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Blogs as Mean as You’ve Ever Seen


 

I sometimes defend the idea of the TWoP-style snarky TV recap, but I have to admit I’ve lost interest in snarky recaps to a certain extent. The reason is that anything can be discussed in a snarkily dismissive tone: it doesn’t even matter how good or bad something is, all you have to do is refuse to engage with it, and recap the plot in a disbelieving or nit-picky way. Any story sounds ridiculous if you want to make it sound ridiculous. So for snark-caps to get my attention, they have to have a point of view that goes beyond a detached cataloguing of plot holes and bad hair.

“Full House Reviewed” is such a site. The concept is simple. The creator of the site decided he would watch an episode of Full House every week, from the beginning, and review it. He’s done half the series, with the other half still to come. He loathes the show, loathes the characters (interestingly, he considers Joey the worst character in the history of television; Joey’s bad, but I always remember people hating Michelle more) and loathes himself for watching, and every word of every review is filled with rage against these idiot characters and their sense of entitlement. Some of it is just plot-hole-picking, like getting mad because guest characters are there for one week and never mentioned again. But overall, it has a theme that goes deeper than that: he hates Full House because he hates the characters as human beings, and he sees the full house as a monstrous entity full of evil people, who behave abominably to everyone and think they’re the nicest people on earth. The anger, plus the meta-theme of a man slowly going crazy as he watches episode after episode of people he dislikes, is what makes it work better than most snark-blogs: it can’t be accused of detachment.

Apart from the lines I laughed at, and there were a lot of them, I also like his point that in the full house, the cheesy music seems to have strange powers: characters who have been fighting for 20 minutes will suddenly be forced to make up and hug, not by anything that happens, but just by the synth music.

DJ stops her from storming out of the house and the music comes on, which abruptly changes the tone of their interaction. It’s weird how sometimes the music itself seems to be the cause of conflict resolution. I guess that when you are having a conflict in the full house you know it’s time to resolve things when you hear the music come on.

As you might expect, he thinks Kimmy Gibbler is the only person we can truly identify with, because she has a personality and the Tanners all think she’s weird for daring to have a personality. Also as you might expect, he’s not too fond of the catchphrases.

The switch between Jesse and the motorcycle stuntman in this scene is as obvious and inorganic as possible, even though they have a dub of Jesse exclaiming “have mercy” over the footage. Golly, does this guy have to say his lame catch-phrase anytime he does anything or what?


 
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Blogs as Mean as You’ve Ever Seen

  1. To my mind, you’re underselling what TWOP (one of my favourite sites, though I haven’t had time to visit and read much there of late) does.  It’s snarky, of course (their tag line is, after all, “Spare the snark, spoil the networks”) but to my mind, it’s usually only “dismissive” of things that are worthy of being dismissed.  Not only that, but the snarkiness is often pointed at characters as opposed to creators and producers, often at characters we’re SUPPOSED to hate, or that no one could help but hate, much in the way that you describe “Full House Reviewed” as apparently working.

    I defy anyone to read the TWOP recaps of Battlestar Galactica and come away with an impression that what TWOP does is “a detached cataloguing of plot holes and bad hair”.  If they bound those recaps into leather-bound hardcover I’d pay good money for them.

    I’d imagine that the quality of re-caps on TWOP varies wildly from show to show (as I’ve seen it do with my own eyes) but I was a little disappointed with how dismissive this post was of TWOP.  Your favourite quotes from the Full House site read to me like they could have come straight from TWOP.

    • “TWoP-style” was a poor choice of words — I was referring to the whole genre of snark TWoP spawned, rather than TWoP specifically, but it certainly sounded like I was dising TWoP. In fact, I think some of the best work in this vein came from TWoP, like “Dawson’s Creek” (the show that started the whole thing) and pointing out what an awful person Dawson was. That’s snark with a purpose, since it spotlights a flaw in the show.

      • Fair enough.  I suppose I focused too much on the “TWoP”, and not enough on the “-style“.

  2. Thanks so much for the write-up!  it was very flattering and it’s gotten me quite a bit of traffic!  

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