Star Trek Fans and Editors: What I Still Miss From Television Without Pity
While it made sense to move on from Television Without Pity after nine years, there are two major things I miss about working there: the Star Trek fans who posted in the Enterprise forum, and my editors.
I haven't mentioned the posters yet, specifically the denizens of the Enterprise forums. I know we all now get the concept of "community" as it applies to the online world, but back in 2000, it was still fairly new to me. All my other shows were so bad that the accompanying forums were pretty quiet. With Enterprise, I got a large, ready-made fan base on Television Without Pity, and every single one of them was eager to start talking about the new series as soon as it was announced.
Before the show even started, it was so exciting to jump into the forums and start talking about the franchise with the posters. We didn't just talk about what we hoped a new Trek would bring, we completely geeked out and reveled in old Trek, too. My husband -- a Trekkie -- started me on a TOS diet that summer. (TOS = The Original Series, for those in the know.) He felt that in order to properly cover the new show, I needed more than just TNG (The Next Generation) under my belt. Naturally, watching William Shatner gorge himself on scenery while totally rocking a man-girdle under his spangled uniform provided much meat for online discussion.
As the seasons of Enterprise went on, we literally screamed, laughed, and cried our way through that show together. The moment an episode ended, we all raced online to post our thoughts and read what everyone else thought. Sure, there were definite differences of opinion, but for the most part everyone was fairly cordial and respectful, mostly because when all was said and done, we were united in our love for Trek.
We were united in wanting the best for Enterprise and for the franchise. We were united in hoping that Enteprise would recapture the glory of Trek that made us all Trekkies in the first place. When it didn't happen, we were united in our disappointment; far from deserting the show in disgust, we watched until the bitter end, gnashing our teeth and rending our garments. Even when the show was at its lowest point, it was endurable, because we were all going through it together, and that made our weekly watching worthwhile.
When Enterprise was cancelled, these wonderfully generous and thoughtful posters sent me a Captain Archer action figure and the first season Enterprise DVDs to thank me for my years of service. But that wasn't all -- even before Enterprise was cancelled, they got together and sent me the first season of Deep Space Nine, just so I would know what really good Trek was like. (I now own all seven seasons, and I will force you to watch them if you fail to recognize that Benjamin Sisko was the most badass Trek captain of all.) Another poster sent me wine from my favorite vineyard. And then there was the sweater.
One of the Enterprise posters is an amazing knitter, and she started a tradition of sending tiny Star Trek-themed sweaters to the newly babied forum posters among us. We all joked that the only reason to get pregnant was to get one of Anne's fabulous sweaters. Top Chef, Jericho, and other shows took me away from the Enterprise boards even before I stopped recapping for the site, so when I was pregnant, I did wonder if I would be so lucky to get a Star Trek baby sweater. For nine months, I held onto hope. Sure enough, a month after my son was born, the most beautiful Star Trek sweater with matching striped hat arrived with a card individually signed by the Enterprise posters. It wasn't just postpartum hormones that made me tear up when I read the Star Trekkian sentiments.
After four years of that show, it was natural that a lot of us got to know each other pretty well and I happily count more than a few Enterprise posters as friends. They're good people.
I also miss my editors. I mean, I'm still in touch with them and everything, but I do miss working for them. Separately and together, they were great leaders, great writers, amazing editors. They gave candid, bracing feedback, and they knew how to buck us up, too. I don't know what all went on behind the scenes, but I do know that they managed a crazy, popular site and kept that crazy, popular site going even during the darkest days of the Internet. I'll never fully comprehend everything they did for us and for the site, but I know they gave their all and for that, I thank them.
I could go on and on, but keeping it simple is what Television Without Pity taught me. My editors were my mentors. I wrote to impress them.
The Television Without Pity Series
- How Recapping TV Shows Turned Me Into a Writer
- Television Without Pity Sucks Dot Com: What It's Like to Be Really, Really, Really Hated Online
- Recapping Top Chef: Why Yes, I Invented the Word "Cheftestant"