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August 01, 2011



Not to knock on Matt's Mariah video, but let's face it: you have long time readers for a very good reason. As old hat as the ANTM recaps became (which, by the way, had everything to do with the show becoming stale and nothing to do with your talent), there's zero doubt that you have the uncanny eyes and the quirky sense of humour that gives your edits an undeniable charm.

I STILL to this day watch your edit of Beyonce's tour DVD-- it's hillarious, and you know it is. It sucks losing the rat race (as Justin Timberlake has said twice in movies now, "IT'S ALL ABOUT GETTING THERE FIRST ON THE INTERNET"), but your quality pieces are top tier.

And you're crazy eloquent. I'm not trying to belittle Gawker or anything, but... come on; you write circles around those guys. I read fourfour because of the quality, not because of the timeliness.


I don't think that for all readers urgency is that important. Frankly, I value your comedy and opinion, and would rather hear your thoughts on events/tv/music days, weeks, even months after the events happen. I can't think of any other bloggers' opinion I'd rather read, and that's why I keep coming back!


Dirt off your shoulders. Matt just won that day. That's all. Mariah's such an easy spectacle that is was inevitable that you'd have competition on a concept.

And seriously, it counts that you have a beautiful, fluid style of writing within which you often wrap astute, considerate criticism of the rogue's gallery of pop hooligans out today.

Without you, I never would have discovered Katy B. I have a kindred spirit out there who gets Russ Meyer, La Toya, the ball-churning appeal of men with spare tires, all the while making it sound so good.

Let this setback serve as a catapult to up your game, churn your sensibility to show us new twisted visions and keep general muthafuckas off your trail. I promise that we will continue to seek you out. We love you.


i'll always appreciate your stuff no matter what. I've read your blog since 2007 and I figure it's a permanent bookmark. keep up the great writing and your sharp eye for satire. stay innovative like how you are--


Rich, this post itself reflects why your aesthetic and pride of workmanship is more valuable than half of the trending topics on sites like Gawker. Your painstaking concern for both your tone and content does not go unnoticed, and what makes your work more enlightening to read is the fact that you have a personality. With all due respect to Cherette, one video and three lines of context does not an engaging blog post make, especially if the intent upon publishing it is to acquire more hits and stay ahead of the game. You strive to point out the foibles in pop culture figures in a way that isn't cynical, but rather aims to make their displays of humanity apparent and endearing. Your writing carefully draws out humor and beauty from things that are packaged for immediate consumption, thus counteracting their sole aim to mindlessly entertain. Your readers aren't baby penguins: you don't have to fish and regurgitate shit to keep 'em coming back.

Don't let yourself become an information feedbag for the masses, or be swayed into becoming a "vessel" of any kind. Your values and integrity in your work are fine just the way they are.


I'm taking a break from the 36 hr process of recapping a (terrible) TV show to read this. Jesus Christ do I feel you, I feel like shit has sped up big time over the past year even. Four sites have recaps of a show before it's even aired on the west coast.

(I mean, Gawker has interns whose entire jobs are to watch and pull clips from videos all day, so they're doing a thing only large companies can do. Also advance screeners enable quick recappers)

Your ANTM recaps were the first recaps I ever read -- the only recaps I ever read and I found them probably while googling Kim Stolz. So when I started recapping The L Word in 2006, which eventually ended up being the thing that led to the website i started that's now my full-time job, I took the screencaps and made the graphics because that's what I thought a recap was. I think I went to TWOP once and was confused about why there weren't any pictures. I look back at some of the more intense years and think holy shit, that took eons.

(It's a unique vocation, I suppose, so it's really comforting to read this.)

I don't watch ANTM anymore and I'm not someone who reads recaps of shows I haven't seen, but I read everything else you write and so does everyone I know, your posts are referenced in everyday conversations like actual books! or something.

I think the part that takes forever is the part people are willing to wait for, is what I mean. The pictures and the sounds and the overall perfection of the thing. It's not impatience that anyone feels while waiting for a recap, I think, it's just anticipation, which might come off as impatience. It's just appetite.

Sites like Gawker pump out so many videos a day, I don't watch any. We can't tell what's important/good or not, it's all taking up the same real estate, there's no hierarchy. But every time you make a video, we know it's gonna be good and we know you spent a week on it.

I've got faith the tides will turn, people will get sick of ingesting immediate, rapidly-produced media in favor of the carefully curated and implicit value of personal blogs like this one.
There's nothing else like this. Nobody else does what you do.

matthew (hardcore ANTMer)

Yeah, I couldn't believe they left out Renée Alway and Jade Cole. At least Lisa is there though.

Michael Singh

I love your website. I look at your past posts & laugh. While I had heard about 'Being Bobby Brown' after looking at your site I bought it. Also you have great funny links.

I cannot imagine looking at old gawker posts. None of it really even registers. You have substance. Don't worry Rich you will get the shout-outs you deserve.


If you just now started recapping Cycle 4, I would be anxiously awaiting each new post. You could honestly fall under my "favorite writers" (and be the only non-novelist). Not only is your tone clever and original, but your voice is just so engaging! You create a connection with every single one of your readers because you put no walls up between you as a blogger and you as a person. Not only are you sharing hilarious reviews and anecdotes, you're sharing a little piece of yourself. That's why I can't help but stay a loyal reader.

Keep questioning yourself, that's what makes us stronger as writers and as people, but don't ever get too carried away in all of the analysis and comparisons. Stay unapologetic, because up until you have nothing to apologize for!


i have to say i found this post to be a little disconcerting, especially coming from a blog that regularly ruminates on the likes of swan brooner, the jacksons etc and seemed to take real joy in obsessively dissecting such classics as ANTM, 'Monster's Christmas', winston and '2 man chain gang' as evidence of the absurdity of living in a post-modern world of 24/7 media consumption. Getting your work out to a wider audience is something i think it truly deserves, for no less a reason than you are perhaps one of the most important critics of media working, and if that means faster turn times, so be it. But i also hope it doesn't mean losing some of the more obscure weird, strange posts (instant classics like the found wedding VHS come to mind) that have made this blog a regular stop on almost a daily basis for many, many years. xx

Hannah J

I agree with all the above posters! Rich, you rock! I love reading your blog- always have, always will. :)


Rich, when I watched the Gawker Mariah video, I kept waiting for clever editing. Waiting for the funny to happen. When I was disappointed, I was comforted by the fact that I KNEW your video was coming, and it would be great. And it was. You sound super bummed out, and you shouldn't be. Just take a look at Rudy and Winston, and you'll feel better.


I read gawker, and i saw matt's post, and i watched the video, and it was funny. but, even while i was watching it, i thought "rich will do so much more with this raw material." intuitively, i never questioned your own cut was coming (and getting 2 was like 2 christmases). to echo the other posters, we bookmark and check your blog religiously for a reason. what matt did was a funny bunch of amusing bits mashed together, and it got picked up by the 24-hour media, got spit out, and was forgotten. your cuts, not to sound pretentious, are art. it's clear that you value the artform and study contemporaries like E_I_T, and want to create something more than a funny video. matt's video lacked any imagination or finesse, and certainly lacked any narrative or point-of-view (mariah says funny shit... no duh). I totally understand the impulse to want your voice heard, your vids viewed, and your blog read. but gawker is a perpetual chum machine, gorging culture in and spewing it out, very little of it sticks. i watched matt's video two or three times, i think. days later, i still revisit your video because it's the richer experience, reveling in the cadence of it. i still look at posts you did years ago (the steve "silk" hurley post just a couple of weeks ago) because you have cultivated an online voice that few can match. the sad part is, i can't say much beyond that because i don't know if anything on the internet is lasting. does your higher level of curation and professionalism matter over the quick-hit posts, or is it all fleeting? what i do know is that, aside from my morning music site frenzy, yours is the only blog i check first thing, every day. we all want our stuff seen (hell, i get antsy if no one "likes" a facebook post), and it can feel competitive. but the care and construction in your work shows, and for plenty of us, any other mariah super-cut is just the generic store-brand.

Lisa Crumpets

I was just discussing with a friend yesterday how much I admire your ability to make something seemingly mundane (HSN for example) and find the funny in it. Your work is always worth waiting for. Also, I can't really meet new people anymore without showing them your Beyonce Experience video. Your sharing is still being shared.


I've never commented before, but I've faithfully followed your blog for four years.

I come here for a creative criticism of pop culture that doesn't exist anywhere else on the internet. Other sites, particularly those in the Gawker empire, do prompt re-hashes of TV shows, but that's the end of what they do. There's no distinctive critical or artistic voice in their coverage. It's left up to the commenters to analyze the post and the pop. You can't search the archives of Gawker or Jezebel and enjoy their coverage of a show years later; there's nothing there except pieces of a show that no one remembers.

Fans follow you for years for the same reason that big pop culture sites and late night comedians copy you: you do something special here. You capture something about a moment in culture, add your voice, and make it worth watching for more than the minute or two it takes to watch it once.

It takes time and skill to make your work, and people get that. Fans of the Daily Show don't care that Stewart is always a day or two behind on news, because they're watching for Stewart's (staff's?) perspective, not the news. Nobody wants the NY Review of Books to publish literary criticism that someone prepared in two hours, because there's artistic value in the literary criticism itself.

You could easily water down what you do and successfully compete with the Gawker-types, but why? What you do is so much cooler.


you're being too hard on yourself...and doing it brilliantly.


I loved the fact that the ANTM recaps were not posted until many days later. It gave me time to reflect as well, and made the recaps more fun to read because they were reminding me of the hilarity, much of which had already faded from my memory.


There will always be an audience for quality. It might shrink, but it will always be there.


I saw the Gawker Mariah Carey video and just assumed it was yours because you do that sometimes. I didn't even watch it because I've seen one you've done in the past and it was funny but I'm just not that into Mariah. However when there is something I'm into like ANTM I'd much rather wait to see what you have to say because I'm a fan of your writing/work/take on things. I couldn't care less about waiting a week. It's your opinion I'm interested in not a quick summary by whoever.


Just to echo everyone here (especially Lydia) I love your quality of content, not the timeliness in which it's received.


I first started reading your blog in 2008 for the antm recaps.. Soon later I started reading more of your other stuff and nowdays I read most of your stuff.. I even sometimes go to read your tv guide stuff too. Whatever you decide to do with antm all stars (recap it or not) I'll still read your site and probaply think how amazing some moment on antm will be when you get your hands on it.. You can make a lackluster season of antm good with your recaps.. ^_^


What an excellent critique (even if it wasn't meant to be one) on the evolution of the entertainment blogs.

I used to read Defamer daily and it was totally scrumptious. Then it folded into Big Gawker and then Gawker revamped itself and now it's little more than a couple of snarky lines about the daily news. Richard still gets his recap columns, and so does Brian, although Brian's don't have the fiction, and the rest of the site is pretty much a higher brow Perez Hilton with some politics. Including Matt's video of Mariah which was fine.

But Richard, what you do is something so much more. I urge you to recap the ANTM All Star Cycle at your own pace. Those who want good things will wait. I urge you to continue what you're doing. My god, that video of Mariah saying "Awwww...." over and over and over again was just so brilliant.

What would LaToya do? Think about it. But not that long.

L. Duhon

My decision to stop watching ANTM was directly related to your decision to stop blogging about ANTM. I found I was only watching so that I could read your posts and know to what you were referring. Reading anything you write makes much better whatever you are writing about. I stop by fourfour every few days just to see what I might have missed. Your humor, your writing talent, your keen observation of the absurdity of humanity are what keep me coming back.


Rich, I've been reading your blog for years and have only commented one or two times, which makes me feel terrible but it just seemed like a pain in the ass to login - yours is the only TypePad blog I read. Though "read" might not be a strong enough phrase - "devour like the last Bloomin' Onion" is probably more apropos.

I write about television on my own blog, and although it's much smaller and pretty much just me, bitching into the void and making fun of Entourage, it's something that I love doing. But like you said, doing the types of posts that you really love takes time, and often, by that point, there's been so much already written and posted that it feels redundant, and that is the worst. Especially as an individual blogger with multiple day jobs and occasionally a desire for a semblance of a social life, it can get really frustrating.

I just wanted to let you know that your painstaking work is appreciated. Just because something is a few days late doesn't mean it ruins it for everyone. I stopped reading Gawker when they changed the format to be headache-inducing and headline- instead of content-driven, and had no exposure to the Mariah HSN story other than the amazing video of yours (that I watched all the way through). I know when I come to fourfour I'm going to find your intelligent and incredibly funny perspective on whatever it is you're writing about - so who cares if someone said something similar two days ago? It's your voice that drives this blog, and keeps me always wanting more.

That being said, it was a tragedy in my life when you stopped writing the ANTM recaps. I never cared that they took a long time - that just meant to me that they were thoughtful and gif-ful and wonderful art pieces about megalomania. Last year when I found out you wouldn't be doing the recaps anymore I went back and read ALL of them. It didn't matter if I couldn't remember a particular episode or even an entire season - you're an awesome comedian and observer and I just love to read what your reaction is to pretty much anything at all. It would make my WORLD if you were to do the recaps again, even if just for the all-star cycle. But it would especially make my Mondays exciting again.

So this is to say that I (and many of my friends) really appreciate and understand all the hard work that goes into creating such fabulous content. You blog-spire me. And c'mon, most of what's great is worth waiting for.


I'm not a long time reader, but came into this late in the game (3-4 months ago). I just want to say that what you do is important. There's so much absurdity in the pop culture we consume that it needs to be satirized and put in its place. There's a long tradition of video artists that do this in particular. Just consider how this was made in 1978: http://is.gd/4Cne2I

To at least give you my own feelings on the matter, I don't care if you're not the first one out of the gate. That's not what I expect from this kind of work. You are not updating all of the god damn time, so I know that when it rolls around, it is something to look forward to and will be quality.

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