore.
I would also watch Buffy and read the recaps and it's hard to tell which was more entertaining sometimes.
The TWOP crew was awesome. Thank you.


It had better not be the last time you write about pop culture! You're too good at it. In fact, I'm sure you could write a great piece about TWOP as a long-time recapper for a site like Vulture or AV Club.


Perhaps you should get in touch with Jason Scott about preserving the TWoP/MBTV archives. He has a reputation for that sort of thing, being the guy who organized the torrent that had all of GeoCities. (You know those jokes where some clueless guy wants to download the whole Internet so he can read it without a modem? We now know how big of a download that would be.)


I loved all of your recaps on TWoP. You write with both humor and intelligence. I hope you can join your comrades on Previously.tv to continue writing them. Do the cats still join you as you write?

Lisa Schmeiser

What I love about this post is how I got to see several long-time readers/commenters come popping out again. Hi, everyone! You're awesome and I'm so glad you commented.

EAG46, alas and alack, both those cats are gone! Sweet Isabel developed a lung tumor and we euthanized her in January 2009, and over the Christmas holidays last year, Zito developed a fast-spreading, drug-resistant staph infection and we had to euthanize him in January 2013.

It is so weird not having a cat -- the first time in 17 years I have not lived with one -- and I think once our family's done mourning the Big Z, we'll be on the lookout for a new one. The daughter has already commanded that it be another giant orange cat and we name it "Pail."


Oh I'm so sorry about the cats' deaths. I remember you would sometimes mention them in the recaps. Here's hoping you all find a new furry friend soon.

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