Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recaps off to ya!

I thought Dave was about to go in a different direction when he cut down recapping television.

I hate to have to point this out, but while Mr. Delahaye attacks a blogger for "compar[ing] [them]sel[ves] to DERRIDA and BARTHES" (his caps), the quoted party he's rebutting actually makes a point of saying that he means "not to compare [him]self to anybody" (emphasis mine).

He rests his case, I'm sure.

But my real objection is that actually recapping is pretty interesting as a genre: it's something of such obviously little value that it only could have found a foothold in a digital context, and yet it evidently has enough appeal that there are not only sites devoted entirely to recapping that manage to scrape by, but there are more than a few non-recap sites that include recaps nonetheless to bolster their hit stats.

And from what I've seen of recaps (and as the Observer piece appeared to be arguing), the more popular ones tend to be not just plays-by-play of television episodes' plots, but rather those that delve into analysis and deconstruction of the sort which I believe Derrida would approve.

The story of television recaps on the internet is that in a medium without (as many) gatekeepers, there exists a public appetite for analyzing popular culture, an appetite that is largely unanticipated and wholly unsatisfied by the corporate producers of said culture.

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