Of all the email I've ever received during my tenure here at Television Without Pity, I think my all-time favorite will always be the angry flamemail I got from Mike Binder's little brother, bawling me out for all the mean and nasty things I ever said about that crap-ass show. Now sure, there have been plenty of other highlights, like the crazy lady who sends unsolicited errata and footnotes to the recaps every other week; the director from Oz who said he was scared of me; the former forum regular who routinely invites me to his band's gigs in Chicago, and, of course, the surprisingly large number of women who want to marry me, not to mention the slightly smaller number of men who go to great lengths to insist that their love is merely platonic. The reason I love the Binder email so much, however, is that he actually spent most of it whining about the insanely low letter grades I gave out each week, as if it was really the "F-" I gave to his "Three Stooges Blow-Job" episode that finally broke the cancellation camel's back, and not the combined metric tonnage of an oppressed North American viewing audience being forced to watch helplessly as Mike Binder lovingly filmed his adolescent masturbation fantasies and broadcast them to anyone with a cable box. Goddamn, that show sucked.
But that email was also a sign of things to come, because every single time since then that I've had contact with someone associated with one of the shows I cover, they're invariably more interested in the letter grades than anything else. And because of that trend, I'm now about to make a major confession. In fact, it would seem that Brother Justin's secret power may be even stronger and more far-reaching than we first thought, because what I'm going to reveal today may very well be my greatest sin as a recapper. You see, while I often like to talk a big game about the episode grades (StCVA = 338), in reality, I actually pay almost no attention to them at all. That’s partly because I'm sort of stuck with a fairly narrow range of options when you consider that I just couldn't bear to live in a world where an episode of Carnivàle (or The Sopranos or Six Feet Under) could ever get a lower grade in anything than an episode of The Surreal Life, or The Simple Life, or Sorority Life, or even Time of Your Life (exception that proves the rule: My So-Called Life), and also partly because I keep forgetting to change that damn field in the template because it's small and right next to the index page poll (which -- for various reasons too complicated to explain here -- hates me), and then of course there's always another run-on sentence that needs to be fixed before deadline, so I usually end up running out of time.