Television Man | by Aidan Morgan

Gather round, readers, as I tell you the tale of the Times Before, when the internet was not yet a streaming cable service / fascist meme generator. Back then (say 1997–2007), before four or five companies soaked up your data and dribbled it back over you in the form of ads for air conditioners, baby clothes, racist politicians and whatnot, the internet worked more like a supplement to everyday life. Blogs proliferated, social media was endearingly clunky, and text was the coin of the realm.

In this YouTubeless void, TV recap culture thrived. Most people’s first encounter with the recap, with its snarky but passionate tone and insane devotion to every last moment of Dawson’s Creek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, came through places like Television Without Pity.

TWoP gave birth to the kind of media discourse found on social media and review sites today, even pricking the anger of television creators long before the era of Twitter fights (Aaron Sorkin, famously, posted angry messages in the TWoP forum in 2000).

TWoP shut down in 2014. But other sites dedicated to television trivia, such as, remain active.

What is I am so glad you asked. It’s a site where you can find out what, exactly, Veronica Lodge was wearing in Season 3, Episode 17 of Riverdale. It was a collared sleeveless floral jacquard dress by Kate Spade. Only $398 USD from Neiman-Marcus! A steal at twice the price. Are you jonesing to get Jake Peralta’s look from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with his endless plaid shirts? You can do that with You can even find out how to get hold of the horrible flamingo print tank top he wore in the “Coral Palms” episode of season four.

Regrettably, there is no information on Captain Holt’s pineapple-in-a-thong tank top from the same episode. The internet is fickle that way.

The Dark (THC) Crystal

Are any other Gen-Xers watching The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)? It’s exactly as I remember the movie from the ‘80s: weird, damp, kind of gross and impossible to look away from. It felt like Jim Henson’s beard clippings were used in making the puppets. It was an itchy film.

I knew nothing about psychedelics at the time, but some vital, bodily part of that experience was transmitted to me as I watched chitinous Garthim terrorize Gelflings, and skull-like Skeksis glide down the halls of their hollow Elsinore-style castle. Fuzzy fungal things waved from the soil. Mandalas and triangles popped up everywhere in some horrid psychic geometry. So if that sounds like your kind of fun, I highly recommend the new series.