Friday, November 2, 2007


Feeling much better -- thanks for thinking that.

Okay, so here's the thing about TV. I love it, I love that we're in a golden period for TV (Coffee Jones and I can both remember the day when "good enough for an ABC sitcom" was a pejorative even lower than "good enough for government work"), and I love (LOVE!) the new technology that allows us to watch and record simultaneously. Gotta have my DVR! But for all that, I'm having some problems with this TV season.

Mind you, I could be having a whole bored-with-excess reaction. I have a satellite dish (because we are out in the middle of the countryside here) and a DVR that allows me to record two programs at once. Only on Thursday at 9 p.m. is that insufficient (I record CSI and Grey's Anatomy and figure I'll get caught up with The Office in re-runs). So what I do is tell it to record all the shows I know I like (police procedurals, medical shows, and How I Met Your Mother) and the shows I think I'll like based on the critics' reviews. Somehow, though, this separates out into distinct tiers -- like one of those "magic" desserts that settles into three layers. I have the shows I watch immediately (after enough of a buffer so I can fast forward through the commercials), the shows I watch later (because I'm watching the other shows first), and the shows I never quite watch.

That's right -- I don't watch the shows I watch. I mean, I think I watch The Office, but I've got 20 episodes saved up on the DVR . . . and those are from last season! Same thing with My Name Is Earl. I have to admit I just don't watch them. Right? But they're good, and the critics tell me they're good, and I enjoy them when I do watch them. So why aren't I watching them?

I don't want to. And here's what I mean by that. When I've watched the stuff I look forward to all week -- the Houses and Lifes and so forth -- I then scroll down through the list of shows I have on the DVR. I'll watch Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert in tandem, I'll watch one of the lesser police procedurals (even those are tiered into must watch, will watch, don't watch: I mean, really -- they're ubiquitous. I don't even record all of them! I skip the Miami and NY CSIs, I didn't do Mandy Patinkin, I don't do Mark Harmon, and I don't do the governmental ones, like The Unit and 24. I do like the math whiz on Numb3rs...), I'll watch a single episode of Brothers & Sisters or Men in Trees. And that's about where I fizzle out and wait for the next eps of my favorites.

But I don't want to delete the stored episodes of Bionic Woman (the critics make me record that, you know -- they pretty much insisted -- but I haven't seen the charm yet) and Dirty Sexy Money. I may need them. There's a strike coming. We could be without newly scripted material for MONTHS! Ahhh! The sky is falling!!!

- - -

Uh, okay. I'm okay now. Thanks.

You see the problem. Because my DVR stores up to 200 hours of regular material (or about 30 hours of high def material), I don't have to delete as aggressively. So I could blame my greed on the technology, but I'm a better person than that. I'm the one with the problem. And I might even admit I'm powerless, but for now, I'm going to get rid of the final three episodes of Friday Night Lights the critics MADE me record. (I know it's a lovely show, with great performances, and I even like football, but I can't watch it. Too gritty and scratchy -- it's like sandpaper TV. Must be something about that corner of Texas.) But then again, I might watch it, and Connie Britten really is that good.

[Oh, god, I really am powerless. Anybody got a 12-step program for this?]

Nah. It's okay. I had already removed it from this seasons' shows to record. I just don't like to delete stuff I have stored up without watching it.

Meanwhile, back to the point I had thought I was going to make. I love Chuck, but am just so-so about Reaper. I love Life, but have to make myself watch Pushing Daisies. I did watch two episodes of Hot Shots and agreed with the critics that it was unwatchable, so I stopped recording it, even though I really like Michael Vartan. I'm currently not watching any reality programming, but Project Runway starts soon. And I'm missing all the great cable programs from this past summer: The Closer (of course!), Burn Notice, Army Wives, and Side Order of Life. (I didn't go for Damages; I wonder if I missed the boat there. Nope -- too much like the women I used to work for, right?)

So there are precisely two new series (Life and Chuck) that are on my must-see list. (Starman is another factor here -- he doesn't like a lot of what I like, so I'm always looking for stuff he'll like. Aliens in America appeals to him for obvious reasons, so we watch that together.) And I have five new shows that I'm recording and not watching so much.

This entire blog comes down to this: I wish it were the other way round. I wish I had five new shows that I love and two that I'm not watching so much.

Whew! Glad I figured that out. Thanks, guys.

Now, what am I going to write about tomorrow... I know, I'll write about quilting, and practice inserting photos.

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