Today NBC/Universal announced the imminent demise of Television Without Pity (or TWOP, for short), and Daily Candy, two web 1.0 properties bought by the conglomerate in 2007 and 2008. While Daily Candy may have invented the e-newsletter that tells discerning women what’s hip and good and classy (GOOP, for example, is very much in their shadow), TWOP was crucial to establishing the voice of the internet, since they basically invented the snarky internet recap voice, way back in their original days as Dawson’s Wrap back in 1998, by, according to TWOP cofounded Sarah D. Bunting, “cataloguing [Dawson’s Creek‘s] many offenses against quality entertainment, including sexism, excessive self-regard, inattentive styling of the female leads, estrangement from realistic dialogue (and Cape geography), and … Dawson himself. “
TWOP angered Aaron Sorkin enough to write a West Wing episode about internet commenters, played a big role in inventing lots of fanfiction-friendly terms about shipping, from the Squee! to shipper name portmanteaus to “Homoeroticism,” and many, many excellent writers came up through its ranks, including but not limited to: Pamela “pamie” Ribon, Wendy McClure, Go Fug Yourself‘s Fug Girls, and NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes. I am barely scratching the surface here. Anybody who has to write recaps, or the multitude of entertainment sites based on television recaps owes that, and much of the voice and style around it, to TWOP. Even a post I wrote last week on “ten toxic teen relationships” owes a lot to what I learned reading Dawson’s Creek recaps, as let’s be honest: Dawson was the creepiest.
We will miss you, TWOP. You basically invented the Internet, or a certain segment of it. And it’s too bad that NBC is also, on top of it, taking all the content on TWOP, 10+ years of writing and recaps, off the internet and unavailable to the public, which is insulting. Perhaps it’s time to hold an Irish wake for TWOP. [Via Recode]