Words on Words on Words

So, having spent the requisite half-hour noodling around with web design (I have definitely not kept up with advances in coding since the late 90s/early 2000s, y’all), I am now ready to stare blankly at a “New Post” window for a while before I knock out today’s blog post.

I happened to be putting around on Twitter earlier and saw some tweets from Cleolinda Jones,  which took me waaaay back. I read her LiveJournal (remember LIVEJOURNAL??) obsessively in college and just loved her writing.  In fact, that got me to thinking about how much I love recaps, because I actually… follow a lot of recappers pop-culture analysis blogs.

In addition to Cleolinda, who does Movies in 15 Minutes and an amazing analysis/recapping of the Twilight series, I have also had very serious love affairs with Mark Does Stuff and Jenny Trout (hmm, both of whom ALSO famously ripped on Twilight… ). Mark’s empire had its roots in a series entitled “Mark Reads Twilight (So You Don’t Have To),” now available as an ebook, and Jenny, who is still doing excellent work with “The Big Damn Buffy Re-Watch,” came to my attention for her delightful eviscerations of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is basically just Twilight fanfiction that had its serial numbers filed off and got dumber.

Mark and Jenny both had similar trajectories with those works–it started out as delighted/horrified fascination with how bad and dumb the respective works were, followed by mounting horror as analysis revealed that hey, these are kind of… dangerous?

After finishing Twilight, Mark started to read and review other books, starting with Harry Potter–after fans kept insisting they just really wanted Mark to be happy, please, and read something good this time…  Jenny recently quit what she had named the “Jealous Haters Book Club” posts because she was tired of spending her time deep in the fetid swamp of decaying syntax and grammar – mixed with emotional abuse, manipulation, and poorly-written, unsexy erotica that is the 50 Shades series. I love the work they’re both doing now with things they love–although there’s definitely a cathartic pleasure in the three-minutes’ hate that is a violently negative review of something truly terrible.

I also loved reading TV recaps on Television Without Pity (RIP), both for dumb shows (like my sick-day fave, America’s Next Top Model) and amazing ones (like Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad, both of which are Shakespearean in tone and plot – making it unsurprising that a nerd like me wanted some supplemental sources for my own thought and analysis). And I followed Tom and Lorenzo obsessively for years, lured in by their excellent Project Runway recaps. Jenny Crusie, one of my favorite authors, does fascinating story analysis with TV shows like Leverage and Arrow (I’ve read thousands of words of her Arrow analysis and I have literally not ever watched a single episode of the show–that’s how much I like her writing). And I can’t forget the Storywonk podcasts–I’ve been working my way through their Buffy podcast, Dusted, and am probably going to start on the Veronica Mars one next (talk about a show worthy of close analysis!).

I’ve even considered starting to do recaps myself, just as an exercise in story structure and to keep myself sharp; after all, it’s something to do, some periodic writing, and lets me do some critical analysis in a way that’s pretty fun. The problem is… what do I pick? Something I love, since I’ll be spending so much time with it? Something I hate, since everybody loves a good rant?

I really enjoyed doing my Fall Break Short Story Challenge (see below…). Maybe once NaNo is over I’ll try to read and review one new short story every week. Or maybe I’ll just go re-read the TWoP archives for ANTM again…

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