Pajiba and Television Without Pity

Two sites that I think everybody should have in their RSS readers are the TV program summary site Television Without Pity and the raucous film review site, Pajiba. TWP deals with television and Pajiba deals with films, but both feature witty and biting commentary written by what are essentially fans of the mediums.

If you missed the latest episode of Big Love, for example, TWP will have a recap and a later summary. The writers and readers grade each program, but what I really love about TWP is the hilarious conversational writing. There’s nothing formal here, just people telling it like it is. Here’s a portion of the recap of Sunday’s West Wing:

Do you remember last week, how Sam Seaborn came back, and Josh nearly went postal, and Josh and Donna went off on a romantic vacation? And you remember how we’ve been waiting to hear more about C.J. and Danny? And how we all want to know whether Toby’s going to prison, or whether he’s going to be pardoned, or what? Well, none of any of that gets resolved or addressed in the slightest degree this week. Instead, we get an episode devoted almost entirely to Arnie Vinick’s post-election blues, Santos’s difficulty in selecting a cabinet, and Helen freaking out over the changes in her life…

…I can’t believe they wasted one of our last three episodes on this.

Pajiba reviews movies and has a policy of not writing about films in advance. The site mocks the hype machine that is Hollywood and, again, does so with prose that’s clever, funny and takes no prisoners. The latest from Pajiba is an entry called “The 10 Worst Blockbusters of All Time” (Batman and Robin is number one):
In 2003, the average movie registered 41 percent of its total box-office take in its first weekend, and that portion is certainly higher now. The major studios understand that the formula for success has absolutely nothing to do with quality; it’s about creating enough hype and hiding your film from critics long enough to sneak a $50 million opening past the American public before they realize they’ve been hoodwinked into spending three hours’ wages for two hours of Hulk.
Both of these sites work outside the machine that is Hollywood, and as such are a part of the anti-institution rising tide that the internet makes possible. They’re written in the voice of the viewer and the moviegoer, so they resonate with the people who really matter in the whole entertainment world.

So here’s my gift to you today: the URLs of these two wonderful RSS feeds. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

RSS: Television Without Pity
RSS: Pajiba


  1. A good site also is They have a separate RSS feed for every show. So, I can subscribe to just the show I’m interested in. They hold live chat’s during the shows and post recaps of yesterday’s episodes.

    I like TV Squad’s recaps better than TV Without Pity. I find the sarcasm hard to cut through. Seems like the TV Pity writers are all trying to outdo each other in acerbic wit. I just want a recap with fan insight that I may have missed.

  2. I used to write for Television Without Pity, six years or so ago when it was called Mighty Big TV. The cool thing about it was that the guy who created and wrote the show I recapped actually read my recaps, sent me what could only be called fan e‑mail, and we still keep in touch to this day. He names characters in his shows after me now (he’s Russell T Davies, who’s written the new series of Doctor Who — Rose’s mother, Jackie, is named for me). Talk about something that would never have happened without this wonderful web of ours…

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