Home > television, Uncategorized > Dialogs with my idiot box

Dialogs with my idiot box

I don’t have Tivo, but I have a tivo-like-program on my computer which, for our purposes I’ll just call not!Tivo.

I don’t think of myself as a big TV watcher — thanks to my not!Tivo, I basically only watch what I think is good enough to record. I have had this machine for years and have built up a complex and layered programming guide. Record all episodes of Nigella, even reruns, but record new episodes of Good Eats instead, if there’s a conflict. Record Time Team if it ever comes on again. Record The Closer only on Tuesday nights at 11, please, but keep it until I watch it. Record any episode, ever, of Jamie at Home but go ahead and delete it if you need space. Discovery has a new show about climate change, record that at 2 a.m. so it doesn’t conflict with anything else and then never record it again.

It’s complicated and shifting but it usually nets me about 6 hours each week of TV, much of it cooking or nature shows. Then, this horrible thing happened and it’s all gone. I lost several hours of already-recorded stuff — Torchwood, Masterpiece Theater, the special post-Super Bowl episode of House — and that was annoying. But the complex web of stuff set to record was completely wiped out.

Trying to reconstruct it from scratch has been a slow, tedious, and frustrating process. There were things in there that I had set years ago on the off chance that they might show again — BBC’s aforementioned Time Team, for instance, or Hell Boy: Blood and Iron. (Yes, I’m a big fat geek.) And because of a quirk in the programming, I can’t set it to record that unless it’s on TV again. Which it hasn’t been, which is why it’s been on my “to record” list for five years, and now I’m going to have to go out and spend money to rent the flipping thing.

I would like to say that this has made me reconsider my TV watching, re-evaluate it in the light of parenthood, come to some grand conclusion about society, media, the fate of story telling in a post-TV world. That would be the good thing, the thoughtful thing, the Cantabridgian thing. But mostly it’s made me pissed off that I missed the House ep where we find out Wilson is dating Cut-Throat Bitch.

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