Be glad the sleepless TV critics of the Internet don’t write about you every day. Be happy the sites dedicated to rabid episode ”recaps” don’t detail your every move with lively manifestos every single week. And if, for some reason, they start, be flattered. Kind of. ”They tend to have entire discourses about somebody’s bangs,” says Leslie Grossman, who plays the borderline-evil Mary Cherry on Popular. While she’s a wee wigged by the constant attention, she (along with other cast members) admits to checking in regularly with the largest of these sites, Mighty Big TV. ”They’re really catty and sarcastic and witty, and they don’t take it seriously,” she says. ”And they find mistakes we make all the time. They’ve noticed total continuity errors.” We can’t review the sites every week until the end of time — that would be obsessive — but we feel a bit compulsive about delivering these remarks right now.
At the same time harsh and forgiving, the girl-centric Toob dishes recaps (from Grosse Point to Oz) that bridge fan-site drooling and critical writing. And it’s hard work for the site’s writers, each of whom may spend a full day watching, transcribing, and watching yet again the Buffy tape you tossed out after an hour. Maybe a little heavy on detail, light on the Meaning of It All, but, hey, the site also weighs infomercial wares against retail counterparts: Bowflex versus Tae-Bo? OxiClean versus Didi Seven? Order now! B
MIGHTY BIG TV
What began as two friends slaying 90210 on message boards quickly became a well-oiled, and well-funded, machine propelled by two dozen or so freelance writers tearing into about 40 new shows each week (and revisiting such classics as Twin Peaks). Part of the ChickClick network (a subsidiary of big-bucks portal Snowball.com), the site recaps every scene of every show it reviews as if it were a professional Mob hit. Complete, timely, and navigation-friendly, this is the industry standard. A
The ink-stained elders of online journalism took the idea mainstream with Survivor recaps but earned their street cred by popping all 70 episodes of Big Brother. But, please, we can do without the overt Orwellian metaphors mixed with gratuitous curse words. We know you boyz are hard. You proved it by going the distance. C+
In case you need to relive nearly every wrestling match waged on TV in the past year, they’re all here, in sparkling, bountiful prose. (”Chyna,” remarks the site’s RAW critic, ”she’s all kinds of nekkid.”) Not only does the tag team of carnage connoisseurs slam the locals, it keeps up with two Japanese rasslin’ circuits, plus Battle Dome, RollerJam, and Iron Chef. Raw fish is war? B-