To be honest, I know very little about it. I only go to the forums every now and again to investigate hits at my blog (they usually turn out to be links posted by unnoun).
I’ve seen some videos on YouTube in which mind-bendingly awful and stupid quotes from Tropers are read out in sarcastic voices.
I’d just like to go back to the root question here, and note that I think it’s hilarious when people blame TV Tropes for structuralism.
Man, I’d love to write an essay on the ways in which I think fiction-writing actually is like building with LEGOs (namely that it’s the combining of a wide array of disparate sources and elements to create new and interesting connections), but I worry that it would just end up supporting the kind of behaviors TV Tropes can be rampant with.
Really, I think the issue isn’t that TV Tropes treats fiction like LEGO bricks, it’s that it views the particulars of the tropes and constructs as vastly more interesting than the creation itself, which, coupled with the site’s penchant for irony and detachment over engagement and sincerity, leads to some very damaging attitudes for art.
To go to the LEGO analogy, if I were to take something like the Black Sea’s Barracuda (a set which I happened to disassemble today), I could look at its construction and note the intricate lining and detailing of the ship, and how it uses its simplistic coloring scheme to create an astonishingly refined look, all for the greater purpose of creating a very sophisticated build that heightens the level of realism you can bring to a set. But I could also take the build and simply dissect it brick-by-brick, noting that the lining is created mostly with slope bricks and plates, or that the main construction of the ship is about 4 or 5 large pre-fab pieces, or that the cabin is made of a large array of grey plates and black slopes, which are interspersed with the yellow windows and slopes and by this point I think I’m just boring everyone. The analysis gets too granular to really say anything of value.
The analogy is very flawed, of course- LEGO sets (particularly ones from the time period of the Barracuda) are driven mostly by a sense of aesthetics, whereas most of the art TV Tropes looks at have more in-depth purposes than that (and to be fair, the site is also more than just blandly listing tropes with no deeper look at things). But I think the sense is the same- the difference between looking at the construction of a piece to see how it contributes to the work as a whole, and viewing the construction as vastly more interesting in itself.
Reading this, I briefly pondered whether you could make a case that TV Tropes amounts to some sort of hipster structuralism, but then I realized that structuralism and modernism were hopelessly entwined such that structuralism already was hipster structuralism.
Atrocious over-specific pedantry =/= structuralism
The two terms can probably cover an amount of shared content. But uh uh.